Issue 25 Understanding Science

How to fight the “superbugs”

Flashback to September 3, 1928. On an ordinary autumnal morning in foggy London, Alexander Fleming is returning to the Laboratory of St. Mary’s Hospital, ready to tackle the tasks he left before going on holiday. Firstly, quick and easy one- sorting the petri dishes, with, well, as Fleming thought, probably nothing interesting in them, just a bunch of life- threatening strains of bacteria that are currently killing millions of children and adults across the globe. But he was wrong, today was the day for “Eureka!”. On one dish was something unusual- it was dotted with colonies of growing bacteria, save for the one area where a blob of mold was growing. The zone immediately around the mold was clear, as if the mold had secreted something that inhibited bacterial growth. Today, we know that the mold was a rare strain of Penicillium notatum that secreted penicillin, very unstable substance at first, but many optimisations later, one of the greatest discoveries and advances in therapeutic medicine. The dawn of antibiotic era has begun.

Issue 22 Science (of) Fiction

Stranger Things 4: The effect of music on our emotions

Some parts of the following article contain spoilers from the Netflix original series Stranger Things.

As the super fans of popular Netflix series Stranger Things (also, me) are waiting for the Season 4 Volume 2 episodes, I still cannot get over the very powerful scene of Max escaping the deadly claws of Vecna. It positively shook me to the core that I decided to share it with you, as well as analyse it from a scientific point of view.

Issue 21 Understanding Science

Malaria: Why is it (still) a global problem?

On the 25th of April, the World Malaria Day 2022 took place. This year’s theme was “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives“, since the main goal of the World Health Organization (WHO) was to highlight the necessity of research and development for new therapeutic strategies to eradicate the disease. Today, malaria is entirely preventable and curable disease if the symptoms are recognized in earlier stages, but in some cases, it is unfortunately not possible. Therefore, the estimated number of new cases in 2020 was 241 million, and within that number there were 627 thousand malaria-related deaths in 85 countries. The region at highest risk is the sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two thirds of deaths were reported among the children under the age of 5. Despite the promising and steady advances in controlling the disease between 2000 and 2015, in recent years there was an evident set-back especially in the number of preventable deaths. What are the causes of this stagnation and what can be done to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease?

Issue 19 Science (of) Fiction

A Beautiful Mind: What is our brain chemistry capable of?

For the longest time I have been deciding what my first article for this blog should be about. Since I’m interested in almost anything that comes into my hands and brain (as every proper science enthusiast 😊), it was not easy to decide on just one topic. But then it came to me. Not too long ago I watched a movie that definitely didn’t leave me apathetic, so I came to the logical conclusion to share it with you. “A Beautiful Mind” is a perfect example of science in everyday life, so I wanted to delve into it more closely and in as much detail as possible. Before I start the analysis of this wonderful movie, I should take a moment and warn you that there are going to be spoilers along the way, so if you want to watch the movie first, I highly recommend you do so.