Tuesday, June 30, 2015

End of Month Review - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 30)

This is also coincides with my 100th post!  Yay!

Today is finally day 30 of the 30 Day Science Blog Challenge. You can read the rest of the months posts here.

Just under two months ago I came up with the idea to prepare a 30 day blogging challenge for science bloggers. planning it wasn't easy, but I tried to make all the topics universal to science bloggers, so that anyone can join in at any time. The goal was to post consecutively for  30 days, responding to the topics given here.  So now that this is my 30th and final blog post in the challenge, how did I do and how did I find this challenge?

What made this blog so challenging?

Apart from a little technical glitch in May (read about it here) , which caused me to delay the challenge till June, the 30 day challenge was easy at times and difficult at other times. I think the hardest posts to prepare were the "controversial topics in science" posts since I had to decide on a topic that was controversial, and would please the readers (which is you!). Now both topics I chose, obviously, had a lot of research and opinions about them, which made me feel so overwhelmed like I was under a sea of research! I spent several hours reading a picking the journals and posts I will be using to back up my post for that day, before I could think of planning / writing the post. (To read them click here and here)

What did I enjoy about this challenge?

I enjoyed each and every topic I wrote about. Each topic is different and I could write about them in my own way or make an infographic instead. I enjoyed preparing each day and clicking that publish button when I had finished the post, keeping up with all 30 days. I'm glad I didn't miss any of the 30 days.

What can I take away from this challenge?

  1. If you put your mind to something you can do it-  Posting 30 days was much more challenging than planning the challenge itself (which took a lot of redrafting), but I was dedicated to posting all 30 days on time without any breaks or hesitations. 
  2. Being organized is the key to success (in my case)- When you have everything planned out, from the pan of the blog post, when you'll be writing it (or typing it), you'll find everything falls into place without any faults or delays, as long as you keep to your schedule.
  3. Writing and posting daily is difficult but rewarding.- Sometimes you get the dreaded writers block, and you don't know what to write and it eels like your brain is a blank A4 piece of paper. It definitely adds to the difficulty of the challenge but once you get over that hurdle and start writing, you start to feel the rewards.
  4. I've discovered more science bloggers - When preparing my "Favourites of the Month" I did a little search for science bloggers, where I found a lot of science bloggers, old and new (NEW to me blogs:  Conical Flasks and Dreams & Sassy Science ) 
  5. Perfection isn't always important - When your tight for time there isn't as much time for perfection. Most of the time I love to edit and re-edit my post till it's perfect in my eyes, which takes a really long time; but posting daily taught me that not everything has to be 100% perfect and publishing in time is better than missing a day due to over-perfectionism. 

What do you need to have to do this challenge?

You need all four main things: Perseverance, Organization, Patience, Dedication 

I think all 4 words speak for themselves. 

Thinking of joining the challenge? Go for it! It's a great challenge where your readers can get to know you a little bit more and it's really motivating and you can also grow your writing skills and your blog. 

- M

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Monday, June 29, 2015

My Plans for Next Month - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 29)

I can't believe that the 30 days I had planned are almost coming to an end. I had been planing this project since May and I couldn't wait to start it. Its now already 29th June and we're 29 days into the challenge. Time flies when your having fun. :)

Now that the 30 day challenge is over I now have to plan for the future months on this blog. Since the 30 Day challenge recieved a great response I think I will make it a yearly thing. It will be really interesting to see how my responses change to the topics next year.  But in regards to next month I will be...

...Returning to #SOTW Scientist of the Week...

SOTW  is posted every Friday, where I give a condensed profile of a scientist that may be famous or not.  You can check out the previous ones here.
Let me know, in the comments section below, if you want me to construct a profile of a scientist that may not be well known and you'd like to find out more about them.

...Posting frequently during the week...

I'm hoping to be more organized and plan more posts throughout the week and post more frequently than two posts a week a long with that weeks SOTW. If you want to see a post on  how I plan my posts, comment below. :)

...Coming up with new ideas and projects for my blog...

I've enjoyed working on the 30 Day science Blogging Challenge, and I hope you've enjoyed reading it too. It's encouraged me to think and initiate more projects and ideas on my blog, so check this space! (and follow me on twitter if you haven't already @CrystalsandC  to get all the latest updates)

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Weekly Science News Brief 4 - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 28)

This weeks science news: understanding speech and sleep, fatty diets that harm the brain, fake pills, restricting antibiotics and asthma caused by pollution.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Controversial Topic In Science 2: Alternative Medicine - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 27)

For the second day, discussing a controversial topic in science I will be reviewing the efficiency of Alternative medicine.

