Reference to Colin Berry – originator of the medieval flour-imprinted model for Turin Shroud

I, moi, Colin Berry, was asked not so long ago to state his credentials as a scientist. That I tried to do (see under the somewhat inconspicuous “About” tab, top left ) albeit reluctantly (not wishing to go blowing my own trumpet!)

However, today while clearing out a drawer at home I came across a reference/testimonial that was written on my behalf way back in 1978 when I was just 33 years old. It was from Prof. Geoffrey Dutton at Dundee University to fellow Professor Brian Spencer, head of the (then) Flour Milling and Baking Research Association at Chorleywood, UK. (In applying for a senior position at FMBRA I had given Prof. Geoffrey Dutton, among others, as a referee.)

Late Insertion (added June 24, 2022)

Here’s my re-typed version of the testimonial you see below. I’ve incorporated it for ‘internet reasons’!

———————————————————————————————-

The University Department of Biochemistry

Dundee DD1 4HN Medical Sciences Institute

Professor Brian Spencer
Director General
Flour Milling and Baking Research Association
Chorleywood
RICKMANSWORTH
Hertfordshire, WD3 5SH 23 March, 1978

Dear Brian


Dr.C.S.Berry
Biochemist/Nutritionist


I am very happy to act as referee for Dr. Berry. I have been familiar with his work for many years, and examined his Ph.D. Thesis. Dr.Berry is one of the keenest minds I have come across, of great critical acumen.


His research record, in collaboration with Dr. Terence Hallinan, is distinguished, and these two have made great contributions to glucuronidation studies, particularly by demonstrating ‘transglucuronidation’ .
His enthusiasm and practical flair enabled solution of the many tricky experimental problems involved. His thesis is a brilliant summary of a very complex problem, the phospholipid dependency of a microsomal enzyme, and his occasional contributions as a referee to the Biochemical Journal are agreed to be outstanding, one of them being singled out for praise by the Chairman: so his communication on paper is of high standard. Communication verbally is good. His initiative is strong, and he is an obvious future leader of a research team. That is precisely what he has been looking for.


I consider he could adapt himself readily to a new field, and one with so many practical problems and responsibility for long-term planning would suit him well. I very strongly recommend him for the post.


Yours sincerely
Geoffrey (signature)


G.J. DUTTON
PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGICAL BIOCHEMISTRY

Here be the original document – correct – a photocopy thereof – one that came to me immediately after I took over from my immediate boss on the latter’s retirement.

I think it’s worth flagging it up right now (but forgive me if I stay silent as to reasons – though some may guess why if they try entering “shroud of turin” into the (shhh…) G**gle search engine – nuff said methinks …).

The interview that followed was successful, btw. (It landed me with my 12 year stint at FMBRA. initially as Head of Biochemistry in the Nutrition/Toxicology Division, later promoted to Head of Nutrition and Food Safety.).

Here btw is a link to a recent paper (2017) by Liu and Coughtrie :

https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/9/3/32/htm

See Section 3 (“The Compartmentation Hypothesis) which comments favourably on the model developed by Terry Hallinan and myself between 1972 and 1978, notably the notion that an important enzyme in drug and bilirubin clearance from the bloodstream is controlled not only by enzyme activity, but by membrane-bound permease transporters. (No, the basic idea was not ours – but we gathered the much-needed experimental evidence in support of the permease concept).

Later, in 1986, while at FMBRA I published my paper on the intriguing “resistant starch” (a kind of man-made dietary fibre, generated via baking etc of wheat-based cereal products etc.).

See the above link on Google Scholar listings. It’s currently attracted 629 “hits” no less – by far and away the most of my published findings, especially significant self-promotion-wise as it was a single author paper.

Reason for putting up this posting? Answer: yours truly is not, repeat NOT, a scientific nonentity! He’s been a non-workshy, level headed experimentalist at his several UK and other work-places over several decades.

His MO has been to check out engaging new ideas, some his own, those of others too, via hard headed, no-nonsense experimental testing. (Yup – it’s the essence of the scientific method, one which gives equal attention to one’s own and others’ contrary ideas).

Sorry. But someone had to say it…

End of main posting. (I may or may not respond to comments!).

###############################

PS: added July 1, 2022:

Here’s an appreciative comment that was added by Brian Burchell regarding his previous partner, Professor Geoffrey Dutton (yes, many years ago):

( My own Comment added as postscript, Good Friday, April 15, 2022):

April 15, 2022 at 8:43 am

The Shroud of Turin makes it to a front-page article in the UK-based Daily Telegraph on this today, i.e. Good Friday.

“Jesus died by fatal bleeding caused by a dislocated shoulder”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/04/14/doctor-turned-priest-claims-have-solved-mystery-jesuss-death/

It’s strongly pro-authenticity, albeit making a passing reference to the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dating (see italicized quote below).

