Recently, while reading a BBC news article, something caught my attention – a clinical trial investigating aspirin’s effects on preventing the relapse of cancer in humans. The drug works by making the platelets less sticky. By reducing the platelets’ stickiness, aspirin makes it harder for them to carry and distribute the cancer cells. A disease that has had disastrous consequences since the beginning of time could potentially be halted by an ancient painkiller.
It is this constant journey of finding unexpected connections that makes me so passionate about biology. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend a biology workshop at the University of Cambridge where I learnt more about genetic mutations. The idea that one mutation in a code consisting of countless letters can cause such severe diseases seems almost unfathomable.
During my AS course last year, I learnt about cystic fibrosis in more detail. I was in awe at learning how the biological mechanisms that control the water content in cells do not work properly and how genetically inheriting a faulty gene from your parents can cause an individual to suffer a life threatening condition. This is why I am particularly looking forward to studying genetics and evolution.
Currently studying maths and chemistry has allowed me to develop techniques and advanced numerical skills, essential to biological modelling and in instances where quantitative reasoning is required to interpret data from investigations. I studied Religious Studies at AS Level and the subject opened up my mind to various philosophical approaches to ethical dilemmas which will prove invaluable when being faced with moral conflicts during experiments and research projects.
Beyond relevant content, my A2 studies have taught me many transferable skills such as decision making, organising my own work and coordinating it with others. My role as class representative in the school council for four years has aided me in developing leadership and has increased my confidence. I have also acted as a student ambassador on many occasions, volunteering at various events in school such as open days and family days. Being part of the STEM Academy in my school’s Career Academy has granted me many opportunities throughout sixth form, such as a summer internship at a hospital, where I grasped knowledge and experience in the world of work. I was exposed to an environment which taught me a great amount in relation to the various roles within a healthcare environment. I am community driven and last year I graduated from the National Citizens Service, where I and eleven other young people were awarded funding to create a social campaign to benefit a local charity supporting refugees.
The biological world around us is magical and I hope to one day have the chance to explore it further; I am eager and ready to discover and learn more about it on an intellectual level. A visit to the Wellcome Trust Collection gave me the opportunity to look at a scripted form of the human genome. Flicking through the pages I was overwhelmed by the innumerable letters that code for an individual person. It really put into perspective the vast amount of scientific knowledge that is present in the world and how it is a field that will only advance in the future, and I would love to be a part of this. I aspire to one day be a part of the development of treatments for the unfortunate occurrence of genetic diseases.