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Showing posts with the label #seemyscience

Are PhD students 'switched on' to social media?

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Do you presume that all PhD students are using social media to network and talk about their research work? In March I presented at the 2nd International Conference on Developments in Doctoral Education and Training about the use of social media by PhD Students.   by    Jhaymesisviphotography   The conference focused on all elements of studying for a doctorate around the globe but this year they included a focus on  'Doctoral Candidates in the Digital Age' . There were a number of really interesting presentations and talks on this theme (all linked to below). We presented a talk based on a small study of social media use by researchers here in Aberdeen. For this we focused on the results from the PhD students about their social media use. Many presume that the current cohort of students are using social media proficiently for their own benefit. I don't think that tells a true story so wanted to explore what they were doing in more detail. Are doctoral cand

My Churchill Travel Fellowship - Public Engagement with science online

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  Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/balleyne/2668834386/   This June 1 - 26 I am heading to North America to undertake the first part of my Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship focusing on online science communication. I've created a travel map so others can see where I am and when. I'm keen to connect with people as I go (and I will add to this map as I travel). Follow my journey through my Twitter account and through my blog (you can subscribe via the grey box on the right hand side of the page). 'Public engagement with science online' is clearly a very large area so for this part of my trip and in the time frame I have I will be focusing my efforts on these three questions: Can quality two-way dialogue and engagement between scientists and the public take place on social media? What training and environment is needed to foster this quality two-way dialogue? What can go wrong and how can that be managed? These questions are broa

Read my thesis and let's chat about sharing research

Follow my blog with Bloglovin So my thesis has been published online on the University of Aberdeen Library page. You can read it by clicking here .  It has the very snappy title 'GPR30 and ERĪ±36 and their potential role in breast and endometrial cancers' This is my lay abstract: Oestrogen is a hormone that is mostly associated with the development of sexual organs and the female monthly menstrual cycle. However, it is also known to play a role in breast cancer. The presence of oestrogen can make some breast cancers grow and in the 1970s ‘anti-oestrogens’, like tamoxifen, were developed which have successfully prevented the growth of some breast cancers by blocking the action of oestrogen. Oestrogen causes this growth by binding to specific ‘receptors’ in the body. The anti-oestrogens work by blocking the oestrogen binding to the receptor. Some breast cancers do not have the receptors and therefore can’t be treated with anti-oestrogens. These types of cancers tend to be

This Valentines Day Ask for Evidence

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Today (as with all days of significance) stories tend to appear that are linked to 'science', 'scientists' or 'experts'. Quite often loosely tied to a marketing campaign.. But what do you do if you spot something that might be a dubious claim or story? The Ask for Evidence campaign is a fantastic place to start... and this year they have sent everyone a lovely Valentines Day card titled 'Evidence is our aphrodisiac' .. find out what Voice of Young Science volunteers found out about aphrodisiacs when they asked researchers about various claims - click here  (HT to @nonisa for sharing this!) Some tips for spotting dubious claims and stories: Where is it published? (On a website? Daily Mail? On a product?) - If you think the source is dubious, then follow up the claim by seeing if anyone else is covering the story, or search for more information online. If they quote any sources or evidence, check those out.  Ask for evidence about the claim - an

Seeing Cells

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Science images are becoming commonplace on social networks. But how are these beautiful, artistic images made and what use are they in research? Human cells stained and probed for DNA, actin and protein. I (Heather Doran) took this image -  please don't reuse it.  I've taken quite a few images throughout my PhD. So many my university computer struggles under the weight of them. I've been taking microscopic images of cells to understand how the cell cytoskeleton allows them to move. And it has been one of the most interesting and favourite parts of my PhD project. There are a number of ways of creating these images. The images all represent one or two components of the cell. Cells need to be fixed (in a fixative, like methanol or paraformaldehyde, to preserve them and the proteins and structures inside the cell). Different fixatives can be used depending on what it is you are looking for and how you are looking for it. Fixatives stop all movement, any re

Research Communication

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I wanted to create something to visually represent different types of research communication. I wanted to get the point across that not all communication is public engagement, similarly not all blogs or social media is public engagement, or journalism. But some are. I think there is a place for all of these in research communication different people contribute to different parts in different ways and amounts.   Please note, this diagram is not based on data and it isn't supposed to represent relative contributions to science communication (although if anyone had any ideas/data so I/we could do that it would be amazing). It represents overlaps. I wanted to use this with researchers to show how varied research communication is. Any feedback or suggestions would be great! 

For Nails Carl Sagan Would Be Proud Of

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I've started a Pinterest board for 'fashion inspired by science' you can see it here . The first thing I came across was these 'galaxy nails'. As the video says, 'nails Carl Sagan would be proud of'  I had my own bash at 'galaxy nails'. I think a little practice is needed but they do look a bit 'spacey' Galaxy Nails - http://instagram.com/p/OPVzaGpQ4J/ Next up, I came across Jayne @cosmeticproof  who is a scientist herself. I think my favourite are these DNA nails !                                       Source: cosmeticproof.com via hapsci on Pinterest Next are these intricate beauties of ' Volvox, Amoeba, Trypanosoma, Euglena and Paramecium' ! By @Fleuryrosenails                                                           Source: fleuryrosenails.tumblr.com via hapsci on Pinterest I'm not sure my hands are quite steady enough for anything that intricate, but I might attempt

What Does a Biologist Do All Day?

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I'm a molecular pharmacologist, but what on earth does that mean I do at 10am on a Monday? The vast majority of my PhD in Medical Sciences has been spent in a dark room, counting. Counting breast cancer cells that have moved. YES, moved. Let's start at the beginning. I work with breast cancer cells that have been taken from a donor who had breast cancer. Cancer cells can be grown in a laboratory environment if you give them the correct nutrients and keep them at the correct temperature, a cosy 37 degrees, just like in the body. The cells I use were collected back in the 1970s and have been kept growing in the lab ever since. Cancer cells can be grown on a flat surface (or in a solution), in plastic dishes, like this: The cells grow in 'media', a solution that contains all the nutrients they need to grow. The media is usually pink as it contains phenol-red, an indicator that changes colour if the pH of the media changes (pH needs to be around 7.2-7.4 for op