is amazed at having won. Thank you for your questions and those votes!
Ilkely Grammar School (W Yorks) [Despite the name is a comprehensive school]
Biochemistry degree at Oxford University, pHd in Biochemistry
Deparments of Biochemistry & Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. and Lincoln College, Oxford
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
Researcher in Systems Biology
I love looking down microscopes – the small world that is going on around me really fascinates me but my favourite experiments are when I get to use liquid nitrogen
Me and my work
Essentially I work on the bacterial sense of smell!Read more
I’m a Biochemistry researcher working at the University of Oxford working on signalling pathways within bacteria.
Just like us there is an optimal enviroment for bacteria to be in (which varies between species). These enviroments will be at the right temperature and have lots of the right food and little of things they don’t like – metals, bile, correct pH etc
I work on how bacteria sense chemicals (food and also bad things like metals) and how they adapt to cope with it, either by changing themselves so they can cope or by moving to a more favourable environment. These proceresses are called Chemotaxis and Enviromental Adaptation.
To understand how the bacterial sense of smell works my experiments involve changing the DNA of the bacteria removing or adding bits. I then test the bacteria to see if they can still sense the outside world – maybe my change makes it better or worse. From this you start to build up and idea of how bacteria signal. The bacteria I work on is called R. sphearoides and is usually found in the soil. It’s bright red as it can do photosynthesis. Here is a picture of it.
I work as part of a large research group of about 20 people. We work on a range of aspects of the signalling pathway and also on how bacteria move. I work in the new biochemistry building at Oxford – if you want to have a look around the building click here (you can possibly spot my blur in it too!). The people that I work with also work on the Bacterial Flagella Motor – this is a tiny motor which acts as a propella for a bacterial cell swimming through it’s world [Mark has videos of these if you want to see….]. This works like a tiny electric motor and propella to move the bacterium through it’s environment.
The pathways I work on interact with this motor and cause it to change direction towards a more favourable environment (ie it’s the navigation system). Eventually our work will lead to new antimicrobials / antibiotics.
I also teach undergraduate biochemistry both in the department ant in Lincoln College. I am also the academic responsible for running the UNIQ summer school in Biochemistry each year. This gives 30 6th formers a chance to experience what it is like to go to Oxford and study Biochemistry. It also runs for other subjects too – applications for this year have passed but if you are interested then consider applying next year.
My Typical DayRead more
A typlical day for me involves coming into the lab in the morning. Days are split between days when I’m mainly manipulating DNA to make ‘mutant’ bacteria and days spent looking down the microscope looking and the effect these mutants have.
This allows me to try and work out how different proteins help the bacteria sense the world.
I also spend some of my days teaching undergraduate students, this involves a mixture of giving lectures and giving tutorials to groups of 3 students on aspects of biochemistry such as metabolism and bacterial signalling
What I'd do with the money
Go to the BSA Science FestivalRead more
I’d like to use the money to go to the British Science Association Science Communication Conference next May to talk to ther scientists about communicating sicence and also attend the British Science Festival* with a stand about bactiera!
*=This is a huge public festival held every year – this year it’s in Birmingham
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Blond Energetic Sarcastic
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I quite like Scouting For Girls at the moment
What is the most fun thing you've done?
What like ever? That’s a tough one. Probably getting a pyrotechics qualiification
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
So I’m guessing to win i’m a scientist or 3 more wishes don’t count, yes? Erm that’s a tough one I guess one thing I’d love to do is walk to the south pole so that would be number 1. Number 2 a better microscope? and number 3 hmmm this is tough – to have a profile picture in colour?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I’ve always wanted to work in science as found it really interesting – but had no idea I’d end up doing this
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Alas not – was a bit too well behaved
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Presented my work to 500 people at an international conference
Tell us a joke.
A good pun is its own reword
Ask me a question!
How do bogie’s in your nose form? (sorry for weird question always wanted to know) :D
why do birds fly but not humans
how old is the earth ?
Have either of you met any of the scientists you are/were competing against?
How comes humans laugh to certain things and cry for others? In other words, why is our reaction the way it is to
How does cancer work?
why are some people more prone to cancer than others?
Will cryogenic freezing be feasible in my generation?
Someone I Know Ran Into A Bollard The Other Day And They Got A Bruse, The Bruse Went Down And Now She Has A Weird Lump
what do you dislike?
View all my answered questions
And the Fluorine zone winner of IAS 2010 is..... (2 comments)
Would you come into our school if you own the money ? (1 comments)
Did you always want to become a Scientist (1 comments)
And the second scientist to leave Fluorine is... (1 comments)
We’re at the halfway point, and the next scientist to leave Fluorine is.... (1 comments)
does everyone die from lack of oxygen to the brain? (1 comments)
How do poisons such as cyanide work? (1 comments)
why do hamsters have pouches to carry their food? Surely they can just eat it and go like other animals? (2 comments)
whats a bio chemist ? why do you want to win ? do you believe theres life on our moon? (1 comments)
You know it takes thousands of years for the average plastic bag to decompose well surely that could be decreased by (1 comments)
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