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Resistance Persistence

Resistance Persistence
“Requesting unnecessary antibiotics will not only be of no benefit to you, but could also endanger those that really need them.”

Published by Alice Manterfield, MSci Student at the University of Nottingham.

Snailtergeist

If you live in the UK like me, you will probably come across advertisements from the ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign by Public Health England. The campaign has featured billboards, TV, radio and online adverts including the following infographic:

taken from http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/news/a29096/phe-antibiotics-campaign/

Antibiotic resistance occurs over time as bacteria adapt and reproduce. For example, if there is a population of bacteria in a human body, some of which have developed a mechanism of resistance to a certain antibiotic, these bacteria will survive and be able to reproduce inside someone treated with this antibiotic. While this process will happen naturally it is greatly accelerated by the overuse of antibiotics when they are not needed. A large contribution to overuse in the UK is the insistence of patients to request antibiotics from their GPs when they experience flu-like symptoms. According to this review from Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, most infections that antibiotics…

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Meating Expectations

Meating Expectations.
Lab-grown meat is in the news again, but would you eat it?
“…the idea that the way in which meat is produced conventionally is ‘the way nature intended’ seems absurd and finding a viable alternative that can produce meat without killing animals is anything but disgusting.”
Published by Alice Manterfield, MSci Student at the University of #Nottingham.

Snailtergeist

jeremy lab meat Jeremy samples cultured beef without hesitation.

I have been following the technology behind lab-grown meat since I first saw an introductory article about it in The New Scientist as a teenager. In a nutshell, cultured meat is a form of cellular agriculture, producing meat from cell culture rather than by traditional livestock methods. The first step in growing cultured meat is to isolate animal cells that have a rapid rate of proliferation. While stem cells can be used for this, myoblasts are often favoured as they have already differentiated sufficiently and their proliferation rate, while lower, is high enough to be useful. These cells are placed in an appropriate growth medium and grown on a scaffold to promote a three dimensional structure.  A team of four scientists from the Netherlands headed by Mark Post created the world’s first burger made from cultured meat in 2013 from muscle strips derived from…

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The causes of behavioural handedness – Part 2: can it be learned?

Snail training; discover how and where to poke a snail with a stick (very gently to avoid sulking).

Snailtergeist

In the second part of my project, which I am now a couple of weeks into, I am exploring whether the innate turning preference of snails can be altered by training them to turn in a certain direction. To accomplish this, I have been given a group of inbred sinistral Lymnaea stagnalis raised in the lab, one of which has turned out to be a surprisingly majestic dancer.

These snails, like the famous Jeremy, also have reversed shells! Below is a photograph of one of the dextral snails from my first experiment and a sinistral snail from my second for comparison:

My new cohort of 23 lefty snails mostly got along fine in their new tanks with the exception of snail 11729 who hardly moved during initial observations and died shortly afterwards. We can only assume he has joined Jeremy in the sinistral snail afterlife.

Jeremy & E

To attempt to train the…

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The causes of behavioural handedness – Part 1: is it inherited?

Snailtergeist

Behavioural handedness is a part of everyday life that you probably don’t put much thought into. Roughly 90% of the population is right handed and prefer using their right hand for most manual tasks. As with most things handedness is not completely black and white and some prefer to use their non-dominant hand for some activities. Personally the only left thing about me is my political leaning. My left hand is useless and I favour my right for every task I can think of. As is common to right-handers, I also have a tendency to turn right upon entering a new environment. I share this behavioural bias with snail number 11714.

My masters project utilizes the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis as a model organism to study the causes of behavioural handedness. This is a different species of snail to the famous Jeremy, although the snails I’m using for the second…

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Are Vitamins Vital?

Snailtergeist

Jeremy supplementsLike many people my age, I have fond memories of taking my daily vitamins as a child. The opportunity to eat a jelly sweet with a smiley face on it before breakfast was a welcome one, my favourite being Bassett’s soft and chewy in orange. It is still recommended by the NHS that children between the age of 6 months to 5 years should take supplements of vitamin A, C and D on a daily basis based on clinical evidence. The same recommendation however, is not made for adults. Despite the huge public interest in vitamin supplements (with an estimated public spend of £364 million in the UK each year), their supposed health benefits for the general public are somewhat dubious. While useful in some subgroups or for those with diagnosed deficiencies, many vitamin supplements consumed by the general public are at best a waste of money and at worst…

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Mendacious Facts

32% of explorers who visit both the North and South Poles develop bipolar disorder.

