henry

1st year BSc Biological Sciences

speech bubble
student

henry

1st year BSc Biological Sciences

Latest posts

Weekend gilding trip to Lasham (Foggy weather then ended up with simulator sessions and a hanger tour)

Hi all. I’m officially back for year two blogging. Hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces in the comment area. So this Saturday I went gliding with Imperial College gliding society at Lasham airfield. We left the college at around 0730 in an union minibus. The road trip was about 2 hour long. Apparently there was […]

Hi all. I’m officially back for year two blogging. Hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces in the comment area. So this Saturday I went gliding with Imperial College gliding society at Lasham airfield. We left the college at around 0730 in an union minibus. The road trip was about 2 hour long.

raf-history-lasham

Apparently there was some great RAF history here in Lasham

I was so excited for this gliding trip. When I was a child, I always dreamed that I could fly in the sky. (I know right? Duh… :P) After the briefing and safety training at 9am, we were told of bad weather and thus had simulator training sessions. The safety training was useful and fun. The take-home message would be: do not unbuckle the parachute when you need to jump out of the glider…cause you’ll ended up free-falling in the air without a parachute! When people get nervous, they tend to do stupid things…like unbuckle the parachute but not the safety belt harness!

henry-in-simulator

Yeah…That’s one happy Henry in a simulator.

The hanger tour was great 🙂 Many gliders and others, vintage and modern, were so closely packed inside there. Most of them are older than me…well by decades. They all looked very nice. I can’t wait to actually get inside one of those. Oh there was a dead pigeon on the ground and a cute bear inside a cockpit. I don’t know why I wrote that, totally unrelated. Anyway, here are the pictures. Again, it’s really great to get out of London once in a while, for the fresh country air and beautiful views. And to take a break from the coursework…

Now sit back and enjoy the pics 🙂
icgs-case

Hey! It’s Imperial…in Lasham! 😀

bear-in-cockpit

Oh hey! It’s the bear…trapped inside the cockpit!…He’s not so happy.

gliders

cockpit-1 cockpotplane-1 plane-2 plane-3 plane-4

Vintage planes and more…

glider

This newly-made-in-the-Fatherland glider costs 90K 😀  Quality doesn’t come cheap. 

Cool. Hopefully I’ll see you all very soon. Many love. Ciao 🙂 Henry.

What Henry volunteered for Imperial Plus this year? (A Summary of Imperial-run volunteering service)

Time flies really fast. I could still feel how nervous I was when composing the very first blog for Lorna & the student blog team’s selection. I have done many great things over this year and volunteering with Imperial Plus is definitely one of the highlights of my life. It started off when I attended […]

Time flies really fast. I could still feel how nervous I was when composing the very first blog for Lorna & the student blog team’s selection. I have done many great things over this year and volunteering with Imperial Plus is definitely one of the highlights of my life. It started off when I attended the volunteering fair some time after the beginning of the year. I have done many different kinds of volunteering jobs ever since high school. When I first started to volunteer, it was purely to lighten up my CV to be honest. However, the more engagement I gave to that cause, the more satisfied I feel from the outcome. Therefore I went to that fair because I know I want to do more volunteering works to make my life more colorful. Link to Imperial plus

Teaching someone has always been my passion and an interest. Thus I’ve chosen to work as a Pimlico Tutor (With Pimlico Connections), a Imperial hub Tutor, and an educational mentor (With Salusbury World). As you can see, I’ve clearly taken too much for my own good. Eventually I stayed with Pimlico Connections till the very end (around April).

Pimlico connections has been working at Imperial with local London schools since 1975. A long history almost guarantees the rich experience condensed over a long time. Indeed, this service provided by the Imperial College Union is quite reputable and the sixth form faculties have been very cooperating and friendly to us. My job as a Pimlico tutor was to tutor Biology to a group of A-level students who have been ‘short-listed’. It was rather an unique experience as they were quite unlike the Chinese students I’ve known back home. They were less focused on the class itself but more about chatting with their friends all the time. It indeed posts a great obstacle to my teaching. After discussion with my fellow tutors (Joe and Iro), we’ve decided to change the way of tutoring and discussed this with the school faculties. This results in more students show-up in the sessions. We would give them questions sheets and go through them afterwards along with some relevant information being mentioned. Teaching them A-level Biology was also a great way of revising the stuff we’ve learnt several months ago. It also helped us with our current University course to some extent. It was a great experience after all despite some hick-ups with the student and staff about the student turnout rate. I would suggest you to give it a try. If you don’t enjoy it, just drop it. Remember you need to feel fulfilled and happy after the tutoring. If it can’t do that to you, then it would be meaningless to work at that place.  It takes place every Wednesday afternoon for about 1 hour. Link to Pimlico Connections

