Sixty enthusiastic biology students from Years 13-11 were enthralled by a lecture from Dr Alice Robson of Bristol University Biomedical Sciences Department after school on Friday. We also welcomed some students from Wadham Sixth to share the experience. "Energy for Life: How cells make and use ATP" captivated the audience.
The content was challenging, however, our background chemistry and understanding of photosynthesis and respiration enabled us to keep up - just! We all have an amazing molecule, ATP synthase, in the mitochondria of our cells, harnessing the energy locked up in the glucose we eat. The very latest understanding of how it works in muscle contraction was shown to us, a rotating molecular head, simply amazing!
Dr Robson finished by saying that in the swimming movement of sperm tails we still do not know exactly what is going on and this understanding would have huge potential for helping with some fertility problems. She hypothesised that one of us could be the one to take the research further one day, who knows?