Meet Your Microbes

You may think of yourself as a single being or a single creature, but your body is brimming with bacteria. Other than ‘you’, that’s about 100 trillion more creatures, more ‘bugs’, as they are called. They teem and brush up against each other, forming many microbial municipals in your mouth, nose, gut, skin and genitals. However, you’ve never properly met any one of them, because nobody can ever see a microbe with a naked eye. To get a glimpse of them, you would need a microscope. Yet, as small as they can be, their role in equipping us for life cannot be understated.

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Three New Ways to Target and Treat Various Forms of Cancer

Originally posted on MIMS.

Treating cancer these days effectively doesn’t necessarily entail a cocktail of chemotherapy or radiotherapy for the patient. Often, the real challenge is to get certain regulatory cells out of the way, provide treatments when the time is right, or have a therapy that can give high doses of radiation safely. Here are three such new methods that are seeking to change treatments for the better.

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Remedied (science) writing – 2

#1

The oxidation of a sugar’s anomeric carbon by cupric or ferric ion occurs only with the linear form, which exists in equilibrium with the cyclic form(s). When the anomeric carbon is involved in a glycosidic bond, that sugar residue cannot take the linear form and therefore becomes a nonreducing sugar.

The anomeric carbon of a linear sugar can only be oxidised by cupric or ferric ions. If a sugar residue’s anomeric carbon is involved in a glycosidic bond, then that residue cannot be linearized — it becomes a nonreducing sugar.

  • Avoiding nominalisations in early parts of the sentence and writing it as a verb gives a sentence more ‘action’.

 

#2

Binding to plasma proteins, hormone metabolism and excretion regulates concentration of active hormones.

The concentration of active hormones is regulated by its binding to plasma proteins, its metabolism, and its excretion.

  • English syntax demands subject before object and human memory demands lightest before heaviest.

 

#3

Regulation of glycogen metabolism is different in muscle and liver.

In muscle, the end served by glycolysis is ATP production and the rate of glycolysis increases as muscle works more, demanding more ATP.

The liver has a different role in whole-body metabolism and glucose metabolism in the liver is different. The liver makes sure that glucose level is constant in the blood, producing and exporting glucose.

Glycogen metabolism is regulated differently in muscle and liver.

In muscle, glucose is broken down from glycogen and is used in glycolysis to produce ATP for muscular work. When muscle works more, the rate of glycolysis increases as more ATP is demanded.

In liver, glucose is produced from glycogen and exported into the blood to ensure a constant blood-glucose level.

  • This one was a tough one. Is glycogen metabolism the main point in the original? Because the following descriptions seem to suggest glucose metabolism.
  • And although it was easy to understand the sentences individually, as a whole it didn’t make much sense to me. So, I made glucose the subject of the sentences and matched their sentence structures to make them symmetrical to each other.

AI Watson and other nanorobots to help ‘detective doctors’ solve medical mysteries

Originally posted on MIMS.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John H. Watson serves as the friend and assistant for the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, who has an intellectual fetish for solving the most puzzling of crimes. But in the real world, doctors often play the role of a detective in the practice of medicine – to correctly diagnose their patients – a crucial challenge to ensure they can receive appropriate medical care.

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Why scientists need to engage the public with good science communication

Last Wednesday, I attended a science communications masterclass held at the one-north Festival. The talk was given by Professor Juliana Chan, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University by day, and editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine by night.

In her talk, she focused on the importance of communicating science to a general audience, shared several practical science writing tips, and introduced various business models and career opportunities available in the science communications industry. So, as science journalist infant I asked myself: what is science communication all about and why is it that the public should be well-informed about science?

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Book review: Allen Buchanan’s Beyond Humanity?

635951177300237076392252367_Jensen Gas Wings

Wings, a possible biomedical enhancement? Adam didn’t ask for it.

This is a book review that I’ve written for one of my assignments for a class in the philosophy of technology when I was a freshman. It was the first time I ever needed to read a piece of philosophical work in detail to give it a fair critique. Though some parts of the reading were hard to understand for me because I had to read several chapters three or four times, writing this has been fun and I learned a lot from Buchanan’s arguments and his perspectives towards the traditional enhancement debate.

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