Salusbury World provides you with the opportunity to tutor a student 1-to-1. This organisation endeavors to help students from the disadvantaged backgrounds. You might be tutoring a refugee child, or a recent migrant. I was paired up with a students at his AS level. The sessions were quite relaxing. We’d chat about University life and some tips about University application. He would give me some questions (e.g. maths) that he couldn’t solve and I will work through that question with him. You generally don’t need to prepare as much as you do for Pimlico connections. And the lady in charge of this program, Violeta, was very friendly and enthusiastic about the works that She does. I would suggest give it a try and reach out to her at the volunteering fair. I’m sure you won’t regret it. The only issue is the travelling bit as that school is a bit far away from the South Kensington campus. Make sure you planned your time wisely. Link to Salusbury World

Imperial plus does a good job at investing in the volunteers. By attending workshops, top-up volunteering hours and workshop summary write-up, you would receive a volunteering certificate of the hours you set. And this certificate is recognized by ASDAN as your personal ability training (Such as Personal effectiveness and organisation skills).

That would be all from me. Again, leave your questions in the comment box and I will reply ASAP. Summer ball tonight! 😀

What you need to know about living at Xenia (An Imperial student hall ran by Chapter 1 Charity)

What you need to know about living at Xenia (An Imperial student hall ran by Chapter 1 Charity) It has come to my attention that many of you (my beloved readers) will soon face the problem of selecting student accommodation for the first year at Imperial. Since you have just finished A-level exams, you might […]

What you need to know about living at Xenia (An Imperial student hall ran by Chapter 1 Charity)

It has come to my attention that many of you (my beloved readers) will soon face the problem of selecting student accommodation for the first year at Imperial. Since you have just finished A-level exams, you might want to read this blog thoroughly for some useful information. 😀

As many of you are prospective students for Imperial, I want to share some first-hand experience of living at Xenia, one of the many options for the first year student halls at Imperial. Xenia (which stands for hospitality in Greek), is a student accommodation site owned and ran by Chapter 1 Charity. Locating in the heart of London, it provides easy access to numerous city infrastructures. This guide will prove to be very useful to you (especially International Students) as it gathers many valuable opinions from the current residents and can provide you with comprehensive information with both unbiased facts and some personal touch. So all rights are reserved.

Xenia facility condition and overall view

1. The condition is pretty decent as it has been renovated few years ago and the facilities are quite comprehensive as you can find out more from the website. This is something you don’t need to worry about.

2. There are many great restaurants around Xenia, such as the restaurant cluster around the National Theatre, the restaurant street at the opposite of the Underground station main entrance, and the amazing Lower Marsh area which has many decent food, café, bookstore, and so on!

3. Like most halls, sometimes the little furry friends will pay us a visit as well. The pest control contractor responds quite fast if you email this situation on time.

4. If you want somewhere with a cheap rent and good quality, then you should choose Xenia and Woodward. (Of course, you will sacrifice some sleeping time in exchange for the cheap price and good quality.)

5. If you want to get up just before the lectures (for more sleep), then you should choose Beit, Southside, and Eastside.

6. If you want a hall with marvelous hall events, then you should choose Beit and Wilson House.

7. If you want somewhere relatively close to school with a cheap rent (not necessarily good facility condition), then you should choose Evelyn Garden.

8. Henry’s experience: The rent of living at Xenia makes it very good player in the hall competition along with all the supermarkets and food places. You can’t find any other halls with such a great living area surrounding the hall. However, it is such a nuisance that I had to take the tube every morning at 8am for commute, which is not a very pleasant experience. Well, you can’t have everything, make your choice 😀

Transportation and Commute

Public Transportation: it would be much sensible to purchase a monthly/weekly travel card with 18+ student oyster card for daily commute. The 18+ student oyster card would offer a 30% off the adult rate for the travel card. Please register it soon as it could take several working days to be delivered.

