# Biology help watch

1. (Original post by therecovery)
Apart from the application of stereoisomers for drugs, how is chemistry relevant for medicine?
In so many ways :P Enzyme kinetics, metabolic energetics, acids and bases, redox reactions, ketone bodies, amino acid zwitterions, how MRIs work, reaction mechanisms (curly arrows), equilibrium constants, + more that I probably can't quite remember at this moment in time
2. (Original post by Aimen.)
Attachment 526609
Isn't standard temp supposed to be 25 degree celcius rather than 0 degree celcius?
I'm confused cuz i see different stuff everywhere!
Standard temperature is 273 kelvin, you're perhaps confusing it with room temperature. What I mean is, when doing calculations involving temperature, you often assume that the temperature of something is 20-25 degrees (room temperature)
3. Hi
This might be a rater weird Q. But could you please explain the practical for AS which you have to measure the Vitamin C content using DCPIP and comparing with a calibration curve. I'm aware there is a calculation method But the calibration curve method seems much easier than explaining the calculation in a how to Q.
An example of a Q. they sometimes ask is : describe the changes that could be carried out to compare changes in Vit C content of a fruit stored at 6 and 8 degrees
4. (Original post by JOY33)
Hi
This might be a rater weird Q. But could you please explain the practical for AS which you have to measure the Vitamin C content using DCPIP and comparing with a calibration curve. I'm aware there is a calculation method But the calibration curve method seems much easier than explaining the calculation in a how to Q.
An example of a Q. they sometimes ask is : describe the changes that could be carried out to compare changes in Vit C content of a fruit stored at 6 and 8 degrees
Hmm, I've never come across this before, and I do have my own exams to revise for! :P If I ever get the time, then I'll try and look into it and explain what I can, there are other people waiting for responses too, I haven't forgotten you all, it's just it takes some time to learn this stuff sufficiently to explain it, and unfortunately, I do have to prioritise learning the stuff I need to pass my exams haha. You're probably better off asking a teacher/someone else though, this is quite a busy time for me, so you might be waiting a bit too long for a response from me sorry
5. (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
Hmm, I've never come across this before, and I do have my own exams to revise for! :P If I ever get the time, then I'll try and look into it and explain what I can, there are other people waiting for responses too, I haven't forgotten you all, it's just it takes some time to learn this stuff sufficiently to explain it, and unfortunately, I do have to prioritise learning the stuff I need to pass my exams haha. You're probably better off asking a teacher/someone else though, this is quite a busy time for me, so you might be waiting a bit too long for a response from me sorry
No problem. I have quite a few Q. regarding med entrance procedure for uni.Just answer whenever you can.
Does unis really need a whole bunch of Extra curricular when applying? I'm not really involved in anything and currently doing AS, Is it too late for me to get started and be involved?

When did you do your UKCAT, right after your AS levels or during A2 levels?

Did you apply with your predicted results after AS?
Thank you
6. Hi you just state the colour change from blue to colourless. Such that, at lower temperatures, there will be less vitamin C so the colour change won't be much it will be a lighter blue from the initial blue colour but at a higher temperature, there will be more vitamin C so the colour change will be blue to colourless. I hope i was able to explain it properly to you and that you understood what I'm trying to put across
7. (Original post by JOY33)
No problem. I have quite a few Q. regarding med entrance procedure for uni.Just answer whenever you can.
Does unis really need a whole bunch of Extra curricular when applying? I'm not really involved in anything and currently doing AS, Is it too late for me to get started and be involved?

When did you do your UKCAT, right after your AS levels or during A2 levels?

Did you apply with your predicted results after AS?
Thank you
Okay, so you really don't need to do loads, you'll hear of medicine applicants who do absolutely everything, but they're just overachievers and no one likes an overachiever. It's also not too late to start doing stuff! This summer is going to be the busiest summer of your life so far though :P So, what you want to be doing at this point in time is focusing on your AS levels obviously, 3-4 A's are vital, I think you can get in with less, but everyone who was successful at my school got 4 A's, so you really want to try and nail those exams on the head.

