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Parabens

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Abstract This review article talks about what a paraben is, the structure of a paraben, different types of parabens, where we would find them and the health implications of using products containing it. The author also analyses the arguments for and against using parabens containing products collected from various secondary sources by backing it up […]

Other

To Frack, or not to Frack, that is the Question

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To Frack, or not to Frack, that is the Question. Shakespeare’s society relied on wood as fuel but as our society becomes increasingly urbanised, energy demand continues to increase; it is expected that in 2035, demand will have risen by a staggering 37%1)BP. “BP Energy Outlook.” Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/energy-outlook.html.. Currently, 84% of global […]

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The Grand Unification

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The first universal law was developed in the late 1600s. Newton’s law of gravitation published in 1687 states that every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force proportional to their point masses and the square of their distance apart. This made a great impression upon the intellectuals of the era as […]

Biology

We do not live forever

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 Why do people age? This has always been an age-old question of humanity. We all know that we do not live forever and that life on our planet will end one day. Life comes with death, but it is a natural process. It is an imposed order that mankind lives up to.

Until the 1970’s, people did not know what telomeres were and what their function is in our organs. Hence, aging had been a mystery. Between 1975 and 1977 Elisabeth Blackburn, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, together with Joseph Gail discovered telomeres. Later in 2009 Elisabeth Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery.

Physics

On the Relation of Entropy with Gravity

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This paper hypothesizes a connection between gravity and entropy. Gravity, which has not been successfully unified with other fundamental forces yet, is now alternatively explained as an entropic force that is caused by change in information associated with the positions of material bodies. We consider the statistical definition of entropy and ultimately conclude that gravity and entropy are two sides of the same coin and their inter-conversion is what we call ‘time’.

Biology

Development of a New Antibody-Based Diagnostic Approach for the Earlier Diagnosis and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Current diagnostic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases are often flawed as they are often invasive and cannot effectively diagnose early-onset dementia. Antibody-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases are very promising but often lack specificity to certain biomarkers and require invasive methods of administration such as a lumbar puncture. In this study I report a novel quantum-dot (QD) conjugated bispecific-antibody (BsAb) diagnosis system designed for Alzheimer’s disease. This structure is easy to synthesize and displays specificity to oligomeric amyloid-beta (Aβ), which is often present before Alzheimer’s symptoms starts to manifest. The bispecific antibody also binds with a weak affinity to transferrin receptors – thus potentially allowing it to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) via receptor-mediated transcytosis and reducing the necessity for extremely- invasive means of administration such as a lumbar puncture. The CdTe/ZnS QDs conjugated to the BsAb have multimodal, non-invasive MRI and fNIR imaging capabilities and also displayed allow cytotoxicity to neuronal cells. The synthesized nanoparticles composed of CdTe/ZnS with a Gd-DOTA doped silica shell also displayed therapeutic properties by immobilizing the toxic oligomeric Aβ and increasing neuronal viability. These novel BsAb-QD structures display promising diagnostic and therapeutic properties and represent an important evolution in neurodegenerative drug design.

I synthesized a novel nanoparticle-bound antibody for the earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease which proves to be less invasive and more accurate in comparison to existing tests of its kind.

Neuroscience

Investigating the mouse brain for sex differences

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Genes located only on the Y chromosome are male specific and are thus not expressed in female cells, which results in gene dependent sex differences. One of the genes located on the Y chromosome and expressed only in male cells is Kdm5d. In our study, the hypothalamus was compared between female and male SF-1 KO, intact WT and gonadectomised WT mice to investigate the genetically and hormonally dependent differences between the expression of the protein encoded by the Kdm5d gene. Standard immunohistochemical staining on floating brain sections was used to visualize the Kdm5d protein and was further analysed under the microscope. Immunoexpression of Kdm5d protein was observed only in WT intact males, but was not detected in any other groups. This observation suggests that the expression of the Kdm5d protein is both genetically and hormonally conditioned. Further experiments with testosterone supplementation should be carried out to confirm our findings. 

Biology

The Effect of Antibiotics on the Gut Microbiota

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The gut microbiota (also referred to as gut flora) is the population of bacteria that colonizes the human gut. There have been 50 bacterial species that have been described, but the human gut microbiota is dominated by 2 particular species: Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Other species such as Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria, and Cyanobacteria are much […]

Other

Mitochondrial Donation now deemed 'safe'

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Why does this procedure exist?  Mitochondria provide energy to nearly every cell in the body. Mitochondria is transferred from mother to the baby, but if there is a problem with the mitochondria inherited to the baby, then this can result in severe mitochondrial diseases. One in every 6,500 babies born have severe mitochondrial disease which […]

Other

The UK Space Design Competition

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The UK Space Design Competition (UKSDC) is light years ahead of your average after school science club. The challenge is open to all secondary students in the UK, inviting schools to recreate their own aerospace company and respond to a futuristic proposal for the relocation of a space colony. Throughout the year, the schools compete either at regional heats or in an online video competition, the winners of which attend the UK final at Imperial College London in March. Twelve students from the winning team will be invited to NASA to represent UK in the international final later during the summer. We’ve been lucky enough to catch up with some of the 2015-16 winners and technical volunteers to hear about their experiences.

Astronomy

How to Become an Astronaut

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Major Tim Peake became only the second British person to become an astronaut when he was launched into space on board the Russian made Souz TMA-19M rocket on the 15th of December 2015 sparking a frenzy of British media coverage and interest in space travel. What must an astronaut-to-be learn?   Whilst Tim Peake is […]

Other

Food in Space – The Tomatosphere Programme

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In this article, Harry Evett and Daniel Forrest from St Mary’s Catholic School in Bishop’s Stortford take a look at how we’re heading towards growing food in Space – a vital step towards living in space. Space – we find it fascinating yet we still know so little.  Man has dreamt of putting people in […]

Other

The Science Behind Maria Sharapova's Failed Drugs Test…

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A couple of weeks after the Australian Open, multiple Grand Slam winner, Maria Sharapova announced she’d failed a drug test following her defeat to Serena Williams. The drug in question was Meldonium. It was only entered onto the banned list on January 1st 2016. It’s sometimes called mildronate and was taken by Maria Sharapova for virtually 10 years. […]

Other

Contribute to our next space-themed issue!

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 We’re dedicating our next issue to the UK’s first ever official astronaut – Tim Peake! For this issue, we’re looking for people aged between 12 and 20 to contribute articles and more. Click for some information as to how you can get involved with our next issue.

Other

The Brain and Its Frontal Lobes

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 Neuroscience is a relatively new field of study that explores the brain and the nervous system, the great controllers of our body. This article focuses on the frontal lobes of the brain, expatiating on its functions and how their dysfunction could give rise to various psychological disorders. It also deals with the history of interpretations about the brain, as well as technological modes through which scientists can now examine the brain — e.g. the MRI and the PET scan.