Category Archives: Science

On the hairy nature of light

One of the least strange physical phenomena is that light behaves like a wave. Some of the time, at least. (The Younger Pawn asked if she could surf on light, if it was a wave. I said only if she … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , | 25 Comments


Hello folks at world! Greetings from sunny North Carolina (yes, ‘sunny’), where men are real men, women are real women, and science bloggers come to pay homage to the blogfather. Yup, it’s Science Online 2011, where I am but one … Continue reading

Posted in Scio11 | 8 Comments

On lucky breaks

I’ve been somewhat out of things for the last couple of weeks. I took some well-deserved vacation days and generally chilled out (even the presence of 350+ unread emails in my inbox when I got to work this morning didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Science, wibbling | Tagged , , , , , | 53 Comments

On the easy questions

I’ve just got back from a tiring but awesome couple of days at the Science Online London conference (which–conflict of interest declaration–I helped organize). I’ll be writing up my speaker notes for the final panel tomorrow, I hope, but in … Continue reading

Posted in Science | 8 Comments

On coupling

No, not that sort of coupling. I was writing up today’s Faculty Dailies, catching up on (yet) another paper about how ribosomes control the rate of transcription. As has been known for decades, bacterial transcription and translation are tightly coupled. … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Science | 2 Comments

On mutations

Venter had more than one point mutation to deal with:

Posted in Science | 8 Comments

On synthesis

Oh my God, we’re all going to die, exclaimed the Daily Mail today. Well, we are all going to die some day, but not because of the paper from the J. Craig Venter Institute, published in Science. I’m having a … Continue reading

Posted in Rants, Science | 21 Comments

On defecting

Jenny has a new shiny. It’s a device for imaging chemiluminescence–a standard procedure in any lab that works with proteins. The traditional way of doing this is on film, but it seems a lot quicker, safer and environmentally-friendlier to do … Continue reading

Posted in Rants, Science | 20 Comments

On being very, very cross

I responded to Duncan’s comment somewhat incoherently: Blah. UK must invest heavily in scientific research … economic competitive advantage Blah I’m not cross at Duncan, not by any means. No, my ire is directed at those public servants, those ‘leading … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Science | 35 Comments