All your science in here


Yep, for all the name-calling that goes on, I know there’s a lot of good people on here doing the right thing, even keeping their own birds :+1:


We don’t have any of our own hens, but we do get a nice supply from a friend on the Island. His hens must be the most mollycoddled in existence and their eggs are just gorgeous.


It is easy to buy free-range eggs these days, but if you buy any processed food product containing eggs, I’m pretty sure that these will be from battery farmed birds. Do most who buy FR eggs consider this?


I simply don’t buy any.

As for eggs ? Our village (and a neighbouring one) run an unofficial barter system. I swap my ale for backyard eggs :+1:


Home reared eggs ftw, they taste so much nicer than anything shop bought. I really don’t understand why anyone would buy battery reared eggs at all, as welfare issues aside, they just taste awful.


This is good news, I wondered how long it would take before this attracted some non Government funding. Rob of the old parish works (worked?) here.


I had a good long chat with him at Kegworth and he is still working there (that’s Hoopsontoast in case anyone’s wondering which Rob).



Which is proving more difficult than expected. Seems to have sold well after reviews.


Which book is that?


It’s a VERY fast-advancing science - it will have been out-of-date when it hit the presses - I’d wait until the next revision is published.


I know, though the book will be a summary of recent(ish) work (I retired 6 years ago).

My last lecture course before retirement was a look ahead to guess what the analytical instruments then being developed might reveal. Nex-gen sequencers were high among the “toys” we looked at, though I hadn’t considered their application to ancient DNA and human migration.
One application we did look at was the detection of Downs syndrome through maternal blood analysis (small amounts of foetal DNA get in there). I had a particular interest in this, having once seen a very long needle inserted into my then-wife’s belly to obtain a sample of cord blood, guided only by a fuzzy ultrasound picture. My niece has just had the much-less-invasive maternal blood test (which is currently done in the USA and, because she lives in Wales, cost the family several hundred pounds). Both my daughter and my niece’s unborn are clear, I’m glad to say.


It’s the one referred to in the linked articles,
“Who We Are and How We Got Here” by David Reich


There is SO much to learn about so fabulously complex a polymer and its behaviours over time - both in terms of how it degrades, and its evolutionary trends, that it’s sure to remain an exciting science long after we join the ranks of the dead… :+1:


Looked interesting enough so I bought it. I find the scientific methods used to help understand human evolution fascinating, it’s a subject with so many levels of interest.


Did you want to borrow it after I’ve finished it?


Thanks, but Blackwell’s have it on order for me, and I’ve some old book tokens to get rid of.


Does anyone else think that a bacterium which has evolved in the wild to eat plastic might not be entirely good news ?



Can’t see Richard Dunn being too happy about it.


Mother Nature will always find a way…


Good chance it’s always been out there breaking down natural resins and suchlike in obscure habitats, such things could go unnoticed if it wasn’t for humans creating novel habitats in abundance. Fungi have been doing it for as long as there have been plastics - witness the black mold that grows in the shower, and there’s even a species of toadstool which to date is only known from bitumen-impregnated railway sleepers - it probably evolved to take advantage of wood part-buried in tar-pits, and simply managed to spread. Where there are hydrocarbons, there are things eating them.