Tag Archives: Science

A Cure for Cancer on the Horizon

Cancer

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

dna

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.

Principal’s Lecture Series: Professor Lisa Jardine

PLS - Jardine-7

By Niamh Hanrahan

Professor Lisa Jardine CBE is an internationally renowned scholar and, fittingly for College’s 160th anniversary Principal’s lecture, an ex CLC girl. Currently Professor of Renaissance Studies at UCL, Professor Jardine also directs their postdoctoral Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities. She balances these responsibilities with her role as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Professor Jardine founded The Centre for Editing Lives and Letters in 2002, which develops archive-based research projects of relevance to the period 1500-1800 and writes and reviews for many major national newspapers and magazines, regularly appearing on arts, history and current affairs programmes for television and radio. She is a regular writer and presenter of ‘A Point of View’ on Sundays on BBC Radio Four.

Is Space Exploration a Blast Best in the Past?

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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?

Three Men on a Sofa

Three Men on a Sofa

By Sasha Kirienko

As seen in Pegasus Pages (December 2013) and the Gloucestershire Echo (29th January, 2014).

The long awaited clash between a philosopher, a scientist, and an historian took place on a Thursday evening on the 21st November, as organised by the Philosophy Society. Personally, I was very intrigued by the posters up around  College, inviting girls to come and witness “Three Men on a Sofa” debating some of the world’s most difficult and puzzling questions. On the sofa (quite literally), there were three “men” – or rather, two men, namely Mr Stacey and Mr Hoole, and a brave woman who took up the challenging task of opposing two humanities teachers, Mrs Dowdall.

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

stethoscope

(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?

Oogling Over Google Glasses

Google Glasses

As seen in Pegasus Pages (June 2013).

By Rebecca MacKay

Our world is about to experience a technological revolution: the Google Glasses. Many of you will know that the Google Glasses are on the verge of release. They are literally the stuff of sci-fi dreams. But are they necessarily a good thing?

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.

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