On science blogs

Will sucking a baby's pacifier reduce the risk of eczema and allergies? Is vaginal delivery better than C-section? The evidence, such as it is. Winter is Coming, and so is Obamacare. The organizational challenges are immense, and opposition hasn't gone away either. Plus the fate of DSM5, Wehrner von Braun, Ed Yong on science blogging, the media and the anti-vaccine movement, and a shoutout to the Knight Science Journalism Trackers.

How dangerous is the new bird flu virus H7N9? Who knows? Does WHO know? New cases of the SARS-like coronavirus too. But Saudi Arabia has been laggard with disclosures about the new coronavirus. It is being compared unfavorably to China, which seems to be open about H7N9. Meanwhile, how bad was the US winter flu season? Pretty bad. Moving on to Fun with DNA. It's sinister how often DNA isn't right. Plus how to make a DNA model out of licorice and jelly babies.

The Brothers Tsarnaev: Can science explain why? ACES high? Traumatic brain injury? Immature youth? "Cowardly knock-off jihadis?" Docs speak out on the medical aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. MSM and social media were often wrong, wrong, wrong. What can be done about that? Churnalism, a new free tool for detecting plagiarism — and churnalism.

Bombs at the Boston marathon and explosions at a Texas fertilizer plant: compare and contrast. Terrorism vs. (probable) accident. Is Twitter getting better as a news tool? After the marathon blasts, the best of medicine leapt into action. Action at the Supreme Court on human gene patenting. The dismal (non)science: Is worldwide economic misery due to an Excel coding error?

President Obama unveils his proposed budget. For science and medicine, there's a bit of good news, but mostly not, in this hypothetical numbers game. Down with prostate cancer screening! Down with robotic surgery, too? Scientific jargon confuses scientists. Cloning is easy. A new imaging technique makes brains transparent.

The Brain Activity Map (BAM) is now Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN). Obama proposes to spend $100 million in 2014 on developing neuroscience technologies, studying model animals, and planning for future neuroscience research. There are skeptics. The recent budget cuts are hitting both scientific research and patient care. Saint Jane Goodall has done some naughty things in her new book, but the media are reluctant to call it plagiarism.

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks goes on and on. Is consent all relative? The HeLa genome is not really Henrietta Lacks's genome. HeLa cells are not good models for human cells either. What can an anonymous public genome reveal? Journalists are also clueless about genomic ethical issues, apparently.

The new coronavirus has now killed 9 out of 15 victims. It has moved into the UK, and person-to-person transmission seems likely. Will this be a new pandemic? Is the world prepared for it? More on de-extinction: is bringing back the dead a dumb idea or really, really cool? And can the associated reproductive technologies make a lot of money?

A baby was cured, probably, of HIV infection. But this excellent event is probably not world-changing, despite the hype. Will HIV evolve to become less harmful, like feline immunodeficiency virus? TODAY, live-streaming of an all-day meeting on cloning extinct organisms: Wooly mammoth, passenger pigeon, American chestnut. Please sign the petition against Daylight Saving Time. A new roundup at Cocktail Party Physics. SciO13 videos online!

Steven Brill goes through hospital bills and finds greed. Is this the beginning of the beginning of the end of the current US health care system? The New York Times abandons its Green Blog and the Washington Post makes changes in its environmental coverage too. There's general agreement that this bodes ill. German physicists, American physicists, and the atom bomb.

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