Once you've done your AS's, you want to begin doing some personal statement filler. This should ideally include sport, work experience (I'll get onto this in a minute), volunteering, summer jobs etc. This summer is going to be busy, but it's worth it when you get those sweet sweet offers

So here's just a little breakdown of how I got into medical school:
I did 2 lots of work experience before my AS exams and one more after my exams, each were a week long and involved shadowing surgeons and junior doctors. Although I did 3, 1 week is enough, I just did 2 more because I applied for a number of placements and got offered all of them, and I wasn't going to turn down valid experience like that! If you haven't done work experience, begin looking after your exams, and do some over the summer.
I did 2 years of volunteering in a care group for disabled people. The longer you volunteer the better really, I started volunteering in the january of my year 12, and continued until I started uni (I still go back and see them when I'm at home haha), so it was actually just under 2 years, and I had only done about a year by the time I did my interviews. So try and start looking for volunteering soon if you already aren't doing some.
So after all that, I did my AS's and got 4 A's, and then over the summer, I did rowing, rock climbing, continued my volunteering, had a summer job and wrote my personal statement. So I did 2 sports, no DofE, no music etc etc, that's probably about as much extra-curricular as you need tbh, you just need something to show you can relax, and if you can do something that shows you can work in a team then that's excellent. I then did my UKCAT at the end of the summer holiday after I got my AS results. But I really screwed up my UKCAT because I only spend a week revising for it (not a good idea, I recommend you spend longer!). That was a dark day for me haha, I really began to doubt that I would get into medical school after my UKCAT. But you know, you just have to get on with it and keep trying.
Erm, just in general, I also did some teaching in a school, tutoring, ran a science club at my school, went to debating sessions after school and was the editor in chief of the school's science magazine (which I started haha). Just small things like that can help too, they only got like a 1 line mention in my personal statement, but they just show that you can do other things other than get good exam results.
So in summary, it's not too late, you'll be fine if you work hard over the summer to fill your personal statement with things that make you look good. Basically, in your personal statement, link everything to a skill, e.g. I did rowing and said it improved by team-work skills, I said my volunteering helped my communication skills, my work experience made me understand what it is like to be a doctor, my extracurricular activities helped me to balance my work etc etc, that's a vital top tip there!
Also apply smart, apply to where you think you'll get in, you might end up somewhere rubbish, but a medical degree is a medical degree, beggars can't be choosers etc.

Best of luck, I have to rush off to the gym before it closes!
8. (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
Hey everyone, I am a medical student who doesn't really have time to do any proper, paid tutoring, however I am interested in teaching and helping people in general. I have tutored before, so if anyone is stuck on any GCSE/AS/A2 biology (or chemistry too for that matter) then feel free to ask and I'll help. Also if anyone has any questions about applying to medical school then I can help there too as I was in that position only last year, so it's fresh in my mind. I got 4 A's at AS and 3 A*s at A2 (bio, chem, maths, all above 95%)
Hey, first of all thanku for taking time to help every one i just have one question- how do u answer bio questions. i do fine on the essays as i am a person who does well when it comes to regurgitating information but its all those damn graph question that get me and always bring my grade down. so, do u have an tips that can help me. I've been told soo many times to read the question properly and to take time to understand the question but this never works cus i get the same marks as when i quickly go through the question. its pretty close to my exam and im kinda starting to lose all hope and just preparing myself for the worst in bio
thanks in advance for any help x
9. (Original post by girl :D)
Hey, first of all thanku for taking time to help every one i just have one question- how do u answer bio questions. i do fine on the essays as i am a person who does well when it comes to regurgitating information but its all those damn graph question that get me and always bring my grade down. so, do u have an tips that can help me. I've been told soo many times to read the question properly and to take time to understand the question but this never works cus i get the same marks as when i quickly go through the question. its pretty close to my exam and im kinda starting to lose all hope and just preparing myself for the worst in bio
thanks in advance for any help x
So I've been asked this a lot, both on here and by some lower years from my old school. Biology is notorious for those questions, and there isn't really any technique to them, I know people tend to say read the question properly and spend time on them etc etc, but I completely understand what you mean when you say that it just doesn't work! I found it quite funny how last year (and year 12 too), I quite consistently did worse on those questions compared to the B and C students, one of them even said to me that it's because I'm just book smart and have no common sense haha. But that's not the case, having common sense won't help on those questions most of the time, so here's what I recommend:
work through the exam answering what you can, these will include the factual recall questions and any how-science-works questions that you can answer straight away. If you get to a HSW question and nothing springs to mind, then leave it to the end. Basically, you want to smash everything you can to get those marks in the bag, don't waste time getting flustered because you can't answer a difficult question. Once you've got a good portion of the exam out of the way, then go back to those tricky questions. Hopefully by this point, you will be able to think with a clearer head knowing that you don't have to worry about finishing the rest of the exam, and as a result, something will eventually spring to mind, and if not, then write write whatever you can, don't leave a question blank unless absolutely nothing comes to mind, because you never know, something you write may actually be correct. I remember writing some absolutely out of this world rubbish in some of my exams and mocks, and they actually turned out to be right, that is just the nature of biology exams, they're silly.

