Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2015

One Paragraph on Invisibility Cloaks

This Christmas, kids will be expecting something bigger and a million times better than the latest new toy or piece of tech, instead they'll be expecting an invisibility cloak! (Okay, maybe not this year, but very soon indeed.) Scientists in the University of California - San Diego are working on making a  cloaking device that is "both thin and does not alter the brightness of light around a hidden object." They've basically created an invisibility "carpet" which doesn't change the brightness of light around an object sitting on a flat surface by mimicking  the reflection of light off the flat surface, which therefore   cancels the overall distortion of light caused by the object's shape - making the observer  think that there's a flat surface .   Commenting on their research, Dr Hsu explains  "By changing the height of each dielectric particle, we were able to control the reflection of light at each point on the cloak." Dr Hsu

One Paragraph on Smart Drugs

Modafinil (a stimulant drug normally used to treat narcolepsy, to help people with sleeping disorders to stay awake) could soon become the new “smart drug” according to a review published in European Neuropsychopharmacology. Neuroenhancement is the term used to describe the targeted enhancement and extension of cognitive and affective abilities based on an understanding of their underlying neurobiology. The FDA-approved drug modafinil, has been heavily researched for cognitive modulation in healthy humans, and appears safe for widespread use. Their review on the cognitive effects of the “smart pill” modafinil has found that it can improve the performance of healthy people on cognitive tasks, meaning it can be considered the first of these “neuroenhancement agents”. References: [ 1 ]

New year, new ideas and a New Logo!

I'm starting this second year on my blog, trying to come up with new ways to grow Crystals and Catalysts and create content that you will like at the same time. Starting with: One Paragraph Science..... Starting from next week. Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, I will be posting new news in science but in  a new and different way. This is called One Paragraph Science where I will be condensing down news in science (obviously) to just one paragraph, whilst maintaining its meaning and keeping them, short, snappy and straight to the point. This idea I believe, is a great challenge for me because condensing down a long piece of complex research is way harder than it looks. New logo..? Yes,  I've made a brand new, shiny, more professional logo to go with Crystals And Catalysts. I hope everyone likes it as much as I do. :)

5 Health Myths Everyone Follows Today: Corrected! | In Arabic

In this past year, my blog has been seen internationally in countries I would have never even dreamed of being seen in (which I think is absolutely amazing). My first priority for this blog is to ensure that everyone enjoys reading my new posts and understands them really well. I even have a google translate button in the sidebar. But as we all know, sometimes (or more often than not) google translate doesn’t always correctly translate text in the ways its supposed to be. I'd like to thank a really good friend of mine, who has offered to translate one of my blog posts in Arabic so that my blog could reach more corners of the earth. Enjoy!

Researchers find a new way to cure MRSA

MRSA ( methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus aureus ) is a type of bacteria which is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics, therefore making it one of the most difficult to treat bacterial infections.

Nanotechnology creates a super-plaster for diabetes patients.

Individuals with diabetes mellitus are more susceptible to wounding and often suffer from botched wound healing. Today, scientists in Egypt have produced antibacterial nanofibres of cellulose acetate laden with silver that could be used in a new type of bandage to promote tissue repair. Published in the journal of International Journal of Nanoparticles, the scientists reveal details of the new materials and their properties.

FDA Approves 1st Drug Produced By 3D Printing

For years, scientists have been searching for a way to simplify the way drugs are made, making everything computerised, with minimal human interaction as possible.  Previously I have reported on a new technology called molecular printing, click HERE  to read it first. Now for the first time, the FDA has approved the first prescription drug made via the new and similar technique: 3D printing.

Follow your #DNATrail

DNA. DNA is the delicate and intricate molecule that decides everything about us. Who we are. What we'll look like. And most importantly: our health. DNA is all our details and information stored into a delicate molecule. DNA trail  This summer you can take part in an extraordinary event across London, in support of Cancer Research UK, there are over 21 DNA double helix sculptures scattered across London. They will be up until the Sunday 6th September 2015, then they will be auctioned by Christie's at the end of September. 

Happy Birthday Crystals and Catalysts!

 Happy Birthday, Blog! It’s been a year since my blog Crystals and Catalysts has been launched! I cannot believe its been a year already.

How many sugars in your tea? – The effect of sugar on water structure and taste.

New research published in the University of York shows that sugar has a significant effect in reducing the bitterness of tea and coffee, particularly by manipulating the essential chemistry. Sugar has a strong way of affecting chemical “water structure” and this enables it to suppress the bitter taste of tea. The researchers also look into how sugar is able to change the structure of caffeine – when it has additives and without additives.

Link Found between Depression and Intestinal Bacterium

Scientists have found that intestinal bacteria play an important role in inducing anxiety and depression. Published in Nature Communications , the new research is the first of which studies the role of intestinal microbiota in the altered behaviour that is a consequence of early life stress. Previously there has been little research on this subject. All scientists knew was that intestinal bacterium can affect behaviour, but this was all based upon research conducted on healthy mice. [Definition:  Microbiota - noun – the microorganisms of a particular site, habitat, or geological period.] "We have shown for the first time in an established mouse model of anxiety and depression that bacteria play a crucial role in inducing this abnormal behaviour," said Premysl Bercik, senior author of the paper and an associate professor of medicine with McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. "But it's not only bacteria, it's the altered bi-directio