A Friday butterfly

Alison Campbell Feb 19, 2016

Occasionally it’s nice to just post a pretty picture. This is one that I took back in July 2015, while we were in France. We’d gone to visit the ruins of of an old Cathar castle called Peyrepertuse and there, on one of the scraggly plants growing on a patch of gravel by the side of the track, was this … Read More

The Budwig protocol – help, help, it’s being repressed

Alison Campbell Feb 17, 2016

A friend recently pointed me (via donotlink – well done, Nicky!) at a post on healthnutnews (which reads a bit like an offshoot of – this, it turns out, is hardly surprising). It’s a while since I’ve read anything so full of total nonsense – well, a few days, anyway!  The post, by one Erin Elizabeth, is … Read More


Profs, publications, & social media

Alison Campbell Feb 14, 2016

A while back, my Twitter feed brought up a post with the intriguing title “Prof, no-one is reading you“. The article kicks off with the following provocative statement:  Many of the world’s most talented thinkers may be university professors, but sadly most of them are not shaping today’s public debates or influencing policies. Now, them’s fighting words, but the … Read More

Is it a drone? Is it a giant mozzie?

Alison Campbell Feb 12, 2016

No, it’s one of New Zealand’s big dragonflies, most probably the bush dragonfly Uropetala carovei, and colloquially known as the “Devil’s darning needle” (presumably because of their colour & size). And indeed, they are large creatures, as you’ll see from the photos. The adult dragonfly is the biggest dragonfly in NZ at nearly 90mm long, and with wings spanning … Read More

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The bedbug genome and their bloody habits

Alison Campbell Feb 09, 2016

Once upon a time, I wrote about traumatic insemination in bedbugs. (Those of my friends who are still traumatised by learning about the reproductive habits of various slug species may not wish to follow that link.) Now, two papers just published in Nature Communications describe the results of sequencing & examining the genome of the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius. Read More


Just how small can a small snail be?

Alison Campbell Feb 03, 2016

When I was a kid I used to collect shells on the beach – got my Girl Guides ‘collectors’ badge & everything 🙂 So I really enjoyed reading this post over on Sciblogs NZ. And that in turn reminded me of an article I saw recently on microsnails. According to that article, “Microsnail” is the term for the … Read More

the strange s*x lives of leopard & banana slugs

Alison Campbell Jan 30, 2016

Following on from the private lives of snails, I bring you: slugs! (The first part of this post is largely a repost of something I wrote back in 2009.)   Leopard slugs, like other terrestrial slugs & snails, are hermaphrodites. They produce both eggs & sperm, but must exchange sperm with another slug in order to … Read More