The Anti-Gender Agenda

We’ve been having a lot of interesting items here on Science 2.0 coming from an Anglo-Oz joint...

A ‘Virological Penicillin’?

Alerted by an announcement in several British newspapers, for example Honeysuckle tea could fight...

Transport, Trade And Travel

was the title of a history book I had as a boy.  Good things, in their way — without them...

Brain and Cerebellum

I have just downloaded a paper featuring some research from the University of Durham and our own...

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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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This is an almost verbatim copy of a press release from the London Centre for nanotechnology.

When Watson, Crick and Wilkins discovered the DNA double helix nearly sixty years ago, they based their structure on an X-ray diffraction image (courtesy of Franklin) averaged over millions of DNA molecules (derived from squid sperm, I understand). Though the double helix has become iconic for our molecular-scale understanding of life, thus far no-one has ever “seen” the double helix of an individual double-stranded DNA in its natural environment, i.e, salty water.
Kills 99% of all known germs!” is a common advertising slogan for toilet (and other) cleaning products.  So, where would anyone want to add bacteria rather than take them away?

The answer – rural India, in particular the Lakshadweep Islands off the South-West coast (Clean India Journal, 2010).  If one does not have a nice sewage system to remove one’s waste, then the equivalent of millions of tiny dung-beetles might do the job for you.
For about a day I had been trying to read Real Clear Science, particularly the article linked Evolution Debate: Blame Atheists.  Alas, every time I visited the site I got a message:
This site is temporarily down and we are working on restoring service. Sorry for the inconvenience.
It’s now back up, but in the interim I have taken the opportunity, since I run on OScar from Sesame Street Systems, to have a Grouch.  Fear not, North Americans, it is directed at my fellow Brits.
Is your laboratory environment something like this?

Browsing, as I do from time to time, recent German news in, I came across

Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem

Recently I was taking pictures of the night sky.  My intention was to photograph the double star Epsilon Lyrae.  It’s actually a double-double, made of two closer pairs, as one can see through a telescope of three-or-more inches aperture.  However, the pairs themselves are quite far apart, and can be easily resolved with the unaided eye.

However, my camera flipped from manual focus (on infinity) to autofocus (on whatever), as it tends to do if not touched for a minute.  To my surprise, the effect was most pleasing.