1. 2-mins-walking: Train service from the Waterloo Underground Station (Jubilee, Northern, Bakerloo, and Waterloo & City lines). Note that the exit for Jubilee line is at the Underground station while the exit for Northern and Bakerloo lines is at the Train station.)

a. Jubilee (Waterloo->Westminster)->District& Circle (Westminster->South Kensington) This is the top choice of commute routes.

b. Jubilee (Waterloo->Green Park)->Piccadilly (Green Park->South Kensington)

c. Both take 15-25 minutes in the tube. Then you walk for 5 minutes in the subway from the South Kensington Station to the campus.

d. For medics, you get off at Baron’s court station from either District or Piccadilly line/ alight here for the Charing Cross campus (after crossing through a cemetery). District (South Kensington->Baron’s Court) or Piccadilly (Green Park->Baron’s Court)

e. Please avoid arriving the station during 8:15-8:30 period as you would almost certainly find yourself in an endless queue. If Waterloo is closed off or if you have waited in the queue for more than 5 mins, please swiftly abandon Waterloo and make your way to Embankment station across the Thames (about 5-min-walking). Then take District line (Embankment->South Kensington).

2. 2-mins-walking: Train service to major UK destinations from the Waterloo Train Station.

3. 3-mins-walking: Bus service from around 15 routes at the Waterloo Station area.

On your feet+bike

1. For cycling, it takes 30-35 minutes (dry) and 35-40 minutes (wet) to the South Kensington campus where the majority of students have their lectures/experiments/etc. (i.e. Medics sometimes have school at the Charing Cross campus.

2. Fancy walking to school every day? If you have that stamina, it would take you at least 50 minutes, which is why this is not the common choice of students at Xenia.

Supermarkets and Pharmacy

1. Common drugs (i.e. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, strepsil, etc. are available at all the shops below. Boots pharmacy sells doctor-prescribed drugs.)

2. For international students, I’ll briefly walk you through these British supermarkets. A price ranking (quality drops as price decreases): M&S>Sainsbury’s and Tesco>Iceland and Poundland and Morrison

3. 2-mins-walking: Sainsbury’s local, Tesco express, (Both face the Waterloo Underground main entrance), and M&S food (On the second floor of the Waterloo Train station).

4. 5-mins-walking: Iceland and Boots (Both are at Lower Marsh)

5. 15-mins-walking: Iceland, Tesco Metro, Poundland, and Boots (All are inside the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre). 15-mins-bus: Morrison.

6. 20-mins-walking: the Borough Market. This is the place where fancy organic food is sold.

7. Chinese groceries and restaurants: It takes to about 25 minutes to Chinatown中国城. Period.

Entertainment and tourist attraction

1. Night clubs: Ministry of Sound, Coronet, and Heaven. (20-30 min walking/drunk-walking) The location of Xenia makes it really ideal for clubbing as you save money from ubering yourself home but walking. But I feel obliged to note that the security in Elephant& Castle area is not ideal (Comparing South Kensington with Elephant & Castle). I advise girls (and boys) not to walk alone especially in this area at midnight.

2. Plays: National theatre (2-min-walking) and Covent Garden area (15-min-walking). Good shows and good locations.

3. Movies: BFI IMAX/ The largest IMAX screen in Britain. (2-min-walking and pricy tickets) The size of the screen will make you shock, as well as the ticket price.

4. Some famous landmarks, like London eye, Big Ben, Downing 10, Westminster Abbey, National Gallery, Trafalgar square, Imperial War Museum and etc. are within 10-30 min walking distance. These are all really fancy for some new Londoners, but for people who’ve been here for a while, not as fun as before.

Finally

Thank you guys for following me. I’ll continue making more great posts. At last, I’m happy to answer any other questions about undergraduate accommodation in the comment box, especially about Xenia.

 

Still in revision. Will start posting after three weeks.

As you might have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog for quite a while. This is because of exam revision and some personal reasons. I will start posting after three weeks where my last exams will be finished! So please bear with me and be sure to expect loads of great info coming from Henry’s […]

As you might have noticed, I haven’t updated my blog for quite a while. This is because of exam revision and some personal reasons. I will start posting after three weeks where my last exams will be finished! So please bear with me and be sure to expect loads of great info coming from Henry’s Blog soon!  😀

Henry

Vote Henry and join me in the Leadership Elections 2016 #icuvote

                          This week commenced the start of all the campaigns for the Leadership Elections 2016. Imperial is THE MOST STUDENT DEMOCRACY in the whole Britain, with almost 800 candidates running for 400 positions in the service of more than 17000 students at Imperial. […]

Election pic2                          ELECTION PIC

This week commenced the start of all the campaigns for the Leadership Elections 2016. Imperial is THE MOST STUDENT DEMOCRACY in the whole Britain, with almost 800 candidates running for 400 positions in the service of more than 17000 students at Imperial. This year saw the record-breaking of 32 students campaigning for full-time roles in the Union. It is also the week where you’d be ‘harassed’ by all the spams from campaigns all around the college.

