biology, epigenetics, gender, links, plants, Popular science, science, science and society, Science communication, Science in Society, sexuality
It’s been a few months since my last linkfest, so it seems like high time for a fresh collection. The transition to a new continent and new career has taken up a lot of my time and energy over the last few months, and unfortunately that’s meant I’ve given Inspiring Science less attention than I’d like to. Hopefully I’ll settle into a new rhythm soon and start posting more frequently again. In the meantime you can also find my writing at Accumulating Glitches or my Beacon project if you’re hankering for more. As always, feel free to add more links in the comments!
- A moving piece by Susan Dominus about conjoined twins Krista and Tatiana and to what extent their identities are separate.
- This fantastic picture from NASA’s Cassini probe shows Saturn and its rings gloriously backlit with Earth, Mars, and Venus visible as dots in the distance. Read more about it here.
- There was a really interesting paper at the end of last year about mice inheriting the memory of fright that their father experienced. I wanted to write about it, but thought I wouldn’t outdo Virginia Hughes’ excellent coverage, so I decided to share that instead.
- Here’s a really great demonstration of how far away Mars is.
- Sea sapphires are strangely beautiful marine creatures.
- Ed Yong on how what you eat reshapes your gut microbiome.
- Malcolm Campbell glimpses back at the universe through the rainbow in a street-side puddle.
- The fascinating story of MP, a teacher who suddenly lost the ability to read.
- An interesting article in The New Yorker about how plants perceive and respond to their surroundings and whether their behaviour is a sign of intelligence — a subject I will no doubt revisit! (Thanks to reader RC!)
- Elephants can recognize age, gender, and ethnicity in human voices. Wow!
- First on the list because it’s important: Tania Browne writes about going through a nervous breakdown and the importance of acknowledging and discussing mental health issues.
- Hunting lions isn’t an impressive feat of skill or a demonstration of power. It’s an easy and cowardly way to get a striking photo for the press.
- Another excellent post from Neuroskeptic about the important (and perhaps unrecognized?) role of interpretation in science.
- The inimitable Virginia Hughes on the risks and benefits of personal genomics.
- Epigenetics is in danger of becoming a buzzword, but David Dobbs’ article on the subject is certainly worth a read. “Your experiences today will influence the molecular composition of your body for the next two to three months.”
- I’m certainly not a fan of processed foods, but it’s fun to consider how the ingredient list for “natural” foods might look.
- I’ve often written about the beautiful, rich, complex world that evolution has wrought. AskNature is a fantastic website which lets you mine that richness for solutions to practical problems.
- It’s hard to describe The Bowl, The Ram, And The Folded Map by EldoieUnderGlass except to say that it’s excellent. Just go read it and enjoy the journey. 🙂
- The cost of speaking out about harassment is something most men will probably never have to think about, but something of which we should all be aware.
- Do you know who Bayard Rustin was? You should, but unfortunately his sexuality overshadowed his legacy.
- Female journalists have to face kinds of intimidation that would never be directed at their male peers.
- If you wonder why people make such a fuss about the use of ‘he’ as a generic pronoun, check out Douglas Hofstadter’s satirical commentary on the purity of language.
- Here are some incredibly realistic wood sculptures.
- Over at xkcd, Randall Munroe has a surprising and saddening infographic about the distribution of land mammals by weight.
- Can you do two different things with your hands at the same time? Have a go at this addictive video game my brother wrote.
- A fun, quick trick to entertain kids (and adults, actually): draw your hand in 3D.
- What’s the connection between the phrases “be the difference” and “we’re conquering cancer”? The answer will surprise you.
- The Names They Gave Me — On names and identity.
That’s all for now!
Great collection of links. I’ll be busy with this for a while.