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Sir Alexander Fleming
A Sip of Science History Infographics

Sir Alexander Fleming: A sip of science history

A Sip of the Past… This week we focus on Sir Alexander Fleming 👨‍🔬. The man who discovered the well known antibiotic, penicillin.

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. His discovery allowed for further research, development and purification of penicillin alongside scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Chain. Their collaboration was recognised when they shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the use of penicillin has since saved millions of lives around the globe.

⏩ Swipe through to find out more about the man behind the breakthrough!

More Science History

COVID-19 Infographics PPE

Lockdown eases, but the virus has not gone away.

Post originally on instagram

So things are opening up again this weekend (4th of July 2020) in the UK. The lockdown eases.

It is everyones individual choice where they wish to go now and what they want to do – if you are looking for ways to reduce risk while going out and seeing friends, here are some science-based suggestions:

Effective hand washing is still extremely important! Make sure you’re washing frequently and efficiently!

 Masks are still growing in evidence for their effect in slowing disease transmission. When you’re in close contact with people outside of your household, consider wearing one as often as you can!

Check out yesterday’s post for how to put on and wear your mask safely!

If possible, meet outdoors! Respiratory droplets have a reduced risk of reaching the people you’re with if you’re outside – a walk or a picnic are good alternatives to a sit-down meal.

Reduce the number of people you see in short spaces of time. By distancing the different groups you see you can reduce the number of potential infections in a social group.

Do you feel ready for when lockdown eases? Let us know your thoughts –

lock down eases
lockdown is easing
The current state of cases
social distancing, hand washing and PPE advice for when lockdown eases
Meet outside when you can
Reduce the number of interactions in short spaces of time
second wave

Infographics The Science Social News

Science News: 1st July 2020


This week’s news in science brought to you by Serat @touchthebeardagain .

👩‍🔬 Scientists have developed a portable 30 minute COVID-19 testing machine

🦠 The 10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been declared over.

🧠 University of Liverpool lead a neuro-surveillance study to assess how COVID-19 affects brain function

🍭 Common food additive used in sweets has been found to have adverse effects

For a brief history of Ebola and details on the most recent Ebola outbreak, read our blog post here.

fasciola hepatica worm of the week
Infographics Worm of the Week

Worm of the Week: Fasciola hepatica

Concept by Shannan Summers @Shannan_tropmed, design by The Science Social.

The worm of the week is the good old Liver Fluke, specifically Fasciola hepatica. Worms are a type of parasite that can cause disease in humans and livestock!

Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic infection. Zoonotic means in this context means the worm has jumped from a non-human species to a human. 2 million human cases have been estimated worldwide!

Fasciola hepatica worm can be found all over the world, particularly in areas where sheep or cattle are farmed.

There is an acute phase of infection, and a chronic stage of infection. Depending on the phase of infection, the diagnosis differs.

For example, during an acute infection, the immature worms penetrate the gut (after ingestion). The body is able to produce an immune response, resulting in the presence of antibodies against the worms!? The presence of these antibodies are then detectable in a diagnostic test.

During a chronic infection, the worms have matured in the bile duct of the liver. The presence of the infection is detected by examining the faeces for eggs! – A glamorous diagnostic test, for sure!

Fasciola hepatica infections are often treated with antihelmintic drug triclabendazole. This drug works by expelling the worm by either stunning it or killing it. Without harm to the host, such as the human. However, drug resistance is becoming an issue?!

International women in engineering day 2020
Engineering Infographics Women in STEM

International Women in Engineering Day

Now in its 7th year, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) aims to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all!

📊 In studies from 2018, women only made up just over 12% of the engineering workforce and only 25% of girls aged 16-18 would consider a career in engineering. .

👷‍♀️ Here are three influential women engineers from history through to today to get you started! How do you think they helped to “shape the world”? .

Mary Jackson, Gwynne Shotwell and Emily Warren Roebling.

Check out our fresh sip of science history post about Gerty Cori here.

science history
A Sip of Science History Infographics

A sip of science history: Gerty Cori

👨🏽‍🏫 A sip of science history! ⁣Introducing… Gerty Cori!

