O'Really?

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?

References

  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

May 21, 2010

myExperiment: The Videos

myExperiment is a research project that is exploring models, techniques and infrastructure for sharing digital items associated with  research , especially scientific workflows. The project is funded by the Joint Information Standards Committee (JISC) as part of a series of projects building Virtual Research Environments (VRE’s) and is run by Dave De Roure and Carole Goble at the Universities of Southampton and Manchester in the UK.

Last year, JISC made some professional videos describing the project. Needless to say, the videos were much more fun to make than the accompanying papers [1,2,3] and a probably more informative too. The best way of linking the research papers to the videos on youtube is to blog about them, so here they are. The first video (below) talks about the project generally:

The second video (below) discusses the data used in tackling African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in cattle.

The videos include interviews with Carole Goble, Dave De Roure, Paul Fisher, Andy Brass and yours truly.

References

  1. David De Roure, Carole Goble, & Robert Stevens (2007). Designing the myExperiment Virtual Research Environment for the Social Sharing of Workflows IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing, 603-610 DOI: 10.1109/E-SCIENCE.2007.29
  2. David De Roure, Carole Goble, Jiten Bhagat, Don Cruickshank, Antoon Goderis, Danius Michaelides, & David Newman (2008). myExperiment: Defining the Social Virtual Research Environment IEEE Fourth International Conference on eScience, 2008. eScience ’08., 182-189 DOI: 10.1109/eScience.2008.86
  3. Goble, C., Bhagat, J., Aleksejevs, S., Cruickshank, D., Michaelides, D., Newman, D., Borkum, M., Bechhofer, S., Roos, M., Li, P., & De Roure, D. (2010). myExperiment: a repository and social network for the sharing of bioinformatics workflows Nucleic Acids Research DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq429

April 9, 2009

Upcoming Gig: The Scholarly Communication Landscape

The Scholarly Communication LandscapeDetails of an upcoming gig, The Scholarly Communication Landscape in Manchester on the 23rd of April 2009. If you are interested in coming, you need to register by Monday the 13th April at the official symposium pages.

Why? To help University staff and researchers understand some of the more complex issues embedded in the developments in digital scholarly communication, and to launch Manchester eScholar, the University of Manchester’s new Institutional Repository.

How? Information will be presented by invited speakers, and views and experience exchanged via plenary sessions.

Who For? University researchers (staff and students), research support staff, librarians, research managers, and anyone with an active interest in the field will find this symposium helpful to their developing use and provision of research digital formats. The programme for the symposium currently looks like this:

Welcome and Introduction by Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library.

Session I Chaired by Jan Wilkinson

  • Is the Knowledge Society a ‘social’ Network? Robin Hunt, CIBER, University College London
  • National Perspectives, Costs and Benefits Michael Jubb, Director, Research Information Network
  • The Economics of Scholarly Communication – how open access is changing the landscape Deborah Kahn, Acting Editorial Director Biology, BioMed Central

Session II Chaired by Dr Stella Butler

  • Information wants to be free. So … ? Dr David Booton, School of Law, University of Manchester
  • Putting Repositories in Their Place – the changing landscape of scholarly communication Bill Hubbard, SHERPA, University of Nottingham
  • The Year of Blogging Dangerously – lessons from the blogosphere, by Dr Duncan Hull (errr, thats me!), mib.ac.uk. This talk will describe how to build an institutional repository using free (or cheap) web-based and blogging tools including flickr.com, slideshare.net, citeulike.org, wordpress.com, myexperiment.org and friendfeed.com. We will discuss some strengths and limitations of these tools and what Institutional Repositories can learn from them.

Session III Chaired by Professor Simon Gaskell

Sumary and close by Professor Simon Gaskell, Vice-President for Research

January 8, 2009

Data Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS 2009), Manchester

Cristiano Ronaldo by vuhlserData Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS 2009) is the sixth in an international workshop series that aims at fostering discussion, exchange, and innovation in research and development in the areas of data integration and data management for the life sciences. DILS 2004 in Leipzig, DILS 2005 in San Diego, DILS 2006 in Cambridge, DILS 2007 in Philadelphia, and DILS 2008 near Paris each attracted around 100 researchers from all over the world [1]. This year, DILS 2009 is being held in the People’s Republic of Manchester, UK.

Although the workshop isn’t until the 20th July,  the deadline for paper abstracts is the 13th February, so if you’re planning on coming, better hurry up (see picture, top right) with those submissions. As with last year, the workshop proceedings will be published by Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) from Springer.

References

  1. Fifth International Workshop, DILS 2008, Evry, France, June 25-27, 2008. Proceedings 10.1007/978-3-540-69828-9

[Gratuitous creative commons licensed picture of Manchester United Football Club player Cristiano Ronaldo by vuhlser. Must be time to buy a new Ferrari.]

October 30, 2008

Congratulations Matthew Horridge!

