Inspiring Science – Top Picks 03.03.17

As a science enthusiast I’m constantly looking for articles and blog posts that reaffirm my love for science. Here’s a few of my favourites from this week:

Teenager’s sickle cell reversed with world-first therapy.

Sickle cell anaemia is a disease that causes disfiguration of red blood cells. The cells become sickle in shape (hence the name) and this allows them to clump together and also impairs their oxygen carrying abilities. A hospital in Paris may have cured a teenager’s sickle cell anaemia using a world-first gene therapy treatment!

Shortest-Sleeping Mammal? African Elephants Sleep Only Two Hours Per Day.

A new study has shown that African elephants in the wild only require 2 hours sleep per day and can go up to 48 hours without any sleep at all! Infamous for their long memories, this brings into question the importance of certain stages of sleep for memory consolidation.

Artificial ’embryos’ created in the lab.

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have managed to create an ‘artificial embryo’ in the lab. The ‘embryo’ was made using two types of mouse stem cells that manage to self-assemble into a structure very similar to that of a normal mouse embryo. This could be an important step in our understanding of embryo development and could also improve the ethical concerns of using embryos for research but there are still many hurdles to overcome before they can become a standard tool in embryonic research.

Women perform better than men on memory tests for Alzheimer’s

Verbal recall tests are often used to diagnose the early signs of Alzheimer’s however this many mean many women are being undiagnosed at the early stages due to women being inherently better at verbal recall than men. This blog post discusses the problems with the test and suggests some simple solutions.

Let me know what you thought about my top picks in the comments or on Twitter and please feel free to send me any articles that piqued your interest this week!

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