A Histopathological Study of Soil: towards an aetiology of a disease.



“ A superorganism is an ensemble of living organisms tightly integrated with their immediate material environment, so that the whole system behaves and is recognisable as an entity”.
Soil is such a superorganism, a complex physiological system in which microorganisms, inorganic particles, and water act together as a self-regulating entity. In this project soil is explored, as a vital and global scale organ, and the images here are of biopsies taken from this. Much like a histopathologist would use a microscope to examine samples of diseased human tissue to study the manifestations and origins of disease, these images form part of a histopathological study of the microbiological tissue of soil. The images here are of biopsies of the global soil organ, in its healthy and diseased state. In anthropogenic soils, the cells of the microbiome present  in these biopsy samples,  appear to have undergone a malignant transformation, and thus mimic the pathophysiology of cancer.

Bioluminescent Extraterrestrial Message Project (BEMP)


“This is the first version of BEMP, a unique living parabolic antenna for sending electromagnetic signals of biological origin into space”

Throughout history, mariners have infrequently reported witnessing bizarre nightime displays where the surface of the sea produces an intense, uniform, and sustained glow that extends in all directions to the horizon. This phenomenon has also occassionally been reported in ship’s logs and there is even a fictional account in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. There has been speculation that these events are due to the accumulation of massive populations of natural and marine bioluminescent bacteria and one such “milky sea” was corroborated in 1995 when a satellite imaged a glowing portion of the Ocean, the size of Yorkshire, off the Somalian coast. The light then, produced by these bacteria, can obviously escape from the Earth’s atmosphere, and into space beyond, and so a very long time before we developed the ability to do this, bacteria were sending electromagnetic signals into space, and which could be conceivably be detected by extraterrestrials.

This is the first version of BEMP, a playful and unique living parabolic antenna for sending electromagnetic signals of biological origin into space. It sent its first message in June 2015. We’re still waiting for a response!

Park’s Prebiotic Digestives



The baked and finished biscuits


Prebiotics are compounds that induce the growth, or activity of, microorganisms that contribute to the well-being of their human host. By far, the most common examples of prebiotics are those that are introduced into the gastrointestinal tract, where they have been shown to alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome. Typically prebiotics comprise non-digestible polysaccharides that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. When they pass intact into the large bowel, certain bacteria, but not all, can use them as a source of nutrition, and this mechanism has been shown to specifically stimulate the growth or activity of these advantageous bacteria


These very tasty biscuits are packed full with a prebiotic called inulin, which is an oligosaccharide made from long chains of fructose molecules. Unexpectedly, the presence of inulin subtly improves the taste and texture of the biscuits, which is an added benefit. The use of the name digestive, derives from the same name of a biscuit developed by two Scottish doctors in1839 which was formulated to aid digestion. The term “digestive” is derived from the belief that the biscuits had antacid properties due to the incorporation of sodium bicarbonate into them when they were first developed.


Just a small note of caution here. Some side effects have been associated with the consumption of inulin, particularly in sensitive persons, these being intestinal discomfort, including flatulence, bloating, stomach noises, belching, cramping and diahorrea.


The sensitivity of people to fermentable carbohydrates such as inulin falls into three categories. Nonsensitive individuals can consume 30 g/d or more of the compound almost without undesirable reactions. Sensitive persons can consume 10 g/d of the compound without undesirable reactions but might experience undesirable reactions with doses of ≥20 g/d. Finally, very sensitive persons can experience undesirable reactions at doses of ≤10 g/d.



350g butter, softened

140g caster sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

300g plain flour

300g inulin




Mix 350g the softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Next, add 2 egg yolks and a 2 tsp of vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine the ingredients. Sift in 300g of plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined. Next add 300g of inulin and mix to combine it with the other ingredients. Place the biscuit mix in a refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Roll out the dough into a rough rectangle, then use a biscuit cutter to cut your desired shapes. Bake as above for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.



Butter and sugar



Whilst every care has been taken to limit risk in the development, please please note that the author will not accept any liability for problems that arise during the making or consumption of the biscuits describe here. You make and eat them at you own risk.


The biscuits prior to baking