Monday, June 29, 2009

catching up

A round-up of pieces that appeared while I was travelling (and giving lectures) in Germany:

Fence protection progress Current Biology 19, No. 12, page R465 abstract and restricted access to pdf file
This one is about the electric fence protecting the Aberdare Reserve in Kenya -- originally built for rhinos and elephants, but now mainly protecting woods and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Spinout stories Chemistry & Industry No. 12, 22.6., page 29.
Review of the book Spin outs, by Graham Richards. A snippet:

In this little book, part memoir, part advice to future academic spin-out founders, he very briefly sketches his involvement with Oxford Molecular and with Oxford’s wider technology transfer activities, along with the briefest of mentions of related activities in the UK, such as the British Technology Group, later BTG.

Chemistry & Industry No. 12, 22.6., page 31
Review of the book Origin of life, by Piet Herdewijn and M. Volkan Kisakürek.

Maybe the most original and influential thinker on the origin of life over the last couple of decades is Günter Wächtershäuser, a patent attorney who came to the field as a hobby researcher drawing up new theories in his spare time. His chapter in the book is definitely worth reading, even if it leaves the reader with the frustrating thought that if Wächtershäuser can’t crack the conundrum, nobody can.

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