The Xanthophyll Cycle in Photosystem II

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The weekend of end of exams!

So basically it’s the weekend of the end of my exams! Woo! Crazy how I’ve taken 8 exams this summer, so glad that next year we only have to take 6, due to the third year project being worth 30 credits ^_^

Usually, people would be going to go clubbing to celebrate, but not all my friends have actually finished their exams, especially my closer friends from different universities. I guess one of perks of being in my course is that we always finish really early, compared to other universities in London/ around the U.K. Anyways, I decided to go home to visit my family, it’s been a while. I don’t always go back every week like a lot of students do. Sheffield is 2hours away from London on the train, also I always have something to do in London. This is the reason why I decided to come to London for University in the first place. It is the city that never seems to sleep! (I know everyone says that about New York too, but I think it’s true for London) There is always something to do in London, something new and exciting. It’s such a big city therefore a lot of areas and events are always going on. I never get bored! Also, it is so culturally enriched and I love being exposed to vast cultures- it just opens your mind more to the beautiful world we have J

So walking around Sheffield town centre with the family looking for something to give to my blog and I see a plant stores outside the town hall. Here are some pictures.

This actually got me really excited for the start of my studentship on Tuesday (Monday is a bank holiday, woo woo! Don’t we all love bank holidays?! :D) I’ve always thought plants were beautiful organisms, in ways seeing a plant is quite refreshing, especially because in London there is little greeny which surrounds me. I have always been interested in photosynthesis, its such a complex mechanism, I know at the time learning at A-levels it being very complex, when actually when you think back the way they thought it in A levels is so simple compared to what it is really….Anyways, I really like photosynthesis, it’s a really neat process, it basically is the reason how we and practically all of the other organisms evolved on life. We wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for plants. So it’s quite sad how people just overlook them and not really realised their importance.

I was recently reading a nature review about why we need plant sciences, as they are the scientist which would unlock the answers to. How will we feed the children of the future? How can plants contribute to the energy crisis? It’s true that this is an area in science that is often neglected. I don’t think that the UK education system really implements plant science careers into the minds of young children. Many aspire to be lawyers, doctors, football players, police men, business owners, but rarely does anyone actually want to be a plant scientist. To be honest I’ve always been interested in Medical sciences, hence the reason why I’m undertaking a degree in medical genetics, but it just hit me recently, what is the point in saving so many people dying from disease, if we just simply do not have the food and energy supply to aid their lifestyles? I like to think about the future generations, some people say global warming is just a natural phenomenon, but I truly believe because of extra carbon emissions in the world, we have severely increased the global temperatures and sea levels, causing devastating effects to the world- such as freak weather and the extinction of animals. I want children in the future and I’m sure the cycle of them wanting children will continue for generations. I want the human race to survive and not be wiped out because we were foolish with damaging the world generations before. Hence, one of the reasons why I’m undertaking a project in photosynthesis, particularly relating to photosystem 2 and the pigments related in light stress. If I can understand the fundamental mechanisms behind photosynthesis, this will aid me in my future research plans in artificial photosynthesis or generations of biofuel energy by genetic modification of plants? 

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