I am privileged to be part of this election, running for both Biology Departmental Representative and Assistant Treasurer at the Chinese Student&Scholar Association (CSSA). Since I’ve already started my campaign, I’ll post my manifestos here.

Students from Imperial? Join and vote in the Leadership Elections 2016 because your right to vote is a privilege! Students looking forward to join Imperial? Get familiar with the campaigns to get yourself prepared when you are up to running for some positions in the elections!

https://www.imperialcollegeunion.org/leadership-elections-2016/manifestos/a-to-z/2263/jiarui-xu

https://www.imperialcollegeunion.org/leadership-elections-2016/manifestos/a-to-z/122/osc-cssa-assistant-treasurer

Good luck to all the candidates in this election and please support and vote Henry! 😀

 

Things you need to know about taking lecture note :P

Taking clear and well-organised lecture notes is not only important for later revision, but also helps to keep up with the lecture pace. Here are some things that you need to know about lecture notes taking. 1> Straight copy from lecture PPT is pointless: Really, why would you even bother going to lectures if you are […]

Taking clear and well-organised lecture notes is not only important for later revision, but also helps to keep up with the lecture pace. Here are some things that you need to know about lecture notes taking.

1> Straight copy from lecture PPT is pointless: Really, why would you even bother going to lectures if you are just gonna copy stuff from PPT. In University lectures, most lecturers don’t just read stuff he wrote in PPT, instead he talks about stuff that’s elaborated based on the slides. Focus more on what the lecturer says and writes in the lecture 😛

2> Get enough sleep before lecture: A good night sleep will definitely help you concentrate on the lectures (especially during the lectures that you find boring). This is especially important for Biologists as first year Biology students will always have double lectures in the morning starting from 9am. If you just had a 2 or 3 hour sleep after clubbing at ministry the night before the lecture, you might as well sleep in and skip those lectures. You won’t be able to focus on the lectures and coming to lectures ‘half-sober’ is a waste of time. Watch panopto recordings of the lectures instead. 😛

3> Prepare for lectures beforehand: Normally lecture PPT will be uploaded long before actually beginning the lecture. I usually use Microsoft onenotes to take notes and therefore what I like to do before lectures is to copy and paste PPT slides into the onenote page. So that during the lectures, you’d simply writing around or in the PPT slides without having to copy what’s already given in the PPT. (Saves a lot of time) And make sure you read through the PPT slides in order to get a general idea about how this lecture is structured and what you will expect to see in the lecture. 😛

4> Immediately go through the lecture notes afterwards: It is very likely that things you wrote in the lecture notes might get unrecognizable after the lectures whether it’s due to fast-writing or whatever the reason is. Usually 1-2 hour time after the lectures is the ‘golden time’ to re-call the squiggles and doddles you made in the lecture notes and can convert back to normal revision notes! 😛

5> Find your favorite seat in the lecture theater:  Sitting somewhere that makes you feeling uncomfortable is not gonna help you to take notes and concentrate on the lectures. Get there a bit early to secure your ‘Sheldon’s spot’ 😛

That’s all from this post. I might do a post on the food I made since I got in UK. And it’s nearly the time when everyone starts looking for next year’s accommodation and hall senior application season. I’ll also do a post about that later this month. 😛

 

 

 

How different is it between the sample paper they provided and the actual exam paper I had :P

This discussion is dedicated for the prospective Biologists at Imperial. Here is what you are going to have in a Biology exam at Imperial. We have four modules during the first year and each module will have an exam eventually. So there are four exams each year. In every exam, there will be three sections. […]

This discussion is dedicated for the prospective Biologists at Imperial. Here is what you are going to have in a Biology exam at Imperial. We have four modules during the first year and each module will have an exam eventually. So there are four exams each year. In every exam, there will be three sections.

