• Question: What was your favourite subject at school, and as a scientist what have you learned?

    Asked by samf to Alex, Amy, Andy, Georgia, Ollie on 18 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by meganpickard, killamigit.
    • Photo: Amy Reeve

      Amy Reeve answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hello again Samf!

      My favourite subjects were History and Biology 🙂

      In my research career i have learned a lot about what changes happen in brain cells in Parkinson’s disease. i enjoy the fact that i have found out things that no one else has, which means i have contributed to what the world knows about this disease.! its an awesome feeling.

      But before that i loved learning about the brain and all the wonderful things it can do. it still amazes me that everything we do, think and achieve is purely done by our brain cells communicating with each other with electrical impluses 😀 sooo cool!!

    • Photo: Alex Munro

      Alex Munro answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hello samf: I think I had two favourite subjects at school: music and biology.

      I loved music for two reasons; bc I really enjoyed the music, but also Mr. Walters was my favourite teacher – he was so cool. I actually kept in touch with him after I left school and even visited him as an adult after he had retired from teaching – he was very inspirational.

      Biology/biochemistry still fascinate me; the more I learn, the more I realize how much there is still to learn about the human body. We are truly amazing organisms and the complexity & cleverness of the systems that co-exist in our body never fails to amaze me! It’s also fascinating to understand how things go wrong…especially in our genes and the systems/checks & balances that are there to fix things…

    • Photo: Georgia Campbell

      Georgia Campbell answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hi Samf, my favourite subjects at school were English and Biology 🙂

      I decided to study a biology degree (human genetics) because I’ve always been really interested in finding out how the body works, and because there’s still so much to learn in science! I loved learning about how different genes contribute to the development of the human body, and what happens when there are problems with the DNA. Genetic diseases was always the thing that interested me most,so I was really lucky to get a PhD where I could study diseases caused by mutations on mitochondrial DNA.

      Since I’ve started my PhD, I’ve learnt a lot about mitochondria – how they work to produce energy, their other roles in the cell, and why they are important in causing so many diseases. It’s been really cool to discover new things about the links between mitochondria and disease too, and hopefully my research will bring us closer to finding cures for diseases that affect lots of people all over the world!

    • Photo: Ollie Russell

      Ollie Russell answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      I was all about Chemistry when I was at school! I loved doing the practicals, although I wasnt very good at them… I once burnt a whole in the desk and blew up a test tube 🙂

      I think the best thing Ive learnt so far is about stem cells. I find it really interesting how we all come from just one cell and that by giving stem cells different chemicals we can turn it into any cell in the body!

    • Photo: Andy MacLeod

      Andy MacLeod answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      Hi samf. Biology was always my favourite subject, with chemistry a close second. Couldn’t really choose between them, and I ended up studying biochemistry at uni.

      As a scientist, I’m learning new stuff every day. Lots of it is stuff that other scientists have found out – we all publish our research in journals or online so all the other scientists in the world know what’s going on. But sometimes, occasionally, I’ll find something new myself. Most recently, I’ve found a couple of genes that have previously been shown to be involved in schizophrenia and autism, that look like they might also be involved in variation in intelligence. Exciting!