Sunday, 30 March 2014
Saturday, 29 March 2014
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
I'm a bit confused. A reportedly vulnerable woman has apparently been given a 14 week jail sentence for putting her kitten in the microwave, causing 'horrendous suffering' when she believed it had killed her pet goldfish. She has (in my opinion, rightly) been banned from keeping animals for an extended period. The reason I am confused is that I believe that killing of experimental animals with microwaves has been an approved method used by some neurochemists because it supposedly produces an immediate destruction of the proteinaceous enzymes that destroy neurotransmitters (the chemicals that allow nerve impulses to cross the gaps between nerve cells). This enables them to measure levels of neurotransmitter with no post-mortem loss of material. The method is supposed to produce an immediate loss of consciousness.
Friday, 14 March 2014
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Sunday, 9 March 2014
The Daily Express is getting excited about the possibility that the EU may elect to 'invade' our gardens to dig up plants (http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/463829/Garden-meddling-EU-must-finally-be-cut-down-to-size). I must admit to being intensely relaxed about this measure as gardeners sometimes introduce exotic plants into their gardens because they find them attractive and/or they are unusual. Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and a variety of highly invasive pondweeds were introduced to the UK on this basis. Some plants are also very poisonous in ways that could endanger children and animals. You already would be in trouble if people found you cultivating Indian hemp for marihuana production on 'your' plot! I don't think that it unreasonable that there are to be mechanisms for removing potentially dangerous/illegal plants when they are identified. I don't think that the intention is to monitor precisely what goes on in people's back gardens. Gardeners have already been responsible for most of the UK flora being taken over by exotics.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Friday, 7 March 2014
Somewhat disturbing news that Diclofenac, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent that has been used to treat arthritis in humans, has been approved for veterinary use by the EU (http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/vultures/diclofenac.aspx). This compound has been linked to kidney failure in vultures (especially in India). These birds are important recyclers of dead animals and injest the drug whilst feeding on carcasses. Birds like the Red kite could be endangered by the use of this compound in the UK. Strange that it has been approved just as doubts have been raised about its side-effects in humans!
There is a somewhat odd finding that highly toxic Pumpkin toadlets from Brazil apparently cannot hear their own mating calls ( https://w...
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
A study ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/01/special-spit-is-the-secret-of-uniquely-sticky-frog-tongues-study-reveals ) has...
It is always sad to hear of problems occurring at places you have used for teaching and the outbreak of h5n8 avian influenza at Abbot...