The happiness of :London is not to be concceived but by those who have been in it. I will venture to say that there is more learning and science within the circumference of ten miles from where we now sit than in all the rest of the kingdom.
-- Samuel Johnson, 1769
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This is a series of articles that has grown out of the daily listings of what happened "On This Day". Many of the events, particularly those related to science, seemed to us to need some more information than is possible in the daily listing format. Still others had amusing or informative anecdotes associated with them that we felt were worth sharing with our Visitors. The series is designed for browsing and dipping into and we have therefore set up a comprehensive system of links to make this as easy and as enjoyable as possible.
This series of articles will present occasional anecdotal, amusing and factual notes behind the people and events in history digests. People are indexed according to their family or surnames whereas kings, popes, emperors etc. are listed according to their regnal names- e.g. Charles Boycott would be found under B, Pope Gregory under G and Queen Mary Tudor under M. Other items are indexed by the most significant word in the title, for example Artificial Ice will be found under I but Sad Iron will be found under S. Within the series there are two sets of links. At the top of each page there will be a table of links to the other indexing letters to allow browsing by individual pages. That also appears on this page. At the bottom of each page you will also find a set of links which will allow you to scroll backward (Previous) and forward (next) through the pages. The pages are looped so the "Previous" link from A will be to Z and the "Next" link from Z will be to A. There will also be a central link back to the introduction page whose main content is an alphabetic list of the complete set of entries. From here, you will be able to browse the titles of the individual entries and jump directly to those that interest you.
Quagga In 1984, the cloning of DNA sequences from an extinct animal was reported. The animal was the quagga, a brown, horselike beast with zebra stripes on the front of its body. It was indigenous in South Africa until it was exterminated by hunters in the early 19th century. Using samples from a quagga skin in a German museum, three scientists managed to extract enough DNA from the animal's flesh to determine some of its sequences of "base pairs," the molecules whose bonding links the two spiral halves of a DNA molecule. The results suggested that the quagga DNA was more closely related to that of the zebra than of the horse.
Quarks The quark is an elementary particle, one of the fundamental constituents of all matter in the universe. They exist in the nucleus of the atom and are involved in the processes which keep the nucleus form falling apart. This gives rise to one of the four fundamental forces in nature - the Strong Force. The theory explaining the properties and function of quarks can seem quite strange as it talks of strangeness, flavours and colours but these are just labels to differentiate between the minutely different electrochemical properties of individual particles. It is impossible for a quark to exist in isolation except, perhaps, at the temperatures which existed in the early universe.