And we’re back!

The Science Creative Quarterly (SCQ) is not a quarterly, but instead publishes new material at a non-linear rate. It seeks science writing of any genre and if you’d like to contribute, please do check out our submissions guidelines.

The Science Creative Quarterly (SCQ) has a single print edition so far (half SCQ pieces, and half fake science journal – see here for more details). The theme for our second print edition will revolve around the science of Harry Potter. Like before, this will also include some of our newer favourite creative pieces, so if you want to get in on this action and get your name in a (sort of) scientific journal, then do submit. Also, badges?

Stay safe everyone!

The Unicorn Microbiome: A proposed microbial mechanism for the rainbow pigments in unicorn poop.

(Click on the front page image to download the full article) Summary: Unicorns (Equus unicornis) are a rare terrestrial mammal, which have been noted to produce a variegated pigmented feces that is often referred to as “rainbow poop.” Despite considerable commercial interest in unicorn rainbow poop, the mechanism leading to this rainbow-pigmentation remains unknown. Microbial metabolism—including the production of pigments— can influence the perceived color of animal excreta. To determine if the rainbow pigments of unicorn feces could have a microbial origin, we used a bioinformatic and microbial cultivation-based approach. To establish what microorganisms could be producing such colored pigments,…

My Apologies for Predicting Our Current Dystopia

Dear Thesis Committee Members, Thank you for your feedback on my latest draft. I was a little confused by your criticism that my dystopian sci-fi screenplay read as too accurate and the subsequent questions insinuating my possible membership in a clandestine deep state conspiracy. When I started writing a satire of late-stage capitalism involving a global pandemic, it was with the honest intention of crafting a creative piece. I did not have insider information (no, I am not a secret epidemiologist), and I did not have a pipeline of information from any corporation that would benefit from our current crisis.…

The Journey of Kale: Why What We Eat Matters

ORIGIN STORY: MY FRIDGE This afternoon I opened my fridge, pulled out the crisper drawer, and grabbed a bundle of kale to add to my lunch. With this seemingly routine activity, I noticed for the first time that my kale bore a label for “Joe Heger Farms”. Who is Joe Heger? A quick google search revealed that Joe Heger, his farm, and my kale’s birthplace were over 2,500 km south of the border in El Centro, California. Somehow, they had found their way to my table in Vancouver, British Columbia. The marvel of being an eater in twenty-first century North…

Genetic Association between WZRD-1 Variants and the Variation in Magical Abilities in Canadians

(Click on the front page image to download the full article) Abstract: Current literature lacks a consensus on the mechanism of biological inheritance of magical abilities. Past findings have suggested that the presence of restriction enzyme digestion sites in WZRD-1 are associated with variations in human magical abilities. In this study, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) was performed to characterize the genetic sequence of WZRD-1 in 610 Canadian subjects. These individuals were divided into three cohorts as determined by their magical abilities and blood status. Four genetic variants within WZRD-1 were identified, and the genotypic and allelic frequencies were determined for…

Sacrifice

Trace thumb along gut. Ignore the ammonia odour of sacrifices past. Aim for the triangular target. Squeak. A bead of urine emerges. Hold faith, the church of reason, the sake of humanity. Prepare for fixation: Splay spine against styrofoam board paper towel lined. For the sake of humane tap paws for reflex. Pin apart palms. Affix feet. Snip pelt, tweeze. Clip membranes, ribs. Through buck-toothed gasps the thoracic cage deflates. Saline cleanses        next to godliness. Fluid billows, a sunset damp on paper. Demystify        heart hype hope. Waste not, want – need another heart.

A Child’s Primer on COVID-19

(Deutsch | Español | 中文 | 한국어) * * * Let’s start with this: This is probably a word that you keep hearing grown-ups talk about, but it’s also probably a word that is a bit of a mystery to you. There are lots of ways to explain this funny word, but let’s start by telling you that it’s the reason why so many people are staying at home right now, why your school might be closed, and why people are saying that it’s best not to play with your friends. It’s also why your loved ones keep telling you…

COVID-19 für Kinder Erklärt

(English | Español | 中文 | 한국어) * * * Beginnen wir mal hiermit: Dieses Wort hast du wahrscheinlich schon viel gehört. Die Erwachsenen reden im Moment ständig davon. Aber es ist für dich sicher auch ein etwas rätselhaftes Wort. Dieses seltsame Wort kann man auf viele verschiedene Arten erklären. Das, was dahintersteckt, ist der Grund, warum jetzt gerade so viele Menschen zuhause bleiben müssen. Es ist der Grund, warum deine Schule vielleicht gerade noch zu ist, und warum du nicht mit deinen Freunden spielen darfst. Es ist auch der Grund, warum man dir ständig sagt, du sollst die Hände…

