Human Nature Hot Topics

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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 29

The case for eating insects
(Janet Raloff, Science News)

Don’t outlaw cousin marriage
(New Scientist)

The folly of daily birth control
(Carey Goldberg, Boston Globe)

Is the loss of U.S. height supremacy a sign of poor health?
(Tom Hundley, Chicago Tribune)

Revisiting the question of cell phones and brain tumors
(Leigh Oberholzer, Boston Globe)

McCain’s problem with women in combat
(Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times)

China’s ban on plastic bags
(David Biello, Scientific American)

May 27

Should adoptions be colorblind or not?
(Ron Nixon, New York Times / Darryl Fears, Washington Post)

The commercialization of pampered pregnancy
(Monica Hesse, Washington Post)

The rise of collegiate women’s wrestling
(Katie Thomas, New York Times)

Pellicano trial shows how easily you can be wiretapped
(Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times)

The global campaign to ban cluster bombs
(Andras Gergely, AP)

May 23

Animals can do what we thought only humans could do
(Christine Kenneally and Kate Douglas, New Scientist)

It’s always the freaking apocalypse with these people
(Benjamin Radford, LiveScience)

Does science make belief in God obsolete?
(Steven Pinker et al, John Templeton Foundation)

Organs we inherited but no longer need
(Laura Spinney, New Scientist)

Don’t fall for the hype about brain scans
(Daniel Carlat, Wired)

Is blogging good for your health?
(Jessica Wapner, Scientific American)

May 19

Homosexuality reported in 1,500 animal species
(Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience)

Does cousin marriage create an unacceptable risk of birth defects?
(Emma Wilkinson, BBC News)

U.K. adviser dismisses plastic-bag regulation as a low-impact diversion from better environmental measures
(BBC News)

Do cell phones during pregnancy cause child behavior problems?
(Geoffrey Lean, Independent)

46 percent of Internet users think bloggers should sign a good-behavior agreement
(Jemima Kiss, Guardian)

Bring on the hydrogen planes
(Mike Koefman, Guardian)

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)