Not long ago, I attended a lecture about cancer biology. On the very same day, a major story about a potential cancer treatment was published in several national newspapers. But this wasn't mentioned once in my cancer biology lecture, on a course supposedly at "the forefront" of scientific developments. In fact, the only time I… Continue reading The Problem With Science Teaching
"Van Gogh, Isaac Newton: most of the geniuses and great creators were not tranquil. They were nervous, ego-driven men, pushed on by a relentless inner force and best by anxieties." 25% of the US population are believed to experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime. So is it any surprise that a book titled My Age of Anxiety became a New York Times Bestseller, and was shortlisted by the 2015 Wellcome Book Prize?
Anyone who’s ever so much as met a teenager will know the turbid relationship between teenagers and sleep. At 10pm, they couldn’t be further apart, yet come 7am, they’re inseparable from their bedsheets. Is this because of their penchant for video games and Facebook which draw their eyes until the early hours of the morning? Is… Continue reading Teenagers and the Trouble with Sleep
“Why does it hurt?” I demand, head in my hands as I read yet another e-mail informing me that I didn’t get the job. If you’re a fan of John Green, you might answer “because it mattered”, while if you’re a presenter for an ultra-cheesey educational TV show, you might say “because of science!” Both might… Continue reading Why Does Rejection Hurt? “Because it Mattered”
We all know caffeine for its benefits as a pick-me-up, providing us with a burst of energy and alertness, whether it's the force that gets you out of bed in the morning, or the fuel that helps you finish that last-minute essay at 3am. Some of us might know it as something that makes us… Continue reading Could Caffeine Reduce Stress?
In the midst of this lovely summer weather we've been having lately, I've spent the last few days hiding from the sun. Yes, hiding, not bathing in its golden light, occasionally rolling over to tan another part of my body, soaking up that vitamin D, but retreating into the shade, covering my ghostly white face… Continue reading Sunshine: Our Best Friend and Our Worst Enemy
Depression is the most common mood disorder in the UK, affecting 8-12% of the population in any year (although statistics on this tend to vary), but still a lot of us know relatively little about it. While temporary negative feelings are a completely healthy part of life, they can become a serious problem when they… Continue reading The Science Behind Depression
No, I'm not talking about intelligence being the key to power and success (that's a different story altogether). I'm talking about the power we gain from our knowledge of genetic causes of disease. Imagine a time when we can all be genetically tested to find out if we have the version of a gene (allele) which is known… Continue reading Is Knowledge Always Power? – Genetic Testing
In their first days of life, barnacle goslings are forced to jump from a 400 foot cliff. Their parents build their nests high up to avoid their offspring being eaten by predators and then leave the goslings to find their own way down the cliff to their parents, or starve. At this stage, the barnacle… Continue reading Today, I am a Barnacle Gosling