Aardvarks are allergic to radishes.

Adding baking powder and vinegar to scrambled eggs makes them fluffier.

At 3 feet 11 inches, Robert Peel was the shortest British Prime Minister.

Ducks begin to melt at 39°C.

ET’s surname was Cetera.

Every United States President with a beard was a Republican.

Extensive study of the Shroud of Turin indicates that Jesus had muttonchops.

Febreze, used on fabric to remove odours, does not work on nylon.

Fish dandruff, caused by microscopic flaking scales, is almost impossible to filter from drinking water.

Globes in Australia and New Zealand are always displayed upside down.

Hummingbird eggs can float in mid-air in conditions of exceptionally high humidity.

In two counties of Wyoming, it is still legal to hunt elderly people.

Inuit schools in the far north of Canada teach division, but not multiplication.

John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is translated in China as ‘Angry Berries’.

Kebabs were invented by a Turkish mathematician when he tried to make an abacus out of meat.

More Americans choke to death on peanuts every year than die in car accidents.

Moths are not able to fly during an earthquake.

Only 48% of bananas curve to the right, the other 52% curve to the left.

Owls only lose feathers while asleep.

Polar bears can eat as many as 22 penguins in a single day.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, although the contractor said it would be.

Rubbing Tabasco on your upper lip before bedtime is an effective temporary cure for insomnia.

Scuba divers are not able to fart at depths below 33 metres.

Silly Putty is 23% less silly since the formula was changed in 1998.

Stocktaking shepherds often fall asleep.

The actor John Wayne’s real name was Lydia Schiffman.

The average vending machine chocolate bar is four and a half years old.

The body of a dead cat has been stuck on the top of Big Ben since 1979.

The boiling point of saliva is almost twice that of water.

The game Pac-Man is based on a true story.

The most frequently used noun in the English language is biscuit.

The original plans for the Statue of Liberty included a waving arm, but the French government vetoed the budget required.

There are more rock hopper penguins in Iceland than people.

Two-thirds of all the world’s supply of coriander comes from a single valley in Italy.

Winnie the Pooh was originally named Winnie the Pee.

Wombats are the only other creature that celebrates birthdays.

You can sharpen the blades of a pencil sharpener by wrapping a pencil in aluminium foil before inserting it.

 

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Janis Ellen Lewin (nee Manterfield)

7 September 1957 – 9 November 2017

 

Janis Ellen Lewin (nee Manterfield) 1957 - 2017 (A4)Monday the 27th of November 2017 was a very sad day. It was the funeral of my lovely sister Janis. I wanted to mark the day in memory of a very special person.

Janis was wife to John, Mother to Amy and Tom, Sister-in-Law to Sue, Aunt to Alice, relative and friend to many others and my only sibling.

Janis’s funeral took place at Loughborough Crematorium at 11am, with a wake afterwards at The White Horse on Leicester Road in Quorn. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the turn out for her funeral was astonishing. The crematorium was completely full, all the seats were taken and people were standing all around the room from end to end.

Order of Service for Janis's funeral (27 Nov 2017)

This is the eulogy that John, Amy and Tom Lewin put together, read by Suzanne Buckeridge during the service:

“Janis Ellen Manterfield was born on the 7 September 1957 in the family home at 5 Front Street, Birstall to Dennis and Betty Manterfield. A sister for older brother Roy. Jan’s father gave her the nickname ‘Pod’ because she was so small when she was born, he thought she looked like a pea in a pod. This affectionate nickname stayed with her all her life. Growing to the height of 4ft 10½” tall (always aspiring to be 5ft, but never quite making it!), Pod was living proof that good things come in small packages!

Two years after Jan was born, the Manterfield family moved to 56 Denegate Avenue in Birstall, with a big garden that was landscaped by Dennis. Janis loved spending time in the garden with her Dad; making bonfires, planting seeds, and drinking cups of tea. The large garden also enabled them to have many family pets; so many that at one time the nickname ‘Manterfield Menagerie’ was coined! The pets ranged from dogs and cats, all the way through to Charlie Jones the tortoise. The Manterfields were an active family, going on family holidays around Britain, and regularly attending clubs, such as the Bowmen of Birstall.