1> 40 Multiple (5) choices questions:

Negative marking system is something you should be aware of. Don’t guess the answers and only answer what you are most confident with is the whole point of this system. (And I’m not a big fan of this tbh :P) Most multiple choice questions in the mock paper (only a mock paper provided for each term) of the first two modules (BCM and OB) are unchanged for the last two years, so there really isn’t much you can get from the MCQ in mock paper. Getting familiarized with the exam paper format seems to be the only purpose 😛 It is still a good practice to some extant.

You will be given a question booklet and answer sheet. Use HB pencil to mark answers on the worksheet 😛 Mark the cancel on the answer below if you wish to change the answer in the first time. Avoid using erasers as the machine is sensitive enough to detect even the slightest trace of lead.

2> Data interpretation question: You will be given a set of data or diagrams or graphs… and followed by some short answer questions. Use short and concise languages (I can’t seem to emphasis more on the importance of using concise and accurate scientific languages:P) to answer them. For OB, this year we had a question about the phylogeny of aminiotes, grouping turtles into the tree depending on whether it’s diapsid or anapsid. You will observe the picture of the turtle skull and group it into the phylogeny tree accordingly.  You would then make justifications based on your observations and critical evaluation skills. (So Cliche) For BCM, this year we had a question on drug resistance and bacterial mutation (an evolutionary race between the mutations in bacteria and new antibiotics development essentially). Some short answer questions follows and that’s it. Answer the question straightforward is necessary. 😛

3> Essay question: You will be given five essay questions and you are allowed to choose one of them and begin your essay. Before actually writing the essay, write a general plan with some keywords jotted down. This allows a better coherence and cohesion of the essay in general. Drawing diagrams to facilitate your words is encouraged and make sure to draw them LARGE. And double-spaced writing is always a good habit 😛 Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style: This book might help you with academic writing 😛

That would be all. As always, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you over the next post 😛

 

祝全体海外中国留学生新年快乐,猴年大吉!Happy Chinese New Year!

借助帝国学生博客的平台,Henry在这里祝全体海外中国留学生新年快乐,猴年大吉,新年新气象!(不要太想家啊~) By the courtesy of Imperial student blogger platform, I would like to express my sincerest wishes to all the Chinese overseas students studying abroad a very happy Chinese new year!  (Try not to get too homesick! 😛 ) Now quite a few of my Chinese readers have requested for a post about the Chinese experience in London. […]

借助帝国学生博客的平台,Henry在这里祝全体海外中国留学生新年快乐,猴年大吉,新年新气象!(不要太想家啊~)

By the courtesy of Imperial student blogger platform, I would like to express my sincerest wishes to all the Chinese overseas students studying abroad a very happy Chinese new year!  (Try not to get too homesick! 😛 )

Now quite a few of my Chinese readers have requested for a post about the Chinese experience in London. And in response to your request, I will make this post in short time. I can assure you that it’s never too boring to be a Chinese in London 😛 😛 😛 (Enough said, you’ll see more from this special post later this month)

What Henry did for his revision :P

I’ve got some emails from my beloved readers, asking for my revision techniques. So I though I’d do a discussion on how I revise for exams. It is really up to you to decide which method suits you best so my version is certainly not a perfect example. I humbly present to you……the revision notes! I […]

I’ve got some emails from my beloved readers, asking for my revision techniques. So I though I’d do a discussion on how I revise for exams. It is really up to you to decide which method suits you best so my version is certainly not a perfect example. I humbly present to you……the revision notes!

I enjoy making revision notes after having that lecture (usually on weekends or over free time). The key difference between revision notes and lecture notes is that processed information are being listed in a logical manner with key annotations. Here are a few points I’d like to provide before posting an example of my revision notes:

1> Keep the wording short and concise: Trust you don’t want to read some hideous long paragraphs in some midnight to prepare for exams!

2> Include diagrams/graphs: Sometimes a good diagram/graph (preferably made of your own) can replace many lines of words!

3> A uniform system of colouring: E.g. Bold fronts for subheadings, Red colored fronts for highlighted notes, Bullet point system in primary subdivision and numbered list system in secondary subdivision, and so on. The point is to make sure you are not confused with your own layout.

4> Save while working all the time: Honestly, I don’t know how many times I’d almost smashed my laptop due to some ‘unexpected errors’ while working on my notes. Hours of work is gone in one second. That feeling…… 😛

5> Create proper subheadings: This really works if you wish to keep things organised! And it’s very useful in case you need to quick search on your notes 😛

6> Jot down learning objectives: This really helps by giving you some general ideas about what you would expect in this lecture. In most of the times, Learning objectives are provided by lecturers in the first PPT slide. Create your own if they weren’t given, just remember to be concise and general!

