The Perse School

Students tour Cancer Research Institute

30 Jan 2015

On Wednesday 28 January, twelve Year 11 students enjoyed a tour of the Cancer Research Institute at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a prize for their fundraising efforts in the Relay for Life.

The group first learnt about the biology of cancer and some very interesting facts about genes and DNA: did you know that there are more cells in your little finger than the population of China? The students were also interested to discover that the DNA in your body would stretch to the sun and back six times and that our DNA was 99.8% identical to the person sitting next to us. The students enjoyed a fascinating talk from a physicist working for Cancer Research who demonstrated how NMR spectroscopy techniques could be used to further identify different types of cancer. Next came an excellent tour of the proteomics, microscopy and histopathology laboratories, where the group was struck by the expense of the equipment required. A particular highlight was the microscopy lab, using fluorescent imaging, the researchers were able to stain different parts of the cell different colours giving both incredible images and vital insight into the life of a cell.

This was a very enjoyable and insightful afternoon showing the scientific techniques helping to make a breakthrough in the battle against cancer.

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