James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

December 6, 2009

Sunday Links 12/6

Filed under: Link Posts — Tags: , , — James @ 12:59 pm

MAT Kinase tells the story of some of a cool, weird, (and potentially deadly) fruit created using nothing but conventional breeding techniques in Plumalmodterine.

Steve Savage has the conversation with a Greenpeace campaigner I’ve always wanted to have with the people who can constantly be found soliciting money for similar organizations on my walk to work.

Steve’s post reminded me of this awesome (and freely available article) from Plant Physiology: Forbidden Fruit: Transgenic Papaya in Thailand* which is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in genetic engineering, the developing world, and the role of NGOs like Greenpeace.

I’m considering making this a regular feature. I often read cool articles, but it feels weird to put up a post that just says “go read this” when I don’t have anything of my own to add. Anyway, the test of whether this will be a feature or a fluke will be if I remember to post another one in a week.

*I know I’d previously mentioned this in my post on virus-resistant papayas, but I think there are at least several new readers since then and I’ve been dismayed to find out how little publicity this article seems to have received when it first came out.


  1. I often mean to do this too, with the linking to interesting posts, and I basically never manage to do it. Somehow it always seems like too much work to collect all the links together. And also, often I don’t bookmark interesting stuff I run across on-line, so it’s kind of a gamble as to whether or not I’ll be able to find stuff a second time to link to.

    This very possibly makes me a bad person.

    Comment by mr_subjunctive — December 6, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

  2. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to manage keeping track of them either so it’s quite possible this will be a failed experiment.

    If I do come up with a system I’ll be sure to let you know.

    Comment by James — December 6, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  3. It has occurred to me since posting that that if you’re the person wanting to point others to the links, Twitter is a much more efficient way of doing this, because you can do them one at a time, while you’re thinking of it, and you don’t have to write a lot of commentary because there isn’t room for a lot of commentary.

    If you’re the person who wrote the original posts, Twitter is a much worse system, because I don’t think very many people actually click through when they see a link posted to Twitter. (Or at least they don’t when I link to PATSP on Twitter; might be different for other blogs/posts/situations.)

    So Twitter is a good way to avoid the guilt, at least.

    Comment by mr_subjunctive — December 7, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  4. That mirrors my own experience trying to attract people to entries with twitter. Part of that may be so many people reading on cell phones and mobile devices where web browsing is awkward, but I also think it’s hard to sell a post in ~100 characters (after the link itself takes up space).

    Do you have any way of measuring the click through rates for links you actually post to your site? (I remember getting a big surge after you posted an entry where you mentioned mine.)

    Comment by James — December 7, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  5. I don’t, unfortunately. I’m sure there are some out there, but I’ve never really looked.

    There are some people who Twitter every post they write, and I’ve gotten somewhat in the habit of clicking through from Twitter for them occasionally, if I happen to see the post show up at Twitter before I see it at Blogger. There are also a few people who have taken it upon themselves to locate links of interest, and posting links to other people’s content is a big part of what they do: with those people, I’m moderately likely to click through. (A good example of this is @knitmeapony: I click through on about 2/3 of her tweets.) At least with the ones I know have similar sensibilities to my own. So if I could get the attention of one of them, I figure I’d have a pretty good shot at getting additional links through Twitter. I just don’t know how to get their attention.

    I’ve also been told by at least one other person that Twittering links to their posts did boost traffic to their sites: whether they have unique situations, really low standards for what counts as a boost, or they’re typical and I’m exceptional, I don’t know. I figure I’ve got enough other stuff to worry about keeping track of without also trying to do a separate tweet every time I post to PATSP.

    Comment by mr_subjunctive — December 7, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

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