Simply Science

From exploring the latest technologies to raising awareness for pancreatic cancer, Simply Science aims to simplify the world’s complex questions and endeavours – in the hope of inspiring a new generations of scientists and making science more accessible to everyone!

Recreating our biology from inside-out

Can scientists build a human body from scratch? In this article, Iris and Holly explain how scientists have designed two novel disease models, organoids and organs-on-a-chip – and discuss their importance for future medical research.

Antibodies can “shield” against infection, but they can’t be expected to win the war alone

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, scientists have strived to understand the intricacies of the human immune response to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.  Whilst there is now little doubt that humans can, thankfully, generate an effective immune response – involving production of viral-specific antibodies – recent studies suggest that the quality and duration of such an…

Training our body’s SWAT team to fight COVID-19: what’s in a vaccine?

As world leaders discuss exit strategies from the current pandemic-induced lockdown, scientists warn that the much-anticipated vaccine remains in early stages of development. Since obtaining the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is known to cause COVID-19, scientists all over the world have worked to develop 100+ vaccine candidates, five of which have now…

Reversing the genetic flow: how scientists diagnose COVID-19

Biologists often refer to DNA as the almighty code of life. However, this is not true for all organisms on Earth. Disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, such as viruses contain a slightly different code known as RNA which stores the virus’ genetic information. Therefore, scientists can detect the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, through the presence of viral…

Engineering meets biology – CAR-T cells and how they target cancer

When asked to define what a doctor means by a “drug”, most of us describe a chemical compound that has been extracted from a leaf or made from scratch in a laboratory. Recent research, particularly within the field of cancer, has shown that scientists are now able to engineer a patient’s own cells to make…

A purple ribbon for Pancreatic Awareness Month

Every two minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. In 2016, 784 new cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed in Scotland alone, according to Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK). Furthermore, the majority of cases (~80%) are diagnosed at late stage disease and unfortunately 44% of cases are diagnosed following emergency admission to hospital (PCUK). Throughout…

Cervical cancer and the importance of attending a (dreaded) smear test

If you were to have asked me how I was felt prior to my first cervical smear test, I would have certainly told you I was dreading it. The concerning fact is that 1 in 4 women don’t attend regular smear tests due ideas of the procedure being “painful” and/or “embarrassing”. However, the ugly reality…

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Meet the Author

Since discovering my passion for science writing during my final year of undergraduate study, I have written articles for University newspapers, The Gaudie, Redbrick and the GIST in addition to contributing short snippets to the Science-Fashion magazine, Wonk!

Being a researcher is much more than working in a lab. It can involve communicating your work to funding bodies, delivering talks at conferences or simply presenting new data at lab meetings. However, I believe it is equally important to maintain a creative streak, which is why I started this blog. Outside of my day-to-day job, I love finding new ways to encourage future generations into science and attending public science festivals, such as Glasgow Science Festival, and Pint of Science continue to be highlights of my year.

Perhaps it’s needless to say but I’m also a huge advocate for Women in STEM. I hope you find this blog to be inspiring and helpful and enjoy having a look about. I do try and post as regularly as I can, but real-life can get really busy at times!

Holly Leslie | BSc MRes
Laboratory Technician in Pancreatic Cancer Research
Deputy Submissions Editor @ The GIST
STEM Ambassador

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