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Hot Links: Congress Wants Secret Patents, Origin of Life, Discovery's Plane Crash

All of the important weekend news you still need to read.

by Derek Mead
Apr 30 2012, 1:58pm

Yet another blow to accountability: Congress wants to allow secret patents under a marge wider range of circumstances than is currently allowed. (Secret patents are generally limited to national security stuff, so nuclear plants and missile design.) As if tech patent wars aren’t bad enough, what happens when someone’s sued for infringing on a secret?

Researchers have found a microorganism that’s unlike any other life on Earth, which means it may be evidence of the very first branching of Earth’s tree of life.

This is really sad: Pacific reef shark populations have declined as much as 90 percent. Research suggests it’s largely due to high population density on Pacific islands.

Discovery Channel crashed a Boeing 727 on purpose. What else can you say?

Photo: Alamy/Telegraph

Japan has set a new world record for deep-drilling, stabbing the Earth five miles deep.

Hype alert: Large windfarms can cause ‘climate change,’ a statement that’s burning up the headlines today. As usual, that’s not quite the whole story: the huge turbines’ prodigious ability to mix air can cause local, ground-level temperatures to rise.

If you haven’t heard, the British government wants to place freaking missile launchers on top of apartments for the London Olympics.

Every wonder why lefties only make up 10 percent of the population? Well, a new study “suggests lefties are rare because of the balance between cooperation and competition in human evolution.” It also helps explain why lefties are so much more prevalent in sports.