Erm, I can't really think of what else to say, some people might have techniques for these questions, but for me it's like trying to stack paper in a windtunnel, no matter how hard you try to organise it, you won't be able to overcome how chaotic the situation is haha. I wouldn't worry too much though, biology has very low grade boundaries, like 50-60% for an A/A*, so you can afford to lose these marks as long as you gain other marks in the factual recall questions. I was never any good at HSW questions, I just wrote whatever came to mind in the exam, and I got like 98% in A-level biology, so don't worry about not being able to do them, just do what you can, do the past papers incase anything similar is repeated. That's all I did, I didn't practise HSW questions, I just revised the science and did the past papers, but yh, if you can get top marks in the factual recall and get like half of the marks in the rest of the paper then you will get an A or an A* (I don't know what grade you're aiming for).

Sorry that wasn't much use, there just sadly is no technique for those questions, and not really much you can do other than just staying calm in the exam and writing something that you think is right, that's the best you can do!
10. If anyone would like to see my personal statement to get an idea of what one looks like, then just let me know, or I could just post it on here, I'll have to check if there's nothing too personal in there though first!
11. (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
So I've been asked this a lot, both on here and by some lower years from my old school. Biology is notorious for those questions, and there isn't really any technique to them, I know people tend to say read the question properly and spend time on them etc etc, but I completely understand what you mean when you say that it just doesn't work! I found it quite funny how last year (and year 12 too), I quite consistently did worse on those questions compared to the B and C students, one of them even said to me that it's because I'm just book smart and have no common sense haha. But that's not the case, having common sense won't help on those questions most of the time, so here's what I recommend:
work through the exam answering what you can, these will include the factual recall questions and any how-science-works questions that you can answer straight away. If you get to a HSW question and nothing springs to mind, then leave it to the end. Basically, you want to smash everything you can to get those marks in the bag, don't waste time getting flustered because you can't answer a difficult question. Once you've got a good portion of the exam out of the way, then go back to those tricky questions. Hopefully by this point, you will be able to think with a clearer head knowing that you don't have to worry about finishing the rest of the exam, and as a result, something will eventually spring to mind, and if not, then write write whatever you can, don't leave a question blank unless absolutely nothing comes to mind, because you never know, something you write may actually be correct. I remember writing some absolutely out of this world rubbish in some of my exams and mocks, and they actually turned out to be right, that is just the nature of biology exams, they're silly.

Erm, I can't really think of what else to say, some people might have techniques for these questions, but for me it's like trying to stack paper in a windtunnel, no matter how hard you try to organise it, you won't be able to overcome how chaotic the situation is haha. I wouldn't worry too much though, biology has very low grade boundaries, like 50-60% for an A/A*, so you can afford to lose these marks as long as you gain other marks in the factual recall questions. I was never any good at HSW questions, I just wrote whatever came to mind in the exam, and I got like 98% in A-level biology, so don't worry about not being able to do them, just do what you can, do the past papers incase anything similar is repeated. That's all I did, I didn't practise HSW questions, I just revised the science and did the past papers, but yh, if you can get top marks in the factual recall and get like half of the marks in the rest of the paper then you will get an A or an A* (I don't know what grade you're aiming for).