新冠肺炎 (COVID-19)儿童科普知识

(Deutsch  | English | Español | 한국어) * * * 让我们从这个词开始: 新冠肺炎, 这个词可能是近日来孩子们从大人那听到最多的一个词, 也可能 对你来说有点儿神秘感。 事实上, 有很多办法解释一个新词, 但我们就从为什么 现在有很多人要呆在家里?为什么学校关门?为什么不能和好朋友一起玩儿? 还有为什么爱你的人要一直告诉你好好洗手?还要特别关心祖父母们? COVID-19 是一种能使人得病的东西。这种东西叫做病毒。 事实上病毒有很多种类型。 就像是有很多种类型的鸟,比如: 鸭子,小鸡 还有猫头鹰。 病毒也有很多种, 只不过在学校可能还没有学到它。 病毒实际上无所不在。 大多数病毒对人类并无伤害。 但不幸的是, 有几种我们常听说的可使人致病。 例如: 引起普通感冒的鼻病毒 Rhinovirus, 引起流行性感冒的流感病毒 Influenza Virus. 这种COVID-19 新冠肺炎, 是由 冠状病毒引起。 让我们看看COVID-19 名字的由来吧 很有趣吧? 现在我们知道了COVID-19 来由。 它是一种病, 可以让人得的病,是一种由病毒引起的病。 这是一种特别的冠状病毒,最初是科学家在2019 年发现的。 病毒非常非常小。小到我们用肉眼无法看到。一般的显微镜也不行。而且它们也很奇怪。 甚至科学家也无法断定它们是死的还是活的, 或者介于两者之间。 它们不会长大, 也不会呼吸,也不在乎生存环境, 自己不会行走,不吃东西。 事实上只有一件事它们可以做,就是复制它自己(从这点看它们像是活的)。但又不完全像,有点像其它能传宗接代 的 生物。 所以病毒依靠复制可以制造更多病毒(virus)。 无论如何,病毒要想复制病毒, 总是需要一个地方。对于 新冠肺炎病毒 COVID-19来说, 这个特殊的地方就是人体。其实它最喜欢 的是人的鼻腔 和肺。 不幸的是病毒进入这些地方就开始复制它们自己了。 当一个人病了,也就是新冠肺炎病毒在它们喜欢呆的地方搞得一团糟, 比如肺部。 这也就是为什么听大人们说,得了新冠肺炎病开始时像感冒, 出现发热,流鼻涕,咳嗽 还有恶心呕吐等症状。也有部分人,得了新冠肺炎 COVID-19, 但没有任何症状。这些人更危险。到目前为止,老人比较容易感染此病。   * * * 尽管它们非常非常的小,如果画出来得话 像这样: 这个圆球的表面是油脂的,还有很多棘突(spike)突起。圆球的内部有螺旋式的遗传指令结构 (instructions)。 下面着重谈几点: 首先,当人们谈论去检测是否感染了COVID-19, 实际是在做一个科学实验。 这个实验就是看是否有这个遗传指令结构。 如果检测出有和COVID-19 一样的指令结构, 那就是阳性反应(也就是说,此人带有这个病毒。这并不是目前唯一的检测方法,而是比较好的方法。 现在,我们看一下棘突, 科学家对它很感兴趣。 因为新冠肺炎病毒用它的棘突去辨识和找到人的鼻腔和肺, 就好像有感觉式的。一旦找到了会高兴的说“我可以呆在这儿了!” 如果我们可以对棘突有更多了解,科学家可能就可以制造出药物来制止棘突工作。那样就可以阻止病毒进入人体了。 这些棘突在另一方面也被研究, 因为可帮助制造疫苗。你以前大概听说过这个 词,多数是在打针的时候。虽然打针并不是一件令人向往的事,但疫苗可以有效地使人们保持健康。 疫苗的基本概念是:将这种药物注入身体后,身体就会产生超强反应。如果人体再次遭遇这种病毒,因为已有充分准备,身体就会更好地抵御病毒的侵入。 很多科学家正在研究 COVID-19…

Una Guía Para Niños Sobre COVID-19

(Deutsch | English | 中文 | 한국어) * * * Vamos a empezar con esto: Probablemente esta es una palabra que escuchas a adultos decir mucho, pero probablemente también para ti sea un misterio. Hay muchas maneras de explicar esta palabra tan graciosa, pero comencemos diciéndote que es la razón por la cual actualmente tanta gente se queda en su casa, porqué tu escuela podría estar cerrada y porqué la gente dice que es mejor no jugar con tus amigos. También es por eso que tus seres queridos te siguen diciendo que te laves las manos y que seas especialmente…