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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts from: February 2014

Those puzzling public lavatories

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 26 Feb 2014

Public lavatories in Britain are something of a mystery to me. The first mystery is why the facilities are always allocated in a way that seems biased against the fairer sex. Women commonly have to queue for a vacant cubicle whereas men hardly ever need to wait — apart from loitering until their womenfolk reappear.

Bligh's mutiny

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 26 Feb 2014

Across the road from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s headquarters, beside the former church of St-Mary-at-Lambeth (now the Garden Museum), lies the tomb of Captain William Bligh, portrayed in ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ as a cruel tyrant who mercilessly bullied and flogged his crew until they rebelled and cast him adrift in a small boat.

Is marmalade a health risk?

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 26 Feb 2014

If you happen to be in the Lake District this weekend, you may want to drop into Dalemain Gardens, near Penrith, for its annual marmalade celebration. Or then again, you may not.

How two wrongs may make a right

Posted by: Footler PJWed, 19 Feb 2014

The controversial process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) involves injecting wells with large volumes of water containing various additives at high pressure to crack open deep shale deposits and extract natural gas trapped in the rock. One contentious issue is that up to 30 per cent of the water returns to the surface, bringing up high levels of salts, naturally occurring radioactive materials such as radium, and metals such as barium and strontium.

Useful social amoeba

Posted by: Footler PJWed, 19 Feb 2014

The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum lives in the forest litter of temperate regions. It has a curious life cycle. As a single cell it feeds on bacteria and divides by splitting into two daughter cells. But if food is insufficient the cells aggregate to form a fruiting body of about 50,000 cells. This latter form gives the organism its other name, the social amoeba.

Virologist and Nobel laureate

Posted by: Footler PJWed, 19 Feb 2014

Renato Dulbecco was born on 22 February 1914 in Catanzaro, southern Italy, but grew up in the northwest of the country. Although he had a strong interest in mathematics and physics, he chose to study medicine at the University of Turin. Among his fellow students were Salvador Luria and Rita Levi-Montalcini. All three were destined to win Nobel Prizes in Physiology ...

Old ones the best?

Posted by: Bystander PJWed, 12 Feb 2014

By Bystander

Mnemonics for lengths of months

Posted by: Bystander PJWed, 12 Feb 2014

By Bystander

Myrtle and its medicinal uses

Posted by: Bystander PJWed, 12 Feb 2014

By Bystander

Disappearing medical devices

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

Tiny biocompatible electronic devices could soon be available to implant for pain relief or tackle infection for a specific period before dissolving completely. These “transient electronics” can generate localised heat to fight infection or stimulate nerve endings to reduce pain. They do not require risky surgical procedures for removal after performing their role.

Scientific nonsense

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

Best known for his nonsense poetry, Edward Lear was also a brilliant artist, described by Sir David Attenborough as “probably the best ornithological illustrator that ever was”.

Diseases diagnosed by bees

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

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