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Amy’s Articles

A collection by Amy Howard

The scandal of Higher Education funding in England.

This is Great Britain, a place where education is accessible and encouraged to everyone, right? Wrong.I have personally made my way through all the conventional steps of the English education system, namely, GCSE’s, A-levels, Bachelor’s degree. When faced with the question all undergraduates fear: ‘so, what are you doing after university?’, I decided I wanted…

Green Energy done badly: Cleve Hill Solar Park.

On the 28th May 2020, the proposal for the UK’s biggest solar farm was approved. For those ecologically minded, this seems like a huge win, a step in the right direction for sustainable development. However, on closer inspection, the questionable financial motivations, potentially catastrophic health risks, opposition from local communities, and impact on endangered ecosystems…

Intelligence and Neurobiology in Coleoid Cephalopods: Why and How? (long read)

Contents:AbstractIntroductionIntelligence: Why?What is ‘intelligence’?What drives the Evolution of Intelligence?How do we measure Intelligence?Evidence on Coleoid Intelligence from Behavioural studiesSpecific Coleoid Intelligence Evolutionary routes – Why Coleoids? Implications of Advanced IntelligenceNeurobiology: How? How are Neuroanatomy and Intelligence linked? Evidence on Coleoid Intelligence from Physiological/ Anatomical/ Neurological StudiesHow Diverged is Coleoid Anatomy? Comparisons of Neurobiology across taxaDiscussion…

Is paying for ‘ecosystem services’ good for sustainable development?

Ecosystem services are the benefits that humans gain from the natural world, and are defined into 3 general categories: provisioning services supply us with a commodity (water, timber), regulating services help maintain homeostasis in our environment (air regulation), and cultural services offer an opportunity to expand our experiences, with nature tourism and education (Department for…

Discussing the main issues concerning the compatibility, between the pursuit of economic growth and the pursuit of sustainability.

IntroductionThe issue of the contrasting, and potentially conflicting, interests between the current economic model, and sustainability, has become more prevalent in recent years. It’s suggested by economists and ecologists alike, that under the western capitalist structure, economic growth cannot be achieved in a manner that is sustainable for natural habitats and ecosystems.The industrial revolution gave…

POSTnote: The Geographic Expansion of Chronic Wasting Disease.

Overview Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), is a type of Prion disease, which effects members of the Cervidae family (deer).  The disease effects the nervous system of the animal, and causes a spongy degeneration of the brain, resulting in abnormal behaviour, emaciation (wasting), loss of bodily functions, and ultimately death.CWD is highly contagious, currently incurable, and…

Examining the statement ‘By 1918 liberalism had simply had its day’.

Depending on which definition of liberalism you refer to, this question could have two different answers; the parliamentary liberal party and the ideological creed of liberalism have fared enormously dissimilarly since the events of 1918.The ideology of liberalism was arguably born from the Enlightenment of the 18th century, on the core values of individualism and…

Is vocal sexual communication ‘honest’?

Introduction: Vocal communication is defined as signals created by the oral apparatus, from a sender, which when received, sends information to, or alters the behaviour of, the recipient. As with all traits, the skill of communication must persist over evolutionary time; specifically, the ability to vocally interact only proliferates if the signal has a net…

Explaining the steps of neuronal differentiation, and the mechanisms ensuring that neurons in different areas of the cerebral cortex have different form and function?

After gamete fertilization, the zygote goes through a series of developmental stages over time, and as cell proliferation occurs, they specialize and group together, to form tissues and organs with specific functions. This process is complex and requires many factors to work in synchrony.In the case of the nervous system, the neurons themselves must first…

Defining three subtypes of motor neuron disease at the clinical, neuropathological, and genetic levels.

Abstract: This paper details 3 subtypes of sporadic motor neuron disease (MND): Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Primary Lateral Sclerosis, and Progressive Muscular Atrophy. We discuss these diseases in depth, investigating the clinical, neuropathological, and genetic characteristics of each.The term ‘clinical’ refers to the range of symptoms being exhibited by the patient, which aid in diagnosis and…

Why should conservation biologists consider the interaction between tropical rainforest conservation and human health?

The practice of preserving ecosystems, species, and habitats serves to benefit humans in the future for a variety of reasons: firstly economic, through the ecosystem services we receive from natural resources; secondly environmental stability provided by natural systems such as trees as flood barriers and air purifiers, and the equilibrium of pristine ecosystems maintaining themselves;…

Evaluating the use of semiochemicals to modify the behaviour of natural enemies in attempts to control insect crop pests.

Introduction: The connections between plants and animals drive countless trophic interactions. These interactions fall into 4 main categories: mutualism, commensalism, antagonism, and competition. Most animals depend on plants, whether directly, through shelter and food, or indirectly as predators upon herbivores and other animals lower in the trophic system. Furthermore, the majority of carbon and solar…

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