Ten-hundred word challenge, Part 3: Worm Sperm and Brain Pain

In our third installment of the Ten Hundred Word Challenge inspired by this XKCD Up-Goer Five comic (and aided by this Up-Goer Five text-editor), we present two cases of complicated biology made simple. Aggie writes about fear changing our brains, and Paul writes about tiny worm sperm. Read on to learn more! And then, if you’re interested in writing your own, contact us at sciencebuffs@colorado.edu.

worm sperm

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Ten-hundred word challenge, part two: Sick bags and muscle parts in the brain

In the second installment of our Ten-hundred word challenge, inspired by the Up Goer Five xkcd.com comic, we explore the inner-workings of biology. Our writers take a crack at simplifying their research on how immune cells target and kill cancer cells, and why muscle proteins have been found in brain and ear cells. As always, we hope you have fun and learn a little from our light-hearted attempts at reducing highly advanced scientific research to the vocabulary of a five year old.

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Ten-hundred Word Challenge: Part One


How many different words do you use in a day? Take a guess. A couple hundred? A couple thousand? I couldn’t find stats on how many different words people use every day, but I did find that adults know more than 17,000 words, whereas an average five year old knows about 1,500 words. Having so many words makes language complex and nuanced, and virtually anything can be explained. But not everything explained is understood, and science in particular suffers from an overuse of jargon.

Continue reading “Ten-hundred Word Challenge: Part One”