Miscellany

Did you know?

More than 11 million printed items and 70,000 e-journals in the Oxford Bodleian Library include one of the first books to appear in print: Pliny the Elder's Historia Naturale (1476), Euclid's Stoicheia, the oldest manuscript of a classical Greek author to bear a date (888), and an exquisite map of the insulin molecule attributed to Dorothy Hodgkin and dated 1968.

A paper with 5,154 authors was published in Physical Review Letters in May 2015. (from Nature, 521, May 21, 2015)

At an auction in the spring of 2015 an anonymous bidder paid $395,000 for Heinrich O. Wieland's 1927 Nobel Prize medal. Wieland was credited along with Adolf O. R. Windaus with determining the chemical structure of cholesterol. The structure was wrong. J. D. Bernal showed that the Wieland and Windaus structure could not be correct on the basis of the cell dimensions of cholesterol crystals. Hodgkin went on to determine the correct molecular structure.

Alisher Usmanov, a Russian entrepreneur, paid $4.8 million for James Watson's 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine medal, and returned the medal to Watson. Watson is said to have given the money to research.

Australia's government has cut AUS$263 million (US$211 million) from university grants over the next three years to keep key national Research facilities running.

In a recent film, 'Just Eat It: a Food Waste Story', Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer revealed that between 20 and 70% of bananas, celery and nectarines are thrown away immediately after harvest and that a third of the food produced globally is wasted, including 15 to 25% of the food we purchase in our regular trips to the supermarket. (from Science, 348, p. 629, 2015)

The number of people in the United States who spend more than US$100,000 a year on medicines tripled to 139,000 in 2014 compared with 2013. (from Nature, 521, May 21, 2015)