Life Beyond the Human Eye

Posted by Kate | Thu, 3 Nov 2016

After completing my Bronze Youth STEMM Award last summer I was keen to explore the world of science.  Since starting college in September my eyes have been opened to new scientific phenomena.  I have really enjoyed all the experiments that I have been given the opportunity to undertake at college, from titrations in chemistry, to measuring the value of g in physics.  However, one of my favourite experiments was using the microscopes to identify mitosis in an Allium root tip in biology.

This may seem boring to you but in actual fact, when you look through a microscope, there is a whole world to discover.  Mitosis particularly grabbed my attention because it’s astonishing to think that this process is happening in our bodies at this very moment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this task as I have loved using microscopes from a young age.  In 2015 I was even lucky enough to get selected to be a part of Year 10 Science Camp at the John Innes Centre.  During this experience I got to use a Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope.  This was a stimulating moment as I never thought in my life that I would ever get to see something this cool.  Using this specialised equipment, I looked at cell organelles in greater depth and saw how they move within a cell. I was similarly blown away by the complexity of a cell and realised how cells work in our bodies in order to make us function.  The picture above was one I took on the microscope and shows three different cell organelles: the Golgi apparatus, chloroplasts and smooth endoplasmic reticulum.  During the science camp I likewise got to witness demonstrations of a Scanning Electron Microscope and a Transmission Electron Microscope.  Once again I was astounded by what I could see and the life beyond the eyesight of a human.  Before getting more interested in science this seemed like a dream to me but I soon realised that if you put your mind to something then you can achieve anything.

For someone who is interested in science I would recommend microscopy as it is a fascinating sector of science to discover.  By studying it you can uncover the secrets of the world by looking at the tiny organisms that shape the way we live.  Without microscopes this would not be possible.  Thus I feel this is an imperative part of science and further research could change the world.

Author Biography

Kate is a year 12 East Norfolk Sixth Form Student working towards the Gold Award. She is most interested in the Medicine and Science STEMM sectors and is keen to learn more about dentistry.

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