🔬 Gerty Cori was a pioneering biochemist and America’s first ever female Nobel Prize winner. ⁣

💫 Gerty and her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori, collaborated to define the process of sugar metabolism, known as the Cori Cycle. ⁣

👩🏻‍🔬 Despite her credentials she was denied many of the career opportunities her husband and collaborator was afforded because of her gender. Her contributions to science were eventually recognised, as she gained full professorship just months before her Nobel Prize success. ⁣

Swipe through to read more about Gerty’s story! ⁣


How does it work? Infographics

What is peer review?

How is science Checked?

When researchers complete work or make an interesting finding, they publish their results in scientific journals. However, before their articles are published they must pass peer review. This is a process where the research is sent to a limited number of other experts in their field to assess it before it is released to the world.

These other experts check that the methods used to collect the research were valid, and the conclusions drawn make sense and are clear. Often, papers will be sent for some edits before final publication.

What is Pre-Print?

Pre-print repositories allow papers to be sent out to the research community and the public before the research has gone through peer review.

This allows quicker access to the results of the work, since peer review relies on the schedules of other researchers and can take weeks or months to complete.

A number of pre-print repositories exist, including bioRxiv, medRxiv and Preprints with The Lancet

What are the risks?

Whilst pre-print can be a valuable means to share research quickly, there are fewer quality controls on the papers uploaded and so the conclusions may not be high quality.

Reports made on pre-print articles can end up being misleading or misinterpreted – or may be based on poor science.

This isn’t to say that journals don’t have their issues too. The slow pace of peer review can hold back wide sharing of results, and a tendency to publishing positive outcomes can stop important negative results from being reported.

Read more about evidence here and what scientist mean when they say there is “Not enough evidence”.

COVID-19 Infographics

Dexamethasone reduces fatality in severely ill COVID-19 patients

Posted on instagram 16/06/2020

💊 Dexamethasone is the first drug found to reduce mortality in severely ill COVID-19 patients⁣ ⁣following a clinical trial.

⚡️ NOTE: the data discussed in this post has not yet been peer reviewed and deemed suitable for publication. Whilst the data appears to be good news, it should be read with this in mind! See our previous posts for more information on the peer review process ⚡️⁣
⏩ Swipe through for our breakdown on the RECOVERY trial and most importantly, the data 📊 ⁣⁣
‼️ It is important to note that dexamethasone should only be taken when prescribed by a medical professional and as most drugs, does have some side-effects. Dexamethasone only offers benefit to patients that require ventilation or oxygen therapy, there is no evidence to suggest it can be used to prevent COVID-19. ⁣⁣

Infographics Mental Health


To read a personal account of experiences with pyschosis, read our blog post; Psychosis and me here.

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder where people experience repeated psychotic episodes.

Schizophrenia symptoms are classified as positive and negative.

This mental health disorder is in the top 15 leading causes for disabilities, worldwide.

More research is needed on the causes, but there is a lot of evidence for genetic factors, and certain lifestyle factors that have been associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia.

If you ever have any concerns about your mental health, contact your GP or healthcare practitioner.

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Mental health and neuroscience series:

COVID-19 How does it work? Infographics

“Not enough evidence”

There are a lot of reports going around about aspects of COVID-19 where we have “not enough evidence to show” something yet 🤔

It’s important to remember that this means WE DON’T KNOW 🙅‍♀️ either way in this situation.

The answer might be that a treatment, for example, is wrong – or it might be proven to be right. But we can’t say for sure until we’ve gathered evidence that points in one direction or the other. 📃

As scientists, we are keen to admit when we don’t know something, because it gives us opportunity to learn! 💡

We like gathering evidence and we like knowing that the answers we give are the most accurate they can be! ✅

❗Importantly, this includes having ALL the evidence we can do before announcing things. Partial evidence being published can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding of what’s happening and can lead us down the wrong track for progressing our field.

Check out more of our infographics here:

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