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Southampton University Trip

On Thursday 23 January, a small group of Y12 students went to a Biological Sciences session at Southampton University. The first activity we participated in was a laboratory lie detector test where we got into pairs in which one individual became the 'human guinea pig' and was wired up to a computer with electrodes. The purpose of this was to record subtle changes in our sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the 'Fight or Flight' responses in our body e.g. increased activity of the sweat glands - this can then be graphed using a lie detector system to determine if the 'test subject' was lying or telling the truth. Admittedly it was quite remarkable how our unconscious responses could be analysed often with great accuracy in this laboratory setting!

We were also given an opportunity to use the university's microscopes to view a selection of bacteria and protists under a magnification of 1000x. Although it was difficult to focus in on and isolate particular cells of our interest, the end of result was a spectacular array of colours and a buzz of activity - peering into a whole different world at the microscopic level. My notable favourite was the Volvox aureus which comprised of a green spinning intricate spherical colony (pictured below). On the whole it was a very unique experience to have participated in these activities and to have visited a modern and contemporary institution, which is one of many at the forefront of new and exciting research

Article by Devanandh, Year 12
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