But to what extent can we trust alternative medicine?

First of all, what is alternative medicine?

Alternative method contains the practice of: acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy. All of these techniques had not been proven by scientific methods.  

The reason why it’s so popular is due to the power of anecdotal evidence. For example, you can hear from a friend that alternative treatment helped improve their back pain. At first, this may seem as the treatment works and you’ll want to try it. But you have to remember that the experience of a single person doesn’t prove that a treatment works the same for everyone. Sometimes the body gets better on its own or via a placebo effect, giving rise to the “it worked for me” response and encouraging more people to follow in their footsteps.  


Contrary to what the popular opinion is about alternative medicine, there is a lot of new research proving that there are some methods used to combat pain using alternative medicine that are efficient and it’s been scientifically proven that they work.

One study, published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, looks at the effects of the so-called acupuncture meridian system (AMS) which is a key concept of Traditional Chinese Medical Science (TCMS). This is a natural network formed by the tissue space that connects human viscera and skin. In this study, a new hypothesis presents that the AMS is an auxiliary respiratory system. The AMS collects the CO2 that is produced by tissue supersession and that cannot be excreted via blood circulation, and discharges the CO2through the body's pores, consequently preventing a pressure increase in the internal environment. Therefore, local blood circulation will not be blocked, and the body will remain healthy. As well as neuroregulation and humoral regulation, AMS regulation is an important method of physiological regulation. 

Although some of the experimental data provided has evidence supporting their new hypothesis, further studies are needed to prove it. Besides, based on the existing data, AMS is expected to have a bright future.

Through another study, published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, acupuncture has been used to relieve cancer symptoms.  Small amount (21%) of patients reported nausea, which was significantly reduced after the first session, but not the last session. Reductions represented clinically meaningful differences in 33–41% of patients after the first session and in 41–53% of patients after the last session for all symptoms, except nausea. A small subset of patients (0–8%) reported worsening symptoms after acupuncture. The majority were satisfied with the treatment. 

 The Honest Placebo...

This may not be alternative medicine, because it is still under scientific trials, but this piece of new research opens many doors to understanding how the human body treats itself. Scientists (Ted Kaptchuk and Kevin Fontaine) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have found an amazing discovery with placebo pills.

Here’s what they did:

         I.       Find people in pain (in this case people with IBS-Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
      II.      Enrol them in the study
    III.     Admit to them, that they cannot do anything to help them
    IV.      Give half of the test group a placebo pill and the other half nothing.
      V.        Tell the participants exactly what they’re doing

The weirdest thing is: it works!!!! To everyone's surprise, the treated group (the ones who received the fake pills) reported twice as much improvement as the untreated control group (the ones who didn’t get any pills). We all know that placebo pills are used in chemical trials to see if the tested drug works, and that the participants in the study aren’t meant to know whether they are taking a placebo or not.  But in this trial the patients all knew that they were taking fake pills. A surprising discovery.

So how does it actually work?

"We believe there's some element of classical conditioning going on," Fontaine said. "Throughout your life, you take a pill and you see an effect. You take an aspirin, for instance, and it takes away your headache. There's an association there in your mind, and the idea is that the ritual of taking pills may actually produce a beneficial effect."
"We believe there's some element of classical conditioning going on," Fontaine said. "Throughout your life, you take a pill and you see an effect. You take an aspirin, for instance, and it takes away your headache. There's an association there in your mind, and the idea is that the ritual of taking pills may actually produce a beneficial effect."
Since their discovery, the scientists are now planning on trialling their “open-label” placebo technique on cancer survivors, to see if the results are the same with them.

"We want to see if we can make any difference in symptom severity," Hoenemeyer said.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Controversial Topics In Science 1: GMOs - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 26)

Is it possible, that after years of controversy, between the public, that GMO’s are safe?

There are many people for or against GMOs, but mainly against. Even though the public are showered with incorrect, and sometimes dishonest, information about GMOs a.k.a genetically modified organisms, scientists and science writers are working to correct any misconceptions about GMOs to the public and eliminate misleading data.

