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Web commentary on science and tech.

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Below is today’s selection of the most interesting science analysis and commentary on the Web. For straight news reports, check out the news page. For Human Nature’s takes on some of these topics, visit the blog. (I generally post the link first and write the blog entry later, so check back.) To add your own take, open or join a discussion thread in the Fray—and please link to the original story so others can participate intelligently in the conversation.

May 16

The silly hysteria over human genetic modification
(Andy Coghlan, New Scientist)

The Jewish case for genetic enhancement
(Laurie Zoloth, Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics)

Fat people cause global warming and food shortages
(Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts, Lancet)

Birth control and female empowerment can reduce global warming
(Bryan Walsh, Time)

Doctors ridicule the industry PR campaign for indoor tanning
(Pat Wingert, Newsweek)

More on the U.S. military project to regenerate human tissue
(Anne Underwood, Newsweek)

May 13

Human genetic engineering has begun without proper public debate
(Center for Genetics and Society)

Catholic scare tactics against embryo research
(James Randerson, Guardian)

The stupidity of dignity in conservative bioethics
(Steven Pinker, The New Republic)

Lighten up about the violence in Grand Theft Auto
(Charlie Brooker, Guardian)

Don’t buy those genetic tests for athletic potential
(Sanjida O’Connell, Independent)

May 9

Back off, breastfeeding Nazis
(Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience)

Those ads about losing weight by eating dairy are B.S.
(Amy Joy Lanou and Neal Barnard, Nutrition Reviews)

Bring back blimps
(George Monbiot, Guardian)

Why biotechnology threatens the integrity of sports
(Leon Kass and Eric Cohen, The New Republic)

Britain’s senseless drug-war escalation
(Simon Jenkins, Guardian / Jeremy Laurance and Nigel Morris, Independent)

The evolutionary value of brains is overrated
(Carl Zimmer, New York Times)

May 2

The evolution and effects of male pregnancy
(Texas A&M University)

The perils of unconscious bigotry
(Siri Carpenter, Scientific American Mind)

The ethics of memory manipulation in civilian and ex-military psychotherapy
(Elisa Hurley, University of Western Ontario)

What’s wrong with our march toward immortality?
(Arthur Caplan, MSNBC)

May 1

Fat people are bad for the environment
(Benjamin Radford, LiveScience)

Should organ donors be allowed to choose their recipients?
(Kevin O’Reilly, American Medical News)

Is the U.S. cat population out of control?
(Robin Lloyd, LiveScience)

Self-esteem is overrated
(Michael Kernis et al, Journal of Personality)

U.N. official cautions against “knee-jerk” biofuel backlash
(Agence France Presse)

Can biotechnology solve the world food crisis?
(Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience)

April 25

Wired’s guide to brain-enhancing drugs
(Mathew Honan, Wired)

Blame teens’ violent behavior on their mothers’ drinking in pregnancy
(Jeremy Laurance, Independent)

What works – or doesn’t – in prenatal sex selection
(Jeremy Laurance, Independent)

Beware reported disease-gene correlations that are actually random
(David Shaywitz, Washington Post)

April 24

Is turning off an artificial heart pump assisted suicide?
(Rob Stein, Washington Post)

Syria says Iraq WMD fiasco shows you can’t trust U.S. interpretation of nuclear-plant video
(Robin Wright, Washington Post)

April 23

Ethnic and gender stereotypes “can be tools of progress
(Alex Haslam  et al, Scientific American Mind)

The left’s scientific trampling of equality and ecology
(Yuval Levin, The New Atlantis)

Throwing cold water on China’s rain-control promises
(Andrea Thompson, LiveScience)

April 21

The conservative art of faking scientific “controversy”: global warming, AIDS, and intelligent design
(Leah Ceccarelli, Science Progress)

Competitive job pressure to dope down your need for sleep
(Brendan Koerner, Wired / Sameer Yousuf, Science Progress)

The pseudo-scientific authority of brain scans
(Matthew Crawford, The New Atlantis)

Why brain-scan determinism won’t help reform the death penalty
(Carter Snead, The New Atlantis)

April 18

Book for kids explains why mommy needs surgery to be “prettier”
(Jill Serjeant, Reuters)

What’s so unnatural about the pregnant man?
(Gregory Kaebnick, Bioethics Forum)

Requiring permits and microchip implants to buy exotic animals
(Joel Achenbach, Washington Post)

Do brain-controlled military weapons erase the moral line between thoughts and lethal acts?
(Stephen White, Cornell International Law Journal)

School metal detectors are for urban kids only
(Daniel de Vise, Washington Post)

April 17

“Women with cancer genes ’should have breasts removed’”
(Ben Farmer, Telegraph)

Scientists tell politicians to butt out of artificial egg and sperm creation
(Steve Connor, Independent)

Brazil’s president defends biofuel
(Agence France Presse)

Are men losing their sex drive?