On science blogs

So, what is the Brain Activity Map? Herewith, some speculations and even possible answers. The emphasis seems to be on neuroscience technology that can monitor large groups of neurons simultaneously. Also: Download the Universe's birthday, more on Obamacare, the Mediterranean diet, and, best of all, free online MIT bio course taught by Eric Lander & Co..

As you probably know, Jonah Lehrer again. Lehrer gave a Fat Tuesday talk explaining away his plagiarism and other sins against science journalism. The reviews were terrible. The Knight Foundation paid him $20,000 for the talk. The reviews were terrible for that, too.

Richard III's bones have (probably) been found — underneath a parking lot. mtDNA studies of Richard's family descendants confirm that the remains are Richard's, but so do several other types of evidence. Still, there's controversy over what the mtDNA reveals and whether peer review should have come before press conference. Meanwhile, a Freedom of Information Act request has laid bare Science's peer review process for that now-disproven #arseniclife paper.

Research on the bird flu H5N1 and its possible person-to-person transmission will resume. But what about those dead ferrets? Saturn and its moons via upgoerfive. Blog posts from ScienceOnline2013 have begun to trickle in. And yes, there will be #SciO13 video. Eventually.

What's new with the flu? Well, it's an average flu season. Or maybe it's a bad flu season. We'll see. The flu therapy Tamiflu is lacking effectiveness data, and the current vaccines aren't great either. But there's hope for new vaccines effective against many flu viruses — and maybe other respiratory viruses. Not soon, though. Also: Ice recession research in Alaska. Why 'Net content goes viral. In memoriam Carl Woese, who deserved a Nobel but now won't get one.

So it wasn't the end of the world after all. Up next: Comet ISON. We'll see. The many medical developments of 2012. Contraception and Obamacare. Cardiology news. Teleportation and quantum computing on the way. Right after Comet ISON. Lead, the criminal element. So get the lead out. Blogging advice for the new year. Do we need a new policy on blogging comments?

The Mayan Apocalypse will take place next Friday, December 21. Or not. Science is making earnest — but probably doomed — attempts to refute the Doomsday scenario. Meanwhile, despite the swift approach of the End of the World, National Geographic has recruited blogging stars Zimmer, Yong, Switek, and Hughes to form its own new blog network. Discover fights back with Keith Kloor. Holiday hiatus here, but will return in the New Year, apocalypse or no.

Organic compounds on Mars! But Curiosity's carbon find might have come from Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, NASA announces another Mars rover for 2020. The National Academy of Sciences says NASA is lost in space and it's all Obama's fault. Meanwhile, in inner space, the backlash against brain porn goes mainstream.