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No. 32 May 24, 1992
Address: aceska at cue.bc.ca
COMING EVENTS IN VICTORIA, B.C.
June 3, 1992 - Swan Lake Nature Centre, 7:30 p.m.
Richard Hebda: "Model green city - Victoria"
June 16, 1992 - Newcombe Auditorium, 8:00 p.m.
Ron McBeath (Edinburgh Botanic Gardens):
"Plant hunting in China" - cost $5.00
ALASKA SPHAGNUM WORKSHOP
From: Stephen S. Talbot (c/o Sandra Talbot <ftslt at alaska.bitnet>
A three day workshop on Sphagnum identification will be conducted
by Dr. Richard Andrus, SUNY, Binghamton, NY, in Anchorage Alaska
on July 22-24, 1992. Cost is $140.00. Make checks payable
to the Alaska Native Plant Society, P.O. Box 141613, Anchorage,
AK 99514. Enrollment is limited to 12 individuals.
Contact: Stephen Talbot, USFWS, at 907-786-3381 or
Sandra Looman Talbot, ftslt at alaska.bitnet
for additional information.
HYPHOLOMA TUBEROSUM IN AUSTRALIA
From: The Mycologist 6(#1): 11,12. 1992.
An interesting mushroom - Hypholoma tuberosum - was first
described from mulch beds and compost files in Vancouver
by Scott Redhead and Paul Kroeger (Mycotaxon 29:
457-465). About at the same time, sclerotia of this fungus
was found in the peat and soil mixture in a nursery in
Sydney, Australia. Abundant fruiting Hypholoma tuberosum
in the sandy margins of the Georges Creek in Sydney were
observed in April 1990. There are numerous commercial
propagating nurseries in the vicinity of Georges Creek.
Some interesting questions arise from the discovery of
this agaric. What are its natural habitats? What role the
sclerotia play in its biology? What is the connection
between Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia?
IBERIS UMBELLATA ON NANOOSE HILL, VANCOUVER ISLAND
From: A. Ceska <aceska at cue.bc.ca>
On May 16, 1992 the Botany Group of the Victoria Natural
History Society made a field trip to Nanoose Hill. Gary
Shearman came across a small annual crucifer that turned
to be Candytuft, Iberis umbellata. This a garden plant
originating from the Mediterranean region.
From: The Economist May 9th-15th, 1992
The Economist brought a nice review of the recent advances
in taxol research. This anticancer drug is obtained from
the bark of Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia) which is
a relatively rare tree. Promising trials have created a
great need to increase the supply of taxol. There are
three different ways to do this: make it, grow it or find
a new wild source.
Making taxol is stretching chemists to their limits.
Pierre Potier, of the Chemical Institute of Natural
Substances in Gif-sur-Yvette, France starts with baccatin
III (found in leaves of European yew trees) and produced
taxotere, similar to taxol, more soluble in water and
possibly even more effective than taxol.
Growing taxol in tissue or cell cultures has been achieved
by ESCAgenetics, of San Carlos, California, and Phyton
Catalytic of Ithaca, New York. Both companies are
extremely cagey about the conditions they use, but they
believe that they can start turning taxol by the
kilogramme sometime next year.
Harvesting taxol from a better natural source might be the
best solution. Himalayan yew trees (Taxus wallichiana)
accumulate taxol in their needles. Needles are harvestable
and renewable, Himalayan yew trees are abundant and the
people who would collect the needles would not demand
North American wages for doing so.
LOOKING FOR AN INFORMATION SOFTWARE
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska at cue.bc.ca>
I am looking for the replacement of REFERENCE FILE,
the MS-DOS program I have been using for handling my
bibliographies, address books, gazetteers, notes,
collection lists etc. This program has the following
1) Variable field length.
2) User definable fields that can be indexed for fast
3) The program is memory-resident (TSR), i.e., the
data can be accessed from any application, including
the communication software.
The REFERENCE FILE (once distributed by the Reference
Software Ltd. - producers of the popular style checker
GRAMMATIK) does not work with 286, 386 or 486 IBM PC systems.
WHAT IS BEN ?
From: Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
BEN, obs. pres.ind., subj. pl. and inf. of Be, v.