Here's what you find when you search for Santa Claus in PubMed.
Katie M. Palmer at Wired.com writes about scientific publishing's unlikely new mascot: A rainbow unicorn.
Important biological discoveries have arrived with the same old-fashioned fanfare for the last three centuries. After months, maybe years of research, a paper will wind its way through the peer review process and land in the pages of (hopefully) a high tier journal: a Nature, a Science, a Cell. Picturing those finalized figures under a glossy cover is enough to set a postdoc’s heart aflutter.
But if it were up to biologists Michael Eisen and Leslie Vosshall, they’d celebrate a paper’s release with a PDF and a rainbow unicorn.
Julia Belluz at Vox.com writes: "Though he can't prove it yet, economist Chris Blattman suspects social science has made a trade-off: Big, time-consuming studies are coming at the cost of smaller and cheaper studies that, taken together, may be just as valuable and perhaps more applicable (or what researchers call "generalizable") to more people and places."
Ella Morton at Atlas Obscura explores the surprisingly large number of academic studies—as in, more than one—that have applied mathematical modeling to the concept of human-vampire co-existence. Using the depiction of bloodsuckers in various forms of media, from Bram Stoker's Dracula to True Blood, these papers look at whether Earth's vampire population would inevitably annihilate humanity, and, if so, how long it would take.
Many people know about the resurrection men in the UK who robbed graves to sell corpses to medical schools, but few are aware that American medical schools also paid body snatchers to supply cadavers for their anatomy laboratories from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The skeletons in the closets of these respected institutions were sometimes hidden for decades until unsuspecting construction workers stumbled across bones in old wells or behind walls.