giant scrotal elephantiasis

Some of the things lecturers say make a lasting impression on students’ memories (albeit not always for the desired reasons). I remember, when I was a biology undergraduate, hearing about some of the undesirable effects of filiarid worm infection. According to the lecturer, in extreme cases this could lead to infected men having to ‘carry […]

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the camel’s hump

Right now, like many of my colleagues, I’m busy marking end-of-semester exams. (In my case this process is complicated by the worst cold I’ve had in ages…) However, I’m happily procrastinating – as far as the marking’s concerned – because something a student wrote in an essay triggered this post 🙂 One of my essay […]

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what’s in a name

This is only sort of science – but it’s fun (& also Friday). But the secretary came in with a document & pointed out that one of the names – Goodbehere – looked really old. ‘Must be a bit of history behind that one,’ she said. Names often have a story to tell. In science they […]

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changes in the early oceans – & their impact on the evolution of animals

The earliest forms of life on Earth were prokaryotes, & they dominated the biosphere for around 2.5 billion years. And slowly they changed it – aerobic photosynthesis by cyanobacteria (‘blue-green algae’) led first to the oxygenation of the oceans & then to the development of an oxygen-rich atmosphere (incidentally making life impossible for many anaerobic […]

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