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Showing posts from 2017

Book Review: Merchants of Doubt

Book: Merchants of Doubt (How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming) Authors: Naomi Oreskes, Eric M. Conway Published: 2010 (film in 2014) ISBN‎: ‎978-1-59691-610-4 Blurb : The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Click here to read the rest of the blurb... If you are vaguely interested in science and you care about the future of our planet, you have to read this book.  To me, Merchants of Doubt has been an eye-opener.  It meticulously dissects the tactics that went into creating doubt in the public community on issues ranging from tobacco smoke to global warming. The mai

Reversing T2 Diabetes Using Really Low Calorie Diets | World Diabetes Day 2017

14.11.2017 World Diabetes Day 2017 November (2017) is World Diabetes Month and the theme is Women & Diabetes . I was invited to join this great campaign by Krishana Sankar, who has been doing awesome work all over her social media ( IG  and  Twitter ) throughout this month. Over social media you will be seeing a blue circle which is a symbol of the IDF WDD campaign - so look out for it and don't forget to share!  Also be sure to check out my Instagram where I will be sharing diabetes facts from the IDF and Twitter where I will be sharing everyone's updates on WDD. On top of a healthy diet, it's recommended that on average, an adult should fit in 150 minutes of exercise a week.  The reason behind #150mins is based on studies that have shown to maintain healthy lifestyles, adults should be physically active for at least 150 mins per week. This is related to diabetes since people with pre-diabetes and early-onset type 2 diabetes can possibly reverse the diseas

The NHS, DeepMind and a case of mystified priorities...

Next year the National Health Service— the public healthcare service in the UK— will celebrate its 70 th birthday, but will it be the version of the NHS that its creators imagined it to be? The NHS is being pulled in all directions with the government pulling at one side (with its lack of spending) and Big Pharma pulling at the other side (attempting to take the NHS to court over the use of cheaper drugs). So how much longer can the NHS take all of this? With austerity pressurising the NHS into reducing its spending costs on medications, the NHS is turning to new, innovative and cheaper therapeutics along with methods for monitoring their patients. Albeit taking a controversial route with their deal with Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) company— DeepMind .  Does the NHS think AI is the answer to all of their problems? Most likely, yes, because the NHS have placed a mountain of trust in DeepMind, giving them access to a shocking 1.6 million patient’s health data, without thei

The Ghost Writers of the Pharmaceutical Industry: Innocent or Guilty?

( This blog post is an extension/update of this blog post ) There is a huge difference between finding out that your favourite author uses a ghost writer to write their novels and finding out that the pharmaceutical industry uses ghost writers for most, if not all of their scientific content.  Disturbingly, someone else has been paid to write the paper, the scientific research which governs our health and wellbeing has been written by someone else (a “medical ghost writer”) not the author(s) whose name sits at the top of the paper.  These writers aren’t called ghost writers; they have a more professional name: medical writers. They’re anyone with a strong scientific background and are employed in agencies, recruited by pharmaceutical companies to help them with the approval and the promotion of new therapies coming to the drug market.   This is where the problem emerges, we’re supposed to trust Key Opinion Leaders (KOL’s – a doctor/healthcare professional/scientist) because

The Ghost Writers of the Pharmaceutical Industry

There is a huge difference between finding out that your favourite author uses a ghostwriter to write their novels and finding out that the pharmaceutical industry uses ghostwriters for the majority of their scientific content. Who are the medical ghostwriters? These writers aren’t called ghostwriters; they have a more professional name: medical writers. They are anyone with a science background (which doesn’t have to be a background in the therapy areas the agency is working on) and most likely a PhD.  Medical writers work in agencies and these agencies are employed by pharmaceutical companies to help them with the approval and the promotion of new therapies coming to the drug market by providing advice and the preparation of various scientific materials such as slide decks and publications for scientific journals. This is where the problem arises, a medical writer can write publications but will not have their name published on it, and instead, the name of the

Seriously, why do we still use mice in labs?

I was planning on posting a new blog post on new CRISPR results, then I realised 2 keywords in the title: this has been successful in mice . Almost every piece of research that I have posted on this blog has been either tested in mice  or its been successful in mice . Image [1] This got me thinking, why do we still use mice to test everything on? So many new drugs and other therapies have proven to be successful in mice, but when applied to humans, they weren't successful at all.  If you type into Google Scholar in mice, app 3,960,000 results come up. So clearly mice are incredibly important for scientific research if so much has been published on them. The well-known reasons ... Small size Easy to house and look after Adapt to new surroundings easily Have a short lifespan (2-3 years), therefore we can study generations of mice in a short period of time Inexpensive and can be bought in large quantities Can be bred specifically for research (medical trials requ

Reversing organ damage with a single touch...

A team of researchers led by Daniel Gallego-Perez have created a novel therapy which has proved 98% success in reversing organ damage with just a single touch at Ohio State University.  How? The researchers created a new technique called Tissue Nanotransfection - TNT for short.  TNT uses a specific nanochip technology which can repair/replace injured organs, blood vessels and nerve cells.  This is a form of regenerative medicine; the branch of medicine whereby methods are created to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. In this technique, TNT has been successful in converting skin cells into vascular cells (those which carry blood around the body). Published in the journal: Nature Nanotechnology , the research promises to replace damaged cells without any other invasive technique or any immunosuppression as the nanochip technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance. To work its magic, the nanochip is first loaded


Okay, I'm going to state it here first, there are no candy canes involved in the science behind these supercapacitors, it only looks like a candy cane. Scientists at QMUL have found a way to make the charging of phones and other devices much, much faster, with better capacities, more flexible and lasting performance. Current technologies don't tick all of the boxes that have just been listed, so a better solution is needed; that's where supercapacitors come in. Supercapacitors are mainly used to power electric and hybrid cars but they're slowly making their way into other technologies because of their ability to store more energy than the state-of-the-art battery. Supercapacitors are made up of two conducting plates, separated by a non-conducting material which can store more charge at a given voltage. The researchers at QMUL made a prototype of a candy-cane-shaped polymer supercapacitor where the nanostructures used to create the supercapacitor are interweaved with

Coral reefs are not dead... Yet.

I thought I would write something different on my blog anniversary and sort of go back to my chemistry roots and the reason why I did my third-year research project ... to find a way to prevent the exploitation of coral.  Albeit this blog post will be discussing the degradation of coral reefs and how we are very close to losing the beautiful coral structures under the sea.  Coral reefs are undergoing severe bleaching. This has been reported over several years, not just in 2017. Starting from 1998, reports started to talk about coral bleaching, increasing in severity in 2010 and reaching its highest degree in 2017. Corals, which build reefs, are made up of hundreds of thousands of polyps, living in colonies. These polyps build a skeleton made of calcium carbonate in layers, where the polyps live on top (visible to the naked eye if you're close enough) and the coral reef lives on top of old coral reefs a.k.a limestone.   But coral cannot grow or flourish on their ow