Grant Proposals

Academic research is pretty much funded by investigators panhandling, using the medium of grant applications. These suck up more than 50% of ones effort in times of poor funding. I’d like to propose a new method of grant applications: the 140 character limit Tweet. Dear Funding Body, Plz gimme sum munny. My lab iz broke […]

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Holliday junction resolution resolved to solve cancer problem

Sometimes I wonder where the breakdown in communication between scientists and journalists lies. In this article about a recent study on a DNA damage checkpoint enzyme, the Beeb describes the study as such: Research into how the human body repairs damaged DNA has been described as a “major breakthrough”. The way that cells protect themselves […]

Intelligent female scientist seeks solution

I’ve been thinking about the future1, my place in it, and my place in scientific research. Having bored myself silly with self-centeredness, I looked further afield. Back in July2, Professor Greenfield was deploring the lack of female scientists in the higher echelons of her profession. She makes a few fair points, but, as can only […]

Viagra enhances… jet-lag recovery

BBC picks up on the hot jet-lag study of the day: Sildenafil accelerates reentrainment of circadian rhythms after advancing light schedules, PNAS U S A, 2007. Some initial thoughts: It’s not so much that Viagra, saviour of many a marriage, is the new wonder-drug that will eradicate jet-lag a la melatonin, but that it works […]

So, the kryptonite story is old hat now. But the article made me wonder why the makers of Superman Returns used “sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide” as the chemical formula for kryptonite when we already have an element named krypton (Kr), which they could easily have faked a compound name with. They missed a trick […]