Category: Master’s Students

The PG Leap Year Ball

On Saturday 29th February 2020, the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) held its second annual Graduate Students’ ball, an event which aims to bring together postgraduate students from across each campus, each department and either research or taught Masters’ or PhD courses for a night of fun, and relaxed socialising. The Leap Year Ball was held at the Under the Bridge venue in Fulham and was a roaring success for both the GSU organising committee and attendees alike.

The first of these GSU Postgraduate Balls’ ran last year and was well-received, with just under three-hundred students attending. This year, the GSU team were more ambitious.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – People’s Choice Award

by Clavance Lim, MSc Student in the Department of Computing

Translating words to numbers

As humans, one way in which we are unique is our ability to communicate with complex language (arguably, science students possess this skill too). In contrast, computers ‘think’ not in language, but in binary numbers. Instead of the decimal system we count with, which uses the ten unique digits ‘0’ to ‘9’, computers ‘think’ only in ‘0’s and ‘1’s. This is because their hardware is controlled by tiny switches, which turn electrical current on or off. As it is difficult to control electrical current at such a microscopic level (switches can be as small as only 10x the size of an atom!),

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 1st Place

by Michelle Lin, MRes Student in the Department of Life Sciences

Cryptococcosis: The Silent Killer

The young patient presented to the hospital with a fever, headache, seizures, and both eyes bulging out of their sockets. Suspecting an infection, doctors first treated the boy with a common antibiotic, Penicillin, presumably to knock out whatever bacterial agent they believed was causing his symptoms.¹

With the boy’s condition failing to improve, doctors kept the boy hospitalized as they searched for a diagnosis and administered various antibiotic and antiviral medications.

As his hospital stay dragged on, the boys condition continued to deteriorate until, after 52 days of ineffective treatments in the hospital, the boy succumbed to his illness.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 2nd Place

by David Ho, PhD Student in the Department of Physics

A really strong magnet can dissolve Everything

One wrong thing everyone knows about the universe is “conservation of matter”. It seems obvious: if you have a chair, you can move it, or turn it around, and you still have one chair. If these were the only experiments you did, you might proclaim that the number of chairs in the universe always stays the same.

Of course, it doesn’t take much thought to counter this: with a hammer you can easily change the number of chairs in the universe. But if you collect every splinter of leftover wood, you’ll find the same amount before and after the destruction.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – Joint 3rd Place

by Eva Kane, PhD Student in the Institute of Clinical Sciences

It is 23rd January 1922. Toronto is cold, and so are you. You stop at a tavern, hoping to warm your numbed hands. You take a seat next to two men, introduce yourself and settle down to thaw.

One identifies himself as Dr Charles Best. “And my mentor, Dr Frederick Banting”.

“You catch us on quite an evening. We’ve just changed the course of history! Have you heard of the fatal disease, diabetes?”

You have but are not well-versed.

“Within the pancreas are clumps of cells that, under a microscope, look different.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – Joint 3rd Place

by Imanol Duran, MSc Student, Department of Life Sciences

Quarantine Connection – Grandma Calling

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GRANDMA (with internet connection) GRANDSON (with a STEM degree)

ACT I. SCENE I. Spain. Each in their quarantine homes, awaiting the bending of the COVID-19 curve.

Grandma: Wait… I can’t see you, son. Grandson: Grandma, take the thumb off the screen (laughs). Yes, that’s it. Grandma: So what are those interesting things your mom told me about, you know, the ones to help uncle John’s lung cancer? (Accommodates in grandpa’s armchair, looking at the screen with the chin a bit too high). Grandson: They’re called senolytics, and are tiny molecules that target some specific cells in cancer.