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The Corroboree


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Posts posted by Darklight

  1. Nice Fred :)

    It leaves in awe of how finely balanced our ecosystems are; in the lab its always one victor over another... whether thats mold, mites or moths.

    This. Always this.

    Latest one here is to really isolate in time mushroom growing lab sessions from plant growing lab sessions. Even in FP bags actively growing mycelia attracts compost flies/ fungus gnat flies. Not many, but enough to get into the flow hood working area and the flow hood when it's on.

    Once one of them flies over your sterile work it's anyone's guess as to whether it's contaminated or not. So I clump all my myco work at the EOM and then spend the next week or so out of the lab til the ferment flies rack off.

  2. Flavour can only described as bizarre even by Lepista / blewit standards.

    Bizarre like how? Tastes like Christmas trees and aliens? Intrigued :)

    Congratulations! So glad it's going well for you

    • Like 1

  3. Meet SCiO. It is the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand. SCiO is a tiny spectrometer and allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of materials around you, sent directly to your smartphone. Read More

    Am road testing one right now and I'm not impressed. Tho admittedly I still have to run some samples.

    It's not as simple to use as the hype suggests- far from it.

    First point is the 29 page manual. First hint that things are about to get complex

    Second- the documentation is pretty good- but a long way from perfect. SCIO isn't just the unit, it's the interface you set up between your SCIO unit, your web browser and the sampling package. You need to define that relationship.

    Thirdly there's a lot of things which aren't said- or are hidden away from the shiny main pages. Like the fact that the unit doesn't handle liquid testing right now ( tho they are allegedly going to fix that soon ), probably isn't going to be useful for testing medicinal cannabis at all ( spectral range is 700-1100nm ) and it doesn't work reliably to detect compounds <1%.

    I'm not familiar with NIR spectrometry, but I've a bit of experience running a UV-VIS standard spectro, and still the learning curve is way beyond what was implied in the PR ( FWIW I didn't buy the unit, I'm road testing it for someone ).

    Fourth point is the need to be constantly connected online. Not good for field analysis.

    Fifth is that the online forums aren't as well populated as you'd think, given the advertising and excitement around it's release. Which is a tell all of it's own- not as many people seem to be engaging with it beyond product purchase- and there's the rub. It will take a lot of crowd work to finally determine a reliable best-use application for it.

    I reckon it will be something most purchasers find too complicated and stick in a drawer.

    Running samples tonight and tomorrow, will update to see how it pans out

    • Like 2

  4. The professional units can be found really cheaply on occasion. However as mimzy says there are a few caveats.

    Replacement filters are exxy and may need to be factored into the cost. Even in the cleanest work areas the filters degrade over time.

    Moving the units can shift the seals etc possibly compromising sterility. Ideally you would have the unit professionally checked once it is in place, it used to cost about $100 but I'm not sure now. Check with the local TAFE or uni to find out who services the units in your area and ask the company to add you to the visitng list next time they're in your area ( save on travel fees ).

    In a pinch just leave open petries containing MEA or LBA along the full back length of the filter- for 30 sec and 1 min. Label, seal and incubate for 10 days to get an idea as to how well the final filter works.

    The professional units are heavy, and large. Factor this in when moving them- you may need to remove a door and have people handy to help, if the units don't come with a stand make sure you have something suitably weight bearing to get them to work height. Also consider the floor strength for their resting place- if you're working in an old house or an old shed with a flimsy floor the weight could place a strain- try to place it over some load bearing floor joists

    Clean the pre-filters regularly- they are the front line of defence for your final ( and more expensive ) HEPA filter

    • Like 1

  5. My understanding of this is it's not the sampling/ sequencing which is the expensive part any more ( providing you have a competent person and suitable facility to provide a quality sample- even these are readily available these days )

    The exxy bit is getting the sequence data analysed by someone who knows what they're doing. I know a few such people socially and once they started to explain the process to me my head assploded. Mind you last time I checked was like 2011

    Once the day comes when you send in your plant sample and a machine spits the data back at you in a form you can understand ( Echinopsis- yes! ) then we'll be able to get all these tricky taxonomic questions sorted.

