Biology in Action Field Trip

On Monday 26th November, I - along with 10 others - went to Warwick University attend multiple interesting lectures on different aspects of biology ranging from microscopy to the life and realities of an oesophageal cancer surgeon.

Our first lecture was on microscopy- the intricacies of microscopes and the various techniques used when examining difficult samples (such as live samples like human cells). The next lecture was on the politics of biology and the reasons for science denialism. This included topics on climate change and GM (genetically modified) food. The speaker gave an overview of the reasons behind science denialism and opposition to science and a powerful argument supporting the reasoning for climate change and GM crops.

The next lecture on anthropology and evolution was very different. We learnt about primates such as chimpanzees and baboons eat, sleep and socialise. This lecture provided a welcome change of pace and covered the more zoological aspects of biology. A short talk on exam preparation was incredibly useful as it was something that could be used right now in our lives as A level biologists.

We then had a quick lunch and came back to my favourite lecture of the day- the life of a surgeon. We learned about the treatment pathways for a patient with oesophageal cancer and then watched a video of someone with oesophageal cancer being operated on (how the tumour is removed). This was extremely interesting - although probably not for the faint hearted!

The final lecture was by Greg Foot on Mount Everest and exploration science. This showed how expeditions can aid medical advancements: in this case about how people’s bodies react to low levels of oxygen and how to better adapt to low oxygen levels. This specifically related to ICU patients, who require a ventilator to get enough oxygen.

In conclusion, this trip was very useful, interesting and entertaining. There were many fascinating speakers and plenty of opportunity to ask them questions. Although all lectures were good, my favourite was the one the oesophageal surgeon gave. It was a fun trip and a welcome change of pace and scenery to every other school day. Many thanks to Mr Harries and Mrs Townley for driving us there and organising the trip.

Written by Hannah Singh Year 12

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