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My First Published Article in Kinesis Magazine

As most of you know, one of my goals is to become a published science writer... and part of that is becoming a reality! With my first magazine article that has been published in Kinesis Magazine (a student-led magazine in UCL ). “More Research is Needed” and Other Clich├ęs My article is an analysis of the use of the phrase "more research is needed" and other paraphrases, where we look at the implications of the phrase and how the 'public' receives that phrase, especially when it is coming from a scientist -- who is expected to know all the answers and have conclusive results... Have a read through my first article and let me know what you think in the comments!

Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now (within science)

“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader” Art and science, although they seem like two separate entities, are linked together with a special bond that connects them together (pun intended). Designers and scientists complete each other’s work, for example, scientists need to collaborate with designers because they need their skills to help them visualise data and enticing methods of communicating science. Therefore, each entity completes the other. During my experience in the medical communications field, a design was an essential part of our final products. Accompanying the medical writers, designers and artists collaborated with our scientific team to create elaborate sci-art which complements the PowerPoint slides or the infographic or a video-visual of a reaction or a function in the body. One of the best visuals I have seen was an elaborate PowerPoint slide showing the connection between diabetes and its effect on cardiovascular d

Science Not Silence

Can you imagine a world without politics? Would the world be a better place without politics?  Or would humans invent politics anyway, if it didn't exist?  Knowledge is power... I try to stay away from politics as much as possible because it's a definite prescription for stress and fluctuating blood pressure. But when it coincides with your life and career, you can't ignore it. Especially when science collides with politics. Both divisions are not exclusive, they both affect the economy, education and healthcare.  During my search through the internet on the connection between science and politics, I found a quote from an article that summarises the link in one simple sentence: "Science is the pursuit of knowledge, knowledge is power, and power is politics" [10] Politicians play a big role in the funding of scientific research and how big a budget is set up for each specific research area. But it's not always about restrict

One Paragraph on Brexit and Science

It’s a time of uncertainty. Ever since the vote for Brexit happened science in the UK has been affected and that’s certainly no secret.  Although Britain is not completely out of the European Union yet, there are a few disturbances which have started to show ever since the results were released. The main consequence was the “burning of the bridges” - the relationship between the UK and the EU has been severed so that scientists in the EU do not feel welcome to collaborating with scientists in the UK. Brexit has even affected the quantity of international students who applied to study in higher education in the U.K this year, with many international students pulling out their places from UK universities after the Brexit vote, leaving many gaps unfilled.  This shouldn’t be a time where collaborating over research becomes a difficult task says Martin Rees in Nature’s micro article. Convinced that independent research councils work better than governmental agencies; he also recomme

Meat, Veganism and Science

Today’s post isn’t going to be a “pro-veganism” rant or anything like that. I’m aiming to provide a balanced overview on meat-eating. This post is going to be looking at meats, their pro’s and con’s and the recent research spreading around them and also veganism and I’ll leave the decision to which option could potentially be the best for your health, to you, the reader. Pros. Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron , zinc and B vitamins . It is also one of the main sources of vitamin B12. It’s recommended that we try to eat lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry whenever possible to cut down on fat and also always cook meat thoroughly. Proteins are complex substances, made up of chains of amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks that combine in different formations to make up the proteins in your body. There are 20 amino acids in total – your body can create some of these itself, but there are nine essential amino acids that you can only

One Paragraph on Eye drops for Cataracts | One Paragraph Science

Cataracts are primarily a disease of ageing. Instead of an operating to remove them, researchers are trying to make a cataract-dissolving-eye drops which can break down cataracts and restore transparency of the lens and vision.  Cataracts can be successfully removed with surgery, but this method is costly, and most individuals blinded by severe cataracts in developing countries go untreated. A characteristic of the condition is the mis-folding and clumping together of crucial proteins known as crystallins. So that our lenses are able to function well, crystallins (which we are born and live our whole lives with) must maintain both the transparency of fibre cells and their flexibility as the eyes' muscles constantly stretch and relax the lens to allow us to focus on objects at different distances.  Scientists at the University of California San Francisco exploited a key difference between correctly folded crystallins and their amyloid forms; finding that amyloids are much harder

What's in your Pumpkin Spice Latte? ( + A Recipe!)

Autumn is easing its way in and the leaves are turning orange and brown hues and the pumpkin spice latte is making a major comeback. So surely everyone is starting to feel it's autumn now.  The PSL is now the official symbol of autumn - forget the weather or the leaves changing colour. Pumpkin Spice Latte Image Anybody who has tried the PSL and tasted it knows that it doesn’t even taste of pumpkin, nor does it have any of its nutritional benefits.   A cooked, mashed cup of it has most, if not all of your daily vitamin A and a significant percentage of both your daily potassium and fibre. Recently, the autumnal drink has been in the news for its recipe, which doesn't include real pumpkin or real, natural flavours. All flavours are replaced with chemicals which make up the flavouring. The caffeinated drink now has pumpkin included in it as of this year, part of the recipe.   In between a yoga retreat and a vision quest, I made a big decision to use real pumpkin. My

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!

