It seems I have to postpone my hiatus a couple of hours, because this came just in my mailbox:
As the United Kingdom prepares for the wedding of its future king – along with the celebrations around the extra public holiday that it brings – the marriage of William Mountbatten-Windsor (Homo sapiens) and Catherine Middleton (Homo sapiens) has made a rare appearance in the scientific literature.
In the latest issue of Cell editor Robert Kruger looks at similarities between the royal couple and recent biological developments.
“Although few can relate to William’s particular challenge of searching for a future bride amidst such an overwhelming number of would-be princesses, his problem was reminiscent of a dilemma that confronts transcription factors, which must scan extraordinarily long stretches of DNA to find appropriate targets at which to initiate gene expression,” Kruger notes.
Kruger also touches on the edgy ground of beheading, noting that one previous bearer of the name Queen Catherine met a nasty end with the literal loss of her head. However, he adds, for some species such travails are not fatal. Certain polyps can regenerate head structures after being sliced in half, due to the morphogenic protein Wnt3.
His piece goes on to discuss recent research on the ‘royal jelly’ that bees use to transform some larvae into queens, which reminds the author of Middleton’s rise from the English middle-class to the lofty status of royal. It also explores the biochemical factors underpinning monogamous relationships, which rather suggests the author is unaware of much of the recent literature and discussion on British royal marriages.
I’m not….exactly sure if I’m supposed to roll on the floor shaking with laughter or be worried about where tax money is going, if even science hits up on this. Because…well. No. The royal jelly (isn’t there a L’Oreal shampoo? Gelee royal? Didn’t they say it was the bee queen’s must have, too? I seem to recall tv commercials way back in the day when I used to own a tv). Yes. Indeed. *shudder*