Category Archives: Wellcome Trust

Drug Resistance Zone Report – June 2017

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The Drug Resistance Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Thom is a PhD student researching how bacteria produce drugs and how we can discover new ones, Sanjib is a course director in infectious diseases and also researches tuberculosis and Donna is a lecturer looking at how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Avril is an antimicrobial pharmacist and Abid is a microbiologist doctor who treats patients with antibiotics.

This zone had the highest number of students logged in out of all the zones in June’s I’m a Scientist (539), 91% of whom were active in ASK, CHAT or VOTE. Scientists in this zone were extremely positive and encouraging towards students which made for some sociable and engaging chats. One chat in particular inspired Avril to change her twitter handle to a name the students had made up for her – ‘Avrilbiotic’.

Students in this zone engaged well with the theme, although often asked questions about illegal drugs, addiction and side effects. The scientists were still happy to answer these questions outside of their research areas as best they could, which was appreciated by the students.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Epidemic Zone Report – June 2017

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The Epidemic Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Rosie is a Consultant Microbiologist who advises other healthcare professionals about infectious diseases, Liz is a researcher who uses maths to understand more about norovirus and Christl is a Professor of Statistical Epidemiology who uses maths to study the spread of disease. Kevin is a Senior Epidemiologist working on cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine and Beccy is a PhD Student researching how to eradicate whiteflies to prevent the destruction of crops.

Lots of conversations in the zone focussed on the theme, with students showing a strong interest in infectious diseases and how they can be cured.

The scientists were great at interacting with students and a good rapport was built up, with friendly chats and conversations involving multiple scientists and students. The scientists in the zone also built up a good relationship with each other, which reflected positively in the chats. Notably, Rosie and Beccy continued to engage lots with the event even after they had been evicted. Liz, the winner of this zone, attended every single live chat.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Actinium Zone Report – June 2017

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The Actinium Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Samantha is an Educational Data Scientist analysing data to try and find out how students learn, Matt – the winner of this zone – is a Research Technician studying colorectal cancer and Deborah is working with robots to teach school students healthcare skills. Adele works for an engineering company working out how future buildings and developments could affect the environment and Adam is a postdoctoral research fellow currently studying venomous snakes to make new anti-venoms.

This zone was busy, with a higher than average percentage of active students and questions asked. Chats were often lively and fun, due to the scientists’ ability to easily engage with students. Matt and Adam were especially good at finding common ground with students, sharing jokes and building a rapport. They also made up nearly 75% of all activity by scientists in ASK and the Live Chats.

Students engaged with the work of all five scientists, with Matt, Adam and Deborah’s work being easy to relate to and attracting the most attention.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Protactinium Zone Report – June 2017

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The Protactinium Zone was a general science zone funded by Wellcome. Thorrun is a community pharmacist working for Sykes Chemist, Nicolas is a Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy who is studying the sun, and Helen is a science communicator for a biotechnology company that produces medicine for children. Dan, the winner of this zone, is a PhD student in chemistry studying tests for kidney disease and Amy is a research scientist looking at why people develop rare blood and bone marrow cancers.

All the scientists took an active role within the event and students showed an interest in getting to know them as people, with the highest percentage of personal-themed questions out of all the zones in June’s event. The scientists were all really friendly and good at engaging at conversations with students, within both Live Chats and the ASK section. There were a higher number of comments than the average of June’s zones, and many of these were scientists and students continuing a conversation, with other students joining in

 

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Thorium Zone Report – June 2017

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The Thorium Zone was a general science zone specifically for primary schools, and was funded by Wellcome. Wajiha is a PhD student researching ways to make MRI scans faster, Tom is a PhD student in nuclear fusion – working out how to make a star in a box – and Rosie, the winner in this zone, is a PhD student studying how life can survive in extreme environments like inside a volcano or at the bottom of the ocean. Phil is a landscape ecologist researching ways to observe bees in flight and Chris studies wheat plants to help us grow stronger plants without disease.

This was a really busy zone with nearly 390 questions sent to scientists in the ASK section, and the highest percentage of active students out of all the zones in June’s event (96%). All the scientists were great at answering directly and tailoring their language to suit younger students. Rosie and Chris were the most active scientists, providing nearly 80% of all answers by scientists and attending lots of live chats. This meant a lot of questions were related to their work, with students asking all about space and plants.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Enquiry Zone Report – March 2017

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The Enquiry Zone was funded by Wellcome. It was a general science zone for primary schools focusing on the development of a citizen science project. The scientists involved each suggested a research idea which they refined with the students in the live chats and ASK section and students then voted for the project they would most like to carry out at their school. With the help of the winning scientist, schools will carry out the research in June 2017, recording and sharing their results using the nQuire-it online platform developed by the Open University.

