Also in today’s links: coal-fueled birth defects, cheap laptops, stolen dung, and more.
- With news of serotonin prompting social swarms of locusts, here are some pictures of what these swarms look like. I at first thought, “hey, those are kind of pretty.” But in the last few images you do get a sense of why this would be a Biblical plague.
- Tomorrow, India is set to unveil a $10 laptop, although by “$10” they apparently mean “$20,” at least to start. I admit I’m skeptical. There’s plenty of calculators that cost more than that.
- This story makes it sound like the thieves who stole a 65-million-year-old dinosaur dropping might have been disappointed to learn what they took. But come on! Can you think of anything else you’d rather display on your mantle? At the very least, the burglars surely were a lot happier than the poor soul who vacuumed up a bunch of fossils.
- A small study using bone marrow stem cells as a treatment for multiple sclerosis has shown promise, appearing to reverse neurologic loss from the disease.
- China has acknowledged an alarming rise in the number of birth defects due to pollution, a statement supporting what environmentalists and activists have said for years. As the economy expanded rapidly, the country also saw a 40 percent increase in birth defects from 2001 to 2006.