Janis left school at 16, and after 6 months at BPX Electrical she moved to the British United Shoe Machinery Company where her parents worked. It was also the place where she met a long haired, bearded individual called John Lewin. Jan always got a lift to work with her Dad, so before work started, she would sit in his office reading the paper. Janis was initially cool to John’s advances and decided instead to hide behind her newspaper when he visited the department. A decade later, fate played a hand when John was on a Saturday night out with ‘the boys’ and happened to bump into Jan. John asked Jan if she would like to go out for Sunday lunch the following day and she agreed. 

After a couple of years together, John and Jan planned their first holiday abroad – to the Greek island of Santorini. This first holiday to Greece was very memorable because one night, while walking on the beach in the sunset, John got down on one knee in the waves. It was a good job that Jan said ‘yes’, as the tide was coming in; John had wet trousers all the way back to the apartment!

John and Jan were married on the 2 August 1986, after another holiday in Greece. When the DJ announced that it was time for the first dance, instead of ‘Always and Forever’ as they were expecting, the opening bars of ‘Zorba’s dance’ started playing as John’s friends arrived dressed as Greek dancers! Throughout their time together, Jan and John enjoyed many wonderful holidays to Greece, France, Turkey, Egypt, America and more.

In April 1988, Jan gave birth to her first child, Amy. Jan was over the moon to be a Mum, and took to it perfectly. Three years later, in April 1991, Tom was welcomed into the world. To Amy and Tom, Jan was the best Mum in the world: caring, loving, patient and kind.

When Amy was born, Jan made a decision to go to a local ‘Mum and Baby’ group at the health centre in Syston, as she didn’t know any other young Mums, and wanted Amy to grow up with friends her own age. A large group of friends was quickly formed there.

Jan originally worked as a secretary and shorthand typist, but when Tom started school, she decided on a new career direction, and became a healthcare assistant at PPD. This was the perfect role for someone with such a caring nature, as she was able to put her natural kindness into her work. When PPD closed, Jan continued in a similar role at Bupa. She always enjoyed working with people, and the camaraderie she shared with her colleagues.

Her family meant everything to Jan, and she was happiest with those she loved around her, or on the end of a characteristically long phone call. She also loved hearing from her French friends, and her relatives in America and Brighton. While bringing up her children, Jan remained tireless in supporting her parents and auntie, dedicating herself to their care, as she did everyone who ever needed her.

Her many friends – as we can see here today – played an equally important role throughout Jan’s life; friends who loved and supported Jan as she loved and supported them. Jan was often the life and soul of the party with her feather boas and her happy smile. She had a musical ear and loved to dance, as everyone who has been to a party with her will agree.

Jan was well known for her thoughtful words, cards and notes. Any occasion, Jan always sent a card in her neat handwriting, usually with appropriate, sparkly confetti inside. She wrote notes to Amy and Tom in their lunchboxes all the way from their first days at school, to the end of sixth form. Notes were left inside the door if she had gone out, and upstairs if she was working a night shift. Such was the care and thought that went into everything she did.

Everyone who knew Jan said that she was lovely, and she truly was. It is customary to focus on a person’s good points in their eulogy, but the truth is that Jan really was a good person, beautiful inside and out. It was her way to focus on the good in life, and to see the best in everyone.

Jan considered herself to have led a happy life, filled with the love of the many people who mattered to her; and that is the way that she would want to be remembered. Happy, and loved.”

 

Now it’s an immeasurably sad time, but Janis had early onset dementia, so in one way it’s a relief to know that she is no longer so confused and anxious. It was terrible to see my bright, caring, smiling sister gradually fading to the awful illness. I really don’t know how John coped from day to day with caring for Janis during the last couple of years.

 

Janis was born when I was five years old; she is the only person I’ve known for the entirety of their life. On the day she arrived, at home in Birstall, I couldn’t wait to meet my new sister. I whiled away the time drawing on a small blackboard easel, then Dad came to fetch me and we went up to my parent’s bedroom where Mum had just given birth.

Mum was in bed, the District Nurse was fussing around and tidying up, and my little sister was wrapped up and sleeping. I remember being slightly surprised because Janis was shiny, almost glistening, a tiny bit wrinkly and quite red with blue tinges. Being already familiar with how babies looked, I had expected her to be much paler.

Perhaps because I was a few years older or maybe because we were simply compatible personalities, but whatever it was we always got on very well. We played together, building dens with boxes and blankets, dressing up and posing our poor long suffering menagerie of pets, setting up lending libraries with our books, play fighting with sticks and dustbin lid shields, and probably many other games that I’ve since forgotten.

