Famous science fiction author Arthur C Clarke describes the world’s first iPad (or newspad, as he called it) way back in 1968:
Photosynthesis – the process by which plants converted sunlight into energy for growth and produce oxygen – is arguably the most important biological process on earth. The holy grail of plant science has long been to bioengineer the photosynthetic pathways in plants to grow larger, more productive crops that are better adapted to climate change and boost food security.
We didn’t realise just how cool the chloroplast is – not only does it orchestrate photosynthesis, one of the most important phenomena sustaining life on earth, but it may play a significant role in how we feed the world sustainability.
A review in Genome Biology – ‘Chloroplast genomes: diversity, evolution and applications in genetic engineering‘ – details what we know about the chloroplast genome, how it can be used and how it can be modified, before launching into examples of why chloroplast engineering is likely to have a significant involvement in future crop engineering and in the production of pharmaceuticals and industrial materials.
The Chloroplast Genome
Our increasing knowledge of the chloroplast genome has been greatly assisted in the last decade or so by the advance in genome sequencing. Currently, the Illumina next-generation sequencing process coupled with bioinformatics tools has enabled the de-novo construction of most of the…
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In 1939, Dr Alice Caporn was aged 65 and living in Perth. She lived for some time in the United States where she trained and developed her dietary theory.
I came across Alice Caporn while writing “Mrs Snook’s Diet”, the biography Dorothea Snook, a well-known Perth naturopath. Alice Caporn was Mrs Snook’s mentor and Mrs Snook trained in her Caporn method of exercises and followed a vintage-style diet aligned with the alkaline dietary principles of achieving the correct acid and alkaline balance in the body for optimum health.
Dr Alice Caporn, a former Coolgardie nurse, found opportunity in the United States and lived there for a number of years, where she obtained four degrees, including a Doctor of Philosophy also degrees in biology, helio-therapy and physical culture. When she returned to Australia to settle in Perth in 1938, Dr Caporn applied for a license to sell the city’s first ever loaf of wholemeal bread Perth, her linseed loaf. She sent a freshly baked loaf to the Western Australian Commissioner of Public Health, Dr Atkinson, who pointedly ignored by it (as he did Dr Caporn’s earlier letter of introduction).
On October 1, 1939, Perth’s ‘The Sunday Times’ reported:
“The efforts of local food faddist “Dr.” Alice Caporn to place a new fancy bread upon the market in Perth have failed. Alice Caporn sought permission from the Health authorities to make a kind of linseed loaf. According to the formula submitted, the bread would comprise mainly crushed linseed and wholemeal.… But after the Government Analyst (Dr. Simpson) and other authorities had considered the matter, Alice Caporn’s application to make a linseed loaf was rejected.”
Alice Caporn was outspoken on whatever issue she felt strongly about, particularly diet. In an age before computers and television, she wrote many letters to the editor an a range of subjects, from Aboriginal rights, cruelty to animals, and offered her thoughts on how men should dress appropriately for the Australian climate. She was very pro-the United States in an era when the former Australian colony’s focus was the motherland, Great Britain.
Alice M Caporn was a registered nurse, who married and went to live in the United States for a number of years. She returned, aged in her sixties, to live in Perth with relatives and ran a naturopathy practice in Nedlands. She married again when aged in her seventies.
Dr Alice Caporn was trained as a Naturopath in the early 1900s when the naturopathy profession was founded by German doctor Benedict Lust. Dr Caporn (and Mrs Snook) advocated a vegetable and juice raw food diet – no meat, dairy, limited grains. If you know anything of Dr Caporn (or Mrs Snook). I would love to hear from you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
(Pic of Alice Caporn: The Sunday Times, Perth)
I attended a talk yesterday organised by QUT Science and Engineering featuring Nobel Laureate cosmologist Brian Schmidt talking about the big bang or “gnab gib” (big bang spelled backwards), i.e. expansion and end of the universe.
What a great communicator Brian Schmidt is! He gave really good advice for early career scientists. He reckons research is the best job and everything else is slightly less interesting. Professor Schmidt was born in the US, is based at ANU. I think he says in his talk that he was only 27 when he took on the role of managing the international project that led to the Nobel Prize (yes, I hate him too).
BionicKangaroo – energy-efficient jump kinematics based on a natural model
Klezmer is a Jewish folk musician of eastern Europe, played by small, traditionally itinerant bands. Musicologists have noted similarities between Klezmer and other improvisational styles such as gypsy music and jazz. Klezmer is a Yiddish name that can either be applied to the type of music – or the musician playing the music. The term derives from two Jewish words: kle (vessel or instrument) and zemer (song), literally meaning “instrument or vessel of song”. Klezmer was first used to describe the traditional instrumental music of Yiddish speaking Jews in Eastern Europe.
It sure looks it! A model plane enthusiast I know who transferred his passion for aerodynamics into an aerospace degree sent me the links below with the message: “Enjoy the most beautiful airplane ever!” He added that he would like to fly this plane, although he is not a pilot. Here is the Super Constellation Christening in Lahr, southern Germany:
and the Super Constellation flying in Switzerland: