Small Wonders: Jan. 21, 2011

In this week’s edition: Sequencing the genome of a boy with a mysterious illness, a Playboy photo that traveled to the Moon, and converting Four Loko into fuel.

* This guy who had a camera surgically implanted in his head illustrates a fundamental truth: Sometimes technology is just plain creepy.

* What do psychiatric diagnoses and graduate school rankings have in common? Tenuous statistics.

* “One in a Billion: A boy’s life, a medical mystery.” Phenomenal science writing. Clear explanations, lots of heart.

* Why we should care about how the media is portraying Jared Lee Loughner’s mental illness.

* A Playboy photo that flew to the Moon on Apollo 12 is set to be auctioned.

* Grist has a great new column. I will merely quote directly from it: “Welcome to TreeShagger, our new column on green dating.”

* Salon finally retracts JFK, Jr.’s appalling piece on the alleged link between vaccines and autism.

* Who’s excited about the new New York Times blog about the discovery of new species? (I am!)

* A developmental psychologist weighs in on “Tiger Mothers.”

* What to do with all that extra Four Loko? Convert it to ethanol.

* Hey, Mainstream Media Headline Writers! Newsflash: “More Friends on Facebook Does NOT Equal a Larger Amygdala.”

* Prepare for the era of photoacoustic imaging.

Image: NPR/Wafaa Bilal

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