Sorry that wasn't much use, there just sadly is no technique for those questions, and not really much you can do other than just staying calm in the exam and writing something that you think is right, that's the best you can do!
Thnk u sooo much for taking time to do this. i will implement what u have said above and hopefully i will get somewhere now 😋
12. Why did you choose medicine as a career?
13. (Original post by PlayerBB)
Yeah, I have found the difference for Benedict's and Fehling's, for Fehling's,it consists of complexed Cu2+ ions with tartrate ions dissolved in NaOH while Benedict's consists of complexed Cu2+ ions with citrate ions dissolved in CaCO3.

I guess you're right about indicators...

so it's now one thing that is confusing, buffers....
Spoiler:
Show
This topic is the one I struggle at it the most, I don't know why though :/
I guess watching this would help
It did help me though

https://youtu.be/8Fdt5WnYn1k?list=PL...6fYEaX9mQQ8oGr
14. hi, i find your advice so helpful thank you! im doing A2 biology this year gahh! mostly it seems okey i was just wondering if you could give me more information about restriction mapping during gel electrophoresis (part of DNA technology and DNA sequencing) and perhaps how gene therapy works and also the regulation of gene expression (like with siRNA and transcriptional factors). if you could help I would be so greatful, if you cannot then i understand. thanks again
15. (Original post by AortaStudyMore)
Hey everyone, I am a medical student who doesn't really have time to do any proper, paid tutoring, however I am interested in teaching and helping people in general. I have tutored before, so if anyone is stuck on any GCSE/AS/A2 biology (or chemistry too for that matter) then feel free to ask and I'll help. Also if anyone has any questions about applying to medical school then I can help there too as I was in that position only last year, so it's fresh in my mind. I got 4 A's at AS and 3 A*s at A2 (bio, chem, maths, all above 95%)
Hey is there anyway you can come up with some simplified notes relating to the new spec on the topics : Mass Transport in Animals and Plants
Digestion and Absorption
Classification and speciation
16. (Original post by haroon-hussain)
Hey is there anyway you can come up with some simplified notes relating to the new spec on the topics : Mass Transport in Animals and Plants
Digestion and Absorption
Classification and speciation
argh! I would love to but I'm behind on my uni notes haha, and as I said to someone else, I do need to prioritise my university studies :P I am however going home tonight for the weekend, if you remind me tomorrow, I can send you my notes on the topics, they're old spec, but not too much should have changed I expect
17. (Original post by charlieecooperr)
hi, i find your advice so helpful thank you! im doing A2 biology this year gahh! mostly it seems okey i was just wondering if you could give me more information about restriction mapping during gel electrophoresis (part of DNA technology and DNA sequencing) and perhaps how gene therapy works and also the regulation of gene expression (like with siRNA and transcriptional factors). if you could help I would be so greatful, if you cannot then i understand. thanks again
yh will do, but it might have to wait until tonight or tomorrow, I have a train to catch soon
18. (Original post by therecovery)
Why did you choose medicine as a career?
Oh goodness, and I thought that I would never have to answer "why medidicine?" again :P erm, there are a number of reasons, it's by far one of the most academic degrees out there, it's so challenging, and as a result it's so rewarding when you overcome the challenge. I wouldn't have felt that I would be reaching my academic potential if I wasn't doing medicine. It's very well respected too, I know you're never ever supposed to say you want to do medicine for the prestige, but deep down everyone loves the fact that they're labelled as medical students, and believe me, most people show it! I saw an older year on the tube once with his "medical student" name-tag on haha, and yh a lot of people in my year do love to subtly remind non-medics that they're medics.. I guess for me, the course was just the perfect combination of things I wanted to do, I was always good at human biology, and it was always the biology I enjoyed the most at school, and then you get to actually apply your biology knowledge to improve people's lives. Oh and knowing anatomy makes you seem so smart :P It's a good way to show off, if only I knew enough anatomy to be able to show off like that...
19. ^ that wasn't what I said in my interviews btw haha, I wouldn't be surprised if atleast 90% of medical students adjusted their response to "Why do you want to do medicine?" so that it seemed unique in some way. My official response incorporated some of the things I just wrote, but to make it unique I added a bit about how I was inspired by the doctors who treated me for an illness when I was 16 etc etc.
20. (Original post by charlieecooperr)
hi, i find your advice so helpful thank you! im doing A2 biology this year gahh! mostly it seems okey i was just wondering if you could give me more information about restriction mapping during gel electrophoresis (part of DNA technology and DNA sequencing) and perhaps how gene therapy works and also the regulation of gene expression (like with siRNA and transcriptional factors). if you could help I would be so greatful, if you cannot then i understand. thanks again
I don't really know how much detail you want, so if there's anything you still don't understand in this brief overview, then just ask me. Also my DNA tech knowledge might be a tad rusty! So restriction mapping involves using restriction endonucleases to cleave DNA at specific recognition sites, such examples would be EcoRI (which is an enzyme released by E. coli I believe) and HindIII. Once you have your DNA fragments, you separate them by gel electrophoresis, basically, smaller fragments travel through the gel quicker than larger fragments, so smaller fragments will be further from the point of origin than larger fragments. They often ask questions that require you to determine how many recognition sites there were in a length of DNA, this is quite tricky, and I don't think I can really explain it here without diagrams and stuff, so you will be better off asking a teacher about that, although I do have notes that explain it pretty well if you'd like me to send them to you.

