Our Year 10 students recently completed their Work Experience, and a number of them had the good fortune to experience science in action.
Nicholas Hanlon spent time at Bio 21 (a molecular science and biotechnology research faciltity).
When Keir Strahan, Learning Area Leader Science visited, he was viewing electron micrographs (images from a microscope that uses electron beams for very small objects) to study the action of anti-bacterial peptides (small proteins) on a type of bacteria that causes pneumonia.
He was also involved in analysis of blood serum using various diagnostic machines and in studying proteins using a mass spectrometer. He was due to go into the nuclear magnetic resonance laboratory (this lab uses machines to studying the structure of organic molecules).
Sarah Thompson was at the cardiology department in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She studied echocardiograms to see heart rhythms, was present at “stress tests” where “holter monitors” were fitted to patients, saw pace makers being tested (while in patients) to ensure that they had adequate charge and were working properly and also observed the procedure of catheters being inserted into patients.
Coen Strahan was at the Doherty Institute (a department of the University of Melbourne which studies infectious diseases). He was involved in culturing cells (growing bacteria), observing bacterial colonisation patterns and studying immune response in mice, using pipettes, centrifuges and a “Fach” machine (this machine uses fluorescence to identify antibodies interacting with pathogens).