So I shall leave it there…

(Dismiss the radiocarbon-dating if you wish, all you advocates of pro-authenticity . Just don’t expect to be taken seriously unless or until you have arranged for testing of more TS linen samples than the tiny corner sample removed in 1988 – though shared between the 3 independent >specialist dating labs ).

“In the 1980s it was subject to radiocarbon testing which concluded it probably a mediaeval relic. However, more recent studies – conducted in the 2010s – dispute this claim, and instead argue that the linen sheet dates from the time of Jesus.”

Reply

About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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7 Responses to Reference to Colin Berry – originator of the medieval flour-imprinted model for Turin Shroud

  1. MutantBuzzard says:

    Nice work

  2. Colin Berry says:

    Thank you for the appreciative comment, Mutant B.

    Any chance of knowing your real ID? (Sorry to be nosy…)

  3. Colin Berry says:

    Crucial next step (Vatican etc. permitting )?

    Test the TS body image for wheat gluten, using one or other of the ultra-sensitive immunological tests available. Wheat gluten, if detected, would give huge support for my flour-imprinting Model 10 (developed over 10 years of fairly continuous experimentation no less!). .

    Why gluten?

    See my Jan 2017 posting based on existing photographic/microscopic evidence for the possible presence of particulate wheat gluten, otherwise ignored or falsely interpreted.

    ( I tried to enter a simple link to my gluten posting: WordPress substituted the version you see below. One has to click on the posting’s title, or, alternatively, the exceedingly faint “Continue reading” tab below in order to access my actual posting!).

    Might those be flecks of congealed wheat gluten one sees on the Turin Shroud? Evidence for unique one-off white flour imprinting?

  4. Colin Berry says:

    My preferred input of new daily comments, years ago on this site (created early 2012) used to be a somewhat modest 13.

    Yes, the average number has dwindled these last few years (one can but speculate as to reasons)

    Today we are up to 9, with 4 from Russia, the others from the US, Germany etc.

    Who might they be, one wonders, and why?

    WordPress only says which particular postings from the past have been accessed. (One could, for a fee, open a new add-on WordPress account to learn more about those who access one’s site, but I have thus far declined to do so).

    But looking at the main posting accessed today, I have a tiny suspicion. It’s some kind of chat going on among the secretive, operate-behind-closed-doors Shroud Science Group (SSG). (It’s their standard MO, now going for years, nearly decades no less!)

    There’s much I could say about the mysterious so-called SSG, already transmitted, mainly in private, to one or two of its members.

    All I would say for now is this: science, true SCIENCE, does not, repeat NOT, operate in the current SSG’s secretive manner behind its firmly closed doors.

    Come on, SSG . Reveal yourselves for what you stand for – whether real science or, dare one say, pseudoscience, ONLINE? Say what you think in the open. Yes, be ready and willing to engage in OPEN ARGUMENT with anyone and everyone else online ! Rid us of suspicions as to what you really stand for. – real science or mere (pro-authenticity-slanted ) wishful thinking.

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Those who follow this site will know that my final posting (proper) went up in June 2020 – nearly two years ago . I considered I had said all I needed to say, given that I was content with my final Model 10 (flour imprinting /second-stage roasting) to generate the negative (tone-reversed) body image as a flour-derived amino-carbonyl Maillard browning product.

    (This subsequent posting was not to be seen as a new one as regards content – being merely an attempt to stress – for the sake of completeness – my background scientific credentials.)

    So what next, finally, REALLY finally, if anything, at least where this 10 year internet-mediated, real-time reported learning curve is concerned?

    It’s something to which I’ve given some thought. I think I’ve finally hit on the answer, i.e. the best way in which to bow out gracefully, leaving the 340 postings published mainly here, while not forgetting the additional 30 or more on my other websites (sciencebuzz etc).

    What’s needed I think is a list in a truly FINAL POSTING of what I consider my dozen or so most important ones thus far. They would cover two main areas – Model 10 – already mentioned – but also where I think “sindonology” took serious wrong turnings, basically getting lost in a tangle of speculation – much of it wild and totally misleading. (Example: the assumption that a negative image implies some kind of photographic image capture,- whether natural or miraculous – when it can be a product of simple contact imprinting. ).

    Ah, but how does one decide which of the 370 and more postings to select – given that none were written as if final book chapters, polished to perfection?

    I shall start by assembling a list of primary postings, maybe running well over the specified dozen, and then gradually whittle it down – in public so to speak- until I’ve finally reached the essential nitty-gritty – the essential TAKEAWAY MESSAGE(S)!

