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Open Access Comment

Flogging a dead horse

Mark A Jobling

Author Affiliations

Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

Investigative Genetics 2013, 4:5  doi:10.1186/2041-2223-4-5

Published: 28 February 2013

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

We may live in a global village, and do our research in multinational departments, but local cultural traditions still count. A chilly October morning in the bleak English Midlands, and a PhD student newly arrived from Italy (let’s call her Giovanna) takes a cigarette break outside our building. In the camaraderie of smokers, she strikes up a conversation with Keith, who is taking a rest from the autoclaving. “Where can I find horse?”, she asks. Processing this odd question, via her foreign-ness, he pictures Leicester race-course, and wonders about country riding clubs. But he is wide of the mark. Giovanna’s thoughts are in the kitchen, and when Keith realizes this, the conversation stops short.