Author: Emily Woodhouse

Website Coordinator | 19-21 Science Editor | 20-21

The Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has recently announced plans to release contaminated radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the surrounding pacific ocean from 2023 over a course of 30-40 years. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant failed in 2011 following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and it has since accumulated 1.25 million tonnes of water. The water has been used to cool the melted reactors impacted by the earthquake. At the moment, the water is filtered and treated as best as possible to remove any radioactive materials or contamination. This water has been…

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Following the rolling out of Covid-19 vaccines across the globe, many expressed concerns about possible side effects of a vaccine produced on a mass scale in a much shorter amount of time than normal. Despite a low occurrence of negative side effects, the UK government announced on April 7th that it would stop administering the Astrazeneca vaccine to under 30’s following the occurrence of blood clots. This link between the vaccine and blood clots is tentative; it is still early on in the vaccine’s life-cycle, and therefore links cannot yet be made categorically. The type of blood clots observed are…

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have seen international uproar in recent times over the ‘European Super League’ – a breakaway group of Europe’s elite football teams in a closed league for the best (and richest) teams in Europe. Despite garnering international attention and angering politicians, celebrities, and fans all around the world, the European Super League was over before it really began. Just before 11:30pm on April 18th 2021, 12 European team: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid released club statements to…

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On the 18th of April 2021, plans for the ‘European super league’ were announced, a breakaway league featuring 12 of Europe’s top teams in an exclusive competition. Unlike the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League, the teams will not have to qualify for the competition based on the performance in their domestic leagues. The teams of the breakaway league includes the premier leagues so-called ‘Big 6’- Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham- alongside Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid of Spain, and Juventus, Inter Milan, and A.C Milan of Italy. PSG of France and Borussia Dortmund…

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Bioprinting is a form of 3D printing, which uses a blueprint and cells to create organ-like structures that imitate the natural organs we find in our bodies. It utilises ‘bioinks’ of cells and nutrients to create a 3D Matrix and fabricate normal human structures. Bioprinting offers a wealth of possibilities in biomedical engineering and drug discovery. The early stages of drug discovery commonly rely on small-scale tests on human volunteers, which can be dangerous, time-consuming, and expensive. Using bioprinted tissues and organs in the early stages can allow for the efficacy of a drug to be assessed earlier on in…

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Photo by Joshua Coleman It’s the dreaded question most scientists are asked: “what actually is it that you specialise in?”. Life would be so much simpler if a series of very complex ideas and experiments could be explained through a medium that everyone could understand. Interpretive dance perhaps? The #DanceYourPhD, run by the journal Science, ran for the thirteenth year in 2021, covering categories spanning physics, chemistry, social sciences, biology, and the newly-introduced COVID-19 category for the first (and hopefully the last) time. It challenges PhD scientists to explain their area of research through interpretive dance, a medium which everyone…

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Photo by Darren Nunis Following the success of the first 2 seasons of the Netflix original ‘Drive to Survive’, the third season was released on the 12th of March 2021. This season documented the much-changed 2020 season, where the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shortened season, driven almost exclusively without spectators.  The first episode of the show – ‘Cash is King’- begins in Australia, as the 2020 season was supposed to begin. Instead of focusing on racing at Albert Park, the focus switches to the confusion of the teams and the drivers as the FIA continues to state that the…

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Scientists at Bangor University have succeeded in breeding the extinct Welsh dragon as part of a project to bring back extinct dragon species. With the Welsh Dragon having gone extinct thousands of years ago, the scientists at Bangor University extracted Welsh Dragon DNA from mosquitoes fossilised in tar pits local to Bangor. Modern genetic engineering and cloning techniques have allowed the extracted DNA to be amplified, and gaps in the DNA to be replaced and using DNA from frogs to create a full genome. The dragon/frog hybrid embryos were incubated in artificial eggs, and the first successful hatching has recently…

