The science behind our addiction to likes

I’VE been spending a lot of time on social media lately. Yes, I’m one of those annoying millennials who seem to always have phone in hand. Even more so since I created my own YouTube channel. Now I seem to be constantly checking for new ‘likes’, subscribers and comments. It’s got me thinking that thisContinue reading “The science behind our addiction to likes”

Did you hear the one about the biologist and the worm?

If you’ve been on Twitter lately you might have come across some biologists having a bit of a feud about something called C. elegans. So what is C. elegans, and why is it suddenly a big deal? Well, the first bit is easy to answer. C. elegans is a worm. The second bit … that’sContinue reading “Did you hear the one about the biologist and the worm?”

Body comes with original built-in cleanser

We’re a couple of weeks into January, which has me wondering, how is everyone going with those New Year resolutions? Losing weight is one of the most common resolutions people make, and boy, don’t companies selling weight loss and diet products know it! I can hardly turn around these days without someone wanting to sellContinue reading “Body comes with original built-in cleanser”

What does a scientist look like?

I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I don’t look like a scientist. I think this usually means that I don’t look old enough, I’m not male enough, and my hair is too blue (or too pink, or too purple…). It’s a bit ridiculous. Scientists are, after all, just regular people. So really anyone andContinue reading “What does a scientist look like?”

Microbial friends, not foes

No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, you are never alone. Everywhere you go trillions of tiny friends accompany you. Yep, I’m talking about microbes – brilliant bacteria, fascinating fungi and amazing archaea. For many people the mention of bacteria sends a bit of a shiver down the spine. It’s understandable – fromContinue reading “Microbial friends, not foes”

Science is definitely a team sport

As a scientist I’m proud of the research I do. I enjoy explaining to non-scientists what I’m investigating and, of course, why. However, I’m often less excited about the inevitable follow up question: “so what have you found?” It’s not because I’m ashamed of our results. Far from it. It’s just that non-scientists seem toContinue reading “Science is definitely a team sport”

Just how risky is a risk?

Taking a single pill reduces the risk of heart attack by 34%. Eating red meat increases the risk of breast cancer by 23%. Getting more exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 30%. These are the sorts of headlines we see pretty much on a daily basis – and they can be quiteContinue reading “Just how risky is a risk?”

Just because we can, does it mean we should?

There’s a saying that goes “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. I think this applies to a lot of things in life: serving latte’s in avocados, making pizza bases out of cauliflower, creating GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for disgraced football players……I could go on. This phrase also comes to mind when we’reContinue reading “Just because we can, does it mean we should?”

Do you know how to wiggle your toe?

I try not to ask people for favours too often, but, if you could, I’d like you to do something really simple for me. Wiggle the big toe on your left foot. Pretty simple, right? Well…..maybe not quite as simple as you think.  Behind that tiny little movement of your toe was a surprisingly complexContinue reading “Do you know how to wiggle your toe?”

National Science Week is about connecting the community with science

This week is National Science Week – a nation-wide, week-long festival of all things science. It’s a week where we open our labs (and our hearts), where we take science into schools, into the streets, into libraries, into pubs. This week, for National Science week, I’ll be heading to a climate-change fundraiser movie night, talkingContinue reading “National Science Week is about connecting the community with science”