Sallie, the winner of this zone, is a neuropsychologist who suggested an experiment looking at whether what you know about people before you meet them influences how attractive you think they are. Cathal specialises in diagnosing heart problems and his project idea was for students to develop an application that checks the pulse, to help detect whether someone needs first aid. Jade is an analytical scientist, who wanted students to test whether there’s a link between how much air you can breathe and how far you can shoot a blow dart. Hannah is an ecological researcher, whose idea was for students to pick an animal and study its behaviour, and Anthony is a conservation biologist who wanted students to study birds in their school and find out what they like to eat.

Posted on April 7, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Organs Zone Report – March 2017

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The Organs Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Nicholas is a PhD student looking at the changes in the DNA that causes liver cancer by growing mini-organs in the lab, Natalie is a neuroscientist looking at how brain cells connect to each other and Marta is a postdoctoral researcher using a computer model of the heart to understand heart disease. Devon is a PhD student looking at proteins in the kidney to understand how they are important to healthy kidneys and Craig, the winner of the Organs Zone, is a PhD student studying how the immune system fights viruses.

The scientists were all enthusiastic and met the questions in the chats and in the ASK section with interest even when they were outside of their own subject areas. The chats were lively and enjoyable, with all the scientists sharing a good rapport with one another and with the students.

Posted on April 7, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Francium Zone Report – March 2017

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The Francium Zone was a general science zone funded by Wellcome. Sandra is a molecular biologist working on making new proteins to help track cancer cells and Lewis, the winner of the zone, is a PhD student studying materials that absorb light and how this can be converted to electricity. James is a geophysicist that uses sound recordings to find layers in the Earth that are likely to contain oil, Humayra is a gastrointestinal scientist working for the NHS and Dakshat is a PhD student studying how men from different ethnic backgrounds age.

The questions in the ASK section covered all the topics the scientists work in, and many others on top. Live chats were mostly fast-paced with questions on lots of different topics. Lewis answered nearly 50% of all the questions in ASK and together with Sandra, wrote nearly 90% of all the live chat lines.

Posted on April 7, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Radium Zone Report – March 2017

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The Radium Zone was a general science zone funded by Wellcome, specifically for Primary Schools. Sha is a PhD student looking at ageing in plants, Olivia is a PhD student studying how to make wastewater from households useful again and Marco is a PhD student looking at how to protect the lungs from the radiation used to treat lung cancer. Amanda is a biological scientist studying how we can use cells to repair the body when it is damaged and Alex, the winner of zone, is a PhD student looking at how birds use energy to fly.

The Radium Zone was a busy zone with the highest number of questions in the ASK section and of votes in March’s I’m a Scientist. The scientists in the zone were mainly PhD students or early career researchers and the questions often related to the scientist’s interests and work. For example, students asked Alex a lot of questions about birds and Amanda about cells. There were also many general questions which tended to focus on the body, natural world and observable phenomena, with a few direct, more personal questions to the scientists.

Posted on April 7, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Radon Zone Report – November 2016

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The Radon Zone as a general zone specifically for Primary schools and was funded by Wellcome. Réka (the winner of this zone) studies genetics to find out how our DNA makes us look like our relatives, Pip is a paediatrics doctor and Kuntal is studying how climate change will affect crop growth to improve ways of growing rice. Kate is a medical physicist who uses x-rays to treat cancer and Ajay studies how skin changes throughout our life in order to learn more about diseases like skin cancer.

The Radon Zone was extremely busy, with over 3,000 questions asked – the most out of all the zones in this event and over four times the historic average. In the ASK section, the scientists provided an extremely high number of answers (777), and students left a much higher than average number of comments in reply (191). Réka made up over half of all scientist activity in both ASK and the live chats, and attended every chat session.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Polonium Zone Report – November 2016

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The Polonium Zone was a general science zone funded by Wellcome. Peter is a PhD student studying black holes, Miranda, who was the winner of this zone, researches bumblebees and writes computer programs modelling possible future extinction events and Lucy works in muscle metabolism researching whether a particular vitamin makes our muscles healthier. Jack is a doctor who is trying to identify which medical tests and treatments don’t work and Huma is a research fellow using the Turing test to find out if humans can tell whether they are talking to another human or a robot.

This zone was one of the busiest in this event, with a higher than average number of questions asked from students, and answers by scientists. Peter was particularly active in the ASK section. Live chats were also very busy, with a high total number of live chat lines, over half of which were made up by zone winner Miranda.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Astatine Zone Report – November 2016

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This is a general science zone funded by Wellcome, involving five scientists working in a variety of areas. Sam is a radiation scientist who looks at how to keep people safe if there was an accident involving radiation, Ellie investigates causes of diseases such as heart attacks and Darren, who was the winner of this zone, researches human consciousness and is currently working on how to get robots to have a sense of time. Catherine works in a blood transfusion laboratory providing blood products to hospitals and Andres is a PhD student studying the connections between neutrinos and dark matter.
Students engaged well with the scientists’ individual research areas, resulting in diverse live chats and interesting conversations between scientists and students.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Plants Zone Report – November 2016

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The Plants Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Zarah, who was the winner in this zone, is an invasion ecologist who studies alien plants and how they can affect native plants in the UK, Kon is a PhD student teaching bacteria how to find and eat sugars from plants and Kirsten is researching why vegetables are good for us. Jena is an archaeologist who studies how people used plants in the past and Freddie is researching how to use molecules to make plants grow bigger and healthier.

