Ducks, Gills, Syphilis, and the Homunculus -- what do they have in common? The Tangled Bank!
It is our pleasure to have you at The Tangled Bank, the biweekly sampler of science, medicine, and natural history blogs. Put on your pith helmet and load your neocortex, we're going exploring...
I know you won't believe this, but I have, more than once, wondered what the hell the thyroid and parathyroid glands are doing packed in the impossibly crowded apex of the thoracic inlet. Haven't you? PZ Myers efficiently pieces together the puzzle at Pharyngula, finding the solution in the homology with... fish gills.
If the discontinuities in the brain's homuncular map have kept you up at night, you may finally get some sleep as Tom Stafford at Mind Hacks deals with the distorted little man in all our heads.
10,000 birds singles out a trio of mergansers from that crowd, and now, after reading another entertaining and informative piece on this blog, I can finally answer the question: where do only scoters and eiders dare to tread? You'll have to read to find out. And keep reading.
If you didn't know, there are some who would reintroduce elephants in America (sounds like a new Tony-winning play). Thoughts From Kansas wonders if the Pleistocene species wouldn't feel out of place in a WalMart parking lot -- and by the way, how would the the parking lot feel about underlying elephants instead of Lexus massivus?
Are you feeding your dog a species-appropriate diet? I don't want to shame you, but Christie Keith might, over at Dogged Blog. Well, not shame you, but make you think real hard about tying your affection for science and knowledge of evolutionary principles to the diet of your canis lupus familiaris.
Coturnix takes us on an exegetical voyage (for a blog) meant to reinvigorate the relevancy of the Darwinian methodology. It is well worth reading -- all four parts -- and is quite successful, in my mind, connecting the threads...read it here and here, here and here.
Dr.Jennifer Forman Orth of the Invasive Species Website links everyone's attention to the culling of the mute swan, a phenomenon which has now seen barriers to eradication "suddenly (and quietly) removed."
I want to personally thank my friends, the medical bloggers, for showing up here this week -- and we hope they spread the word and return often.
Sumer leaves us with an interesting abstract regarding ultrasound simulators -- a training aid that helps doctors and technologists learn how to recognize important rare fetal anomalies.
Enoch Choi at Medmusings writes about drawing the line on the ledge before getting on the slippery slope. He defends another physician's blog that argued against aggressive euthanasia.
Kevin, M.D. gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a recent press release about an unfortunate executive. It's informative and educative. It's called blogging!
Dr. Charles lets us into his examining room to help diagnose his own...medical paranoia. It's a fate doctors are burdened with, always thinking they just contracted the next horrible disease (the curse of knowledge!).
Consumer-based comparative evaluations of pharmaceuticals make sense. Trapper, at isemmelweiss agrees and shows us one way this is being done.
Luckily, I got a last minute email from Sharon Howard, in the U.K., who was kind enough to grace us with this post that guides as through a brief but highly entertaining and enjoyable tour through the history of medical anatomy art (has anyone written that book yet?).
Our science is punctuated, finally, by fancy -- but it may be as good an explanation as any for the weather in Scotland. Ratty's Ghost spins us the tale.
Due to the blessed intervention of holidays during the upcoming month, the next Tangled Bank will be held in roughly four weeks, on January 12th, 2005, at Coturnix. Forward submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
And when will YOU host The Bank? Collect important links! Get your name up in lights! Promote science! Link to the cerebral cortex of the net. Visit the Tangled Bank web page for more information.