Friday, 2 September 2016

Hello world!

It's been a while. I've been a little busy with this

Fiamma Rose Gina Duca joined us on July 11th.  Isn't she lovely?

Monday, 11 April 2016

My will power muscle is tired!

My rate of paper-completion has been astronomical this year, compared to normal years. I'm pretty pleased about this, although there are good reasons for wasn't that I was slacking last year but virtuous this year - I just spent lots of time investing in new projects last year, while this year I cleared my decks of all ancillary activities and just got things finished up. But I have an ongoing and unpleasant sensation in regard to it all that this article has just given me a name for: will power fatigue.

Friday, 8 April 2016

What not to read just before you need to sleep

I've totally freaked myself out reading 'Three shoes, one sock and no hairbrush: Everything you need to know about having your second child'. The author, Rebecca Abrams pulls no punches in warning second-time expectant mothers that they're in for some shocks. One 'myth' she busts is the one that says parents worry about whether they'll love their second child as much as their first, and then of course they do. Not so, Abrams warns, or at least not necessarily, and not at first.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Ker ching: Putting the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis to the test

Congratulations to Kevin Laland and Tobias Uller have just been awarded a stonking £5.7 million grant for an international, multi-disciplinary, project "to put the predictions of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis to the test". It is one of the biggest awards the Templeton Foundation have ever made and it promises to be an exciting three years!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Passing cuddles down the generations (and what else besides?)

Did you know, a mother’s love is so strong that the power of her kiss can be felt many generations after it happens? It is true of rat mother love, at least. In 2004 Michael Meaney's group published the results of a study showing that the nurturing behaviour of a mother rat brings about physical changes in her babies that are subsequently transmitted to grandchildren too. It is a fascinating example of an epigenetic effect – a change that is passed across cellular or organismal generations, even though there is no change to any DNA sequence.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Should we prioritise our health or that of the environment?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get everyone eating more healthily, so that we all enjoy longer, better quality lives and require fewer medical interventions? And wouldn’t it be great if we could get everyone eating more sustainably, so that we could meet the nutritional needs of everyone on the planet without overburdening the natural environment? These goals have long been run together by the health food industry, endorsing natural foodstuffs as being better, both for us as individuals and for our world. ‘Natural’ implies fewer chemicals to clog up our bloodstreams and our waterways, after all.  But what if all of this is free-range baloney… What if there is natural conflict such that what is nutritionally optimal for human beings tends also to be the most environmentally burdensome, and vice versa. Faced with a choice between producing those foods that promote the health of human populations and those that promote the health of the rest of the living world, which should we choose? 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Toddler food fads


My nearly- three year old has been through some odd food fads. At the moment he is going through a stage where he prefers not to eat food items that are mixed in with each other. He suddenly only eats salads of the 'deconstructed' variety.