All of the scientists were active within the ASK sections and live chats. Jena provided just under half of all 243 answers from the scientists, and between them Zarah and Kon made up over half of all live chat lines by scientists.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Investigation Zone Report – November 2016

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This zone was funded by Wellcome and is a general science zone for Primary Schools, which focusses on how scientists work. People doing scientific research need to use a range of investigative skills, many of which are used in science lessons at school. The five scientists in this zone use identifying, observation, classifying, testing or pattern spotting skills in their research. We hoped that from talking to the scientists, students would be able to find out the similar things they do in school that the scientists do in their jobs.

Sophie (identifying) studies animal behaviour to try and understand how humans are changing the natural environment, Sarah (observation) works on radiation protection and Michael (classifying) is an archaeologist who looks at bones to learn about how people lived ten thousand years ago. Marisol (testing) looks at a parasite of dogs to try and prevent it spreading to other species and Lauren (pattern spotting) researches how storms are changing our coastline. Lauren was the winner of this zone.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Brain Zone Report – November 2016

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The Brain Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Ria is researching why some people get dementia while others don’t, Rachel is a neuroscientist who studies human brain tissue to help find a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and Joe, the winner of this zone, is looking at how children’s brains work and why some find school more difficult than others. Iroise studies the brain and behaviour of adults and adolescents and Adrian is researching ‘brain-eating’ bacteria to help combat infectious diseases.

All the scientists in this zone were active in both the live chats and ASK section with lots of interest from the students about the zone theme. There were lots of lively, on-topic discussions about the scientists’ research and the brain in general, with students often commenting about how much they had learnt.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Bismuth Zone Report – June 2016

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The Bismuth Zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust, and included five scientists working in different areas. Thomas works in Nuclear Medicine and uses radioactive substances to look at how our bodies work, Rupesh is a research fellow who studies why plant roots grow down and shoots always grow up, Hazel works as an Application Scientist at an engineering company which makes microscopes, Elliot makes mutants to try and work out why our muscles grow when we use them, and Ellen specialises in designing and analysing shielding against gamma radiation.

The scientists in this zone were very engaging and good at communicating their work with their students, particularly Thomas and Elliot, who took part in most of the live chats and answered a large amount of questions.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Lead Zone Report – June 2016

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This zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Stuart works for the NHS and looks at the DNA of people in hospital to work out why they are ill, Rob is a Teaching Fellow who uses maths to investigate how cells work, Maheen is a PhD student who uses brain imaging to understand how babies brains develop, Euan works with lasers and is trying to build a quantum computer from particles of light, and Deborah analyses food samples to see if they are genuine or counterfeit. The zone had a higher than average number of questions approved and the highest number of comments compared to all the other zones in June’s event

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Thallium Zone Report – June 2016

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The Thallium Zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Sian works for the Food Standards Agency working with data to make sure food is safe to eat, Dawn is a cell biologist who grows brain cells and researches the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, David is a physicist who researches gravitational waves, Dan works at GSK testing drugs of the future and Christie is a PhD student researching how proteins work in the mitochondria. This zone was very busy, with a higher than average amount of questions approved. There was an even spread of answers by scientists in the ASK section, and Dawn, who won the zone, made up almost half of all live chat by scientists throughout the event.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Parasites Zone Report – June 2016

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The Parasites Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Mark is an epidemiologist who is interested in removing parasitic infections that harm vulnerable populations, Linda is a PhD student who studies the malaria parasite, Koi (who won the zone) uses big data to understand the life of parasitic worms that live in human blood, Franco works on allergy and infectious diseases and Claire is an immunologist who researches parasitic infections and treatments.

All the scientists took an active role in both the ASK section and live chats and answered a similar amount of questions. The zone was largely on topic, with a majority of the focussed on parasites and the scientists’ work, but received the fewest amount of questions compared to the other zones in this event.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Ecosystems Zone Report – June 2016

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Ecosystems was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust, and was a zone specifically for Primary Schools. Vincent is a PhD student who uses maths to look at how species move within their environment, Luis researches the interaction between oil spills and marine sediments like beaches and the seabed and Joe is a biologist who studies animals with the aim of protecting them and educating people as to why we need nature. Joanna is a zoologist who studies how animals interact with their environment and Hannah researches animals that live on our sea shores and makes sure they are protected.

