Christmas is a time for eating, and with a two-week break from the lab, I can relax and do a lot more cooking and baking than I normally do. And I can’t prepare anything without offering a silent prayer of thanks for the chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, who was mucking around early last century trying to work out protein synthesis and ended up elucidating the chemical reaction that makes food taste wonderful after being heated.

Don’t ask me for the details, I’m just a biologist.