Latest News

Vaccinated man


A British man has been excreting live poliovirus for an estimated 28 years.

An immune deficiency allowed weakened virus from oral polio vaccines to replicate and change within the man’s body. This case is not unique, but it’s the longest-lasting example of vaccine-derived poliovirus on record, researchers report August 27 in PLOS Pathogens.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together


A new study has classed a species of bird into groups of more and less aggressive males. Researchers gauged the response of male collared flycatchers to female birds, to a strange object, and to other males. They found that each type of individual displayed consistent behavior in each of these situations.

Collared Flycatcher
Stefan Wehr (GNU Free Documentation License)
However, they also found that the birds more likely to take risks also were the ones most likely to be trapped — and thus studied further — raising important questions about the skewed sample set presented when researchers base their findings on animals caught in traps. It’s kind of like when talk show hosts say “95 percent of 13-year olds (who responded to our online survey) are smoking pot!!!” — leaving out the part about it really being 95 percent of the particular 20 teenagers who felt like responding to our survey.

Ancient Artifacts


“For most of us, the Web has forever distorted the antiquities trafficking market in a positive way,” said Charles “Chip” Stanish, an archaeologist at UCLA and an international expert on Andean archaeology.

If that didn’t quite compute, consider the numbers. Stanish first found about a 50-50 ratio of real artifacts to fakes when he began tracking eBay’s stock of antiquities related to his field. The fake relics jumped to 95 percent of the online inventory just five years later – and now their quality has improved so much that even Stanish has a hard time telling them apart from the real goods.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood


What do we do when an author passed with their work unfinished? Do we let it molder in vaults, stash it away in archives, or publish it for all the world to see—even if that’s not what the author intended? The problem crops up more often than you might think, since most authors have many less-than-polished drafts hiding somewhere in the files.

And while some authors have asked for unfinished work to be destroyed, doing so just might deprive the world of a treasure. Read on for several examples of unfinished manuscripts from famous authors—some of which you might not have known were technically incomplete.