The 2016 Business Meeting

Miscellaneous

Around this time last year I reflected back on 2015 on ThatBiologist, to be honest it seems like I was only writing that blog last week! Nevertheless here we are again. This year has seen a huge amount of growth for my little spot on the internet and also for me as a scicommer (science communicator). This year I’ve written way more blog posts than ever before and for that I am incredibly proud. I’ve written some really great series (well in my opinion). Such as the monthly scientist, the shark tank and I started Becoming A Master. So like last year I thought I would tell you my three most popular blogs from this year and then my three favourites.

Three Most Popular

I’m very happy to announce my most popular blog of this year (in terms of specific views) was Sleeping Beauty and The Pin Prick Coma. Fairyology was a silly idea I had and I’m so glad its been so well recieved.

In second place its another Fairyology. This one is Snow White: Could An Apple Kill? That blog post was fantastic to write because I got to go back to an old assignment and bring it to life again. I’m happy to let you know that there will be plenty more fairyologys coming!

In third place is an episode of BAM. The Little Things blog post was a great one to write mostly because I spent time researching peoples opinions and talking to different people. It was also inspired by an evening that made me incredibly grateful to be able to do what I do!

My Three Favourites

My favourites are in no particular order because they were so hard to pick in the first place. Nevertheless my first favourite is An Offer You Can’t RefuseThis platform does give me a great position to be able to say what I want to an audience that cares. So this piece about vaccination was important to me and I always like combining popular media with science.

In second place it is none other than Meeting Pickle. It was such a special day being able to get so close to penguins. Pickle was also such a charmer and I loved writing about how special he is.

In third place its my blog post for ThatBiologist does Halloween. I missed writing more about my favourite holiday of the year but this piece about how to make a zombie was pretty cool. I think next year I might just have to do another week of them!

In total I’ve written 99 blog posts this year which is crazy! I’ve doubled my views from that of last year and there’s only more good stuff to come. Next year I have lots more to give and I will tell you all about that in January. I’m so excited to keep on writing and sharing the world of Biology with you. If you’ve read any of my blogs or if this is your first one, thank you. This blog has given me lots of opportunites and I can only thank you for reading! I’m now going to go and have my annual christmas break but I will be back in 2017 with lots more to give.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

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Snow White: Could An Apple Kill?

Fairyology

“How I wish that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony.”

Fairyology Episode 3

599936-snow_white1_large.jpgToday we turn our attention to the well-wishing, house-cleaning, magic-mirroring princess. It’s Snow White! Now if for some strange reason you’ve been living under a rock for the post 2000 years and don’t know this particular princess let me give you a little run down of the story.

A queen wished for a daughter that had everything in the quote above. Luckily for this queen her wish was granted and they called the baby Snow White however she died shortly after giving birth. So her king had to look after Snow White. Then the king gets remarried, now you must know that this isn’t going to be good. Snows step mother has this mirror and it’s magic. Her step mum talks to the mirror everyday and asks it who is the fairest of them all. Now all while snow is growing up it always says the she is the fairest. Until (dun, dun duuuuuhhh) it says that Snow is now the fairest! So the evil step mum orders Snow killed. The man charged with this actually just squirrels her away into the woods where she lives with seven dwarfs. The evil queen finds out and then goes hunting for her. After several failed plots she succeeds with a poison apple which puts Snow into a deep sleep. Lucky for Snow her boyf comes to her rescue and wakes her with true loves kiss. Happy ending woohoo! (1)

But let’s rewind one hot second, a poisoned apple! Thats a biology goldmine! What could’ve poisoned it! Well as per usual I’ve come up with some theories, let’s get stuck in!

Theory 1 = Poison Hemlock

1Now way back when I did a post on poison hemlock, it sparked my series the poisons
collection. So I won’t go into the intricacy’s of this wonderful poisonous plant instead I’ll skip to how this plant could be linked to the poisoned apple. This plants poisons are slow working but they are also extremely potent. When consumed the poisons cause paralysis which works well with the story of Snow going into a deep sleep. All parts of the plant contains the poisons so you wouldn’t need much to lace the apple for it to take effect. (2) From history this plant has been used to kill lots of people most famously Socrates! (3) This could have easily been the perfect plan for the evil queen, so how did she survive with this theory? Well clearly the Prince gave snow the antidote with his kiss. Whatever lip balm he uses I want it!

Theory 2 = Deadly Nightshade

300px-Atropa_belladonna_003
Another plant that has been featured on the poisons collection in this post. Deadly Nightshade grows across Europe (where Snow White is set). It has some really edible looking berries, filled with poison that again causes paralysis. It’s said that the effects work quite quickly. Although the most potent part of the plant is considered to be the root; a handful of berry juice inserted into the apple would be enough! (4).

Theory 3 = The Apple Itself? 

Did you know that apple seeds contain cyanide! Yeah however due to the hard coating outside the seed the body rarely even sees the cyanide even if you do swallow a seed. So how would this work for cyanide to be the poison in the apple? Firstly the evil queen would have to produce a really really seedy apple. The amount of cyanide in each seed is so minimal you would need alot of seeds to do any harm. Secondly she would have to make the coating on the seeds weaker in some way or made sure snow chewed it very thoroughly. Then and only then would the cyanide be able to do some damage. Yeah that’s probably not that likely!

In conclusion I really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, it was inspired by a poster I did way back in my third year of my bachelors degree. Til’ next time check out my links below and come say hi on your social media of choice!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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Sources

(1) = http://gb.imdb.com/title/tt0029583/plotsummary

(2) = http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/conium_maculatum.htm

(3) = http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/socrates.htm

(4) = http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/atropa_belladonna.htm

(5) = https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/11/cyanide-in-fruit-seeds-how-dangerous-is-an-apple

 

The Study of Fairytales: Fairyology?

Fairyology

Hello! Happy Saturday to you!

Over my time in my undergrad I created a few assignments that deserved a wider audience than just my tutors and peers, so I bring them to you! The first was my farmers daughter series, the second was my harry potter post and now I present the third, I created a poster in a group about poison plants and we centred it around whether an apple could kill Snow White as it does in the humble fairytale. Now I’ve created a series that will start up in 2016 looking at all of the fairytales!

Here are some of the posts you can look forward to in 2016:

Snow White: Could An Apple Kill?

Sleeping Beauty: Pin Pricks = Coma?

Aladdin: A master class in sleight of hand

Cinderella: The Power of a Pumpkin

Peter Pan: Why do we have to grow up?

I hope you’re excited because I am!

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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