As for gene therapy, there are 2 types, somatic cell and germ-line. Germ-line is outright illegal. Germ-line cells are the cells found in the testes and ovaries that will divide by meiosis to form the gametes, any DNA changes in these cells is heritable, unlike somatic cells (body cells, i.e. every other cell that isn't a germ cell). I don't know the legal status of somatic cell gene therapy, but the theory behind it essentially involves infecting cells with a virus. So a virus is basically just genetic material inside a shell, and they have what is called "tropism" (don't worry about this), but what this means is specific viruses have a tendency to infect certain tissues and not others. For example, influenza viruses only infect respiratory epithelia, because the necessary enzymes needed to allow the virus to release its genetic material inside the cell are only found in the upper respiratory tract. This is pretty handy, because it means you can load viruses with a healthy version of a gene and "infect" the patient. The virus will only infect the target tissue (because of their tropism) and release the healthy gene into cell. The key thing to remember here is that the healthy gene does not replace the unhealthy gene, it just masks the unhealthy gene's effects. So when you do gene therapy, the healthy gene you're putting into the cells must be dominant to the unhealthy gene. But because the unhealthy gene is not replaced, it means that the healthy gene is not conserved in mitosis, which means that somatic cell gene therapy requires constant treatment, because the effects of the therapy don't last long. I can't remember the specifics, you'll need the textbook for that, but as far as I remember, the 2 ways of getting the DNA inside the body were adenoviruses and liposomes, and they each had their advantages and disadvantages (like the use of adenoviruses carried a risk of actual infection, that sort of thing!).

Finally, regulation of gene expression. This is an interesting topic, genes can be regulated in 2 ways, you can regulate how much mRNA is made, and you can regulate how much mRNA is used to make protein. So the first way involves transcription factors. These are usually found either already bound to DNA or in the cytoplasm. The thing to remember here is that there is always some transcription going on in a gene, transcription factors just regulate the level at which that basic level of transcription is happening. So what happens, is a signal comes a long and activates the TF, the TF then binds to a site close to the gene on DNA, the DNA then loops around so that the TF comes close to the gene promoter region (a sequence of bases containing A's and T's) which is where RNA polymerase binds. The TF can then either upregulate or downregulate the binding of RNA polymerase, and hence the level of transcription. The second way genes are regulated is by RNA interference. This basically involves inactivation of the mRNA that has been formed from transcription. Now it gets a bit complicated, as the way your body does this is by producing microRNA, but we'll just focus on siRNA, as that's what you need for A-level. So siRNA is formed from fragments of double stranded RNA. The dsRNA is cut into smaller pieces, and then the strands are separated into single strands. The single strands are loaded onto a complex of enzymes, and because the single strands are complementary to the original RNA, they bind to the RNA, once bound, the enzymes cut up the RNA and hence it cannot be used to make any protein. This is a common viral defense mechanism, as I said before, our cells actually make what is called miRNA, which does the same thing as siRNA, but it binds to our mRNA instead and cuts it into smaller pieces, thus silencing gene expression. I feel like I've complicated this more than necessary though, so just remember that siRNAs are small lengths of RNA that are complementary to RNA that is going to go and make a protein. Because the siRNA is complementary to the mRNA, it binds to it, the siRNA is also bound to an enzyme complex, which chops up the mRNA, thus preventing it from making protein

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