Monash Leipzig Exchange – A Student’s Perspective

Written by Nathan Martens

Most of us at one point or another have had that awful encounter with a ‘friend’ who just returned from a euro trip, having ‘discovered themselves’ and feels the need to reference their travels every two seconds with a pesky anecdote or the classic , “You think this is cold?! You should have seen winter in Rome!”.

A few months ago, I would have dismissed these people the same as the rest of us, silently willing them to shut their traps for fear of internally exploding and letting a snide remark fly.

HOWEVER, I’ve recently had a change of heart thanks to the Monash-Leipzig exchange program. I’ve become ‘that guy’ and I’m not remotely mad about it.

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Student Life Management – Time

Time Management

Aidan Matthews  @aidanjrmatthews

Time management is the essence of Life Management. It allows for the utilisation of time for the maximum productivity and the successful completion of tasks and goals. Developing techniques for your time as a student means you can have a social life, stay healthy, eat food, work a job and study a whole degree all at the same time. People have better time management skills than believed, but quite often struggle with the self-discipline and succumb to temptations.

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Tackling exam mind blanks with six simple tips

Written by Christina Nelson

#FeelingPrepared

It is that time of semester again … the mid-semester slump.

But there is good news as we are now past the halfway point!

You may have already had your mid-semester tests, or you have them to look *forward* to after the break. Regardless, we want to tackle those end-of-semester exams with confidence – and may all the late nights be worth it.

For many, exams are a headache and the thought of them makes you feel sick in your stomach.

Perhaps you have experienced the feeling where your mind freezes during an exam? Or where you just cannot recall why DNA is described as a double helix?

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Welcome to Student Life Management

 

Week 1

Welcome to Student Life Management

Aidan Matthews 5. April 2018   @aidanjrmatthews

Life as a Student is incredible, challenging, enriching, stressful and so much more. Each year of your studies bringing an increase in pressure and challenge, the constant development of skills, methods and ideas allows for the continual development and achievement of goals. This series of articles produced in conjunction with the Scapegoat Science Newsletter aim to provide you with tools to develop skills in Student Life Management. With the ever-present threat of mid-semester exams, essays, reports, group presentations and quizzes, this series will offer quick snapshots to challenge your ideas, habits, and methods with the objective of developing your Student Life Management.

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Final Year Feels

 

Final year feels

by Christina Nelson

It is completely normal to feel a host of emotions whilst going through your final year. You might find yourself in a self-induced deadline crisis, whilst trying to maintain a semblance of normality so that your lab partner thinks ‘how on earth are they managing’ (even though a few minutes before class you were having a mini-meltdown in the bathroom). The thought of leaving university, and what comes next, starts to dawn on you.

I mean who wouldn’t miss those student discounts, longer summer breaks, skipping those early morning lectures to grab brunch with your mates (or just sleep-in), or having a good excuse for being unemployed?

And let’s be honest ….

This is what you feel like when someone asks you what you are doing next year:

So, enjoy your final year with your friends, and remember that final year is not forever. The study will end!

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Integral Parody Song by George Sariklis

“I came across this article in my readings, and thought it sounded an awful lot like the title of the Bangles song, ‘Walk like an Egyptian’. Seeing the opportunity for a good parody, I wrote a verse to the tune of ,’Walk like an Egyptian'”
~ George Sarikilis
All statistical physicists, they have to use Stirling’s old technique,
If it doesn’t work (O-A-O), their future is definitely bleak
Differential systems will show how these particles accelerate,
If they can’t be solved (O-A-O), they’ll have to go and approximate,
Articles about integrals say (A-O-A-O-A-O-A-OOOOOOOOOO),

 

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A Real Jurassic Park? Amber in Myanmar

 

A real Jurassic Park? Amber in Myanmar.

by Christina Nelson

 

The trilogy, Jurassic Park, and now the fourth instalment, Jurassic World, is a stroke of cinematic genius. It is probably safe to say that many share this view given the films have grossed in excess of US$1 billion dollars. Simply, it is a type of movie that you can watch over and over again and never get bored. It is a type of movie that you can rug up to on a Friday night, whilst your friends are drinking their twenties away, and you remain at home with your Ben and Jerry’s cookie and cream ice-cream. The films make you challenge what seemingly is the impossible. Even when watching Jurassic Park today, I still catch myself thinking ‘yep this could totally happen’ (even though as a scientist you should always question). The films capture the balance between an absolute lack of foresight with occasional pearls of wisdom (i.e. Ian Malcolm) and theatrical (albeit theoretically incorrect) movie science. The question that I really want to ask: can Jurassic Park really happen?

 

Photography by E. Penalver via Nature Communications.

 

Well, several recent archaeological finds, have all originated from one remarkable site: the amber mines of northern Myanmar’s Hukawng Valley. The recent discoveries include a new species of insect, that looks more like E.T., an intact feathered tail of a small carnivorous dinosaur, and a nearly complete 99 million-year-old baby bird. Another remarkable amber discovery was a tick fossilized from the Dominican Republic that may have fed on dinosaurs. This discovery seems to have been written for a plot straight out of one of Spielberg’s movies. Like the movie, could the tick make for the cloning of dinosaurs possible?

Since amber specimens are fossils, this means that DNA will not be preserved well. In our case, we want dinosaur (‘dino’) DNA. In fact, scientists calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. This means that after 521 years, half of the bonds which link DNA would have decayed, and then in another 521 years another half, and so on. This is also increased by other factors, like the actual conditions of fossilization, such as, excessive dehydration and the dynamic changes in temperature over time. Now, this (sadly) means that after approximately 1.5 million years the sequence of DNA would be virtually unreadable and after 6.8 million years, all bonds would no longer exist, meaning that our dino DNA would not be viable to use in a cloning experiment. Of course, even if there was some dino DNA left, we would then need to replace the ‘missing’ DNA with that of an acceptable donor cell of an animal that scientists select to clone.

This means (unfortunately?) I do not think that we should be expecting a real life Jurassic Park-type reanimation any time soon. Personally, I do not fancy a Tyrannosaurus rex roaming around New York city. We, whether that be scientists or lawyers ectara, do not have some sort of ‘God-complex’ and Ian Malcolm is correct ‘life finds a way’. We simply cannot resolve nature’s resistance to control. So, for now, these amber finds are just simply fascinating. Let’s leave it at that.

 

 

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What we can learn from R U OK? Day. A student’s perspective.

Despite some misconceptions out there, R U OK? day is not about asking anyone ‘Are you okay?’ insincerely with the expectation that they will say ‘Yes, I’m good. Thank you. How about you?’.

In these modern times and more than ever in history, we are seemingly more connected to everyone – through the boom of mobile phones and social media.

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12 things I tell myself when I don’t want to study #MotivationMonday

Sometimes, studying can be overwhelming for me. I write down the things I want to achieve today and achieve this week and realised there was quite a bit to do since it’s week 12.

These are 12 things I tell myself when I feel a little demotivated and a little overwhelmed. These are my own things and they may not apply to you. I am sharing this in hope you can find some of it hopeful.

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