This Week’s Blobologist-Approved Reads

These are the things I read this week that diverted me the most. Do it, people. Click.

Science News:

The other big Nature story of the week (what speed of light?) – Australian Aboriginal genome suggests multiple waves of human migration into Asia.

Sensitive account of the prosecution of Italian scientists for bungling their pre-earthquake PR.

Retraction Watch collates the news about the ‘Partial retraction’ of the Science paper linking chronic fatigue syndrome to xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus.

It has not escaped the Boston Globe’s attention that in the Biology of Ageing wars, the Sirtuin camp is under fire.  They gave David Sinclair the last ad hominem though:

“This group of researchers makes a living out of putting out these negative papers,’’ he said, “and it’s not the first time they’ve done this and overreached with their conclusions.’’

Book review at the Atlantic – The nocebo effect is invoked to explain the mysterious ‘nocturnal death syndrome’ of American Hmong immigrants.


I’ve got a thing for stories about squid. So how could I resist an Ed Yong piece called Indiscriminate squid just implanting everyone with sperm?

Using viruses to trace neural connections at Big Think

Ice-age antibiotic resistance at Lab Rat

Margot at Hypatian Axis shows us green-glowing-cute-and-cuddly critters and explains the origins of that workhorse of science, green flourescent protein (GFP).

Journal Articles:

Anti-microbial peptides from the genomes of the wallaby and platypus might help fight multi-drug resistant bugs (go the non-eutherians!)

Plant miRNAs could regulate animals that eat them (go plantae!)

Not-science or not-really science:

A post at David Kroll’s PLoS blog about fact-checking with sources for science and technical stories unleased a veritable storm of advice and opinions from high-flying science journalists and writers.

At Brain Pickings: Illustrations of Craigslist Missed Connections. You know, ones like:

‘If the young lady wearing the pink dress, spotted fur cape and muff, had light hair, light complexion and blue eyes, who was in company with a lady dressed in black, that I passed about 5 o’clock on Friday evening in South Seventh Street, between First and Second, Williamsburg, L.I., will address a line to Waldo, Williamsburg Post Office, she will make the acquaintance of a fine young man.’


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