Great science reads of the week – Nov 9 2012

1. This isn’t a joke. Researchers have published an article in PLOS ONE about the types of bacteria found in belly buttons. This blog post is from one of the scientists and explains some of the backstory to this study.

After 2 years scientists still can’t solve belly button mystery, continue navel-gazing by Rob Dunn

2. If you’re one of those people who does not want to know the sex of your baby before it is born, the title of this article might freak you out.

Will we ever… decipher everything about a life form based just on its DNA? by Ed Yong

3. A great concept if it applies to humans. A study in rats suggests that exposure to controllable stress might be like a “behavioural immunisation” against future stressful situations.

It’s not the stress that counts, it’s whether you can control it by Scicurious

4. Skin heals itself when damaged but plastic and steel cannot. A materials scientist has copied the processes used by skin to invent a plastic that can repair itself when cracked. Wow?

The bleeding edge of self-healing skin-like materials by Emily Anthes

5. The Public Library of Science (PLOS) launched a new journal earlier this year to help quickly disseminate credible information during and after natural disasters. It’s called PLOS Currents: Disasters.

Rapid Dissemination of Reliable Information: Superstorm Sandy by Liz Flavall

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