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Jupiter And Venus Conjunction

We have already had a view from the Mediterranean of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon in Seeing Jupiter...

Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System

I saw this in today’s Daily Mail: Landmark discovery about the brain 'will have scientists rewriting...

Orion Through The Camera — But Which Type?

Recently on Countryfile (BBC) we saw a presenter and a photographer together in the Pennines, the...

Australia, Algae, And Abalone

Once again, your resident tellytraveller has turned his gaze to the Southern Hemisphere, this time...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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What with all the current talk of GMOs, I would remind folks here that some 20th century methods also raised fears.  A more “traditional” method has been to double the chromosome content of plants — one well known example is Triticale is the hybrid of wheat (Triticum turgidum) and rye (Secale cereale).  This, of course, should be familiar to those who remember the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”.  When crossing wheat and rye, wheat is used as the female parent and rye as the male parent (pollen

Forever Now

Forever Now

Jun 04 2013 | 2 comment(s)

So it was that in the summer of 1988 I discovered America.


Now doesn’t that sound like a very ‘arty’ sort of statement?  It comes from Forever Today by Deborah Wearing, and though the lady herself has a musical background, there are parts of this book which should be of great interest to Science 2.0 readers.  To give the context, here is the start of the book description.
 


One has to be careful how one reads.  A few years ago I used this short bit from Darwin’s Descent of Man (page 174) to tease a Welsh friend:


Saffron


In one of my school history books, as I remember, there is a story that saffron was introduced into Europe by a pilgrim from concealing some corms in his staff, to avoid the death penalty if found by the agents of the Sultans who controlled its export.  However, the history of saffron, including a 14-week ‘saffron war’, seems much more complicated that this.