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Biochemistry Personal Statement

We owe everything as we know it to the very molecules which we are composed of. To me, the ability of organisms to survive through different uses of such molecules is the beauty of what nature itself is. I found that my passion lies in this field after hearing about methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) in the media.

After reading further into the topic, I found that this resistance is due to the production of enzymes which hydrolyse the lactam ring of the antibiotic used, rendering it useless in treating the infection. Upon researching this mechanism, I realised that studying biochemistry is the perfect way to unite my love for biology and chemistry with my interest in disease and I look forward to studying it at a higher level.

During my time studying chemistry, my problem solving skills were improved through work involving long strings of calculations such as those in the thermodynamics topic I studied. I feel this will translate very well into more maths orientated areas of biochemistry. My studies in biology will also be of benefit since it provides a way of applying chemistry to things around me, particularly the physiology of living things.

Furthermore, studying sport takes this application of knowledge further, allowing me to link both biology and chemistry to humans, which gives me a well-rounded spectrum of knowledge concerning living things. In addition, my year of studies in As-Level sociology greatly improved my essay writing ability, which I know will help me at university since much of what I learn will need to be transferred into an essay format at some point.

I have gained invaluable practical skills from the laboratory work included as part of my A-level courses in biology and chemistry. I have also gained experience using equipment not available to my school, such as Infra-red and NMR spectroscopy equipment which I used in the University of Cumbria's labs after attending a workshop with the Royal Society of Chemistry. In this workshop I created and analysed a sample of paracetamol. My familiarity and experience with lab equipment will aid me in my transition to university since I know will be spending a lot of time working in a lab, and practical ability is a clear necessity.

In year 12, I was awarded with a certificate for academic excellence in biology for my deep knowledge and performance in the subject as well as a certificate for outstanding achievement in sport for the high grade I achieved in the first unit's exam. I was also awarded a certificate for academic excellence in PE, awarded in year 11.

Throughout early 2018, I took part in a Future learn online course on the topic of ethics in scientific research. This made me aware of issues which aren't touched on very often by my A-level specifications, such as the dilemma of testing medicines on animals. This helped me to a large degree when writing a short paper on the ethics of drug testing, which brought my attention to the magnitude of ethics in science, with biology in particular. I believe this has given me a good sense of morality and improved my ability to make sound ethical decisions and considerations where needed.

At the beginning of year 13, I was nominated to mentor a year 12 student in biology and chemistry throughout the year on a weekly basis. This helped me to organise my notes more effectively as well as refining my own knowledge in order to explain more difficult areas of the subject to another student in a clear manner. I also took part in work experience in my school's chemistry department throughout year 13, helping younger school students in a similar manner.

In my spare time I enjoy playing guitar, I achieved a grade 6 award in October 2018 and have performed for small audience on two occasions. I also enjoy keeping up to date with science in the media, I read a monthly article online about news in chemistry called chemmonthly as well as some material published by National Geographic.

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Author's Comments

I understand that the ending could be smoother and that I lack any outstanding experiences but It's the best i could do. hope this helps.
-Declan

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