February 2022

  • Rough Phage in the Diet

    Over the years, I have heard several variants of the Brenner/Zinder story. To summarize, Norton Zinder isolated the f2 phage which contains an RNA genome. Bearing in mind how little was known in 1960, when Zinder isolated bacteriophage f2; the discovery of RNA phages had great potential for use in the study of fundamental molecular processes, such as protein synthesis, including its initiation and termination. Clearly, there were good reasons why molecular biologists of the day, including Brenner, wanted to obtain their own samples of f2 phage. So, as the legend goes, Brenner, among others, requested a sample of

  • All the Raj

    Some thoughts upon reading David Gilmour’s The British in India. 1) The title of the book lacks parentheses, The British (in India). Or at the very least, a comma – The British, in India. After all, the focus is on the British character and what the colonial experience reveals about it (apparently, it wasn’t all bad). And if you find yourself rolling your eyes and saying to yourself, here we go, white people talking about themselves again…, you might be right. But at least Gilmour is aware of that reaction. In that sense, this is a very modern book

  • Random old COVID links

    Cleaning up my computer, and tidying up old COVID-related links that I had saved.