Monday, 15 September 2014

National Eczema week 13-21 September 2014

0 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

If you suffer from eczema, you will know how frustrating it can be and how hard it is to avoid scratching!  But you are not alone - it is estimated that 5 million people in the UK suffer from some form of this inflammation of the skin.
While some may have a few patches of eczema around the body, there are many different kinds of this dermatitis, some of which can really affect your day to day living.

We already addressed this subject in an earlier post with the amazing participation of Sugarpuffish.

But I thought I would draw your attention to it this week as this is National Eczema week, so maybe we can share some stories to raise awareness between us Sexy blog readers :)

I'll start.
When my son was born, I met a lot of new friends, I call them my Mummy besties. One of them, her son was badly affected by eczema. She tried everything, every cream. She was breastfeeding her child so she also took notice of what she was ingesting. Slowly, one scab at a time, his eczema cleared and at 2 years of age, he is the most beautiful little blondie blue-eyed boy you could meet. Now and again, his eczema flairs up like for example, when they went on holiday, he was constantly scratching the small of his back because of nappy heat rash. It is difficult to pin point the reason for his eczema and to know if it will flair up again later on in life, but help is out there, and awareness days or weeks like this one are important for everyone!


What about you, do you suffer from Eczema, or do you know anyone who is?

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,

Sunday, 7 September 2014

SiSS introduces Seran

3 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

As promised, let me introduce to you Sexy Seran who will be posting her very first SiSS article very soon.
To know her a little better, I sent her a questionnaire about her interest for Science - which BTW you can all fill :) - and here are her answers:

When or why did you first think about pursuing your interest for Science?
When I was in school, I really enjoyed Biology lessons and I had brilliant biology teachers throughout secondary school. When I had to choose subjects to study at A-level, I chose to study Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, English and Critical Thinking. I was one of the few in my class who didn't know at this point what career I wanted, but I knew that I enjoyed these subjects so it made sense to continue to  study them.

What did you do about it?
A-levels, Degree, Master

How did you find it?
Challenging

If you are happy you academically pursued your interest in Science, what was the best bit?
That rare moment when an experiment with a really long protocol actually generates useful results. (Also a big perk was knowing that I don't have to work in front of a computer doing a 9-5pm job near Old Street station wearing office clothes by the end of it).

What is your current career path or what will your next career move be?
Right now it could be anything from carrying out a PhD, to working at a science editorial position to a hospital lab.

Is there anything you would have done differently?
Being completely honest, I know I could have worked a lot harder during my undergraduate degree.

How important do you think Science is?
If you had to choose an adjective for Science, what would it be?
An acquired taste.

That is a very good adjective Seran, one that I'm sure many of our Sexy readers will agree with. Thank you for answering SiSS questionnaire on your interest for Science, we are all looking forward to reading your article,

See you Soon for Seran's Sexy Science,


Monday, 1 September 2014

Science is So Sexy - the launching pad

10 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

Fantastic and exciting news coming up very soon on Science is So Sexy!!!!

First of all, I'd like to apologise for not updating you on all things amazing and Sciencey for the past 2 months!!!! The reason is I have found a job in medical communications and with a little monster approaching the Terrible Twos, life is a bit hectic!!!

But fear not, Science is So Sexy will keep on living: I will try to keep up with your requests and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Science is So Sexy is welcoming new writers!!!!

I'm very excited about creating a launching pad for scientists who dream about engaging with the public and who would like to make a living off science communication.

As you all know, and as in any field, you are more likely to get a job if you have some experience, but you can't get experience without a job!!! Terrible and frustrating! And the eternal question is How do you gain experience?
I was in this situation not a long time ago and because I myself used this platform to launch my career in medical writing, I thought I could extend it to keen and passionate Science graduates who desperately need this thought-after experience.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to invite everyone to forward/share/pin/tweet this post with someone they think might be interested. There are loads of topics to cover so any scientific/medical background is appropriate.

My only condition is the writers to be of minimum at degree level because I want to make sure the level of Science is maintained and all information can be appropriately and accurately referenced. I think that is why people come back to this blog, because they know there's no crap and sensational BS going on, what is written is proven and tested Science, there's no suppositions nor extrapolations, yet it's interesting and accessible by everyone.

The recruitment process has already begun and I'm happy to announce that we have a couple of new writers who are super excited about embarking on this Sexy Science journey.

I will introduce them to you very soon, but you can already see their names in the right sidebar. I can't wait for you to read what they have been preparing, it's amazingly interesting!!!

