Video transcript: Biology in the Real World

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December 2012

Tristan Maclean (nee Bunn), BBSRC Young Inspiring Scientists Coordinator
Hi. We are here at the ASE 2012 conference and today we are at the Biology in the Real World practical drop-in. This is a set of drop-in practicals for teachers and science educators and it is held at the conference each year to support the biology in the real world, lecture series.

Dan Jenkins, Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS)
We have got resources for cloning cauliflower, which is a new part of the GCSE and A Level curriculum, and we have a technique based on one developed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. We have had teachers from all over the world, which has been really nice, and talked to people from Norway, Denmark, Holland as well as lots of teachers in the UK and technicians, some of whom have never heard of cloning a cauliflower so it is nice to be able to show that you can do that and it is so simple with the technique we have got and also the support that we have.

Vicki Symington, Society for General Microbiology (SGM)
I am here at the ASE in Liverpool to promote microbiology and all its senses.

John Schollar, SGM
What we have been looking at this afternoon, with teachers that have visited the ASE conference, are four different practicals. The first one here looks at a microbial fuel cell and what we are trying to do is to feed some yeast, sugar and then we are trying to harvest from that sugar some energy and by using this little microbial fuel cell we can actually produce a small amount of electric current. We can convert the electric current into work and so this motor is going round. Now this is wonderful for teaching the bit about microbiology, biochemistry a little bit of chemistry and a little bit of physics. But of course we are predominately here looking at microbiology and of course I did think it might snow so I've got some beautiful images of snowmen made from microbes. The other thing that we have been doing is to look at a transformation. My colleague and myself have been looking at an alternative which is this organism here and it does not look very impressive at the moment but if I take a little UV light and shine it you will see there will be beautiful fluorescents.

Alexandra Jenkin, Understanding Animal Research
Here today I have been helping out the BBSRC with heart dissection. Sometimes they are damaged when you get them from the butchers so we have been working on a new part of the process where you can sew up holes in the hearts with dental floss and curved needles, so you can incorporate that, and then we have been putting water through the arteries and veins back through the heart to see how good the repairs are. And the idea is to encourage the students to be a bit more constructive in their heart dissection approach. I think it has gone really well today the teachers seem like really enthusiastic about looking at heart dissection in a different way. There are some who have done it a lot before and some who have not done it very much before so I think yeah hopefully people will be using it.

Cleapss is very much about supporting good safe practical work in schools so it is very much about getting students doing things and learning about doing things. We have had a great day here today. The visitors today have seen a range of different approaches from different professionals and we are sharing with each other as much as we can.

Samir Buhai, Trainee Teacher
The chemistry, the microbes experiments is really useful, but we are thinking about safety and it's a lot quicker for the students to do as well. Today has been really useful and I am glad that you guys put this on. It is great.

Caroline, Science Technican
This session has been good because, obviously it is biology, which is our area. Well the heart dissection and especially the idea of maybe sewing it up.

Peter, Secondary School Teacher
Most of the time you need to be stimulated to do new stuff or to actually continue doing what you are doing or being critical about what you are doing so, yeah, sometimes you run out of ideas or run out of energy, you want to be motivated so that is the main thing, yeah.