What are GMOs?

GMO’s are plants or animals that have gone under genetic modification: where scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides. Such as: apples that have been genetically modified to be resistant to browning.

Studies about GMOs...

The results from a meta analysis (conducted by Wilhelm Klümper, Matin Qaim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany),  studies the uncertainty about GM crop and reasons for public uncertainty. They found:

“On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries.”

This study gives sturdy evidence that GM crops have aided the reduction of the use of pesticides and benefited farmers.  The scientists hope that such evidence can “help to gradually increase public trust in this promising technology.

Because not all GMOs are safe, we need to have methods that help us distinguish between legal genetically modified (GM) foods and and illegal GM foods.  A study published in the journal of Food Chemistry has used an integrated “PCR-based DNA walking approach” which has recently been developed to identify unauthorised GMOs including a “pCAMBIA family cassette” that is frequently present in transgenic plants and the rice genome. After researching other methods and comparing them to their new approach, their suggested “DNA walking strategy” has been proven to be essential can easily prove, without significant additional cost and equipment, the presence of unauthorised GMOs in any given food/feed medium.

A study conducted in Ghent University states that: genetically modified crops with an increased vitamin and/or mineral content have a large potential to improve public health, but their availability for customers is still held back, as a result of negative public opinion. The research has recently published in the journal of Nature Biotechnology and it has demonstrated that these crops have a promising market potential.

Popular science have listed 10 myths and misunderstandings about GMO’s.  They aimed to clear up any misconceptions; including the claim that “All research on GMOs has been funded by Big Ag.” They prove that this isn’t true since there have been a lot of independent studies and also studies conducted by the WHO and they have all stated that the GMOs currently approved for market are safe.  They also disprove the myth that GMOs have caused an overuse of pesticides, when in actual fact GM crops have reduced the dependence on chemical insecticides.

We also have to remember that even without laboratory-based genetic modification to produce GMOs,  genetic modifications can occur naturally in organisms, albeit with a little bit of human interruption. Humans have been selectively breeding species of organisms with they’re desired traits (particularly in plants) such as better taste, yield or disease resistance.  

Fraudulent and bias discoveries...

A French microbiologist, named Gilles-Eric Séralini and several colleagues released the results of a long-term study in which rats were fed genetically modified corn that contains improved resistance to insects and/or the herbicide: glyphosate.  They took the extraordinary step of pre-releasing the paper to selected media outlets under a restriction on the condition that they sign a non-disclosure agreement; this prevented the journalists from seeking alternative scientific experts’ response to the journal and article. Then at a strategically planned media event they announced that their long-term studies found that the rats in experimental groups had developed tumours at an extremely fast rate.  After the media event, the news of their “discovery”, the news travelled around the world and the story “went viral.”

It turns out that the researcher’s utilised a strain of rats that were bred to develop tumours as they aged (a detail they failed to disclose along with many other essential details such as the rats’ food intake).  Considerably, mortality rates and tumour incidence in all experimental groups fall within historical norms for this strain of laboratory rats.  Therefore, the claim that the genetically engineered corn component of the diet or the herbicide caused the tumours is insupportable. They also failed to release all of the scientific data from all their experiments, which is not only scientific misconduct but also makes their research invalid and hard to trust.

Why are people against GMOs?

The majority of popular opinion about GMOs is negative. Even though there has been a lot of scientific research to prove that some GMOs are safe there’s still public unrest. So a team of Belgian philosophers and plant biotechnologists have turned to cognitive science/psychology to explain why there is strong opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and why it has become so prevalent, despite positive contributions GM crops have made to sustainable agriculture.  Their paper, published 10th April 2015 in Trends in Plant Science, argues that the human mind is very vulnerable to all the negative and often emotional representations put out by certain environmental groups and other opponents of GMOs. The scientists commented:

"For a very long time people have only been hearing one side," Blancke says. "Scientists aren't generally involved with the public understanding of GMOs, not to mention the science of GMOs is highly counterintuitive and therefore difficult to convey to a lay audience--so they have been at a disadvantage form the start."

"We want to bring the two sides more together," Blancke says. "You cannot say every GMO is bad. You have to look at each case separately to make a judgement."

