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Colin Berry

Colin Berry trained initially as a biochemist, obtaining a Master's degree from University College London and a PhD from London’s Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. Most of his career was spent in biomedical research, including two years in Philadelphia (mechanism of phototherapy for neonatal jaundice) and a 12-year stint at a joint government/industry supported food research association, finally as Head of Nutrition and Food Safety. Chief research interests were investigating via lifespan rodent feeding trials the claims for long-term protective benefits of dietary fibre (DF). A significant protection of cereal DF against colonic diverticulosis was confirmed.

He also played a major role in characterizing thermally-generated amylose-resistant starch (RS3) in cooked starch products as short chain linear alpha-glucan crystallites, and in getting RS3 of heat-processed starches recognized (finally!) for labelling purposes as dietary fibre against determined opposition from analytical purists.

Berry, C.S. (1986) Formation and measurement of starch that survives exhaustive digestion with amylolytic enzymes during the determination of dietary fibre. J.Cereal Science 4, 301-314

He produced chapter 10 (The Glycaemic Index) for the British Nutrition Foundation Task Force on Complex Carbohydrates in Foods (1990), ed. M.Ashwell.

Colin is married with 3 grown up children and 3 grandchildren, and divides his time between the London Home Counties and a modest retreat in the South of France where he pursues a long-term interest in photon-aided skin vitamin D biosynthesis (elevated SW-facing window with nearby well-stocked refrigerator).

He currently hosts three blog sites – one (“sciencebuzz”) on general science issues, one on his four years of experimental research into the Turin Shroud, and one on Neolithic sites on Salisbury Plain, especially the continuing mystery regarding Stonehenge and Silbury Hill.


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Deriv; Silbury Hill, Avebury, UK. Inset, the humble earthworm

Was Neolithic Silbury Hill Designed as a Welcoming Home for Omnivorous, Upwardly-Mobile Earthworms?

Silbury Hill, said to be the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe, looms over the landscape. Yet so little is understood about this enigmatic British site. However, surprising as it may seem...