The Sciences

I've got your missing links right here (24th July '10)

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongJul 24, 2010 4:00 PM

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NewsYou can just engineer a crime scene.” Scientists can fabricate blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. (Andrew Pollack, NYT) New research suggests one reason women are underrepresented in science and math is they see such careers as impeding their desire to help others. (Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune) Researchers implant false symptoms: we can be convinced we reported symptoms of mental illness that we never mentioned and, as a result, we can actually start believing we have the symptom itself. (Vaughan Bell, Mind Hacks) Eradicating any organism would have serious consequences for ecosystems — wouldn't it? Not when it comes to mosquitoes. (Janet Fang, Nature) Is Torosaurus just an older version of Triceratops? (Brian Switek, Smithsonian Dinosaur Tracking) Mark Henderson has had his genes tested three times by three different companies. Read about his surprising and sometimes alarming comparison. (Times; paywall (but it’s worth it)) More after the jump... How to read a genome-wide association study (Jeff Barrett, Genomes Unzipped) Fossil hunters in Australia have discovered a cave filled with the 15-million-year-old remains of prehistoric marsupials, including babies still in their mothers’ pouches (BBC) The following occurs in real-time: Scientists have viewed the expression of an individual gene inside a human cell. (Brendan Borrell; Nature) A Panamanian park has lost around 40% of its amphibian species in the past decade, with some dying out before biologists had even learned of their existence (Janet Fang, Nature) Breakthrough? Fingers crossed. A vaginal gel used by women before sexual intercourse halved the numbers who became infected with HIV. (Sarah Boseley, Guardian) Pure-food worshippers put their health at risk—especially when they drink unpasteurized milk (Deborah Blum, Slate) RIP Robert Galambos, the neuroscientist who showed us how bats echolocate (Douglas Martin, NYT) Follow a stranger on Twitter, says Jonah Lehrer. Speaking of which, Jonah is now at Wired and you must read his stuff. An important environmental win: advocates in Hong Kong opposed a shark fin soup promotion (Bettina Wassener, NYT) Why some snakes have slit pupils (Doctor Zen, Neurodojo) It’s a star. A really big star. No, really, it’s BIG. It’s bigness goes up to 11. (Ian Sample, Guardian) A 40-tonne whale breached onto a boat. Why? (Philip Hoare, Guardian) Wow/hehAmazing photos of deep-sea creatures at the BBC This is a plane being shot down by a frickin’ laser beam. I’ll be in my bunker... Is this the laziest (or best) caption ever? Blogging/journalism/internet This week’s must-read post – a storming history of science blogging as Bora Zivkovic says goodbye to ScienceBlogs. Check out how one person can inspire an entire community, and follow Bora to his new home. Continuing the SciBling exodus, read goodbyes from Deborah Blum (in the style of Tennyson), Zuska, Abel Pharmboy, and, er, me, and a summary in Nature News The Guardian published a truly moronic piece on Pepsigate by one David Appell. Another David, he of Dobbs fame, absolutely destroyed the piece. “Few have ever packed as much error and folly into seven paragraphs.” Go for the eyes, David! “If you're worried about inspiring the next generation of scientists, listen to young people, don't (just) feed them space-dinos,” argues Alice Bell. How Facebook has to cope with death “Given women will remain under the microscope indefinitely, I hope increasing numbers aim for high magnification for reasons beyond appearances,” says Sheril Kirshenbaum in an excellent post on sexism in science. The New England Journal of Medicine sets a 65-minute embargo. Coming soon: the count-to-ten embargo.

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