Sequencing Gregor Mendel and a Pea Plant / Turtles, Elephants, Bottlecaps Down

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Down, with turtles and elephants — The fabled dominance of the hare by the tortoise has an underground counterpart of sorts in a look at turtles and elephants in times gone by. The elephants came out […]

Everything: What’s Missing Is What Gets Scientists Most Excited

What makes most scientists most excited is the same thing that—if they’ve heard about it—makes many non-scientists wonder if scientists are nuts: Way more than half of “the stuff the universe is made of” is still a mystery to scientists. Which may strike you as a crazy thing to realize, and a crazy thing to say. […]

Double helix conductors and their ‘extraordinary promise’ (new patents)

Medical Energetics Ltd. of Galway, Ireland, has just been granted (Nov. 2018) a US patent for the invention of ‘Agricultural applications of a double helix conductor’ (DHC) The extraordinariness of which can probably only be appreciated by reading the patent document [click link or image above]. The company has also applied for another patent (March […]

The dismaying danger of buying perfume as a gift

Craig Roberts, at the University of Stirling, warns you, based on his research, that there are “more reason to choose fragrances carefully“: there is no one-scent-fits-all effect here. Different fragrances suit different people. In a study with my Czech colleague [Ig Nobel Prize winner] Jan Havlíček, we found that some people get this spectacularly wrong. While […]

Multiple personalities in the Watson vs. Crick strand controversy

Dan Gaur, a member of the Luxuriant Former Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS), and a colleague published a paper on the (little-known) Watson-Crick controversy: “The Multiple Personalities of Watson and Crick Strands,” Reed A. Cartwright and Dan Graur, Biology Direct, vol. 6, no. 7, 2011. The authors, at the University of Houston, explain: “Background: In genetics it is […]

Much to chew on about many meats

Mark A Jobling [pictured here] of the University of Leicester writes about the genetic underpinnings of exotic meats. His essay, called “Flogging a dead horse“, appears in the journal Investigative Genetics [2013, 4:5]: People eat mules, as well as donkeys and horses, and in meat contamination testing, mule meat would appear to be horsemeat, because of the […]