Lithuania holds the next presidency of the EU, and we had a very useful meeting with Minister Counsellor Sigitas Mitkus at the Lithuanian Embassy in London. I had visited Lithuania in 1989 as part of a Royal Society-sponsored trip to the former Soviet Union, where I set up my longstanding collaboration with Prof Arseny Kaprelyants. Lithuania has the fastest growing economy in Europe, and we anticipate further useful links.

A now-published report to which I contributed on e‐Science and e‐Infrastructure needs of UK Life Sciences industries is available, and I had a useful meeting with the coauthors and others to take forward our thinking on implementation strategies. Another member of the e-infrastructure leadership Council is Tony Hey, who pointed me to some interesting blog posts of his on Open Access.

I also participated in the Annual General Meeting of the RCUK Shared Services Centre, and was part of a very useful discussion on Agri-Tech arranged by Sense about Science, where I also heard the latest about the Don’t Destroy Research petition and was pointed to the latest findings with Golden Rice.

I was pleased to see that a recent paper on predicting metabolic fluxes had achieved ‘highly accessed’ status. Other papers I enjoyed included one on assaying microbial performance in situ, one linking iron metabolism with BFkappaB signalling,

I also noted an interesting document on regional  economies (in this case of the North of England), containing some quite striking statistics, and a novel e-licensing strategy for acquiring licenses to interesting plant traits.

We have issued a call for new members of two of our Strategy Advisory Panels, on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy and in Exploiting New Ways of Working.

I blogged before about the multiple miscitations of a much-cited paper that provides a comparatively sensitive method for estimating protein concentrations, but a recent post points to a new low in citing a paper that has clearly not been read, even in abstract form, by those citing it. 

Having now told Nature Publishing Group’s e-alert system multiple times (with no effect) that I do not wish to be spammed by them I here name and shame them. It is annoying enough that they already sold two of my email addresses (one unique to them, which is how I know) to other spammers. If you too object to being spammed by them or anyone else they have caused to spam you I suggest you write to On current trends, the SLAS will be the next organisation I have to name and shame.

Finally, I enjoyed a fantastic collection of unusual words describing rhetorical devices in a piece analysing Jodie Foster’s Golden Globes speech, including gems such as antimetabole (four terms in a criss-crossed relation to each other, and which have nothing to do with antimetabolites….), anaphora (repetition of words or a phrase at the beginning of a clause or sentence), polysyndeton (overuse of conjunctions), and occultatio (a device that brings in material while pretending not to talk about it).

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