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Showing posts from December, 2014

Top 3 Ways to Beat the Cold and Flu this winter!

What is the flu? Influenza or “flu” for short is a virus. Viruses contain either RNA or DNA but never both in one viral cell. They work by entering human cells via adsorption and exploiting the functions of the nucleus, in the healthy human cell, to replicate the  nucleic acid and place it inside capsules called nucleocapsids   which are then budded off and released out of the cell to go onto infect more healthy cells in the body; a vicious cycle.


Happy Holidays from Crystals and Catalysts! I wish your holidays are filled with peace and prosperity through the new year! Mariam- Crystals&Catalysts

The Chemistry of Muffin Making (best muffin recipe EVER!)

It's Christmas Eve, so I thought I'll upload something lighthearted and sweet, just in time for Christmas day. This is one of the most perfect muffin recipes (I've tried so many till I found this one!) and in the end I have put some tips to make sure you get the fluffiest muffins possible.

Dark Chocolate Improves Vasodilation (Yay for lower blood pressure!)

Dark chocolate has many health benefits and one health benefit is that it can lower blood pressure, although there has been research on this before, a new study goes into studying its effect on endothelial cells (responsible for vasoconstriction of blood vessels). At least  30% of the English population have blood pressure and most of them might not even know they have it and have not yet been diagnosed.   The endothelial cells are vital for cardiovascular function and the dysfunction of endothelial cells is one of the most precocious events in atherosclerotic process. Which is the main reason why this study was carried out on endothelial cells and taking the measurement of the  flow-mediated dilation (FMD). The FMD measurement can be seen as a predictor   of the incidence of cardiovascular events in adults with no prior cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The Method  A randomized and controlled trail was carried out, using 30 healthy young individuals, placed into 2 group

Great News for Wikipedia Lovers

We were always warned at university about the reliability of Wikipedia and that we shouldn't use it for guidance when working on projects and/or coursework and we're recommended to use Google Scholar and Science Direct for scientific research.  Because Wikipedia is an open online encyclopedia in which everyone and anyone can edit and add to the pages, its reliability isn't 100%. However the good news is, is that the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) have given access to the chemistry writers at Wikipedia access to their all their journals (gold accounts) so to ensure that every single piece of information on Wikipedia is correct and to update with all the latest updates in chemistry research.  Donating 100 "RSC Gold" accounts to Wikipedia editors gives them access  to the complete portfolio of RSC journals and databases.  Andy Mabbett the RSC's Wikimedian in Residence commented to the Royal Society of Chemistry's blog " Royal Society of Chemist

Don't believe the science lies: Okra water Cures Diabetes

I recently came across a Facebook post, from a doctor on the social media website, allegedly stating that if you soak okra in water and drink it, it will presumably be able to make your diabetes “go away”. Obviously claims like this are difficult to believe straight away, because anyone can write and claim anything on social media and gullible people may believe it; since diabetes affects almost at least one person in all our families and we all wish there was a cure for diabetes to help our loved ones from the dilemma called diabetes. Sadly diabetes cannot be cured, it’s a condition that you have to live with and combat it with regular exercise and controlling your diet and eating habits. I then went on to research and look for any journals to see if there is any evidence for these claims, however the results I got back were very little. I found only three journals. I also found many other posts on websites including ; who do not falsify these claims but

Weight-Loss Surgery Cures Diabetes

Diabetes is a very difficult condition to live with, it constricts your lifestyle, eating choices and almost every thought you have is about your blood sugar levels. An additional problem is if you’re diabetic and overweight. It’s recommended to keep your weight in the healthy weight range as recommended by the NHS, however this is not the case with certain diabetes patients.  Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) is an operation that is recommended for diabetic patients who have severely overweight (i.e. having a BMI over 30-35) to help them lose weight quickly. Not only is this operation cholesterol and blood pressure reducing but it can also lower insulin resistance. By losing weight via gastric bypass surgery, the patient’s insulin resistance decreases resulting in a good improvement on the patient’s blood sugar.  Gastric bypass surgery rapidly has a positive effect on the body’s hormones; stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin which improves blood sugar level

5 Facts about Antihistamines

Anti-histamines are life savers for almost everyone. Around 1 in 4 people in Britain suffer from allergies and most of the world’s population tackle hay fever every spring & summer and others have all year round rhinitis causing sneezing, watery eyes, itching and rashes. Fact number 1: Anti-histamines block the action of histamine in the body. Histamine is the compound that is released during the allergic reaction at H1 receptor sites, which induces symptoms of hay fever, allergic rhinitis, allergic skin conditions or allergic conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eyes). Fact number 2: Anti-histamines have a useful side effect of being able to prevent nausea and vomiting and sedation. Fact number 3: There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation antihistamines:  • 1st generation antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine and chlorphenamine, which can induce symptoms of drowsiness  • 2nd generation antihistamines, such as loratadine and cetirizine, a drowsiness-free and are u