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

New Loki Microbe is Closest Relative to All Complex Life

Giant Whales Have Super-Stretchy Nerves

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — "Hey, look at this," said Bob Shadwick. He and his team were working on the dissected remains of a fin whale, the second largest animal on the planet, when they noticed a white cord-like structure lying against a slab of muscle. Shadwick picked it up and jokingly stretched it.

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (2 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 Great story: On the unexpected brewing war between astronomers and robot lawnmowers. Four areas of debate over CRISPR-edited embryos examined by stem cell biologist Paul Knoepfler How camera film was optimised for white skin colour.

How This Beetle Creates 500 Explosions Per Second In Its Bum

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — There are few defences more extreme than that of the bombardier beetles. These insects deliberately engineer explosive chemical reactions inside their own bodies, so they can spray burning, caustic liquid from their backsides. The liquid can reach up to 22 miles per hour, at temperatures of around 100 degrees Celsius.

Chinese Dinosaur Had Bat-Like Wings and Feathers

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Since most dinosaur names consist of long, polysyllabic gargles- Parasaurolophus, Therizinosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus -it is refreshing that the latest addition to the family has the shortest one yet. It is simply Yi. In full, it is Yi qi, which comes from the Mandarin for "strange wing" and can be roughly butchered as "ee chee".

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (25 April 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 This piece on the psychology of cuts in movies, by Jeffrey Zacks, features the work of one Professor Cutting. It's also fascinating.

The Hidden Biology of Unlikely Animals

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — I have a new piece in the New Yorker's Elements blog about our tendency to underestimate animals that are very different from us, such as sponges and ctenophores. Check it out. Last month, in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, a group of scientists published a tub-thumping defense of sponges and other supposedly simple animals.

Consider the Sponge

By Ed Yong
newyorker.com — In the final exams for our undergraduate zoology degrees, my fellow-majors and I were given an assortment of petri dishes, each of them containing an animal. Our task was to classify the creatures to the phylum level. Now, more than a decade later, I can conjure up only two of the test dishes.

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (19 April 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 " Egg freezing is not fertility insurance: It's the perfect regret machine." Superb piece by Abby Rabinowitz on the social effects that the mere existence of a new technology can have.

Through This Chemical Loop, Dogs Win Our Hearts

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com — Wolves are wild, powerful, and fearsome predators, capable of bringing down even large prey. And yet, tens of thousands of years ago, some wolves started forming close associations with humans. They became more docile. Their bodies changed. They turned into domestic dogs.
More Articles →
May 06, 2015

The newly discovered Loki—a surprisingly complex archaeon—is the closest living relative to all complex life phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/06/new…

May 06, 2015

"In April, Joshua Quick boarded a plane to Guinea with three genetic sequencers packed in his luggage." nature.com/news/pint-size…

May 06, 2015

Word of the day: "imping". The act of implanting feathers back into injured birds of prey. news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150502…

May 06, 2015

"Is Captive Lion Hunting Really Helping to Save the Species?" Spoiler: no. news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150504…

May 06, 2015

Glowing millipedes evolved bioluminescence first to cope with heat and drought, and THEN as warnings to predators. news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150504…

May 06, 2015

NatGeo profile of @pcronald and her attempts to mend the rift between organic farmers and genetic engineers. news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150502…

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