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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

On Pirates and Scientists

They are fashionistas, epicureans, gullible and a little shy around pretty girls. They are also the pirates of Gideon Defoe’s comic fiction, The Pirates! In an adventure with SCIENTISTS. Captain Pirate leads his crew, including pirate with a scarf and pirate with an accordion, through a bit more swashing than buckling.

“So, there’s two pirate boats sailing towards each other, and one of the boats is carrying all this blue paint. And the other pirate boat is carrying all this red paint. They crash, and you know what happened?”

Though you probably don’t need to read the book to guess the answer, give it a look anyway. It has all the ingredients for a nice summertime diversion, right? Well, Defoe throws in for good measure a young socially awkward Charles Darwin and Mister Bobo, his man-panzee. Says Darwin, one of science’s founding fathers, on the distracting charms of the fairer sex,
“Damn women, with … with their hair … and their faces …”

Seems scientists and pirates might have more in common than previously thought. Thanks to Profgrrrl's sidebar for the book suggestion. It made today’s commute.

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