A New Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients?

On 7th June 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for Alzheimer’s patients in the US. This is the first treatment to be approved in almost two decades, and the first to target the cause of Alzheimer’s disease rather than just the related symptoms. However, gaps in clinical trial data have left developers, Biogen, requiring further trials. What is new about this treatment and what do the data show so far?

Competition Winner – Jade

Jade is not only the third winner of our science writing competition, having entered the 16-18 year old category, she is also a double award winner, having also won this category in 2020. She is 17 years old and from the UK. Jade's piece about the science of the Antarctic was incredibly well written and captivating. Another impressive piece from someone so young, congratulations Jade. Jade is also a keen scicommer, writing a blog called NEVER TRUST AN ATOM and even has a YouTube channel now!

Competition Winner – Adhya

Adhya is the second winner of our science writing competition, and entered the 13-15 year old category. Adhya is 15 years old and from the USA, our first winner outside of the UK! Adhya’s piece is all about how some cancer treatments prevent cell growth. It was an insightful read, and incredibly impressive for someone so young. Congratulations Adhya.

Kicking a Habit

Even after the year that was 2020, I've spotted countless articles and media outlets "helping" people set New Year's resolutions and kick bad habits. Whilst I'm not one to usually set a resolution, this year I want to do more of what I love which includes these articles. So now the thesis is in and I had a Christmas break (WAHOOO), what can science tell us about habits, whether breaking or forming them?

The Big Yawn

From my big, arms-outstretched morning yawn, to my stifled awkward supressed facial stretches in online meetings, I yawn a lot. From Hippocrates to the modern day, scientists have long pondered over the reasons why we yawn. Here we'll look at some of the explanations and discover if other species also partake in this strange, highly contagious activity.

COVID Testing Explained

Since the start of lockdown in the UK back in March, the government has been "tweaking" its covid-19 testing strategy. Targeted testing, only symptomatic people, mass testing etc. Until last week (6th Nov, 2020), the only widely available tests were PCR (I'll explain more in a moment). However, Liverpool is now the trial site of mass testing using a different type of covid test which is quicker and is being used on everyone, symptomatic or not. Here we'll look at the different types of covid tests and explain what they're doing.

Covid on the Brain

As we pass 6 months of lockdown measures in the UK, some long term symptoms of covid-19 are starting to emerge. Alongside viral fatigue and continued breathing difficulties, less obvious, neurological, health problems are becoming more of a concern. So what do we know about the effects of coronavirus on the brain to date, and should we be worried about a "silent wave" of neurological problems?