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Around the world: how women are inspiring us in science and space

October’s Ada Lovelace Day is an annual celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). To mark the occasion, we’ve been reading about the female astronauts and scientists that are hoping to inspire the next generation.

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Barbie goes zero-gravity for World Space Week

A Barbie doll modeled on Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti—who will be the first European woman to command the International Space Station next year—has jetted off on a zero-gravity flight to inspire young girls to consider a career in space and STEM.

To mark this year’s World Space Week, which celebrates women in space, Cristoforetti’s doll mirrored the preparation an astronaut needs to do before heading off to space, by traveling on a zero-gravity flight from an ESA base in Germany.

Read the full article here
Words by Malavika Pradeep

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Scientist encouraging inclusivity in STEM

Biologist María Claudia Segovia Salcedo is not only helping to create a seed bank of Andean mountain plants, she is also planting the seeds for a more inclusive environment for women in STEM in Ecuador.

In addition to her scientific work on Polylepis, a genus of woody shrubs and trees in the same family as roses, Segovia co-founded the Ecuadorian Network of Women Scientists in 2016, which now counts more than 400 scientists as members.

Read the full article here
Words by Andrew Wight

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"Climate-friendly” gas machine for labour

The technology, which was developed by Medclair and is already available in Sweden, was used for the first time at the Newcastle Birthing Centre in September.

Entonox, which is used for pain relief during birth, is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide—a powerful greenhouse gas, which would normally get into the atmosphere after being exhaled, according to Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust. The new machine uses a Mobile Destruction Unit to collect and destroy any nitrous oxide, to stop it escaping into the environment.

Read the full article here
Analysis by Sharon Barbour

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