So, See you Soon for Some Sexy Science,


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

"I am not the Cancer" Art Installation

4 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

I feel privileged to have been invited to the "I am not the Cancer" Art installation in Central London part of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign commissioned by Novartis.
I used to go to scientific conferences all over, sporting a badge with my name and my research lab on it. But this time, I was invited as a Science Writer! How exciting to be recognized for your work!


I was contacted through LinkedIn by a member of the Breast Cancer Care. This charity raises awareness and funds for the care of women affected by Breast Cancer whose disease has become metastatic.
Before being taken through to the art installation, we were welcomed in a reception area where we were presented with the results of the Here and Now campaign.

The Here and Now campaigns are surveys commissioned by Novartis Oncology. In the UK, with 60 respondents living with advanced breast cancer and distributed in April and May 2014, the objectives are to understand the challenges experienced by the patients at each stage of their journey and understand the barriers to improved patient outcomes.

Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, and accounts for a third of all new cancers diagnosed in women in UK!
A third of women with early breast cancer (EBC) go on to develop Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC).
ABC is uncurable and affects an estimated 30,000 women in the UK each year.
Average life expectancy after ABC diagnosis remains at 2 to 4 years, compared to 10 years for early breast cancer.

Here and Now Survey Results
The results of the HERE and Now UK survey were presented to us by Honey Langcaster-James, a lecturer in Psychology from the university of Hull. The results show that women with ABC often feel like many areas of their lives are negatively affected, such as their emotional health, the relationships with friends, family and partner.  Up to one in 3 women with ABC feel they do not receive enough support from their friends or parents.

Patients with ABC require a high degree of social and psychological support. 2 out of 3 women feel like no one understands what they are going through and that it's hard to find support groups for ABC. They feel isolated from other support groups that focus on Early Breast Cancer (EBC). With time, the support they received from friends and family when first diagnosed has faded.

Although, the majority of patients said they received enough support from nurses and their oncologists, they want more time to discuss their wider needs and get help to arrange for these such as emotional and financial support.

Regarding treatments, more work is needed to ensure greater access to new treatments for ABC patients. Almost half of the patients surveyed would like to know more about new treatments but are unsure of who to talk to, some of them don't even feel empowered to make their own decisions.
"These results call for Action... Health Care professionals (HCP) need to understand they can do more... Payers, regulators, commissioners need to work to improve the landscape... We need patient support groups... The Public needs to be aware." said Honey Langcaster-James
Leading UK experts
Gill Donovan, Breast Oncology Nurse specialist and Research Fellow at Cardiff University, also shared her experience with us. She explained that treatment options are not the same depending on your geographical location, the access to new treatments is limited because of costs. Although, she explained, nurses need to balance optimism and realities, one important role to play is the need to give hope, to concentrate on the living and not on the dying.
" We need a service to be redesigned on how to deal with the variety of tasks such as explain treatments, refer to appropriate services, talk to patients, manage their anxiety, manage emotional and physical effects" she says.
Diana Jupp, Director of Services at Breast Cancer Care, says the charity continues to campaign to improve the standards of care for people living with this complex disease. In the UK, we had 5 specialist nurses; this number increased to 32 recently. But it's 32 in the whole of UK! There's a lot of work to be done, collecting data in England, network with Wales and Scotland, sharing good practice, installing policies. A sentiment shared by Baroness Morgan of Drefelin who also came to talk to us about her continuous work to influence politics into opening up to ABC awareness.


The art installation
Then, we were led to the art installation itself: It consisted of 6 TV screens showing face and back of the head of 3 silent patients suffering from advanced breast cancer. Opposite each TV screen was a comfortable armchair; and above each armchair was a speaker from which you could hear their devastating story. So to hear their story, you had no choice but to sit in this armchair and look in the eyes of this silent patient on the TV screen (not a comfortable thing to do). The point of this art installation was to make you realize that, however uncomfortable it is, that’s how we should support friends and family as opposed to using escapism as a coping method. This art installation was created to make you feel differently, to question yourself in order to make you behave differently.


