Genetic Diseases Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Today the Genetics Major class organised a science symposium entitled  “Genetic diseases yesterday, today and tomorrow”. The students researched a specific genetic disease and they prepared and presented their chosen disease in pairs. We had presentations of 15 minutes plus time for questions for each disease. The slide presentations were really well-designed and each of the speakers were very knowledgeable and passionate about their subject. We had a fantastic and informative morning.

Genetically Modified Organisms Debate

On Saturday morning the Medical Science, Genetics, Economics and Advertising major classes got together in the Gates Common room at the University Centre for a lively and interesting class. After presentations by the teachers, the students engaged in a debate about genetically modified organisms and pharmaceutical companies. The different classes discussed the argument from different perspectives, showing the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches to global issues.

Learning in Sir Isaac Newton’s Shadow

This week the Astronomy and Astrophysics students  had an inspiring lesson  under Isaac Newton’s apple tree in the University Botanic Gardens. They discussed how Newton’s theories were superseded by Einstein’s and the twin’s paradox of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Student Audrey took the opportunity to take some lovely pictures of the scenic gardens.

Epigenetics: Bridging the Gap Between Nature and Nurture

Today, the Genetics and Medical Science Majors received an interesting talk from guest speaker, Tessa Bertozzi. Here is what some of the students had to say:

“Before entering the lecture, I didn’t even have a vague idea about what epigenetics was. I found extremely fascinating to see how such basic compounds impact the expression of genes within an organism. The lecturer, Tessa, spoke about the expression of genes in honeybees, mice and tortoiseshell cats, due to methyl groups and how they are attached to certain areas of the DNA. The field of epigenetics appears to be continually evolving and it presents itself as a compelling career option.”

– Izzy Boles

“The epigenetics lecture was extremely eye opening. The complexities of the human body are endless and this topic helps us understand them. We learn about DNA and the hereditary concepts, but are never fully exposed to how our environment influences us. I would definitely want learn more about epigenetics and can easily say that this lecture rates as one of my best.”

– Deminkha Pillay

“I found Tessa’s lecture on epigenetics very interesting because before this I hadn’t known anything about epigenetics. I found it fascinating that while two different people/animals could have identical DNA, they can have different appearance because of methyl group on their epigenomes. She also taught us about how environmental differences can change a person’s epigenome. Epigenetics seems like a very complicated, yet extremely interesting field of science, and Tessa did a very good job of explaining it to us in her talk.”

– Charlotte Sanford

“I really enjoyed Tessa Bertozzi’s talk on epigenetics and I am fascinated by the idea that there is more than just DNA coding for the human body. I hadn’t known of this previously, but now I’d definitely like to find out more, as I am particularly interested in the implications epigenetics has on diseases. This talk has exposed me to the deeper; lesser-known side of genetic research and it will help direct my course of study and possibly my future career.”

– Zoe Barinaga

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