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NASAs Perseverance was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Launch pad on July 30th 2020, and touched down in the Jezero Crater on the surface of Mars on February 18th 2021. 2.5 million people watched the YouTube livestream from NASA as the rover landed on Mars. The control room erupted into cheers when the flight director confirmed the successful landing, and only a few minutes later the first pictures from the rover arrived. The rover aims to search Mars for evidence of habitability. It is searching for preserved biosignatures, which will prove that even if life doesn’t currently exist, it did…

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Woman vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com International Women’s Day, celebrated this year on Monday the 8th of March, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In 2018, data from UCAS showed that 35% of UK STEM students in higher education were women, represented the most in physical scientists (39%) and the lowest in engineering and computer sciences (19%). Between 2016 and 2018, the number of women in STEM in the workforce increased from 802,848 to 908,318- but still only representing 22% of the overall workforce. Throughout history, women have contributed enormously to…

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Photo by Sinclair Davis Footballer Marcus Rashford has been making headlines away from the pitch for all the right reasons. At just 23 years old, he has been named on The Times Next 100 List, being recognised as an advocate for financially vulnerable groups. This follows recognition at the 2020 Pride of Britain Awards, being named as the Guardians Top Footballer of 2020, winning the inaugural FIFA Foundation Award, and featuring on the Powerlist of the 100 most influential black Britons. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Marcus Rashford MBE (@marcusrashford) Rashford has long been committed…

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2021 marks 5 years since the release of the film Hidden Figures, which rightfully demonstrated the behind-the-scenes work of the African-American women who worked as mathematicians, supervisors, and engineers at NASA- including mathematician Katherine Johnson, who John Glenn really did ask for to verify the IBM calculations before launch. Following the success of Apollo 11, which put man on the moon for the first time, NASA estimated it took 400,000 people to achieve this- scientists, technicians, seamstresses, engineers, pilots, and chefs are just some of them. Hidden Figures focused on Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, but who were…

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Image by Sergi Santamaria, Henrik Enghoff, Ana Sofia Reboleira (2020) (CC BY 4.0) Ana Sofia Reboleira, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Natural History Museum of Denmark, was one-day scrolling through Twitter when she came across a photo of a North American millipede shared by a colleague based at Virginia Tech. In the photo, she spotted several tiny dots on the surface of the millipede; she instantly recognised them as a type of fungi. After digging through the samples of North American millipedes in the Natural History Museum of Denmark with her colleague Henrik Enghoff, they…

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Channel 4’s newest drama ‘It’s a Sin’ follows 5 friends and their experiences in London when the issue of HIV/AIDs became prevalent. Authored by Russell T Davies, also responsible for Queer As Folk and Cucumber, it focuses on how HIV was described as a “cancer” that only targeted gay men, and the public lack of understanding in the early 1980’s when little was known about the disease. For example, we see one character wearing gloves and furiously cleaning mugs used by an infected person, and others being locked alone in hospital wards and treated as if they were contagious.  HIV…

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With the mix of family, presents, religion, Christmas stories, and lots (and lots) of food, Christmas may not seem the most scientific time. But what better way to get in the festive spirit than to see some of the science behind the most wonderful time of the year?  Speaking of ‘the festive spirit’, science can tell us why some of us love the holiday season so much. When studying MRI scans of self-confessed ‘Christmas-lovers’ compared to ‘Christmas-haters’, scientists have found different activity in different areas of the brain. One such example is the premotor cortex, which is more active in…

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When the season was suspended indefinitely in March due to a series of positive coronavirus tests in the F1 paddock, no one would have predicted the remarkable rollercoaster of a season that was to come. 17 races, thousands of COVID tests, 13 different podium sitters, and a record-equalling 7th title for Lewis Hamilton condensed into 164 days finally wrapped up recently in Abu Dhabi to mark the end of a crazy season. The season gave us first-time podium-sitters and first-time winners, with the first being at the first race of the season in Austria; Lando Norris was promoted to third…

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