Biochemistry personal statement
I wish to read biochemistry at university because I want to discover the answers to the most profound and fascinating questions about the very essence of life. Some questions are so important but, paradoxically, can be overlooked by many people, for example, why are men naturally more predisposed to genetic conditions than women?
My deepening intrest in my A level subjects (and my frustration at the narrowness of the specifications) confirmed my belief that biochemistry is the subject I have to carry forward.
I am particularly interested in the origins of phenotypical expressions; how a mutation in one gene can result in dramatic changes in the body. "Nature and Genetics" offered me further insight, beyond what I learnt at GCSE, into a prime example of this occurrence. Huntington's disease results from a mutation in the Huntingtin gene that codes for the protein Huntingtin, leading to variation in the length of the trinucleotide repeat. I wish to understand more about the ways the mutant Huntingtin protein causes a substantial effect on the function of the protein and eventually leads to the disease symptoms.
Amino acids are captivating bifunctional compounds; their structure directly contributes to the utility of proteins in our body. Conversely, as technological advances continue, we are now able to synthesise specific amino acids, and tailor them to whichever purpose we intend. They surround our daily routine; an obvious example of this is biological cleaning agents, (Persil) where specific proteins are developed to break down carbohydrates and lipases on clothing.
On a recent trip to the University of Aberystwyth, I studied the trends of seaweed species on the west coast of Wales. I focused primarily on the genetic adaptations they have developed to thrive within their niche; finding that often it was the simplest changes in an animal's aesthetics which lead to drastic alterations in their behavioural patterns. This led me to explore further how species become differentiated from one another; from simpler issues like the mating of Tungara frogs, to more complex ethical dilemmas such as the speciation of humans. Ethics are an important element in many aspects of biochemical research, and must be considered in the way we develop and test new vaccines and drugs. Although the media seems to be captivated by topics such as animal testing, controversies such as the lack of testing into the long term effects of drugs (thalidomide a clear example) are equally significant.
Football plays a fundamental role in my extra-curricular activities. I am an active, member of the school football team, with whom I have played the last two seasons. As a monitor, my role within school is vital. Supervising younger students in the school's library and in the lunch hall has enhanced my familiarity in a leadership position, and given me the responsibility of others. This year I was selected as a vice captain of my house; a position that allowed me to take responsibility for decisions regarding the co-ordination of house activities, including the development of charity projects.
Outside school I am an enthusiastic long distance runner; in April I will be running the Blackpool marathon. Although initially I chose to run it to test myself, in light of changing circumstances, it has primarily become an endeavour to raise money for the Bolton Hospice and Christies. As well as being a sportsman, I enjoy attending live music events. This has inspired me to teach myself to play the guitar.
At the weekend I work part-time as a sales assistant at Dunelm Mill; equipping me with skills to deal with problems that are both administrative and customer service related. It is my duty to ensure customers receive products on time by using the company ordering, or by communicating with other stores.
I am eager to embark into research and biochemical advancement, I await the opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to a challenging yet rewarding career.
This personal statement was written by dcoates3 for application in 2011.
dcoates3's university choices
The University of Birmingham
University of Leeds
The University of Manchester
The University of Sheffield
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made