How to design a scientific experiment; from seaweed to surgery.

Sixth Form scientists were treated to a fascinating lecture entitled, ‘How to design a scientific experiment; from seaweed to surgery’. 

Sophie Williams reports;

The lecture was delivered by one of the U.K.’s  top scientists, Professor Steve Wigmore, from the University of Edinburgh. Professor Wigmore is the chair of the research committee of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2014 and the editor of HPB, the official journal of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (IHBA). These are just some of his many accomplishments.

We learnt about how to complete successful scientific experiments which was explained through looking at two types of seaweed, ones with ‘bobbly bits’ and ones without and how to look into what the function of the ‘bobbly bits’ is. 

He then related this method to his research into bile duct cancer and how he went about this. It was to do with turning certain genes on and off and to find out where exactly the cells which cause liver cancer come from, whether it was from the liver or the bile duct. 

Through this research he found that in fact the cells came from the bile duct and this has led to further advancements and research into treating this type of cancer. 

It was interesting to see how a simple experiment involving seaweed can follow the exact same process as a very scientific and highly important as Professor Wigmore’s research into cancer. 

Overall the lecture was very interesting and highly enjoyable, and we all extend our thanks to Professor Wigmore for giving up his valuable time to come and speak to us.

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