Unless you're in the middle of nowhere, you've probably walked along and had a sickly sweet vapour blown in your direction. E-cigarettes are on the rise and hoped to help people give up smoking, but are they actually any better for you?
The vast majority of us complained about the excessive heat here in the UK last week. We are now surrounded by cooler temperatures and constant rain; we can't win. Along with the wet conditions has come thunderstorms, some of which have been pretty damn magnificent. It got me thinking, what is thunder and lightning and could we use it?
In 2012 Planetary Resources (PR) and Deep Space Industries (DSI) were established. Precious metals such as gold and platinum are found within some asteroids. Earth's resources of these metals are in decline, but possibly in abundance in asteroids. Much like the gold-rush in the 19th century, could asteroid mining be the next space race or frontier type venture?
The popular Marvel film Deadpool, sees its antihero fight bad guys without dying because he can regenerate. Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) has terminal cancer, and an evil set of scientists, turned this cancer into a superpower: he has accelerated healing powers as his cells can never die, continually regenerating as cancerous cells would do. This is comic book fiction, but how far away is a regeneration reality, and are evil scientists behind it?
Two thirds of the World is covered in water, whilst only one third is land mass, populated by 7.53 billion people. Only 2.5% of all the water on Earth is fresh and drinkable; the rest is saline and ocean-based. The fresh water on Earth today is roughly the same in volume as that which was present at the time of the dinosaurs, but our population has exploded. How do we get enough fresh water without polluting the planet?
Between 1957 and 1961, Thalidomide was prescribed to help mothers who were struggling with morning sickness. Soon after, 10,000 babies born across the Globe had birth defects. Drugs can be complicated, so how do we stop this happening again, and what other parts of science are affected in this way?
We are all aware of the plastic problem our planet faces. As we are made more aware of the issue, supermarkets, traders and even governments are starting to take small actions. Reducing single use plastics, banning plastic straws, charging for plastic bags etc. However, the plastic we use is still not widely recycled, so a new finding from the Berkeley Lab, at the US Department of Energy, promises to ease this plastic plight.
I have the pleasure of introducing you to the work of Hollie Wright. Hollie is a physicist turned engineer based in Edinburgh. On Instagram (@holliewrightre) she shares her daily life in the lab, developing a technique for precision distance measurement using lasers. On her blog, sciencegeekette.wordpress.com she shares weekly posts about physics, tech, space or her experience of working in STEM. Thank you so much for writing this piece for A Short Scientist Hollie!
The hole in the ozone layer was first spotted 33 years ago, and when I was in secondary school (11-16 years old), it was one of the biggest scientific news stories we addressed. However, researchers have found that the hole has decreased after unprecedented international action. So what is the ozone layer, why do we need it, and what could this healing mean for nature?