Magnetic and genetic properties of chocolate

My office has started spontaneously generating chocolate.

It’s not that I don’t bring in my fair share of both chocolate and baked goodies, but the chocolates are definitely taking on a life of their own.  The Divisional Chocolate drawer now has a number of regular donors, and random chocolatey gifts appear on my desk on a regular basis.  Cake, biscuits and donuts find their way back from meetings to the desk beside my printer.  Basically, my office is a pretty safe bet for the hungry scientist, and on afternoons when I stay back a little, the procession of people with the six o’clock sugar bug is fairly constant.

(Do I even need to mention that I rather like this?)

A while back, one of my Professors brought me a ridiculously large (1.2 kg) box of Hilliers chocolates, to say thank you for my help on recent grants.  It being International Women’s Day, I sent an email around to all the women in my Division telling them that there was chocolate in my office, and the box was empty by the time I went home (the boys helped too, of course, but they don’t need to be told to look for chocolate – they come by, sniffing hopefully, without any prompting).  I put the empty box up on a shelf, pour encourager les autres, as it were.  One should always encourage  high standards.

Today, a matching box of chocolates appeared next to it.  I have no idea who this one came from, but (as I explained to our main Animal Ethics Professor) it’s nice to have a breeding pair.  It is generally agreed that there are bound to be a lot of little boxes of chocolates coming along soon.  Not being an expert in the genetics and breeding habits of chocolate, I can’t really predict whether the baby chocolates will be homozygous caramel or heterozygous marzipan.

Fortunately, we won’t need to genotype them – if I’ve established anything in nearly twelve years among scientists, it’s that they are very happy to test these sorts of questions empirically.

We’ll just need to obtain some control chocolates so that we can do a properly double-blinded, controlled trial…

This post was brought to you by a very sleep-deprived Catherine whose entire schedule this week was thrown awry by a Missing Cat drama.  Fortunately, the prodigal returned, hungry and dusty but unharmed, after about 24 hours, but it’s astonishing just how much anxiety (and how many laps of the neighbourhood) one can pack into that time and how much one does not get done as a result… We will return you to our regular blogging once we have caught up on our sleep…

I really do have a gigantic (and by now nearly empty) box of chocolates in my office, though.

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2 comments for “Magnetic and genetic properties of chocolate

  1. April 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I’m going for heterozygous marzipan. it rolls off the tongue better 😉

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I must confess, the phrase ‘heterozygous marzipan’ was pretty much the entire motivation for this post…

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