Monday, April 27, 2015

Revisiting the RNA Tie Club

As mentioned previously, by wonderful luck I now have regular contact with Ash from the Curious Wavefunction, and he has stimulated a new burst of scientific history interest in me.  I've ripped through a bunch of scientific memoirs -- by Crick, Djerassi and Dyson -- and have learned how to summon the biographies of Wilkins and Chargaff, as well as trying to dive again into The Eighth Day of Creation.  One topic I keep stumbling across is an interesting little bit of genetic history called the RNA Tie Club, which is a story worth re-telling and re-examining

Monday, April 13, 2015

Interested in the History of Biotech Companies? Don't start with Wikipedia.

I'm generally a big fan of Wikipedia and use it often for background research.  I've gotten more active this year in editing it, particularly around biographies of scientists.  For example, this year I've made major additions or edits to the entries for Walter Gilbert and Arthur Pardee and the , created entries for Martinas YcasBenno Müller-HillMonica Riley and Helen Donis-Keller. I also stumbled my way into a campaign of major revisions to the entry on Marie Antoinette, getting sometimes into a revision war with one other editor (which we resolved with a truce).  Along the way I've gotten almost adept at writing Wikipedia references and discovered a bizarre recurrent vandalism of Wally's page in which the vandal changes his name and personal details.  Recently, I've discovered a whole category of flawed entries: those on companies in the biotechnology industry.