Tag Archives: Science

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:

Quantum Mechanics for Dummies: Thomas Young


Georgie McDonald returns to confuzzle our brains (or unfuzzle, if you are scientifically inclined). Be warned ― it’s not for the easily mindblown!

I previously told you about Einstein’s theory of ‘spooky action at a distance,’ which might have left your brain in a tangled mess. So, to get your brain back in gear for the next article in this series, here is a riddle:

I am the first you ever saw, what greets you every morning, and what goes out in the end. What am I?

Mumbles of a Medic: Work Experience – Is it Worth It?


Column by aspiring med. student, Sahaj Kaur

As seen in Pegasus Pages (December 2012).

As the scary prospect of university applications looms for SFC1, it’s time for everyone to start thinking about Work Experience (especially Medics and Vets). The holidays are precious and ‘golden’ time for all of us, so in a way it may seem irksome to spend a whole week doing Work Experience. 

The Science Behind Religion?

Science and Religion

As seen in Pegasus Pages (December 2012).

Recent advances in neuroimaging and neuroscience have led experts in the field to question if the circuitry in our brain is directly linked with the belief in God. Minty Htun and Shree Ganguly investigate the science behind this idea. 

Much of the evidence that complements this theory comes from clinical research into Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE). This type of epilepsy is different from the common perception, where someone has a powerful involuntary contraction of muscles in their body, as TLE only occurs focally in one specific region of the brain – the temporal lobe. In this case, seizures present themselves as cosmic experiences entailing bright lights, mysterious voices, and powerful presences.

Quantum Mechanics for Dummies: Einstein

Albert Einstein
By Georgie McDonald

As seen in Pegasus Pages (December 2012).

Have you ever wondered what an electron is, or if the atom is really the smallest thing on earth? Well, quantum mechanics is the study of sub atomic particles and, believe it or not, there are particles that are smaller than electrons and even particles that make up protons. The craziness doesn’t stop there; quantum mechanics breaks any law that you were taught in primary school and even at GCSE level. Forget Newton, let’s enter the world of Einstein, Young, and Schrödinger.
In the first article of this series, Georgie McDonald takes a look at Einstein.

Reversal of Obesity?

By Ellen Liew

As seen in Pegasus Pages (December 2012).

In the UK, approximately 22% of men and 24% are obese, causing them to have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and numerous other health complications.

However, excitingly, a team of scientists from the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Centre have recently managed to reverse obesity in mice. The question is: will the same cure work for humans?

The Rampage of the Zombie Ant

fire ant

By Georgie McDonald

It’s at this time of year, when the skies are dark and ominous and the gales rattle our windows at night, that the horrific story of an innocent fly and a biting fire ant comes out of the shadows. Fire ants have a bad public persona as they are one of the 285 species of stinging ants worldwide. Although they are not commonly known to kill humans, unless the victim is highly allergic to the venom, they are branded the most vicious ants in the world. The Queen is the largest ant of the colony and can produce up to 3,500 eggs in a single day, which is roughly 9 million fire ants in her life time. Now it certainly would be unfortunate to come across ferocious biting ants in those numbers.

Mumbles of a Medic: The Saviours of a Failing Healthcare System


Our new Doctor-to-be columnist, Sahaj Kaur, shows her gratitude to the overworked, tired doctors, who, despite having to deal with the daily stress of the government’s cuts, still love the work that they do and inspire younger generations.

The detrimental effects on our National Health Service from the inconsiderate cuts and spending by the coalition government are unquestionable. The NHS is increasingly falling into the clutches of the private sector due to the constant cuts to hospital funding; Andy Burnham ‘vows’ to stop this process if Labour gains power but we’ve already seen how strong David Cameron’s promises have held up. Hospitals face cuts to their funding and resources, whereas the numbers of patients they treat are growing at an alarming rate. This is an obvious recipe for disaster, the effects of which are already being felt by many.

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