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Cordyceps in glass, by glass artist Wesley Fleming — a strange depiction of a rather horrid business. For more, do go to the source, the lovely Myrmecos Blog, which is all about bugs. Now, the best of the week’s gleanings. I’m going to categorize them from here out, and at least try to keep them…

The sky before Katrina struck, from Rense.com Correction: I been snookered. As alert reader Alex Witze pointed out, these photos were taken by stormchaser Mike Hollingshead in Nebraska and Kansas in 2002 and 2004, and have passed around the net in other guises ever since. For more amazing storm photos, go to Hollingshead’s site, extremeinstability.com.…

This is a pretty big deal if it holds up in future trials. One caveat I’ve not had time to check out is whether the morphine was often applied as part of an more robust medical response in general, which itself might reduce later PTSD symptoms. I hope the DOD soon follows up with another,…

Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, has asked the Pentagon for info on how many troops in war zones have been prescribed antidepressants while they were deployed. Cardin sent a letter Tuesday to US Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressing concern about how antidepressants are being administered troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cardin wants to…

On the reading table lately

Been a while, so these cover a span of reading. I’m in the midst of my friend Adrienne Mayor’s The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy, and can report that Mr. M is quite a poisonous but complicated handful — a dark and deadly echo of his hero and model,…

After a rather intense two months of long-form work, I’m so far behind on blogging I don’t know where to start. Forget the last two months and move on? Probably the best move. But beforehand, I want to note a few developments along major lines of interest. I’ll start with PTSD. Amid the stagnation on…

I just finished reading Erica Goode’s Times story on the suicides of four soldiers who served together in a small North Carolina-based Guard unit in Iraq from 2006 to spring 2007. This is a witheringly painful story. Goode, who has done quite a bit of science writing as well as substantial reporting from Baghdad, tells…

Spencer Ackerman explores and explains the importance of eating the local food when fighting an insurgency: One of the things that struck me when I embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is how little local food I ate. When I met some friends for drinks in April 2007 after coming a month in…

Much much much ado on the web this week, on the too-many fronts I try to visit. From my list of notables: Carl Zimmer, who clearly doesn’t sleep, writes up a nice post about a Nature paper announcing Limusaurus, a newly discovered fossil that is, Zimmer notes, is “not — I repeat NOT — the…

Photo: Tyler Hicks, via Scientific American What if you could predict which troops are most likely to get PTSD from combat exposure — and takes steps to either bolster them mentally or keep them out of combat situations? A new study suggests we could make a start on that right now — and cut combat…