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Cake and Canvas to End a Day Learning About DNA – by Chidera – Medicine

Chidera medicine
Chidera medicine

Wednesday, 28 July 

After breakfast today, I walked down to Cloister gardens and read a book I bought from Blackwells during our Oxford trip. At about 9:30 am, we walked down to our classes. Today, my first academic session took place in the kitchen as we were working on DNA. It was exciting to get to use the pipettes I had seen scientists on TV using, but I was also on edge.

There was a lot of technique required to get good results, and so I was very invested in doing each step as well as possible. When used in crime scenes, Gel electrophoresis allows us to determine whether the DNA from the crime scene and the DNA of suspects match. It requires a lot of mixing and centrifuging and so adding precise amounts of each liquid makes all the difference. 

Although I was very nervous today, I do feel that the next time I am faced with gel electrophoresis, whether in university or when I start working, I will be that much more confident in my abilities. Not because we got perfect results, but because I am not as much of a novice as I used to be. 

After lunch, the academic session focused on translation, transcription, and unusual genetic phenomena that are not accounted for in normal Mendelian theory. In the afternoon, some students and I took a trip to the Grafton shopping centre where we were able to shop from different charities; I bought some socks from Cancer Research UK’s shop! 

Returning to Sidney Sussex, we met up with our mates for a barbecue and settled down for cake and canvas later on. The cake was delicious, and my painting of a yellow butterfly is currently drying in my room, awaiting the opportunity to be framed.

Chidera, Sidney Sussex, Session 3 – Medicine

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