Category Archives: Science

A Cure for Cancer on the Horizon


By Emma Bryan

As seen in Pegasus Pages (Summer 2014)

A sensitive topic for many, cancer, develops in 14.1 million people worldwide each year, and this number is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035. Both human and veterinary medicine are affected, with one in four dogs and one in six cats also being diagnosed in their lifetime. However, new medical advances in the field of immuno-oncology could have the potential to wipe out cancer, using the body’s own natural defences. Cancer is essentially caused by an error in the copying of genetic material when cells are replicated. The human genome is about 3 billion base pairs long and just one mutation could lead to uncontrolled division. For example, a mutation in the p53 gene during DNA replication might mean that the DNA sequence is not “checked” for errors, therefore division happens at a faster rate and produces cancer cells.

Blurred Lines: Nature vs Nurture


Emma Bryan explains that the foods you eat, the amount of sleep you get, the attitude you adopt could affect your own genes – and even the genes of your great-grandchildren. (As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2014)

DNA is a brilliant molecule. In just about three billion base pairs, it can code for the (approximately) 250,000 proteins in the human body, as well as the three types of RNA required to synthesize these proteins. But if the genome itself wasn’t clever enough, attached to every DNA molecule are sets of chemical “tags” that determine the extent of coiling of the DNA molecule, and therefore which genes are expressed and which proteins formed. Collectively, they are known as the epigenome.

Fresh News From Environ Soc

Enviro Group-4

By Alice Chambers

It is undeniably true that the environment is a difficult topic to investigate. Whether you live in the rural countryside or the bustling town, the seriousness of the issue is slowly amplifying. Yes, it is easy to neglect these problems by sweeping them under the carpet as another crisis that the government must deal with that could not possibly concern the individual. Who wants to listen to another teacher or politician bore on about the inevitable future that our world must confront?  We have all had enough. It is starting to become tedious. However comforting it would be to ignore our deteriorating world, sadly it is impossible now to close our eyes.

Is Space Exploration a Blast Best in the Past?


By Francesca Speke

(As seen in Pegasus Pages, December 2013)

Ever since the Babylonians’ identification of the planets in our solar system, man has been both enthralled and perplexed by the seemingly never-ending expanse that surrounds us. We have made it our mission to familiarise ourselves with the massive space that envelopes us, to assert the human race onto every possible place we see fit. However, with billions of dollars being spent on space research annually, there comes a point when one must ask the question: what is it all for?

Why Do We Yawn?

baby yawning

(As seen in Pegasus Pages, June 2013)

Winner of Journalism Society’s Science Article Competition: Sophie Wand

Let’s face it, school can sometimes be tiring. As it is the end of the term, I have recently been yawning quite a lot (much to my teachers’ dismay) and just thought, ‘Why?’ It may not be something that people often think about but we do it every day of our lives, and in most of our maths lessons… So, why do we yawn?

Mumbles of a Medic: No Pain, No Gain


(As seen in Pegasus Pages, June 2013)

Mumbles of a Medic, by aspiring medic, Sahaj Kaur

‘The pain is there to help you; stop moaning’

This was a stimulus for a previous BioMedical Admissions Test essay question and it got me thinking, to what extent is this statement true?

Autism is Misunderstood

Child drawing

By Mimi Prickett

As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2013.

Many people are under the misconception that an autistic individual is one who is socially awkward and has a particular special talent such as excellence in maths, drawing or piano playing. Yes, often someone with autism finds large gatherings of people, and social occasions very challenging, however, only about one in ten exhibit special talents. Someone with learning disabilities is perhaps thought of as an individual who cannot read or write and an individual who behaves like a child. The spectrum of learning disabilities is vast, ranging from mild difficulties with numeracy and literacy, to an individual with multiple and profound learning disabilities who cannot speak or move voluntarily. Perhaps it is time for us to revise our views of these particular stereotypes along with discussing the science behind these conditions.

Mumbles of a Medic: Antibiotic Resistance – Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Superbugs Bite

Vibrio Vulnificus Bacterium

Column by aspiring Medic. student, Sahaj Kaur

As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2013.

Without meaning to sound like a hypochondriac, I must say that I do agree with the Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, when she warns that the problem of antibiotic resistance is more grave and more dangerous than we would all like to admit. She calls it a ‘ticking time bomb’ and says it should be placed on the National Risk Register as high as threats such as Climate Change and terrorism. Even though the words ‘antibiotic resistance’ don’t elicit the same chill and cold fear that natural disasters or atomic bombs do, it must still be feared. It is a secret killer, only just emerging from its cocoon. An example of the ‘superbugs’ that antibiotic resistance has yielded is MRSA which kills almost 19000 people every year; this mortality count is much higher than other conditions such as HIV/AIDS. Scared yet? If not, keep reading and I promise this is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Quantum Mechanics for Dummies: Schrödinger


In the final instalment of the enlightening Quantum Mechanics for Dummies series, Georgie McDonald talks to us about a certain kitty who meows close to every Physicist’s heart.

As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2013.

Schrodinger’s cat is the celebrity cat of the Physics world, whether you are a theoretical physicist or not. Although most of us have probably heard of this experiment, you may not know what it actually means, and how it makes the quantum world even crazier.

Mumbles of a Medic: No to Hopkins, Yes to Free NHS


Column by aspiring med. student, Sahaj Kaur

Comments on the news:

‘Viewpoint: Katie Hopkins on NHS eating, smoking and drinking costs’

The BBC on 21-11-2012.

Editor’s summary: Katie Hopkins (former Apprentice contestant) argues that people who live unhealthily, eating, drinking, and smoking more than is good for them, should be paying more to the NHS, rather than the taxpayer. She calls for more payments for some health services.

A few months ago, I was happily browsing on the BBC Health News website (I’d recommend it for anyone seeking to keep up to date on the riveting world of medicine, you may even be one of the first to know about the 569th new flu jab!) when I came across this:

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