Are you affected by advanced breast cancer? Through a friend, family member, yourself? Were you aware of the lack of support for these patients? As usual, let me know in the comments box,

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,






Further reading
http://www.novartis.co.uk/news/featured-news/20140430-here-and-now.shtml

Monday, 30 June 2014

Inspire your daughters with Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (STEM) subjects

6 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

I'm always on the look out for some amazing sciencey stuff across the net to share on Twitter. I use my twitter account as a list of links to really great reads, videos, pix, etc... So, really, this one should go on there but because it's so relevant, I wanted to share it with you on the blog too!
It's a video about how, from very early on, we can influence our children by repetitive actions or words. This one focuses on the fact that we tell girls they are pretty, not to get messy, that there's no point in exploring manual things, it's best to leave that to boys. This repetitive behaviour would shape a girl into thinking she's not fit for STEM subjects.



What do you think, my Sexy Readers, do you agree? Or do you think it's just a stereotype, it doesn't really happen? What other repetitive words or actions have you heard that influenced you throughout your life?
Let me know in the comments box, thank you for sharing your experiences, you're super Sexy!

See you Soon for Some Sexy Science,

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What is Sarcoma?

4 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

I stumbled upon this while working on a writing test for a job application (! I know, totally random!): this week 23-29 June 2014 - yeahhhh I'm not too late - is Sarcoma Awareness week!! I'm glad I found this because, although I knew the name, I didn't really know much about Sarcomas. And you know me, I love learning about new things and sharing it all with you.
This year's campaign is about Getting People "On the ball" for sarcoma. What is it? It's simple, you just download a Poster from their web page and order your "On the Ball" pack to bring to your GP to make him/her more aware of symptoms, signs, etc... I couldn't find any # to go with the campaign but if you type Sarcoma on the ball on Twitter, you get some results!
You can download this poster yourself from HERE and bring to your GP, along with an info pack
Sarcoma Fact Sheet (borrowed from the Sarcoma website)
Sarcoma is a group of rare-ish cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.

There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma

There are around 3,800 new cases of sarcoma diagnosed each year in the UK

There are 13,000 people living with sarcoma in the UK

Sarcomas make up 15% of all childhood cancers (0-14 years) and 11% of all cancer diagnoses in teenagers and young people (15-24 years)

Sarcomas make up 1% of all cancer diagnoses in the UK

If you are interested or just want to know more about Sarcomas, check the charity's designated web page over HERE


Did you know about Sarcoma? Do you feel we should get more involved in the awareness campaign to get GPs to recognise signs and symptoms? Feel free to share your experience in the comments box, thank you for dropping and...

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,






Further Reading
http://www.sarcoma.org.uk/

Monday, 23 June 2014

What is Diabetes?

6 Sexy People gave their opinion
My Dear Sexy Readers,

I've been working on the second installment of #MyBodyDoesWhat series which will be a new infographic on Pancreas (Previous ScienceSoSexy infographics)! Little did I know that beginning of June was Diabetes week. How timely am I? - Well, I'm 2 weeks too late, but it could be worse, right?! (If you don't know what Pancreas and Diabetes have in common, keep reading ;)

8th - 14th June was the week chosen to raise awareness to this common life-long health condition. This year, using the different social media platforms, the word was #ican! An initiative to show help and support to anyone with diabetes by gathering examples of things that this condition will never let you stop from doing. Check out their live story stream over HERE.

3.2 million people are diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people have the condition, but don’t know it. In the world, the diabetic population stands at 365 million people, representing around 8.5% of the global population.

Diabetes is when our body either doesn't make enough insulin (produced by our pancreas) or cannot use its own insulin properly to help get the sugar (coming from food or our liver) to move from our blood into the cells of our body, causing build up of that sugar in our bloodstream.

Insulin glucose diabetes
The Insulin binds to its Receptor and makes the Glucose transporter move to the cell surface where it can open up a passage to let the Glucose come inside the cell. If there's no insulin or the receptor doesn't recognize or respond to it, the Glucose is stuck in the blood and accumulates = Diabetes
There are 2 types of diabetes
Type 1 is when the body doesn't produce insulin. It requires insulin to treat, is typically developed as a child or young adult, and is a disease that destroys pancreatic cells meaning no insulin production is possible.

Type 2 is when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin produced is not working properly. It is considerably more common and typically affects people over the age of 45, who are also overweight.

If you have followed my first #MyBodyDoesWhat infographic, you know that I'm going to use this series to explore what our body does because seriously it is freakishly genius. I think I should know more about it so I thought I would share with my Sexy Readers whatever info I gather! My second installment on Pancreas is basically "in the making" stage.

In the meantime, if you would like to share your own experience with fellow readers, feel free to hit the comments box, so

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,






Further reading
http://www.diabetes.org.uk/
http://www.diabetes.co.uk/

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