7> Delete and insert information: Some things lecturer mentioned might be irrelevant to this lecture of interest (E.g. blahblahblahblah…… you will see those stuff on XXX’s lecture in few months!) No, that part should not be of your concern right now. Expected independent study and your own outside reading outcomes are something you want to include in your revision notes as the extra bits 😛

8> Watch panopto lecture recordings if you have to: Imperial has a range of VLE (virtual learning environment) tools at your disposal to facilitate your studies. Panopto is a platform where lectures are recorded and uploaded to the cloud space. Note that some lecturers might be reluctant to have their lectures recorded! I usually put down a sign in my lecture notes to remind myself of watching panopto video of that particular bit. (This narrows down the part you need to watch!) You’ve got to pay extra attention if the lecturer is not gonna record the lectures.

That’s pretty much for the revision note tips I guess. Here is one page of the revision notes I did for a BCM lecture on Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides. (It would be really awkward for me if you spotted something wrong in that revision notes!!! 😛 😛 😛 )

Learning objectives

  • Become familiar with carbohydrate nomenclature and their structures (particularly glucose and close derivatives)
  • Distinguish aldoses from ketoses
  • Distinguish D from L isomers
  • Determine α from β anomers
  • Recognise pyranose and furanose forms
  • Draw chair or Haworth β-D-glucose forms
  • Identify glycosidic bonds

Carbohydrates and sugars

  • Carbohydrates are hydrates of carbon/ carbon compounds with multiple hydroxyl groups
  • General formula: Cn(H2O)n like glucose Glucose: C6(H2O)6 / C6H12O6
  • Carbohydrates are formed by the linkage of monosaccharides, Saccharide” from Greek sakcharon (σάκχαρο) meaning sugar
  1. Monosaccharides – simple sugars, e.g. glucose
  2. Oligosaccharides – often disaccharides, e.g. sucrose
  3. Polysaccharides – e.g. cellulose, glycogen, starch

Aldoses and ketoses

  • Monosaccharides have two general types
  1. Has aldehydes functional group (called ‘aldoses’)
  2. Has ketones functional group (called ‘ketoses’)
  • Examples of ketoses and aldoses
  • Glyceraldehyde is the simplest aldose.
  • IUPAC nomenclature:
  1. dihydroxyacetone = 1,3-dihydroxypropanone
  2. glyceraldehyde= 2,3-dihydroxypropanal

Fisher projection (only suitable to differentiate L-(-) from D-(+) carbohydrate molecules)

  • Highest oxidation state is at the top.
  • The longest carbon chain is depicted vertically with carbon atoms represented by the center of crossing lines. C1= top C
  • Aldose: C of aldehydegroup is C1; Ketose: C of ketone group has the lowest possible # (usually C2).
  • Horizontal lines = bonds pointing above the plane & Vertical lines = bonds below the plane.
  • The penultimate carbon of D sugars are depicted with hydrogenon the left and hydroxyl on the right. L sugars will be shown with the hydrogen on the right and the hydroxyl on the left.
  • Glucose is an aldose and a hexose
  • L– and D– designate absolute configuration of asymmetric carbon farthest from aldehyde or ketone group?BCM8

There are pictures in the revision notes but it get really blurry if it’s got uploaded. I’m gonna post the picture anyway 🙂

 

Leave a comment below if you want to get this model version of revision notes 😛 I’ll figure out a way to sent this to you. And as always, leave your questions in the comment box below and I’ll answer them over the next post. See ya soon 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much information is there in BCM (Biochemistry and Microbiology) :P

Congratulations if you have studied A-level Chemistry or any level in equivalence in high school! Cause the first two sections of BCM largely contain information about Chemistry. If you didn’t learn A-level Chemistry, that’s fine! (It’s not the end of the world!) The part of Chemistry involved in Biology is not that much. (Frankly you […]

BCM1Congratulations if you have studied A-level Chemistry or any level in equivalence in high school! Cause the first two sections of BCM largely contain information about Chemistry. If you didn’t learn A-level Chemistry, that’s fine! (It’s not the end of the world!) The part of Chemistry involved in Biology is not that much. (Frankly you only need to know elements like C, O, H. N from the periodic table!)

