Small Wonders: March 9, 2011

I promised you that Small Wonders would be back. And it is. In this edition: the flavor-tripping berry as a remedy for hunger, Munchausen by Internet, and flamingos that fall out of the Siberian sky.

* The best three-minute video you’ll ever see on the placebo effect. I bet you’ll learn something new, even if you already fancy yourself an expert on the topic (h/t to Vaughan Bell).

* Could the metaphors for crime influence the policy solutions proposed?

Miracle fruit

* Miracle fruit makes sour things taste sickly sweet. (I had the opportunity to try it recently.) Could it also alleviate hunger?

* Religious hospitals clash with church authorities.

* Ben Barres, a transgendered neurobiologist, reviews Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender.

* Those fancy 3D printers might be spitting out body parts before we know it.

* A new psychiatric diagnosis? Munchausen by internet.

* Officials excavate the site where the Japanese government once allegedly tested bioweapons on humans.

* In honor of Sin Week, seven notable psychologists confess their sins.

* Flamingos drop out of the Siberian sky. Robert Krulwich attempts to unravel the mystery.

* The New Scientist has put together a great package about the kinds of misleading statistics used in discussions of public health.

* Alexis Madrigal reveals the man behind the brilliant @MayorEmanuel account.

* Circumcision can help prevent the spread of STDs. So why is San Francisco trying to ban it?

* Check out these award-winning environmental science stories.

* Ed Yong puts his money where his mouth is, sending a few bucks to the uncompensated authors of great science stories.

* Questions surface about the “broken mirror” theory of autism.

* Behold, the wonders of “quantum olfaction.”

Image: Wikimedia/Hamale Lyman

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The Small Wonders: March 9, 2011 by Wonderland, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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