Using Robots to Study Host-Microbiome Interactions

Journal: Exploring Host-Microbiome Interactions using an in Silico Model of biomimetic robots and engineered living cells – Published in Scientific Reports. Dr’s : Heyde and Ruder Funded by : National science Foundation, USA Understanding the human body is vital to understanding how the body works and how drugs can interact with the body. Microbiomes play an important role in the regulation of the behaviour and health of its host (which could be the human body or part of it). Within this new piece of research, scientists have prepared an in silico model of a living microbiome, engineered with synthetic biology, which interfaces with a biomimetic, robotic host. They used this technique to copy complex behaviours in the host giving larger understandings of the exploration of inter-kingdom ecological relationships.  The researchers studied two different topologies of information flow, critical for host-microbiome interactions to help us understand biochemical

The Weekly Science News Brief 4 - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 28)

This weeks science news: understanding speech and sleep, fatty diets that harm the brain, fake pills, restricting antibiotics and asthma caused by pollution. Click to enlarge image!

The Weeky Science News Brief Week 3 - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 21)

This weeks science news includes: More reasons to love chocolate, ways to reverse colorectal cancer and also heart damage, and why watching cat videos are good for you! Click to enlarge image!

The Weekly Science News Brief - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 14)

This weeks science news: how being creative may make you prone to certain psychological disorders; sleeping brain cells, and killer nanoparticles.

Favourite Science Book : 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 10)

A book I have read and has become of my favourite science books is Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre. It is a nonfiction book which has been translated into 25 languages. Although this is not a book to necessarily enjoy, it's to be read and receive the message that Goldacre intends to pass onto the reader. The book has a solemn tone but Goldacre is also able to maintain a good, conversational tone and keep the reader interested and intrigued to read more. Goldacre also gives all references to everything he states in Bad Pharma so the  reader knows where each piece of information he quotes came from.  Therefore the book and all it contains comes across as very reliable.  Bad Pharma is extremely detailed and gives a fascinating insight into the pharmaceutical industry. It's simple and easy to read, especially if you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, and does not require any previous study of science or medicine in general. Goldacre does not make the book feel lik

Favourite Science Quote: 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 9)

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie  I personally love this quote because it encourages everyone to learn. Just because you've stopped studying doesn't mean you should stop learning. You can learn new things in different ways, and the more you learn the more you understand the world around you.  I see science communication as a means of getting people who may not know a lot about science to understand it more.  Science communication is a great way to communicate science with everyone with the latest advances of science and also a way of diminishing any myths or misunderstandings people may have about science and health.  << Click here to find out more about Marie Curie >>

The Future Blogging goals: 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 6)

Crystals and Catalysts was launched in August 2014 which makes it almost 1 years old!  I think everyone who starts a blog thinks that they'll be lucky if they even get 10 readers in a day. And that's what I thought when I first started writing and creating this blog.  My future goals for my blog: I hope to make more infographics for my posts    Find a more effective blog theme which is  more user friendly Complete the 30 day challenge   without missing a day Aim to reach 1 million page views by the end of this year Aim to post more in a week

The Future Goals: 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 5)

When someone asks me where do you see yourself in 10 years, I have to take a minute to actually think about the future.  I prefer to focus on the present and planning the present and leaving the future to fall into place. However with that being said, I aspire to pursue a career in science writing.    Science writing is away of communicating science in ways to everyone no matter what their educational background is. Even though I love lab research and conducting my own research project , I love science communication & journalism even more and I hope that one day I'll be writing for a large and respectable science magazine such as Chemistry World / Nature / New Scientist.  What are your plans for the future? Comment below...

The University Project - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 4)

This post is different because I wont be discussing someone else's research, I am discussing my own research. My final year project at university.  What was my project about? The Synthesis of a derivative of Montiporyne E. The aim of the project was to find a simple, fast and effective method of reactions to produce a derivative of Montiporyne E potential anti-cancer drug. Cancer is caused when cells  replicate abnormally  and rapidly to form tumours.  This is because the cell does not undergo apoptosis (the normal programmed cell death) and therefore these affected cells continue to multiply uncontrollably.  Montiporyne E is d erived from a hard coral , named Montipora Sp .  Hard corals have been found to produ ce cytotoxic, acetylenic compounds.  — It is used in the treatments of solid tumour cells.  The extraction from hard coral is expensive, laborious and also hard coral is on the verge of extinction, therefore a more effective method of production was requ