Weekly Roundup

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SeaWorld has committed to stop breeding killer whales in captivity after years of protests and declining sales resulting from Blackfish, the documentary detailling the conditions of orcas in captivity and the deaths of several trainers in marine parks. This is good news for animal-rights activists. But now SeaWorld faces another crowd of upset stakeholders: marine biologists who want to study orcas in captivity. I guess you can’t please everyone.

Here is a rundown of the response from scientists to Andrew Wakefield’s anti-vaccination film that contributed to its removal from the Tribeca film festival.

Is it unusual to be surprised that the general public lacks complete, up-to-date knowledge based on the latest breaking evidence about a disease outbreak? Science News doesn’t think so, and takes us to task for having “flunked” this Harvard public health survey about Zika. Here are 5 things Science News wants people to know about the virus, and pay attention, because there might be a test.

The bioethics of paternity testing suggest consent and discretion, but this gets muddy when a single case combines the Church of England, Winston Churchill’s cabinet, DNA evidence, and investigative journalism. It turns out that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is actually the son of the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne, Winston Churchill’s private secretary, and Jane Williams (Lady Williams of Elvel), who was then Churchill’s personal secretary.

After launching an inflatable module for the ISS into space, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on a ship at sea for the first time.

John Yudkin, the nutritional scientist who discovered that sugar, not fat, was the culprit behind obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, faced ridicule, personal attacks, and loss of institutional support because his findings challenged the prevailing low-fat orthodoxy. His story offers a useful case study in the intractability of scientific theories and a warning that the path from evidence to policy is fraught with research trendiness, charisma, corporate interests, and political influence.

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