#IAmAScientistBecause

Over the past few days the hashtag #IAmAScientistBecause has been all over Twitter, with scientists from every discipline and background taking to their keys to explain why they love what they do. From a constant thirst for knowledge to being able to work with some awesome gadgets, the reasons were all completely different, but the general consensus was that science is incredible, which so many more people need to know!

It got me to thinking what it is that I love about science, and while there are many aspects of biology that I enjoy, for me it’s got to be diseases. Show me an infection riddled leg, a real life ‘vampire’ or someone with trees for legs and you’ll have me hooked. Not matter the cause, and the rarer the better, it’s always been the subject that’s interested me the most.

So, without further ado, I present to you (in no particular order) the 3 conditions that I find most fascinating…  Read More

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Word Nerd

A fact of the day for your lunchtime (while I’m working on an article)…

As a collector of useless information, I’m a great team player when it comes to a pub quiz or a general knowledge round. In the interest of learning something new each day, here are the technical names for some common ailments that have earned me admiring glances from friends, and/or a free pint.

  • Having a runny nose is to have ‘rhinorrhoea’ (rye-nor-ree-ah)
  • A nosebleed is ‘epistaxis’ (ep-ee-stack-sis)
  • A cough is ‘tussis’ (too-sis)
  • A headache is ‘cephalalgia’ (sef-ah-lal-gee-uh)

Use wisely!

A’s to Zzz? Finally the proof you’ve been waiting for

It’s that time of day again: your alarm is buzzing or your mum is shouting at you from the bottom of the stairs saying you’d better get up “RIGHT THIS MINUTE” and all you want to do is roll over, and enjoy another couple of hours of sleep. How is it 7am again and why, oh why, do you still feel like you need to prop your eyes open with matchsticks just to make it through your first few lectures or classes? While teenagers have argued since the dawn of time that earlier bedtimes don’t make a jot of difference and that school should really start at 11am, a study published in August of 2014 has finally provided the backup they needed. Read More

Ebola: Facts Not Fiction

With the current Ebola outbreak featured on every news bulletin and in every newspaper, it’s understandable that it presents a hot topic of conversation, and that the general tone is one of anxiety. With a recent poll conducted by The Washington Post showing that 65% of Americans would consider themselves “concerned” about a widespread epidemic occurring in the US, and over 40% classing themselves as “worried” that they or a family member could catch the virus, it would appear that the public (in the US at least) are under-educated on the disease, or else suffering from a misconception. Indeed, a second survey conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health has shown that individuals with a higher level of education are less concerned about an epidemic or illness to their immediate friends and family, lending credence to the theory. Read More

War of the Micro World

While many of us are aware that antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a growing problem, what you may not be aware of are other organisms that many scientists have considered for decades as a potential to be used against the bacteria that can cause deadly infection. Read More