    Til then just let the taxonomists flog it out in the carpark, they're a tetchy bunch, it can be hard to keep two of them in a room together ;)

    • Like 4

  6. I know that The Windup Girl won a whole heap of awards & was really popular & all, but I really didn't like it. He had some interesting tech stuff, some of it pretty cool & imaginative, but I felt that he totally ruined it with all the gratuitous sex & violence

    Interesting POV. I found the sex and violence well within context and not gratuitous at all. The first uses for most new technology are often sex, drugs or warfare, and the descriptions of the GM sex worker's treatment well establish the reason for her feelings of conflict and humilitiation without going into overdrive IMO. The oppressiveness of the environment the story is set in are in is well within the possibilities offered by the political and social climate described

    . For a bit of contrast, there's Margaret Atwood's Oryx & Crake, which explores a similar post-biotech/climate-change apocalypse world, but does it in a more Slaughterhouse Five kind of style... I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I actually find all the atrocities to be more vivid when they're not spelled out quite so graphically.

    Ooh I must read Oryx & Crake again, her book The Handmaid's Tale is something I periodically re-read and is brilliant- no idea what the movie was like

    Used to love Vonnegut as a kid, read 'em to death. I'll wait a few more years and re-read

    I don't like all of Neal Stephenson's stuff, but for his take on the nanotech-future, his book The Diamond Age explores what a society might be like if you could just build anything you liked in your local matter-compiler (or whatever the hell they're called). It was a bit more imaginative than his standard super-geek-saves-the-day schtick.

    Stephenson's female characters are getting better, Cryptonomicon was a good book but the main sheila was a bit 2D. REAMDE was much smoother with it's character development. I'll give The Diamond Age a re-read, ta for headsup

    • Like 1

  7. I just read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - slightly dated (you can tell it came out in '92) - but I really enjoyed it; like William Gibson's cyberpunk, but from a very different angle. Funny too. I actually like most of Stephenson's stuff, except the Baroque Cycle, which bored me to tears (I know other people like it though). I really dug Anathem as well - but be prepared to have you mind metaphysically challenged if you read that. Warning - may upset mathematicians.

    Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany - set your brain to the upright position and prepare for mental turbulence! An odd and at times unsettling read, this book may delight or irritate you (probably both). Stylistically interesting though - a writers' writer, if you know what I mean.

    The Eyre Affair, and subsequent sequels, by Jasper Fforde. Quirky alternate-history-SF/fantasy mystery, with loads of literary references and tie-ins. Fforde's Nursery Crime novels are worth a read too. None of them are super serious, but seriously entertaining.

    The Atrocity Archives, and sequels, By Charles Stross. Supernatural/Lovecraftian SF - the bureaucracy of tackling evil from the other side of reality. A must if you have ever been in the Public Service, or had a boss who audited your use of paper-clips.

    Yes to all these. Love 'em. Except Anathem, which made me want to eat my own teeth from sheer frustration at the pretentiousness of it all

    Also: anything by Kazuo Ishaguro. Can be a little frustrating too because he gets inside his character's heads so bloody well, and none of them are perfect. But lyrical prose always gets me and his is gorgeous

    DBC Pierre- yes. Vernon God Little was my introduction to him, I think the only one of his I haven't read is the Borgia one

    Peter Carey- earlier works are more elegantly spare. Later aren't bad, but his early stuff is lovely

    And if you are even thinking about only buying one fiction book this year, get "The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi

    • Like 3

  8. Great pictures- thanks pan! And ta for the link and to dood too for the RTFM/ translation tip ( I hadn't, I did, it was worth it )

    Would you differentiate those from P.viridis and P. carth plants of the same age?

    I have seen pics of P. colorata where the leaves are a much darker green, but that could be variations in growing conditions/ computer screen colour matching etc.

    Would love to see some pics when it flowers

    Nice writeup on an interesting species- thank you

    • Like 1

  9. From Psychotria colorata ranges a big leaf for a 2.5 hour long experience.

    In Picralima nitida the fun at 250 mg begins. A seed has usually 800 mg. Effect up 3 h.

    Nice. What was the route of administration for these? Oral dose? Chewed or brewed? Smoked? etc

  10. A mate has stock of Enzogenol ( Pinus radiata bark extract ) he was considering dispensing to a relative who has mid/ late stage dementia in an attempt to ameliorate some of her symptoms


    His relative is currently on dementia medication.

    I'm wondering whether there would be contraindications for supplementing this with Enzeogenol

    Most of the publications I've found specifically referencing Enzogenol seem to have small sample sizes and aren't found in ranking journals. A few have taken place at Swinburne tho, which gives me a little more confidence than studies at some other institutions

    Incompatible medications for supplementation with Pycnogenol ( another Pine bark extract, in this case Pinus pinaster ) include anyone taking immune suppressants, anyone with a bleeding disorder. Side effects can include increase the risk of hemorrhaging etc.


    Could I be right in assuming that there are similar toxicological profiles in both products on the basis of them being extracts of closely related species?

