In this Episode of MostlyScience, Wes is joined by Dr. Anna of Dr. Anna’s Imaginarium and Holly Blunden of MostlyScience to celebrate science as we pass the anniversary of the March for Science. We share some of our favourite science stories including the magic of Cyanobacteria, the father of electromagnetism Michael Faraday, and the discovery of Insulin, and we talk a little about our journey through STEM.
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Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic, that is, they live in the water, and can manufacture their own food. Because they are bacteria, they are quite small and usually unicellular, though they often grow in colonies large enough to see. They have the distinction of being the oldest known fossils, more than 3.5 billion years old, in fact! It may surprise you then to know that the cyanobacteria are still around; they are one of the largest and most important groups of bacteria on earth.
Michael Faraday, who came from a very poor family, became one of the greatest scientists in history. His achievement was remarkable in a time when science was usually the preserve of people born into wealthy families. The unit of electrical capacitance is named the farad in his honor, with the symbol F.
Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a feared disease that most certainly led to death. Doctors knew that sugar worsened the condition of diabetic patients and that the most effective treatment was to put the patients on very strict diets where sugar intake was kept to a minimum. At best, this treatment could buy patients a few extra years, but it never saved them. In some cases, the harsh diets even caused patients to die of starvation.
In 1921 a group of researchers in Canada would make an amazing breakthrough that would save the lives of people around the world. But their story and the battle between Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod for the credit would wage on. Listen to hear the amazingly true story of the discovery of insulin and more on this weeks episode.
Host: Wes: @WesleyWilson
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