(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘gerontology

“It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it”*…

Still, some species “do it” differently than others…

It is well known that somatic mutations — mutations in our body’s genetic code that accumulate over time — can cause cancer, but their broader role in ageing is less clear.

Now a team of researchers have measured the somatic mutation rates of a range of mammals and discovered a striking correlation between mutation rate and lifespan. Lending evidence to the theory that somatic mutations are a cause of ageing rather than a result of it…

Ageing is linked to accumulated mutations: “The lifespan secret: why giraffes live longer than ferrets,” from @Nature.

* Mark Twain, on aging


As we grow old gracefully, we might send carefully-deduced birthday greetings to William Ian Beardmore (WIB) Beveridge; he was born on this date in 1908.  A veterinarian who served as  director of the Institute of Animal Pathology at Cambridge, he identified the origin of the Great Influenza (the Spanish Flu pandemic, 1918-19)– a strain of swine flu.

WIB Beveridge


Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday!

The Taste of Summer…


From Aaron Carroll and The Incidental Economist:

I was amused to read many of my favorite bloggers and journalists note with surprise the food seen at Iowa’s state fair a week or two ago. The shock! The horror! Deep fried butter!

Please. Deep fried butter is so 2010. I laugh at deep fried butter… It’s what we let the tourists see. Come, join me now, and let a true Midwesterner (for 8 years at least) take you on a culinary voyage unlike any other. Let me show you the wonders of the 2011 Indiana State Fair food…

Carroll’s journey down the midway uncovers such gems as…

Enjoy the complete tour (readers will never again understand “eat dirt” the same way) at “Adventures in Indiana State Fair Food 2011.”


As we cradle our cans of Crisco, we might wish a grateful Happy Birthday to chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul; he was born on this date in 1786.  Chevreul pioneered the study of Fats, and discovered Fatty Acids.  He isolated and named margaric acid– which paved the way for the invention of margarine (created in 1869 in answer to a challenge from Emperor Louis Napoleon III to make a satisfactory substitute for butter, “suitable for use by the armed forces and the lower classes”).  Chevreul lived to 102… and appropriately enough was a pioneer of gerontology.



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