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Read More In August of this year, Allison Noles rushed her bulldog Bella Mae to the vet.
The dog’s face looked like a pincushion, with some 500 spines protruding from her face, paws and body.
Update bookmarks and feeds, tell your friends and family… It’s beautifully written without sacrificing nuance. I know David personally, and I know how much he agonises about capturing the complexity of the science that he covers. “Dear Cancer, I beat you aged 8 & today I got my Ph D in cancer research” – By Vicky Forster Great gut-wrenching piece of writing about the difficult decisions faced by parents of a 23-week-old baby A very cool experiment: scientists transform fish fins into sort-of-but-not-really hands. Alexis Madrigal, Becca Rosen, and Megan Garber tell you about the year in technology. And there’s apparently a “volcanal explosivity index“… A 120-Year-Old Mechanical Device that Perfectly Mimics the Song of a Bird.
And when someone does that, and puts in the work, you get results like this. Here’s everything you need to know about the new coronavirus from the Middle East, by Maryn Mc Kenna, Helen Branswell, and Declan Butler (with a great interactive) . Which comes first as we age: ill health or declining bacterial communities in our guts? Stem cell scientists are taking the piss: brain cells made from urine Parasites in your skin is the new Jesus on toast – a case of photoshopping parasites into existence? “It’s like watching a natural Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes.” – birth of an enormous iceberg!
The internet is littered with such pictures, of Bella Mae and other unfortunate dogs. North American porcupines have around 30,000 quills on their backs.
While it’s a myth that the quills can be shot out, they can certainly be rammed into the face of a would-be predator.
Next week – most likely on Tuesday 18th December, but to be confirmed – Not Exactly Rocket Science will be moving to National Geographic, as part of a small and brand-new collective of science blogs called Phenomena.Blog transitions are always annoying things, and there’s always a proportion of readers who get lost in the jump. For new readers, this collection of “missing links” rounds up fascinating stuff I find around the internet, and appears every Saturday.If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written here, could you please help by drumming up some interest in these first days and weeks. It’s separated into Top Picks (the best stuff), Science/News/Writing (science writing), Heh/Wow/Huh (silliness, satire, photos, videos), and Journalism/Internet/Society (a miscellany of my other interests). Top picks “Restless genes” by David Dobbs, about the genetics and other factors behind the human urge to explore, is one of the best science stories of the year, let alone the week. That’s because they’re the most ridiculously hyped concept in neuroscience. Jeff Ingram repeatedly gets total amnesia, but his wife is his memory. NASA’s going to punch the moon with robots Impressive: conservationists have eradicated all rats from Rabada Island in the Galapagos. The Bizarre, Beetle-Biased World of Social Insect Exploitation A superb post by Dana Hunter on Mt St Helens’ legendary explosion.They unleashed fogs, set up sticky traps, and hacked into pieces of wood.Together, they were part of the largest ever systematic attempt to answer a disarmingly simple question: in a patch of tropical rainforest, how many species of insects and other arthropods are there?