For the first section, Chemistry of biomolecules, instead of going through the PPT in lectures, pre-BCM2recorded lecture videos are provided to watch and learn in your own time. You will need to answer questions in lectures. (kind of like a problem-set class) Only those topics that are being questioned by many students will be taught straightforward in the lecture. Personally, I found the orbitals part quite intriguing and confusing as it involves lots of new theories from quantum physics and inorganic chemistry. Also if the majority of the lectures are taught by Dr. Steve Cook in the section, then that section usually contains a formative question set to test how well you have learnt those topics! (It’s quite useful :P) It contains 8 lectures (or 8 recordings to be more precise)

In the monomers and polymers section, you’ll find the things you learnt from A-level Biology quite BCM3handy and there is extensive elaboration based on A-level. You will need to remember the structures of all amino acids (proteogenic) and their properties (hydrophobicity, polarity, sterioisomeric center, and so on). Now this can be a bit tricky to remember 😛 You’ll find that the spectroscopy, electropheresis, and chromatography quite different from what you have had in A-level during practicals. A great variety of each of these techniques are introduced and tested in the exams. External reading links are usually shown around the last pages of each lecture PPT. Be sure to check them out if you are interested in that topic. (It is also a good source for outside reading in essays) This sections contains 9 lectures.

The first three lectures on thermodynamics and enzymology mostly contain information based on A-BCM4level chemistry and physics, it shouldn’t be a problem for you if you have had a concrete foundation of A-level knowledge. The remaining lectures are all about enzymes, its kinetics, its inhibitor mechanisms, its catalysis and so on. This is somehow an interesting topic but it might get a bit confusing at the lineweaver-burk plot where you have to work on few mathematical formulas and plots them in a graph. Many practice questions are included in this section and you should definitely work on them to improve your understanding of this topic 😛 This section contains 3 lectures in total.

Here comes the hard core! In the metabolism and its regulation section, you willBCM5 learn the first two thirds of the aerobic respiration metabolic pathways and various pathways around glycolysis and kreb’s cycle. (Including beta-oxidation where fatty acids are fed into kreb’s cycle, pentose phosphate pathway and excretion of things like nitrogenous compounds) Different enzymes catalysing different metabolites over different enzyme-catalytic reactions are related in a complex circle! (You will definitely get lost [I know I did] in the first place. Try to draw these pathways from time to time and say how much you can remember. Draw a huge one and stick it on your bedroom wall if you have to :P) This section contains 6 lectures (But loads of information here)

BCM6

Eventually oxidative phosphorylation based on chemiosmotic system are talked about in the history of membrane science section. Various types of transport (new stuff like transporters and secondary active transport are introduced) across the membrane, development of membrane model, and its structure are included in this section. This sections contains 5 lectures.

Finally it’s Microbiology! 😛 Huw Williams is a really experiencedBCM7 and kind lecturer, I hope you’d like him 😛 Ever wondered what chemoorganoheterotroph means? 😛 And extensive talks will be given on bacterial cell wall structures in Gram positive and negative bacteria and energy metabolisms in different types of bacteria (chemolithotroph, chemorganoheterotroph, phototroph, and so on. Frankly, based on this year’s exam and the mock papers given, the only thing that’s likely to appear on exam for the last two lectures would be… 16s rRNA sequencing for the bacterial evolutionary studies 😀 This section contains 10 lectures 😀

Moving on to external readings, the following books are highly recommended to facilitate your studies on BCM. They are:

General BCM information (VERY USEFUL BOOK) : Voet, D. & Voet, J. G. (2004) Biochemistry. 3rd edition. New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

To facilitate if you have a poor chemistry background: Fisher, J. & Arnold, J. R. P. (2004) Chemistry for biologists. BIOS Instant Notes, 2nd edition. Abingdon, Taylor and Francis.

I imagine most of you have studied A-level Maths, if you didn’t (erhhhhhh), well this might help you (I haven’t tried this book myself personally cause A-level Maths contains everything you need for Bio maths (except the maths in statistics). : Aitken, M., Broadhurst, B. & Hladky, S. (2009) Mathematics for Biological SciencesNew York, Garland Science.

Alright, so I have finished summarizing (VERY BRIEFLY) what you will encounter during the first term. I sure hope this can help you to give you a general idea of what you might expect in a University-level Biology course. As always, leave a comment below to give me your questions and I’ll answer them in the future post.