    Doses of 480mg/ day over 6 months are reportedly safe for Enzogenol http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512006345

    Anyone have experience using or dispensing either product? I'm only working off web searches here.

    My first instinct is to recommend against supplementation at this point on the grounds that a) the relative isn't likely to receive much benefit from the supplement at this stage of dementia as it's a long term option, and B) not sure if there is a risk of increased bleeding if the relative suffers a fall while unsupervised.

    But I'm very conservative when recommending new things to anyone already on medication unless they can be closely monitored for the first few days at least, which in fact may be possible in this instance

  11. I spent about 5 years when I first moved to the subtropics trying to grow various strains of berry I picked up retail

    That was a long time ago, but my advice is don't bother. They were a PITA to keep alive, and that's despite getting a few frosts here every winter.

    Stick with berries which will grow in the subtropics. Atherton raspberry is one.


    They aren't as sweet as the European species but there are occasionally commercial cvs available which are def sweeter- check your local native plant specialist

    After a few years foraging the local ones here I gave in and just transplanted some young plants I found on my walks to my garden

    They're great foraging, low on thorny, and robust

    • Like 1

  12. Hey guys I have been trying to find a timer that can go on and off multiple times a day

    I really didn't think this would be all that difficult but its proving to be not such an easy thing to find

    One I have and still use that fits the bill is a Provalue TS-EA1 I bought from an IRL storefront. Not sure if they're still around, it was years ago but the unit is solid and has 8 on/off settings

    I find the digital ones fail more often, this was a 2 pack maybe $8, spent 25 bucks on a fancy one that couldn't keep time right and just failed after a few weeks.

    Bedofspines is right, digital ones do fail more often.

    Maybe ask on a dedicated myco forum? They'd need more frequent timing for misting.

    I have always dreamed of having a greenhouse with full control via computer haha :P

    Mmm yeah, all that sexy shiny. You still need to check it daily tho. Have analogue backups ready and at hand, shit fails all the time, you need to re-set some things for daylight saving and others will automatically re-adjust. And remember you may also have to set some things differently for seasonality. Misting at 0930 in winter in shade is one thing, in summer you risk frying stuff.

    Personally I'd set up for analogue/ manual first and add automated digital piece by piece *after* you have read and understood all the manuals and added each update one at a time.

    I ran a few semi-automated quarantine greenhouses years back with quite a few add-ons and timers stuck in powerpoints and they went well with daily checks. You can't ever set and forget and expect to have plants for long. Ensure your power points are weatherproof too if you're ever going to use misting systems

    The analogue ones with the timer face and the pointy things sometimes have a web address where you can purchase extra pointy bits if you want more cycles

    • Like 1

  13. Some pears contain ~28mg/kg quercetin according to this

    Love your work, thank you. It was always Buerre Bosc pears too, not sure if that was cos they were the only type which would survive the trip home over gravel roads on the bike, or whether it was pure instinct :)

    Flavonoids as a class are considered neuroprotective [1] They may also demonstrate prooxidant effects which could be therapeutically relevant in some cases

    Damn, of course they are, that being the point of your original post. Sry, am really scattered today, broken sleep cycle for a few days because I've had to reschedule work around avoiding having stuff plugged in while lightning and storms are round. I'm cancelling all my rocket surgery appointments.

    Geez I've gotten soft in me old age

    • Like 1

  14. The quercetin bit interested me, I wonder if this is why I tend to have an inexplicable craving for apples after consuming anorexigenic dopamine analogs. Like my neurons saying 'yes, please' :wink:

    Mmm, Is it found in some types of pear as well? They're related species. I totally used to get pear cravings after anorexigenic dopamine analogues benders back in the day. I assumed it was a gut thing of some kind, but maybe quercetin is neuroprotective?

    No use me googling the chem, it'd just confuse me :D Words of one syllable or less please.

  15. It was always my understanding that the entire plant would be considered polyploid. There could be exceptions for polyploid mutations on a recently mutated section of the plant that was polyploid and the original growth that hadn't mutated was not polyploid.

    There are many cases where transformed/ mutated cells do not constitute all of the cells in an organism, and are held to be chimeric.


    It's why GM teks use reporter or selection genes along with the GOI ( gene of interest ) to ensure that only transformed cells survive the process

    IME in polyploidy under TC conditions, you would clone from the smallest identified clean structure that is checked and confirmed for ploidy, to try to avoid chimerism.

    The NOS tek is cool, but do remember you'd still need to run control/ kill curves. NOS may take away some of the hassle, but not all of it. But hey, NOS :D

    Anodyne ta for the stomata basement scope tek, I've been meaning to look it up and check my mutants, but I've been lazy.

    • Like 1