November 30, 2011

Scientific research reveals the best* curry house in Manchester!

This and ThatCurryology, the branch of science that deals with curry, is an established discipline with a long and distinguished history. The myriad ingredients of curry, such as curcumin (in turmeric), capsaicin (in chilli pepper), cumin, coriander and many others have been a topic of considerable scientific research [1,2,3,4,5].

Like many large British cities, Manchester is blessed with a large population of people from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. All this means there is a bewildering array restaurants and eateries serving delicious curry, and Mancunians are spoilt for choice when it comes to spicy food.

Visitors to, and residents of the city often ask:

“Where can I get the best curry in Manchester?”

After more than fifteen years of extensive and exhaustive scientific research in restaurants around Manchester I’m pleased to report on what, in my humble opinion, is the best* curry house….

Conventional wisdom dictates that some of the finest curries can be found on the curry mile, a mile long strip of neon and spice in Rusholme, South Manchester. While Rusholme curries are good, you’ll find it hard to beat This and That Indian Cafe on Soap Street, Shudehill, Manchester M4 1EW. Tucked away in a humble side street, this place really is a hidden gem. What makes it so good?

  • Excellent value for money (see menu), a crucial factor in these economically challenging times
  • No nonsense service from friendly staff (see picture above)
  • There is a charm to This and That which comes from being hidden down a dodgy looking side street, off the beaten track. Somehow, if it were in a more obvious location, it wouldn’t be quite as appealing.
  • Delicious curry (omnomnom) gorge yourself on gorgeous gargantuan ghee dishes
  • A diverse clientele, you’ll rub shoulders with anyone and everyone from elite BBC hacks like Justin Rowlatt, policemen, taxi drivers and Joe the sparky from the local building site, who are all regulars.

What more could you ask for from a curry house?


  1. Parthasarathy, V. A., Chempakam, B., and Zachariah, T. J. (2008). Chemistry of Spices (Cabi), ISBN:1845934059. Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International , first edition.
  2. Bettaieb, I., Bourgou, S., Wannes, W., Hamrouni, I., Limam, F., & Marzouk, B. (2010). Essential Oils, Phenolics, and Antioxidant Activities of Different Parts of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58 (19), 10410-10418 DOI: 10.1021/jf102248j
  3. Silva, F., Ferreira, S., Queiroz, J., & Domingues, F. (2011). Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) essential oil: its antibacterial activity and mode of action evaluated by flow cytometry Journal of Medical Microbiology, 60 (10), 1479-1486 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.034157-0
  4. Ringman JM, Frautschy SA, Cole GM, Masterman DL, & Cummings JL (2005). A potential role of the curry spice curcumin in Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer research, 2 (2), 131-6 PMID: 15974909
  5. Bode, A., & Dong, Z. (2011). The Two Faces of Capsaicin Cancer Research, 71 (8), 2809-2814 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3756

*Your Mileage May Vary

June 19, 2009

Nettab 2009 Day Three: Semantic Integration

Catania ElephantA brief report (well just some scribbled notes, bullet points and links really) on the third and final day of Network Applications and Tools in Biology (NETTAB) 2009 in Catania, Sicily. There was a special section on Methods and Tools for RNA Structure and Functional Analysis. Disclaimer: RNA mania isn’t really my thing – so the RNA presentations and papers are grossly under-represented in this mini-report (sorry).

  • Keynote: Semantically Integrated eCommunities in Biomedicine: Next-Generation Models of Biomedical Communication, Tim Clark Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston. His presentation opened by asking: What do the following have in common?

    1. Alzheimer’s Disease
    2. Huntington’s Disease
    3. Nicotine Addiction
    4. Schizophrenia
    5. Bipolar Disorder
    6. Autism
    7. Parkinson’s Disease
    8. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
    9. Neuropathic Pain
    10. Major Depressive Disorder
    11. Cancer (multiple forms)


    1. Highly complex disorders
    2. Much information, incomplete understanding
    3. Inadequate treatment options
    4. Huge cost in human suffering
    5. Multi-factorial causality
    6. Require multi-disciplinary collaboration for progress to understanding and cure

    Tim discussed using The Science Collaboration Framework (SCF) a reusable, semantically-aware toolkit for building on-line communities. These make heavy use of Open Linked Data, controlled vocabularies and  Drupal to build websites to tackle the above disorders. For example pdonlineresearch.org (Parkinson’s Disease), StemBook.org (Harvard Stem Cell Institute) and alzforum.org (Alzheimers) [1]. The controlled vocabulary and ontology approach works well for understood stuff (where named entities are known) but not so good at the outer boundaries of our knowledge. Reusable framework for building web communities, Uses shared ontologies/vocabularies, Open source, freely available.

  • Michaela Guendel (Leaf Bioscience) presented DC-THERA Directory: A Knowledge Management System to Support Collaboration on Dendritic Cell and Immunology Research,  using cell type ontology, dendritic cell ontology, chebi, obi. Project involves Andrea Splendiani, Ciro Scognamiglio and Marco Brandizi
  • GePh-CARD: an information exchange application for an Hub & Spoke Network for Skeletal Dysplasias was presented by M. Mordenti & L. Sangiorgi
  • Panel Discussion: Collaborative and Social Bioinformatics Research and Development: Why, When, Who and How? Alex Bateman, Tim Clark, Duncan Hull and all participants. This panel discussion concentrated on Who? (experts vs. non experts, crowds vs. individuals, how to motivate and reward people to contribute to online communities. community annotation of data only possible when curators cede control of data) and then Where? (open wikis vs. closed ones, private vs. public data, wikis often not suitable for highly structured data, centralised vs. distributed systems)
  • Keynote: Bacterial Phylogeny and Taxonomy in the High-Throughput Sequencing World, Gabriel Valiente
  • Magdalena Musielak (has worked with Piotr Byzia) presented RNA tertiary structure prediction with ModeRNA,
  • Olivier Perriquet presented Improved heuristic for pairwise RNA secondary structure prediction,
  • Giampaolo Bella talked about Analysing microRNA by Theorem Proving. qualitative logic proving before quantitative experimental measures e.g. “shall we go to restaurant” before “how much does it cost”?
  • Mapping miRNA genes on human fragile sites and translocation breakpoints Alfredo Ferro et al.
  • Keynote: Computational challenages in the study of small RNAs Doron Betel, memorial sloan-kettering cancer center
  • microrna.gr. a suite of web based tools for elucidating microrna function was presented by Giorgo L. Papadopoulous, DIANA bioinformatics lab, biomedical Science research center, Alexander Fleming, Vari, Athens, Greece
  • Last but not least there was miRScape: a cytoscape plugin to annotate biological networks with microRNAs

The Tenth NETTAB (2010) Workshop will be in Rome, where the theme will be Oncology Bioinformatics and will be held at the end of  May or beginning of  June 2010.


  1. Das, S., Girard, L., Green, T., Weitzman, L., Lewis-Bowen, A., & Clark, T. (2009). Building biomedical web communities using a semantically aware content management system Briefings in Bioinformatics, 10 (2), 129-138 DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbn052

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