Investigative Biology (SXR270) day 7 – the final day!

The disco last night took it’s toll on several people although surprisingly everyone in our group was in by 9.10am.

The final session on plants was the session with by far the most scientific feel about it as we were using all kinds of different techniques and equipment with it. Very much the culmination to the week in every way.

What we were doing was comparing the response of chlorophyll to various types and levels of light. To do that we first had to obtain the chlorophyll which started life as spinach from the local Tesco. We converted this to a liquid by way of mixing with assorted liquids and centrifuging the mixtures. Measurements were taken via a colorimeter after exposing a number of poisoned samples to the various types and levels of light for up to 3 minutes. As usual with the plant experiments this one didn’t produce the perfect results that you might expect but we not only looked the part but felt like scientists for this one.

Lunch was a little complicated as my usual addition to the meal of a couple of bottles of water wasn’t a runner when I was off to the plane so instead sweeties for the kids needed to be used to reach the magical £7. We’d a somewhat hurried lunch as the final lecture was to start as soon as we’d all sat down in the lecture theatre (yeah, we could all have gone down the take-away route, but nobody thought of it!).

The wind-down lecture concentrated on the ECA for the course which was handed out to us at the end. As expected it’s a write-up of one of the experiments (I’m going for the differences in respiration rate of brain and skin from Wednesday morning) and one short question from each of the themes. Well, they are titled short but some of them look relatively long to me but I’ve done little more than glance at them so who knows. Some of them look a little scary at the moment but then a lot of TMA questions can look scary at first glance.

Quite why they don’t hand the ECA out in advance is something of a mystery. We all knew that there was going to be a research write-up plus three questions before this week. Similarly we knew that we’d have to choose one of the nine possible experiments or rather eight as there’s one that doesn’t really work as a write-up. Likewise we knew that there’d be a short question on each theme and, really, it wouldn’t matter for the week if you did know what they were (I’m not going to say though or I’ll get told off… again).

Unsurprisingly we didn’t use Practical Biology today so we’ve all been lugging it around all week for nothing. I don’t even think that it’ll be needed for the ECA either. More annoyingly, some people appear to have incurred excess baggage charges thanks to bringing it along (as would I had BMIBaby weighed the case).

Useful to know is that Lenton Cabs (0115 9 781 781) only charge students £19 for the airport run vs the £35 of the airport taxis (and, yes, they can pick up from the airport for the same charge). Oh well, something to bear in mind when I’m doing the level 3 residential next year.

On that level 3 residential, it would appear that the majority of people are doing both of them next year rather than splitting them between 2011 and 2012. The reasoning for most seems to be that since 2012 will be the final year there’ll be a combination of a winding down feel in 2012 and a very high chance of the courses filling up extremely early. In terms of recommended pre-requisites, SXR375 (the plants one) requires S204 so that’s OK for me in 2011 but SXR376 (the human disease one) requires S320 or S377 which I can’t do ’til 2012 so that’s the best year for the second residential for me.

As usual, post-residential I’m exhausted.

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