Science writer, freelance journalist, husband. I CONTAIN MULTITUDES--on partnerships between animals & microbes--out in 2016. flavors.me/edyong

Not Exactly Rocket Science

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Last month, I went to the Royal Veterinary College to watch a team of four scientists skin and dissect a dead Komodo dragon. The result is this piece, published today at the Atlantic, which features some fascinating dragon biology, Game of Thrones, jokes, just a tiny bit of gore, and one of the best anecdotes I've ever had the pleasure to commit to writing.

Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth

theatlantic.com — Technology The danger of uploading one's consciousness to a computer without a suicide switch. Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

The Dragon Autopsy

By Ed Yong
theatlantic.com — Technology What it's like to watch a komodo dragon get dissected "Even away from the head, don't touch it without gloves on. There's Salmonella and other stuff." (In 1996, a Komodo dragon in Denver zoo that affected more than 300 children.) "Don't touch the CT machine either."

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (23 May 2015)

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Sign up for The Ed's Up -a weekly newsletter of my writing plus some of the best stuff from around the Internet. Top picks 7% of all retracted papers between 1980 and 2011 were by one guy. Here's how science's biggest faker was caught.

Octopuses, and Maybe Squid, Can Sense Light With Their Skin

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish, the animals collectively known as cephalopods, are capable of the most incredible feats of camouflage. At a whim, they can change the colour, pattern, and texture of their skins to blend into the background, baffle their prey, or communicate with each other.

The Slow-Motion Symbiotic Train Wreck of the 13-Year Cicada

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Round about now, in various US states, a vast swarm of cicadas will start crawling out of the ground. These black-bodied, red-eyed insects have stayed underground for 13 or 17 years, drinking from plant roots. When they greet daylight for the first time, they devote themselves to weeks of frenzied sex and cacophonous song, before dying en masse.

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (16 May 2015)

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Sign up for The Ed's Up -a weekly newsletter of my writing plus some of the best stuff from around the Internet. Top picks A great profile of optogenetics pioneer Karl Deisseroth, who helped to revolutionise neuroscience with light. By John Colapinto. "They have found a way to turn the beaks of chicken embryos back into dinosaur-like snouts."

Meet the Comical Opah, the Only Truly Warm-Blooded Fish

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — There's nothing about the opah that says "fast-moving predator". Tuna, sharks, and swordfish are fast-moving predators and accordingly, their bodies look like streamlined torpedoes. By contrast, the opah looks like a big startled frisbee, with thin red fins stuck on as an afterthought.

Can The Microbes You Leave Behind Be Used to Identify You?

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — When you touch a surface, you leave behind fingerprints-distinctive swirling patterns of oils that reveal your identity. You might also deposit traces of DNA, which can also be used to identify you. And you leave microbes. You are constantly bleeding microbes into your surroundings, and whenever you touch something, bacteria hop across from your skin.

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (9 May 2015)

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Sign up for The Ed's Up -a weekly newsletter of my writing plus some of the best stuff from around the Internet. Top picks "Test results were chilling: The inside of Dr. Crozier's eye was teeming with Ebola." By Denise Grady Meet the worm with the fractal nose glove.
More Articles →
May 30, 2015

RT @vaughanbell: Very, very funny: Neuroscience lab manager talks about the Human Brain Project youtube.com/watch?v=FhsZll… via @jpeelle

May 30, 2015

RT @virginiahughes: "Then I found out that 'storia' meant both 'history' and 'story,' and I was desperately confused." @AnnFinkbeiner lastwordonnothing.com/2015/05/29/sto…

May 30, 2015

@virginiahughes It is clearly in the public interest that you do. For journalism!

May 30, 2015

"Blanket octopuses literally rip the tentacles right off portuguese men-o-war and use them like little nunchuks" deepseanews.com/2015/05/six-re…

May 29, 2015

Scientists Make Unclear Breakthrough After Giving Robot Cancer theonion.com/article/scient…

May 29, 2015

RT @carlzimmer: Here's my @nytimes story on the mysterious die-off of the saiga, an antelope as drawn by Dr. Suess nyti.ms/1cojbxw

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