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Favourite SciArt Works - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 25)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thoughts on SciArt - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 24)

If you love both science and art, Twitter was a wonderful place to be last March.
#SciArt week, which officially ran from March 1st through the 7th, was initiated by Symbiartic bloggers Glendon Mellow, Kalliopi Monoyios and Katie McKissick, who encouraged science artists of all types of backgrounds to come together and tweet their work to the world. 

The product was a storm of scientific illustrations, paintings, sculptures and animations, that the Internet had never seen before. Their original goal was to get a total of 1600 #SciArt tweets a day but within the first 24 hours they managed to reach 4000 tweets of scientific illustrations and paintings and other artworks.

SciArt is a great way of representing science using art and photography. It also shows how beautiful science can be and encourage the love of science through art.

Although  #SciArt is overloaded with biology related artworks it needs more chemistry artworks. This could be due to the lack of popularity of the hash-tag and its intentions, even though its popularity is growing little by little every day.  

Come back tomorrow to see my favourite #SciArt submissions. 

Click here to read my introductory post about SciArt!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Working in the Lab vs. Working in the Office - 30 day blogging challenge (Day 23)

The Laboratory vs The Office. The comparison.

Woking in the office a.k.a Science Communication / Publishing:

There comes a point in which every scientist has had enough of the lab and they no longer want to work in the laboratory, no matter what field they're in. So they go out and look into other careers that they can go into that doesn't involve lab work (see this post by Nature).

Some scientists turn to science writing. Science communication is a great way to stick to your field and communicate science to the people with / without science background/education.

A comment / quote in a post in Nature: Soapbox Science, perfectly describes why we need science communication:
“It deals with an issue that is important not only, or even mainly, for the scientific community but also for the nation as a whole and for each individual within it. More than ever, people need some understanding of science, whether they are involved in decision-making at a national or local level, in managing industrial companies, in skilled or semi-skilled employment, in voting as private citizens or in making a wide range of personal decisions. In publishing this report the Council hopes that it will highlight this need for an overall awareness of the nature of science and, more particularly, of the way that science and technology pervade modern life, and that it will generate both debate and decisions on how best they can be fostered. 

Working in the laboratory:

The lab is the heart of science. It's where great discoveries have been made (such as the discovery of penicillin- even if it was an accident) and health breakthroughs have been made.

A poll on "I'm a scientist get me out of here!" asks people working in the lab of their opinions, here's one I particularly liked:

"I enjoy working in a lab. I find the things I’m researching interesting, so reading about it and thinking about it is fun – particularly as I get paid to think about things I find interesting. A lot of lab work is trying to work out what went wrong; it’s a lot of problem-solving. Experiments don’t work quite often and I have to try to find out why they haven’t worked, so I try to change what I’m doing slightly and try again. I find that kind of problem-solving quite satisfying, like a sudoku or something!.........."


Do you prefer to work in a lab or behind the desk? Comment below.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

One of Chemistry's Finest Delicacies | Molecular Gastronomy

If you've read Day 22 of my science blogging challenge you'll know that I love cooking and I love chemistry (obviously). I've recently discovered the BEST mix of chemistry and cooking:

Molecular Gastronomy!

(I know I might be a little bit late to the party but it's still awesome!)

Molecular gastronomy is a subcategory of food science that aims to find out the different ways of food's chemical and physical transformations. It uses different chemistry laboratory techniques, such as using liquid nitrogen (to freeze things really quickly), to make different takes on foods; and the best thing is, is that its still edible!

Click on the link to watch a detailed video about it on VSauce's Channel.

This video of powdered ice cream in a candy strawberry shows all the complex yet intriguing physical and chemical transformations that the ice cream and strawberries go though to get to the end product.

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My Experience in the Lab - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 22)

I have found that, no matter what the context, I will click on nearly any article with a type of experience in the title. I enjoy reading peoples different views in what they work in, if its working on their PhD or working in a company or their undergrad studies. 

Maybe you’re an ordinary person, not a scientist, and you've just clicked here for some light lunchtime reading. But if you’re a scientist, perhaps you can relate  to my experiences in the laboratory. 

If you personally know me you'll know that another hobby I have is cooking. I feel like the kitchen is like a laboratory except you make edible items. I think this is the basis for loving the laboratory, even if things go wrong its still a great place to work in. So here's a list of prominent things from my experience from working in a laboratory...

