Welcome to Science is So Sexy!!

For more weekly science articles by Esmeralda,

visit www.mybugsandi.com.

See you Soon for more Sexy Science

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Science is So Sexy is 5!

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My Dear Sexy Readers,

My little Sexy blog is 5 today!

I started this blog after going to a talk by a lady from Sense about Science about Standing Up for Science! I was inspired to create my own platform where I could lay down answers to my Science questions and my friends/readers' Science questions.

It has grown into this beautiful blog and inspired me to make a career in healthcare communication!

I was a Research Scientist 5 years ago, I am now a Senior Medical Writer, and it's all thanks to the experience I've gained writing for you guys.

Recently, someone asked me to write a little bit about myself and my love for Science as part of her blog series Ladies Who Lab (if you'd like to read it, it's here)
The response has been amazing!!

Science is So Sexy also made me discover the extraordinary life of our gut flora and their impact on our health, mental and physical.
Since January, I've been blogging weekly on My Bugs And I and have been reposting some of them over here as well.

I hope you can follow me over there too, so...

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Summer Giveaway: Win an Amazon's Best Seller!

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Summer is finally here!!!

We can enjoy those gardens, pimm's, flip flops and dresses we bought at the last sale...

There's so much to do during July and August, between summer camps for big kids and playgrounds for the little ones, juggling with work and nursery drop offs and pick ups, organising summer BBQs and parties, celebrating weddings and birthday parties, I admit blogging is a bit far down the list of priorities... And I haven't even mentioned the two weeks away for a beach holiday with the preparations beforehand and the tidying up afterwards!!!

So, what I'm trying to say is that I've had to make the difficult decision to take a summer blogging break! Sniff... I know...

But while this is happening, let's have a GIVEAWAY!!! And I'm feeling generous...

You know the rules...

The giveaway will run from 10th July until 31st August 2016 and hosted on MyBugsAndI.com
- One winner will receive Ella Woodward's book 'Deliciously Ella every day' and 2 Giffgaff sim cards
- One winner will receive Rachel Kelly's 'Walking on sunshine: 52 small steps to happiness' and 2 Giffgaff sim cards
- One winner will receive 2 Giffgaff sim cards
- You need to be 18 or over
- UK residents only
- No automated entries

Get a free giffgaff Sim

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone and Happy Summer!!!

PS: Let me know in the comments which book you would prefer, should you be one of the winners! Good luck!

The prizes' images are affiliate links.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

What's GBS infection?

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My Dear Sexy readers,

This is a post I wrote for my other blog My Bugs And I but I thought you Sexy guys might be interested too.

This is actually Part II of the question I was asking myself: Is water birth bad for baby?
If you'd like to catch up on the first part, please follow here.

GBS stands for Group B Streptococcus and can be worrying for pregnant women who are found to have some in their gut (mums are then called GBS carriers). In fact, up to 41% of women are carriers and 1 in 2 children born from these mothers will themselves be colonized by GBS. Out of all these children, it was estimated that 1% could develop complications that sometimes can be life-threatening (1 in 10).

When researching for answers, I came accross an article saying that it was 'bad'; however, what is the truth in this since many professionals strongly disagree.
Interestingly one of them brought forward an article on the risk of GBS infection during water birth:

This US paper stated that there was a 300% lower rate of early onset GBS infection when babies were born in water (and without using antibiotic prophylaxis) compared with babies born on dry land (both hospitals) - when looking at uncomplicated pregnancy (what are GBS' pregnancy complications?).

In the UK, pregnant women are not routinely screened for GBS (NHS)

The article concluded that if there is a risk of early onset GBS, the risk may be lowered by encouraging the mother to give birth in a warm water pool without antibiotics (effect of antibiotics at birth coming soon).

Another 2007 study showed that GBS-carrier mums who gave birth in the water - as opposed to laboured in the water and got out before the big push - contaminated the water pool with their GBS much more, nevertheless there were fewer of their children colonized by GBS!

In conclusion, for now we can say that water birth has not been shown to influence baby's gut early microbiota and it may even have a protective effect for babies at risk of GBS infection.

Do you know if you are a GBS carrier?

If you'd like to share your thoughts or stories, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment, I'd love to read them.

See you Soon for more Sexy Science,

Scientific articles on GBS here and here

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Calorie labels aren't the same value for everyone

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My Dear Sexy Readers,

Here is one from my blog 'My Bugs and I' I really wanted to share with you as we've addressed the subject of calories somewhere else:

We are not all equal when it comes to food. We’ve known this for a few years now, some people are just not equipped with the best genes. However, it seems that we may have missed a major player in the digestion equation, namely our microbiota.

Our gut microbiota have a formidable secondary role in extracting energy from food that ends up undigested in our gut.

Having passed through the small intestine, it is then our microbes’ turn to chew leftovers and extract as many calories as possible from them for their, as well as for our, benefit.

But, knowing that microbiota species identities are different from person to person, is extracting calories from food a unique and tailored process for each one of us?


Indeed, some of these micro-organisms are just better than others. Peter Turnbaugh was a PhD student when he conducted an experiment on mice that would change the way scientists think of calories-in/calories-out:

What he did was simple enough, he transferred the gut germs of obese mice into lean germ-free mice (let’s call them Batch O), he also transferred the gut germs of normal lean mice into lean germ-free mice (Batch L). He then fed Batch O and L with exactly the same food. Two weeks later, Batch O had gained a lot more weight than Batch L. Since he used recipient mice with no germs that could influence the results, the effect was directly linked to the germs from obese mice (see figure, excuse the mice's coat colours please).

Turnbaugh's experiment in 2006
Turnbaugh calculated that Batch O was getting 2% more calories from food because the germs from obese mice were better at extracting energy. For each 100 calories Batch L would get, Batch O would get 102 calories. Not much of a difference but think about it in the long-term: it all adds up!

Other experiments have been conducted in humans that reach the same conclusion:

It is our gut microbial content that determines how much energy we extract from food – Do you want to tweet this? 

This has some serious implications, imagine food labels for example: a 145 calories chocolate cookie may mean 148 for someone with an unfortunate set of gut bacteria super good at extracting energy.

This said, the set of microbiota that we are hosting is directly influenced by our day-to-day dietary habits. For example, someone who is not used to eating fats will not harbour the germs that are good at extracting energy from it, so the fat will go through undigested; whereas someone who’s used to a high fat diet, has the ‘right’ set of germs to deal with fat and get the most out of it.

Effectively, it means that the odd cookie won’t affect a no-cookie diet person the way it will affect a cookie lover who indulges frequently in cookie eating.

But this is only the first step, calories in. Calories out is the next step.  All that energy that has been kindly extracted by our microbiota needs to have a purpose: either it is used immediately, or it is stored away for later use.

But that is another story…

Are you a calorie counter? Will you change your attitude towards food labels?
I’d love to read your thoughts, feel free to leave me a comment, I’d love to read them.

The fascinating results from Peter Turnbaugh were published in the famous Nature paper in 2006 (yep, and we’re only catching up now!). Although it is unfairly hidden behind a pay wall, you can read its abstract here.

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