Neuron Culture

A biological basis for acupuncture, or more evidence for a placebo effect? Ed Yong ponders acupuncture, placebos, and context. This I like, and there’s a nice meta dimension here as well: placebos being all about context.

Abel Pharmboy reports on Marking the magnificient memory of Henrietta Lacks. A nice account of what sounds like a lovely ceremony. Among other things, testifies to the potential power of the book.

Much ado about links and where they best belong. Starting points: Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Experiments in delinkification, which gets examined by ReadWriteWeb in The Case Against Links, and more critically by Matthew Ingram, who ponders Nick Carr’s Retreat From the Internet. I’m of two minds on this. it strikes me that in some types of posts, links are best used in-line while in others they might best serve both writer and reader if they’re held till the end.

As Vaughan Bell notes, a leading psychopath researcher is threatening to sue critics. This adds to a disturbing trends in which researchers sue other researcher who differ with them, taking to court scientific matters that should be settled through research and discussion.

And speaking of being careful about what you study: The splendid anthro blog Savage Minds notes that “A senior at Pomona College flying out of Philly was detained and handcuffed by the TSA and then questioned by the FBI … for carrying Arabic flash cards in his pockets. So start putting your terrorist language materials in your checked luggage!”