All the scientists were very good at adapting their answers and describing their work in ways to engage younger students, and the live chats were lively and fun. This was a quiet zone with a lower than average number of questions approved and live chats booked.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Cells Zone Report – June 2016

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The Cells Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust, and included five scientists whose work relates to cells in different ways. Sam uses polymers and proteins to research how cells evolve, Rob works in a cancer hospital using radiotherapy to treat cancer cells and Matt grows brain cells in order to study brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Kylie studies white blood cells in the lungs to try and find out what happens to them when someone has lung disease, and Rebecca is a structural biologist who uses electron microscopes to study cells and proteins within them.

This was a busy zone with a high amount of questions in ASK and some engaging live chats which focused on the topic of cells, as well as other aspects of the scientists’ work and science in general.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Platinum Zone Report – March 2016

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The Platinum Zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Daniel works with Embryonic Stem Cells and is funded by the organisation. Lowri studies people’s behaviour in relation to energy consumption, Greg is a doctor who researches how we can prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes, Kelly is an Intellectual Property Analyst for a chemical company and Giovanna is an experimental physicist who works with tiny electrical circuits.

The zone was quite busy throughout the two weeks, with a higher than average amount of live chats (22) compared to the rest of the zones in this event. There was an even spread of activity within the live chats from the scientists, and in the ASK section Lowri, the winner of the zone, accounted for 42% of all activity by scientists

Posted on April 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Gold Zone Report – March 2016

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The Gold Zone was a general primary school zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Omur studies how stem cells become neurons to help cure brain disease, Chris looks at the birth and formulation of galaxies, Hayley researches sleep and how DNA relates to people’s sleeping patterns, Maddison creates tiny structures to improve smartphones and Jimi works with mass spectrometers to help fight cancer.

The zone was very quiet during the first week, however in the second week activity picked up and it became the one of busiest zones in the March event, with the highest number of questions approved and answers given. Students were interested in the work of the scientists, especially on the topics of cancer and sleep. There was an extremely high number of comments, with 629 in total and over 90% of student comments were from Lathom Junior School. Students interacted really well with this section and used it to ask further questions and also to discuss with each other, as well as the scientists, their ideas.

Posted on April 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Fat Zone Report – March 2016

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The Fat Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. Majid looks at blood vessels in obesity, Hannah is a Lecturer in Health and Exercise Physiology, Sam researches how to keep healthy as we get older with Cancer Research UK, Charlotte studies how fats stored in the liver affect our health and Richard studies the role of a hormone that can make people healthier when they eat less food.

A large amount of questions were focussed on the topic, with interest in health related topics revolving around exercise and diets, for example. There was a high percentage of active students (92%) and chats were busy and engaging. There was a below average number of students logging in compared to the rest of the zones in this event which resulted in a lower number of questions approved.

Posted on April 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Heart Zone Report – November 2015

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The Heart Zone was a themed zone funded by the Wellcome Trust, and Michael and Loan do research with the Trust. The scientists looked at areas such as the genetics of heart disease, stem cells involved in heart repair, blood vessel development, and how fat damages the heart. This was one of the busiest November zones in the live chats and also saw over 1000 questions submitted by students in ASK.

The heart was the strong focus of the zone, with student’s especially keen to find out about heart diseases and treatments. The scientists also talked about their research and what they get from doing their work. Cristina, in particular, engaged strongly in ASK and live chats, in which Praveen also worked hard to connect with the students.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Rhenium Zone Report – November 2015

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The Rhenium Zone was a general science zone funded by the Wellcome Trust. The scientists were from a variety of backgrounds including the immune system of worms, making molecules for use in nanotechnology, promoting evidence based medicine and physical activity research, detecting radiation levels and investigating the genomes of viruses.

This zone had the highest rate of active students in November and 95% of the students who logged in used ASK, did a live chat or voted. Popular topics in the zone reflected the research of the scientists, as well as more general questions about chemistry, biology and physics. Of the scientists, David and Nicholas engaged particularly well throughout, not just in the high level of answers and live chat but also in the quality of their responses, often to questions outside of their expertise.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, News, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Tungsten Zone Report – November 2015

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The Tungsten Zone was a general science zone for primary schools, funded by the Wellcome Trust. It featured five scientists from different backgrounds, between them covering the immune system, how the climate affects marine life, the brain cells of mice, the structure of metals and bone development. The students were interested in all these areas and other popular topics were space, animals, dinosaurs, the human body, and personal questions about being a scientist.

The scientists in this zone put a lot of effort in to engaging with the students in both ASK and live chats. It was notable that a majority of the chats were attended by 3 or 4 scientists and there was a good team atmosphere throughout the zone.

Posted on December 16, 2015 modantony in 2015, Wellcome Trust, Zone Reports | Leave a comment