September 15th, 2024

S-s-s-something from the comments…

  • el
  • pt
  • … from David Weinberger’s comments, actually. Michael O’Connor Clarke shares this anecdote:

    So this German Shepherd dog walks into a telegram office, takes out a blank form and writes:

    “Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof. Woof.”

    The clerk examines the paper and politely tells the dog:

    “There are only nine words here. You could send another ‘Woof’ for the same price.”

    “But,” the dog replied, “that would make no sense at all.”

    September 15th, 2024

    The horse is out of the barn…

    Well, no. Not THAT horse. I was referring rather to the concern expressed by Christina in the email below regarding my earlier post about her survey of bloggers. I’m making the edits because I’m tractable, but I wonder if Christina shouldn’t expect to be identified when she seeks entree to the exhibitionistic world of bloggadoccio?

    Hi Mr. Paynter,

    I received your submission of the survey and noticed that you’ve posted the link on your site. Thank you very much for posting it, I am very grateful.

    I would like to request, however, for you to edit the third paragraph. Although the results of the survey are strictly confidential, I offered to share a summary (summary excludes all identifiable information) with you if you were to post the link on your site because your readers would be my respondents, and as host of the site, you would be entitled to know what you are helping me on. Also, please remove my name as I am not very comfortable having my full name on the world wide web. [emphasis added]

    I apologize for the hassle and confusion, I should have mentioned and clarified these in my first email.

    Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate your help on this.

    Christina [last name suppressed at request of sender]

    September 15th, 2024

    Popeye’s revenge…

    How about that bagged spinach?

    Tell me some post doc isn’t responsible for flushing a recombinant e coli 0157 death vector out into our food supply via the drain in the sink at his underfunded and poorly supervised lab sometime between 1971 and 1982.

    The Selectable Marker Gene: Neomycin Phosphotransferase

    In addition to the aroA gene, the nptII gene from transposon Tn5 of the bacterium E. coli has been introduced in


    to be used as a selectable marker. This gene codes for the enzyme neomycin phosphotransferase which confers resistance to the common aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin (Fraley et al. l986). The DNA sequence of the gene has been determined (Beck et al. 1982). The lack of risk to humans of the nptII gene can be supported by its use in the first human gene therapy trials (Anonymous 1990). The nptII coding region is under the control of the nos promoter and nos terminator.

    None of the introduced genes has any inherent plant pest characteristics or poses a risk to plant health when introduced into the modified plants.

    E. coli 0157 was first identified as a cause of serious illness in humans in


    Since then the numbers of outbreaks each year has increased steadily. As in other forms of food poisoning, the infection starts with diarrhoea, often bloody, sometimes associated with vomiting and nearly always with abdominal pain. Initially, E.coli 1057 was nearly always caught by contact with cattle, or by eating beef. Now it may infect burgers, rissoles or shepherd’s pie.

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