Welcome to the twelfth edition of scientia pro publica (science for the public) hosted here on Lab Rat. This is a blog carnival, designed to collect some of the most interesting posts on anything scientifically minded, written for people to understand and enjoy.
There's a wide selection for this edition, ranging in size from protein molecules within the cell to giant floating piles of trash in the sea. Being a microbiologist, of course, I'm going to start with the smallest and work up...
At the level of the very small:
We have an explanation of how Ritalin works, from Scicurious, and a look at the competition faced by sperm from Kelsey. There's also a lone little physical post about how to determine the charges on sticky-tape, at A Posteriori.
At the level of the slightly bigger:
Moving up to animal-sized things; there's a review of shore birds from DC birding blog, a good scientific look at the various myths surrounding chameleon colours at Ionion Enchantment and a great exploration of urban wildlife by Reconciliation Ecology.
At the evolutionary level:
In a wonderful example of the scientific method of working we have a post from Eric Johnson discussing laboratory work that shows evidence for the breakdown of the selfish gene theory, and then another post from Bob O'Hara saying that it doesn't. There's also a post by Cubic deconstructing an article written by David Stone about what makes a 'Darwinian'.
Closer to home - at the level of people:
Technically I suppose I should have dumped humans in with the rest of the eukaryotes, but there's enough exclusive posts about them to form a separate group. Dr Shock looks at whether Salvador Dali suffered from a mental illness, while Greg Laden examines the phenomenon of phantom touches. There's also a guest post at DermMatters about the importance of clinical photos, and why it's sometimes a good idea to take your own, as well as a glimpse back into the body-snatching era (the more dubious face of clinical anatomy) by Providentia.
At the level of society:
Two posts about using science in the court: a look at the importance of forensic evidence from Suzanne Smith, and Radio Frequency Identification from Adrienna Carlson. There's also a great post from A Blog Around the Clock, looking at scientific reporting, in the specific case of a giant pile of trash floating around in the Pacific.
And finally, if you have the need for more science blogging, the Online Universities Weblog has a list of the top 100 Science Professor's Blogs.
Strong wind brings strange leaves?
13 hours ago in The Phytophactor