By Katherine Davis, PhD student in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE)
During the 2020/21 academic year, I took part in the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition, which aims to raise awareness about how ideas can be commercialised. In the competition, teams of postgraduate students, technicians, or early career academics prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company and pitch to win prizes. In this blog, I will briefly explain how I got into the YES competition, how I found taking part in the competition, and my advice for people considering competing.
Getting into the YES competition
In the summer of 2020, I saw a post about forming a team for the YES competition on my department’s Teams channel.
I’m on the MRes in Biomedical research course and many, if not all, of the career talks, resources and email adverts are all veering towards academia. Not to say this isn’t a good thing, many of us want to go down the academic route. However, my fellow reps and I have identified that there is a sizeable proportion of our course who do not want an academic career or are yet to be successful in securing one.
With that in mind, we planned a careers event and an informal reception not catered to academia. We scouted and contacted people from our course and allied courses who are in industry, public health, or alternate careers such as consulting.
The event took place on Wednesday 1st of December 2021 and was a cross-departmental initiative, aiming to create a unique opportunity to gather researchers and wider college community with shared interests in conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and climate change & the environment more broadly.
by Teodora Rînciog, MSc Student, Centre for Environmental Policy
Hyenas – misunderstood villains?
Hideous creatures with a demon-like laugh, hyenas definitely meet all the criteria for a classic cartoon villain. I certainly thought so when I was a child, as did all of my childhood friends. None of us even thought twice about this judgement, even into our adulthoods. But, was this fair?
Why do we hate hyenas?
Since the premiere of the exceeding-popular cartoon “The Lion King” in 1994, hyenas were globally established as the silly enemies of the noble lion. Considering the unpleasant appearance of hyenas, the young audience didn’t find this hard to believe.
by Soteroulla Ellina, PhD Student, Department of Brain Sciences
Lab grown heart cells: Keeping the beat up
– Sorry, I am running late at the lab so I will have to raincheck today’s meeting…
This is probably something I have said more times than I wanted… Sometimes in confidence that the other person would understand and sometimes- especially with someone that I haven’t known for long, in a more apologetic way, hoping that they would not judge me. Good for me, this time, my friend belonged in the first category- he has known me for more than 15 years- so we quickly rescheduled.
by Adwoa Sarfo-Bonsu, MSc student, Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction
The more, the merrier: Cells have social lives too
There are certain processes that occur inside us that can only happen effectively when our cells are in close contact with each other. Our cells are ALWAYS communicating. Sometimes they check in on each other to make sure everyone is alright (tissue homeostasis), other times they might even team up together to fight an infection (immune response), and sometimes cells come together to make a whole new embryo (fertilisation).
To achieve all these things and many more, cells need to be able to constantly send and receive messages and instructions to each other.
by Thea Mainprize, PhD Student, Department of Life Sciences
The Trial of the Red Gazelle
The thylacine, aurochs and countless more, What is another knocking at Heaven’s door? One more quietly met their maker,
The red gazelle (Eudorcas rufina).
Bright rufous pelts – such beauty, such grace! But all we know about are skin and face,
No genetic studies, no records in the wild, Only two specimens worldwide on file.
Three, there once were, shot 19th century, Allegedly Algerian – though this is speculatory, Upon inspection, an imposter! Begone!
One red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons). With the IUCN denouncing its legitimacy1, The red gazelle faded into obscurity,
A true species, or all imposters?
By Corina Angheloiu, PhD Student, Centre for Environmental Policy
As the pandemic has unfolded, as PhD students we’ve had to rethink the ways in which we conduct our research, share and discuss findings, as well as build networks and seed collaborations. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of co-developing a podcast in this attempt to adapt.
Why a podcast?
I’m a third year PhD student in the Centre for Environmental Policy and my research focuses on the ways we can tackle increasing gaps between the knowledge and the implementation of urban resilience. As a field, urban resilience has never seemed more vital over the past year – we’ve seen the ways in which different cities have dealt with challenges posed by a shock such as the pandemic, as well as challenges arising from the overlap of shocks (such as hurricanes or wildfires) or the overlap between the impact of the pandemic and existing underlying stressors such as air pollution, demographics, or inequality.