George Best Genius by sahmeepeeSo, congratulations are due to Matthew Horridge, Bijan Parsia and Ulrike Sattler from The University of Manchester for winning the keenly fought best paper prize at the International Semantic Web Conference [ISWC 2008] in Karlsruhe for their paper “Laconic and Precise Justifications in OWL”. An abstract of the paper is reproduced below:

“A justification for an entailment in an OWL ontology is a minimal subset of the ontology that is sufficient for that entailment to hold. Since justifications respect the syntactic form of axioms in an ontology, they are usually neither syntactically nor semantically minimal. This paper presents two new subclasses of justifications—laconic justifications and precise justifications. Laconic justifications only consist of axioms that do not contain any superfluous “parts”. Precise justifications can be derived from laconic justifications and are characterised by the fact that they consist of flat, small axioms, which facilitate the generation of semantically minimal repairs. Formal definitions for both types of justification are presented. In contrast to previous work in this area, these definitions make it clear as to what exactly “parts of axioms” are. In order to demonstrate the practicability of computing laconic, and hence precise justifications, an algorithm is provided and results from an empirical evaluation carried out on several published ontologies are presented. The evaluation showed that laconic/precise justifications can be computed in a reasonable time for entailments in a range of ontologies that vary in size and complexity. It was found that in half of the ontologies sampled there were entailments that had more laconic/precise justifications than regular justifications. More surprisingly it was observed that for some ontologies there were fewer laconic justifications than regular justifications.”

But what does it all mean? One of the results of this research project has been an explanations plug-in for the Protégé ontology editor, see explanation in OWL at http://owl.cs.manchester.ac.uk. This helps users to understand when and why the reasoning goes all pear-shaped through better explanations than has previously been possible. So this is another step toward making building better ontologies with the Web Ontology Language (OWL) easier and less confusing. Yay!

References

And the winner is... by guitarfish

  1. Matthew Horridge, Bijan Parsia and Ulrike Sattler (2008). Laconic and Precise Justifications in OWL Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS Volume 5318/-1 The Semantic Web – ISWC 2008 DOI:10.1007/978-3-540-88564-1_21

[Picture of Manchester United player George Best by Sammy, Best paper prize picture by guitarfish]

September 29, 2008

BBSRC UK Roadshow, Autumn 2008

bend in the roadThe Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is on the road this autumn in London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and Cambridge. Potential applicants, grant holders and any other interested parties are strongly urged to attend and learn about BBSRC’s plans for the future including new procedures and new Committee structures. The road shows will also provide an opportunity to meet the new members of the BBSRC Senior Management team.

From an original email sent by Alf Game, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Group. See BBSRC Roadshows.

The BBSRC has revised its future strategic priorities and the way in which they will be delivered through responsive mode peer review and is holding a series of road shows “Enabling the Delivery of Excellence with Impact” at various locations across the UK. (more…)

October 20, 2006

Manchester Biocentre Launch

MIB: Spot the test tubeThe Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (MIB) is officially opening on 25/26th October 2006. The centre has been about a decade in the making, and aims to be a world-class research centre, with around £37 million (~$70 million) of initial funding from the Wellcome Trust charity, UK Research Councils and others. If you’re looking for a bioinformatics job, PhD, PostDoc etc in the UK, MIB is continuously hiring and looks like a good place to work, if the opening programme (which follows) is anything to go by.

Unfortunately the MIB web pages aren’t quite world class yet, the promotional launch material is only available in pdf format, *sigh*, see references below. So I’m blogging the MIB Symposium launch programme here to put the stuff online. Talks scheduled for the second day of the opening, 26th October 2006, are listed below, and these can be attended by free registration (see references):

Session 1: Bio-molecular machines, 9.00-11.00

Session chaired by Alan North, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences

  • John E. Walker (MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit, Cambridge, UK): Biomolecular rotary motors.
  • Yoshi Nakamura (Tokyo University, Japan): Aptamer as RNA-made super antibody for basic and therapeutic applications
  • John McCarthy, (Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre): Molecular mechanisms underlying post-transcrptional gene expression.
  • Refreshment break

Session 2: Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics, 11.00-12.40

Session chaired by Bob Ford, Professor of Structural Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences.

Session 3: Systems and Information, 13.35-15.45

Session chaired by John Perkins, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Session 4: Biocatalysis, 16.10-17.00

Session chaired by Hans Westerhoff, Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre

  • Nigel Scrutton (MIB and Faculty of Life Sciences): ‘Squeezing’ barriers – a dynamical view of enzyme catalysis.
  • Gill Stephens, (MIB and School of Chemical Engineering): Redox biocatalysis – the next generation of enzymes for manufacturing pharmaceutical intermediates and specialty chemicals.

Session 5: Bionanoscience and engineering: 17.00-18.00

Session chaired by Peter Fielden, Chemical Engineering

  • Joseph Wang (Arizona State University, USA): Nanomaterials for monitoring and controlling biomolecular interactions.
  • Milan Stojanovich (Columbia University Medical School, New York, USA): Deoxyribozyme-based devices.

Session 6: Postgenomic Analytical Technologies, 18.00-19.10

Session chaired by Roy Goodacre, MIB and School of Chemistry

  • Ruedi Aebersold (ETH Zürich): Quantitative Proteomics and Systems Biology
  • Simon Gaskell, MIB and School of Chemistry: New analytical science in proteomics and metabolomics.
  • Concluding remarks.
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