Last week was somewhat truncated because of the Bank Holiday, and the chief external activities involved the final four ‘Institute partnership’ meetings of the ‘season’, indeed my final ‘season’ as CEO, with The Pirbright Institute, TGAC, Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre. It was extremely useful to see the excellent science being performed, some of which – as in the announcement on the latest paper on ‘purple tomatoes’ (which shows clearly that they can extend their own shelf life, as well as that of mice), illustrates clearly the benefits to be had from continuous long-term funding. Of course the apotheosis of this idea is represented by the ‘long-term experiments’ at Rothamsted, that began some 170 years ago!
We had a useful discussion about the present progress of the Triennial Review of the Research Councils, which has been conducted with skill and care.
I also attended part of the meeting of the Global University Summit; one of the interesting statistics was provided in an after-dinner speech by John Sexton, President of NYU, who pointed out that of the 85 world Institutions that had been around (and survived) throughout the previous 500 years, 70 were Universities. Notable.
Finally, I noted an announcement about the beneficial effects of (rather modest amounts of) sparkling wine on memory, an interesting interview with Lee Hood on Systems Biology and P4 medicine (pdf), an interesting blog on selecting Open Access journals, and a nicely done paper on systems vaccinology (with interactive figures allowing further data exploration).
- Butelli, E., et mult al. (2008). Enrichment of tomato fruit with health-promoting anthocyanins by expression of select transcription factors. Nat Biotechnol 26, 1301-1308
- Obermoser, G. et mult al. (2013). Systems scale interactive exploration reveals quantitative and qualitative differences in response to influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Immunity 38, 831-44
- Zhang, Y., et mult al. (2013). Anthocyanins double the shelf life of tomatoes by delaying overripening and reducing susceptibility to gray mold. Current biology, online
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