Factor X

Bora over at circadiana has a good post about Pittendrigh & Co., in which he states that:

"Reading the old literature (from late 1920s till late 1980s) can be an excerise in frustration."

oh boy, I get a headache even thinking about it. And yet, his post motivated me to go back to my CD of old Pittendrigh papers and read a few 'graphs here and there. Bora's making some interesting points about how the framework of circadian rhythms was brought together 45 yrs ago, while we have been busy filling in the details ever since.

"There are lines of research that have been abandoned, yet modern techniques should make the continuation easy and fun, but nobody is doing it. There are species that promise to be great models for modern research, but nobody is looking at them any more."

Though I'm thinking that's more of a blogospherical polemically-correct expression of that sentiment. There are in fact some who are. I think of Steve Reppert shifting his research to study the migration of monarch butterflies. That's almost directly lifted out of some of Pittendrigh's fascination with the concept of seasonal migration and the internal clock that governs this.

On another note, what ever happen to "Factor X"?!?