Categories
Issue 21 Understanding Science

Clinical Trials – Part Three: Vaccines in Clinical Trials

“Our primary mission is life critical. Our goal is very clear: to address the gross inequities in child health still existing in the world today. Life or death for a young child too often depends on whether he is born in a country where vaccines are available or not.”

Nelson Mandela, addressing the Vaccine Fund Board 2003 meeting in Johannesburg

The last topic in the series on medical research and clinical trials is related to studies on vaccines and, what better example to explain vaccines research than the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Similar to pharmaceutical products, vaccines trials occur in 3-4 phases (Phase I-III pre-marketing authorization and Phase IV after the vaccine is licensed).

Categories
Issue 21 Presenting Alumni

Julia Hamblin-Trué: “Seek discomfort – the uncomfortable things we say yes to make us grow the most”

This issue comes with yet another alumni interview. This time we wish to present to you Julia Hamblin-Trué, a pretty loyal alumni member and, as you’ll probably agree after getting to know her, a Swiss knife of Summer School of Science. Julia is currently an undergraduate student at CODE University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, where she studies Product Management. Her Summer School of Science journey started back in 2017 when she was a participant in S3++ camp. Continue reading and you’ll find out how her S3++ journey continued, where she is now and how she got there.

Categories
Issue 20 News

S3 is back in Požega

Co-author: Dora Grbavac

Those of you who have been around these parts of the web long enough to remember last year’s Summer School of Science announcements, as well as all the S3 alumni among you, may be pleased to read the title of this post. ‘Tis true! We are proud to announce that the Summer School is back – in person – and in spite of the pandemic that led to its cancellation twice in a row. If by some chance you have found this post without having heard of S3 before, read ahead a quick rundown. We urge all of you to check the School’s website for up-to-date information on what we are preparing for you.

Categories
Issue 20 Understanding Science

HIV – a hero?

Several studies conducted in the 90’s suggested that prevalence of HIV infection was smaller in patients with sickle cell anemia than in healthy individuals. Although the mechanism behind that is still not fully understood, today we know a lot more than we did back at the end of the century. In order to understand the connection between sickle cell anemia and HIV infection, let us first take a look at both of them separately.

Categories
Issue 20 Science Shoutout

The most popular anti-procrastination method

Ah, the never-ending cycle of continuous working, feeling you haven’t done enough and then binging on YouTube self-improvement videos hoping to start fresh tomorrow… or on Monday… or, well, at least next year. We have all been there and we have all done that. The amount of money those self-help videos and books make is even more ridiculous when you realize how toxic they can get. However, among the noise there is legit advice and a few methods that have been proven to work and are even applied in school curriculums for children suffering from attention deficits. One of them, the most popular one for sure, is the Pomodoro method.

Categories
Academic Life Issue 19 PhD Presenting Alumni

Éva Bényei: “Doing research is 99% failure, but that is part of the game”

This month’s issue brings us an interview with alumna Éva Bernadett Bényei, a medical doctor from Hungary and current PhD student at the University of Cambridge. Éva was a participant at S3++ 2013 and since then, she has already proven herself to be one of the most inspiring people most of us will ever get the chance to meet, as well as a very promising scientist.

Categories
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.

Categories
Issue 19 Understanding Science

Friedreich’s ataxia – a “not so rare” disease

Friedrich’a ataxia (FA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects 1 in every 50 000 people worldwide. Therefore, it falls under the umbrella of rare diseases. The thing with rare diseases is that it’s hard to get funding for researching their pathophysiology and possible therapies (ergo the name “orphan drugs”). However, with the recent rise of gene therapy, more and more private investors put their money towards finding a cure for 1 in 50 000 people. So don’t be misled by the title of this article – FA is still a rare disease, but its popularity among research groups and institutes has been growing for the past few years. The main reason for such blooming is the emerging field of gene therapy.

Categories
Issue 19 Understanding Science

Clinical Trials – Part Two: Clinical Trials

What is a clinical trial and how (why) does it work?

A clinical trial is a study conducted on human volunteers to investigate a variety of questions on a treatment/intervention tested:

  • is the treatment/intervention safe?
  • does the treatment/intervention work?
  • does the treatment/intervention work better than what is already available (if there is a similar treatment/intervention)?
Categories
Experimental Issue 19

Blog rewind

Co-author: Mario Borna Mjertan

Greetings, S3 blog reader! Our interactive quiz strikes again! As with our first quiz (check it out if you haven’t already), the questions are varied, this time from literature to pharmacology. Once again, don’t worry if you are not familiar with some terms, try to answer anyway.

Each question has only one correct answer. When you choose the answer, you will see whether you got it right and get an additional explanation. Beneath each question there is a link to the text from our blog that deals more with its respective topic. Have fun!