By: Clare Collins, Head of Biology.

On Monday, 4th December the Year 13 Biologists went to Friends House, London, to attend the Biology in Action day where they listened to five entertaining, memorable and thought-provoking presentations.

The first presentation was by Greg Foot giving details of his scientific adventure diving to 1000ft in the deep ocean in a high-tech submersible and explaining the fatal impact human action is having on our oceans. Dr Darren Logan explained how genes underpin chemical senses and provide a personalised perception of the world, showing how blocking a gene can change the behaviour of a mouse towards a rat so significantly. He even went on to explain the reasons why we either love or hate Parma Violet sweets. Eric Alton went on to describe the world’s largest trial and whether gene therapy would improve the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Tim Underwood discussed oesophageal cancer, opening his talk with scenes of surgery which was not for the squeamish! The talk went on to discuss the importance of large-scale sequencing of patients and how this was uncovering the biology behind the disease and how treatment could be targeted to the individual.

The day ended with Nessa Carey’s talk on epigenetics, explaining how the environment and your genes communicate with each other setting up gene expressions that can change your future. An enjoyable day was had by all, with students leaving feeling inspired.

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