I frequently teased and joked with Janis; we laughed and giggled together at many silly things. I miss our familiarity and companionship, or siblingship, or whatever it might be called.

I always looked forward to her visits while I was at art college in Leeds and after I moved to Nottingham to work, and the many holidays we had together, with family and with partners.

It was a huge privilege to know Janis and I will miss her so much.

 

I’ve been touched with the kind thoughts and comments made on social media since I posted the composite photo of Janis at different ages. Here are just a few of them:

“Very sorry to hear this, No age is it, seems like she was cheated. I hope she enjoyed her life, I suspect from the photo’s that she brightened many. Thinking of you.”

“Really sorry to hear that. My condolences to your family. If personality does affect the face as we age she must have been a delight, her smile is wonderful.”

“She’s beautiful. I’m so sorry you had to lose her so young.”

“Best wishes and my thoughts to all.  I love that she was smiling through all those images.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful smile Janis had.”

“Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing. Condolences to you and all she held dear.”

“What great photographs, she looks like a lovely person. Thinking of you all x”

“I’m happy you had such a wonderful sister and I’m sorry for your loss. She was born about 10 months before me.”

“She looked to be a sparkle of life to many. 💖 My Condolences.”

“Such a sad loss to you and your family. What a beautiful sister you’ll always hold dear.” https://youtu.be/IMtnLkXCKlY

“My condolences Roy. Her pictures indicate a happy demeanour. – Bet you made her laugh lots.”

 

The following photo montages are six panels I put together with images I had of Janis, family and friends, and that John arranged to be printed and displayed at the wake.

Janis Lewin - Panel 1Janis Lewin - Panel 2Janis Lewin - Panel 3Janis Lewin - Panel 4Janis Lewin - Panel 5Janis Lewin - Panel 6

 

Back to Family history

The life of a sinistral snail — Snailtergeist

Jeremy the snail was first found minding his own business in a southwest London compost heap. Most would have overlooked Jeremy as an ordinary garden snail; in fact it’s undoubtedly the case that most of the other rare snails who have the single gene mutation that Jeremy possesses will have at best been ignored, and […]

via The life of a sinistral snail — Snailtergeist

 

Whoopee…

A post on social media reminded me of my obsession with practical jokes as a child in the early 1960s. I spent my pocket money on quite a few from the Ellisdons Jokes, Magic and Novelties catalogue. Ellisdons sold all manner of practical jokes; rubber beetles and spiders, wind-up butterflies, whoopee cushions, and realistic looking rubber things such as food, soap and bars of chocolate. I had, for example, a very lifelike chocolate finger biscuit made of brown rubber.

Practical jokesI also had a handshake buzzer, which never really caught anyone off guard, but the floating sugar cubes and imitation rubber snail with a real shell were both winners; I suspect the snail put many friends and relatives off salad for life.

I loved the floating sugar cubes; a family friend’s grandfather spent an incredibly long time with a teaspoon trying to make them sink, it was only my barely controlled mirth that eventually caught his attention.

I’d also forgotten about the imitation dog turd. I had a brilliant shiny metal one, very realistic. It’s probably still in the attic somewhere. I left it on the rug in my grandmother’s best/front room on a visit once and all hell broke loose. Both the poor dog and I were in so much trouble, but it was worth it…

Ellisdons 1960s Joke Catalogue

 

 

‘The Colour of London: Historic, Personal, & Local’ First published in 1907

By William John Loftie FSA. Illustrated by Yoshio Markino. With an introduction by Marion Harry Spielmann FSA and an essay by the artist.

 

An interesting read, peppered with period Victorian/Edwardian morals and outlooks, and fascinating historical details.

In the introduction, Marion Harry Spielmann talks of “London by warm gaslight on Chelsea Embankment, or by cold electric rays on New Vauxhall Bridge…” and when discussing Yoshio Markino’s depiction of Baker Street Underground, he describes the “sulphur and noise”.

Later in the book the arrival of cars and the decay of fashionable life is lamented; “…we cannot expect ever to see again. The gay throng has been broken up by the invasion of motors” and “…motors render impossible that slow and stately pacing, the long waits under the trees, the show of fine horses and carriages”.

Originally published in London by Chatto & Windus in 1907; this edition was published in 1914.

A selection of the fascinating illustrations by Yoshio Markino.

Goodreads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1971532399