    Apols then for the experimental manner in which I finally propose to take my leave from the internet. Yes, I intend flagging up my preliminary thoughts, inviting further comments, occasionally slimming them down to end with the final dozen postings I consider summarise my thinking, i.e. the gist of my ideas development leading up to and including my final flour-imprinting model over these last 10 years or so.

    Afterthought (added April 7). “Bow out gracefully“? (see above). Nope. On second thoughts, modify that intention. Bow out gracefully from a publicly-communicated learning curve mode (while hopefully continuing to learn oneself). Revised plan: evolve further by switching to a teaching mode (which incidentally is what I did after giving up scientific lab-based research in 1990, returning to a previous career as a secondary school teacher, preparing mainly teenagers for exams and university entrance in biology and chemistry.

    “Teacher” – note, allowing, indeed inviting questions from the assembled class, as distinct from “lecturer” (there being a world of difference between the two – best, maybe, I stop there!)

  6. Colin Berry says:

    The Shroud of Turin makes it to a front-page article in the UK-based Daily Telegraph on this today, i.e. Good Friday.

    “Jesus died by fatal bleeding caused by a dislocated shoulder”.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/04/14/doctor-turned-priest-claims-have-solved-mystery-jesuss-death/

    It’s strongly pro-authenticity, albeit making a passing reference to the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dating (see italicized quote below).

    So I shall leave it there…

    (Dismiss the radiocarbon-dating if you wish, all you advocates of pro-authenticity . Just don’t expect to be taken seriously unless or until you have arranged for testing of more TS linen samples than the tiny corner sample removed in 1988 – though shared between the 3 independent >specialist dating labs ).

    “In the 1980s it was subject to radiocarbon testing which concluded it probably a mediaeval relic. However, more recent studies – conducted in the 2010s – dispute this claim, and instead argue that the linen sheet dates from the time of Jesus.”

    PS: There are numerous comments under that DT article: some are interesting, some yawn- provoking. But here’s the annoying feature: these days one has to click on a somewhat inconspicuous blue tab at the bottom of comment-inviting articles in order to access the comments. That was simply not the case in the good old days (when this individual used to post occasional comments to the DT’s general features (and many more to its journalistic blogsites, since discontinued – such a shame. These days I don’t bother with the DT Comments facility – feeling they have been relegated to near-obscurity. Come on, DT: reinvent your original MO as regards reader comments – they often (well. sometimes) hit the nail on the head as regards the crucial issues…

  7. Colin Berry says:

    Here be a headline from yesterday’s UK Observer newspaper (Sunday edition of the Guardian):

    “THE $1m CHALLENGE: ‘IF THE TURIN SHROUD IS A FORGERY, SHOW HOW IT WAS DONE”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/17/the-1m-challenge-if-the-turin-shroud-is-a-forgery-show-how-it-was-done

    Sub-heading: Expert on revered relic calls on British Museum to back up results of its disputed carbon dating tests.

    Underneath, the article identifies the individual who issued the challenge:

    David Rolfe: They said it was knocked up by a medieval conman, and I say::well, if he could do it, you must be able to do it as well”

    Identity of said “David Rolfe”? Answer: Editor of the BSTS Newsletter no less (“British Society for the Turin Shroud”!)

    There’s much this science-based blogger could say, given his reported online 10-year learning curve, culminating in his Model 10 (flour-imprinting/heat treatment/final soap wash).
    But he shan’t , not just yet anyway, despite lengthy email correspondence with David Rolfe some years ago, setting out the experimental outcome of his testing Model 10!

    (Here’s what I wrote in an email send to David Rolfe on 21st August, 2016: “The banner of my site shows how a faint, ghostly-looking negative image can be modelled quickly and easily in one’s own home using simple equipment and materials (a hot oven, white flour, oil, soap and water). It displays 3D properties in Image J, as do contact imprints generally, as well as the peculiar microscopic properties of the TS image (half tone effect, discontinuities etc) that I can explain if required to do so. “).

    No, I’m curious to know what others think about that uncompromising headline, one that would have the newspaper-reading public believe that there’s been zero by way of serious research on the part of (accredited) scientific researchers like myself. plus several others over the years.

    I for my part have become a scientific non-entity, indeed non-person, at least where the big-hitter David Rolfe, celebrated TS-fixated film-maker etc is concerned.

    PS: added May 1, 2022:

    Interest is being shown once more in my final Model 10 (details later). For now, I’d simply say this: it focuses – I’m pleased to say – on my final Model 10.

    Here’s a revised form of words that sums it up:

    “Summary of Model 10 – essence. Answer ‘ LEAKAGE – liquified LEAKAGE of heat-generated flour-derived chromophore. into those capillary-transport channels exist between the more superficial loosely-packed fibres of linen threads.

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