1. You don't know where time goes or what time it is...

You can easily forget that time goes by in the lab. When I was working on my project I would be shocked to look at the clock seeing that I had entered the lab at 9 am and what felt like 2 minutes later it's already 12pm! (That's also when I realise I've been standing there for ages and I'm really hungry)

2. You have a favourite laboratory...

Inorganic chemistry wasn't my favourite subject at university but it was my favourite subject to work in the lab for. The products you could make were physically appealing; one product we made almost resembled red glitter.

3. You break some things by accident... 

I like to think I'm an organized person and very cautions of my surroundings, especially when it comes to the lab. but sometimes you can't help but break something, if its the glass stirrer your using (I'm guilty of this one) or a conical flask or the tip of a titration burette.  

4. Sometimes you have to work with dangerous things.

I think this section can also be connected with number (2). As much as I could enjoy working in a lab I hate working with dangerous things, such as radioactive chemicals and things like caustic chemicals, infectious agents, highly electrified instruments, and other similar dangerous and stress-inducing things.

5. Sometimes it get a little bit too much...

Working in the lab is great but it can be tough because most of the time your experiments might not work and it makes you stress out and loose focus but there's always possibility that it will work and that what kept me going.


What's your experience in the laboratory? Join the 30 day blogging challenge, I'd love to read your experiences and responses to the challenge - M :)

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Weeky Science News Brief Week 3 - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 21)

This weeks science news includes: More reasons to love chocolate, ways to reverse colorectal cancer and also heart damage, and why watching cat videos are good for you!

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Favourite Science Facebook Pages - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 20)

Even though Facebook pages can seem to be split into two groups — brands trying to advertise and people trying to socialize — there are other pages on Facebook that deserve some attention. The dedicated science pages.

In fact, some of my favourite pages on Facebook are science blogs / magazines and pages that utilize the social media giant to spread the love of science and how majestic science can be. Whether they're making us laugh, enlightening us with the latest science news or teaching us new things, these five Facebook pages provide an excellent break from all those baby pictures and engagement announcements.

Here's a list of my top 5 Science Facebook Pages...

Chemistry World

Compound Interest

Fake Science

I F****** Love Science

Science Lovers Only

What are your favourite science Facebook pages? Share them in the comments below.

Images: Facebook

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Friday, June 19, 2015

What You Should Know About Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer is everywhere, you find it in almost every store you go to and it’s widely available in hospitals. Hand sanitizing is beneficial to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria and viruses that can make us ill. Most people carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in their bag, especially when travelling (and especially on the London underground). 

I was surprised to see that there is a video, scaring people from using hand sanitizer; featured in IF******LoveScience and DNews. 

Recently new research has been published which tries to oppose the use of hand sanitizer by blaming its use on increased absorption of BPA levels in the body. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers, and also is used in thermal paper cash register receipts. First data has emerged that BPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Subjects studied showed a rapid increase of BPA in their blood after using the skin care product and then touching a store receipt with BPA.

Scientists at the University of Missouri tested human subjects who cleaned their hands with hand sanitizer and then held thermal paper receipts. As an added step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper, they then made them eat French fries with their hands; as a result, BPA was absorbed very quickly.

"Our research found that large amounts of BPA can be transferred to your hands and then to the food you hold and eat as well as be absorbed through your skin," vom Saal said. "BPA exhibits hormone-like properties and has been proven to cause reproductive defects in foetuses, infants, children and adults as well as cancer, metabolic and immune problems in rodents. BPA from thermal papers will be absorbed into your blood rapidly; at those levels, many diseases such as diabetes and disorders such as obesity increase as well. Use of BPA or other similar chemicals that are being used to replace BPA in thermal paper pose a threat to human health."

Furthermore, the BPA from thermal receipts is only activated if your hands are WET WITH hand sanitizer (which is highly unlikely).

What they fail to reiterate in the video is that the hand sanitizer was used contains triclosan (an antibiotic and anti-fungal agent), the culprit that makes BPA absorb into the body faster and that triclosan is based in non-alcohol hand sanitizers. They also fail to mention that the most popular hand sanitizers are the alcohol based ones. They have no triclosan in it at all. The active ingredient in alcohol based hand sanitizers is: Ethanol (57.6%). 

Why is hand sanitizer utilized in hospitals then?

A study published in 2010 (by researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville and Dial Corporation, Scottsdale, in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy),  suggests that hand sanitizers containing ethanol are much more effective at removing rhinovirus from hands than washing with soap and water. Sanitizers containing both ethanol and organic acids significantly reduced recovery of the virus from hands and rhinovirus infection up to 4 hours following application. Results showed that the ethanol hand sanitizer removed approximately 80% of detectable rhinovirus from hands and was much more effective than no treatment, water alone, or soap and water. Soap and water removed rhinovirus from 31% of hands. Proving that alcohol-based hand sanitizer can is beneficial in preventing illnesses due to viruses such as the rhinovirus.

So what can we take out of this post? That not giving the full information behind any story can lead to misinformation and scaremongering of people. 

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Favourite Science Instagram Accounts - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 19)

Personally, I love instagram. Its great for sharing images be it in the lab or personal interests. Here's a list of my favourite science Instragram accounts, hope you like them and if there's someone I've missed out, comment below and tell me about them.

1- From the Lab Bench
The account of Paige Brown Jarreau - She's recently completed a PhD in science communication and she blogs about science communication & her research. But Paige's instagram is filled with her beautiful photography such as this blue bird here.

2- PopSci
This is the account of the popular science website: Popular Science, who post about the "latest science, tech and futuristic nerdery"

This is the account of the popular science blog: WIRED, who post about the science, technology and everything in between.

This account goes by the saying "Science is Art" and their instagrm is full of colourful images, such as this one of neurons and stem cells. Go to CellPress' instagram page to find out the story behind the image.

5- ASAP Science
This is the account of the popular science YouTube channel: ASAP Science, who have almost reached a staggering 4 million subscribers! They post a "weekly dose of interesting science" through videos and photos.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Favourite Science Twitter Accounts - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 18)

In today's favourites I will be listing my favourite twitter accounts to follow. Some of them are bloggers and some just lovers of science. 

1 Sci Art

2- RealTimeChem

3- Chemjobber

4- ASAP Science

5- Psy Post

What are your favourite science Twitter accounts? Share them in the comments below. 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Favourite Science Blogs - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 17)

Just as I love writing on my science blog, I also love reading other science blogs and seeing what science looks like through other peoples eyes. 

Here's a small list of my favourite science blogs which I recommend you go and check out!

  1. Compound Interest
  2. The Chemical Blog
  3. Pictures from an Organic Chemistry Lab
  4. Just Like Cooking
  5. From the Lab bench
  6. IFL Science
  7. The Chronical Flask
  8. Chemistry Blog
  9. New Scientist
  10. Guardian Science
  11. SciCurious

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Science blogging problems - 30 Day blogging Challenge (Day 16)

Science Blogging Problems...

There are two main problems that some science bloggers may come across:
  1. closed access articles
  2. a smaller audience
The first and main problem I  have as a science blogger is closed-access articles. Usually I find a really good topic / idea for a blog post and I try and research suitable journals to support my article, but the one that would perfectly match my post is ...you guessed it... closed access! So I cant use that one and I'll have to go back and search for open access journals that fit the topic I wanted to discuss, or try and make do with all the information I can get out of the abstract.

The other problem is reaching a smaller audience. Not everyone who reads, likes to read about science or health related posts most the time, at least that's my opinion. Mainly those who are fascinated by science and love to read about it will read science articles and science blogs.

When I started science blogging I was convinced I would probably have only 1 or 2 readers maximum, however I have been lucky and my blog is seen by loads of people around the world, so I'd like to say: Hello, Welcome and Thank you so much for reading and I hope you continue to become regular visitors to my blog!

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Thoughts on the Future of Science Blogging - 30 Day Blogging Challenge (Day 15)

What do you think about the future of science blogging?

  • more people / scientists will start blogging
  • science blogs will become like lab books / diaries 
  • as science blogs become more popular, audience will grow & spread science education

More people / scientists will start blogging

In the near future science blogging will become more popular and science blogging will become popular between scientists. It could be a great way to communicate their research and write about other research. 

Science blogs will become like lab books / diaries 

Already, science bloggers utilise their platforms to blog lab work and lab photography. Science blogs could soon become a replacement for the standard lab book and all work will be documented on-line instead of on paper. 
As science blogs become more popular, audience will grow & spread science 

Currently the audience for science blogs consists of people who study / have studied science. In the future science blogs will become more famous than fashion and/or beauty blogs and will become peoples primary source for science information. 

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