mynameiscuteass
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I have been starting my epq lesson since November but I am still struggling to find a good epq topic in the area of Biochem/Biotech/Biomed to do a dissertation on it. So can anyone please help suggest me with some ideas. I would appreciate all your help!
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi,

I would genuinely like to help you - however, the range of possibilities is vast, so it would help if you were to mention any particular topics/syllabus items/broad body structures that you find interesting and/or enjoyable to study. Other ideas that would narrow down the scope are any diseases that a family member [obviously more likely an elderly relative or friend] has suffered OR that appeared on telly and you found fascinating.

If you are able to provide the above info, I would be happy to suggest a few topics that you could look at and shortlist to one.

M (specialist A level Biology tutor)
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mynameiscuteass
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(Original post by macpatelgh)
Hi,

I would genuinely like to help you - however, the range of possibilities is vast, so it would help if you were to mention any particular topics/syllabus items/broad body structures that you find interesting and/or enjoyable to study. Other ideas that would narrow down the scope are any diseases that a family member [obviously more likely an elderly relative or friend] has suffered OR that appeared on telly and you found fascinating.

If you are able to provide the above info, I would be happy to suggest a few topics that you could look at and shortlist to one.

M (specialist A level Biology tutor)
I am very interested in genetics field but I am afraid that the knowledge needed would be deep and far beyond A-levels which would make it hard for me to understand fully. Therefore, I am also looking for topics related to environment like bioplastics which I assume would be easier to understand.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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From what you say, I assume you are studying at A level standard. My advice would be not to worry too much about the potential complexity - you can always keep your dissertation as simple or otherwise as you choose.

(Also, sorry to keep getting you to come back to me, but if you can narrow down to some other branches of biology/biochemistry from the ideas given in my first reply, I can give you a little more choice of topics for your epq task.)

If you do take the genetics option, consider the following:-

1. {A TOPIC USING A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF A GENETIC CONDITION}: "The genetic basis and biochemical abnormalities associated with albinism and other disorders of the melanin synthesis pathway" - sounds complex, but you can talk about how the genetically transmitted (autosomal recessive transmission, which you will have come across if you are in A2 year) condition, albinism, is caused by a lack of one of the enzymes necessary for a step in the synthesis of the pigment melanin (so includes some biochemistry, too) that gives skin and hair their colour (more so in a guy like me who has a golden complexion haha!). Albinism makes a black person look almost white (btw, as a child, I used to observe such an albino in Kenya when passing through a town in the Rift Valley called Nakuru [you might have heard of Lake Nakuru which is famous for its tens of thousands of flamingos]). You could include chemical formulae of the synthesis of melanin, which involves the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine [aromatic amino acids i.e. they contain a benzene ring] AND you could touch on phenylketonuria, a condition caused by lack of a different enzyme in the same pathway [all newborn babies are screened for the latter condition, as it can cause brain damage and can be lethal].

2. {A GENERAL GENETICS TOPIC}: "The Human Genome Project: its application in medicine, and the school of thought that places ethical limitations on gene therapy".

Also please address the print in italics above, especially if you don't like the topics above. I would also be happy to provide you with leads to information sources and links to books/websites/research papers, etc to give you a headstart. Also, if you need help with planning or proofreading, don't hesitate to ask.

Regards,
M
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She_hopes
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Hi there so this year i decided to do EPQ as one of my A levels and i was really unsure on what to do it on but i have finally settled on "The genetic basis and biochemical abnormalities associated with albinism and other disorders of the melanin synthesis pathway" but i am unsure of what resources to use or even how to start planning. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi, you won't need to keep hoping!! - your dreams WILL come true !

Watch this space for some tips v soon!
M
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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She_hopes

Hi, apologies for the delay in coming back to you after promising to reply "v soon" - I hope "she is still hoping"!

SOME TIPS:-
a) Melanin is synthesized from a precursor that is an aromatic (i.e. contains a benzene ring) amino acid, namely tyrosine. The steps include conversion into phenylalanine then into DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine), etc. So I would suggest you google the words in bold plus these: iris colour; photophobia (literal meaning: fear of light - patients with albinism suffer from it as there is no pigment to block the light); squamous cell carcinoma (carcinoma is a malignant tumour of epithelial tissue - increased risk in albinism); fundus [back of the eye = retina as seen by using an ophthalmoscope [an instrument that shines a bright light into the eye to detect eye disease - can also pick up diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, etc [that is why a regular sight test is important]]]; visual pathway; optic chiasma; "albinism AND visual acuity" (exactly that: "AND" makes it a Boolean search - more specific results [and less of them] come up); nystagmus [fine vibrations of the eye that occur in various [mainly neurological] diseases].
b) Go to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov then select PMC from the databases dropdown - gives you free access to millions of full text research papers. Just do Boolean searches as needed.
c) DON'T BE ALARMED by the complexity and sheer volume of info out there! If confused.com (!), ask Sheldon (me - ). Seriously, I will help out with simplifying things, and I can proofread your essay if you like (I picked up 500+ minute errors from the editors' final draft of my first book - one editor nicknamed me "hawk eyes"! (sorry about the bragging!)).

More in next post! "Does this guy ever stop?" she asks haha!
M
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ashleyyy.x
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(Original post by macpatgh-Sheldon)
She_hopes

Hi, apologies for the delay in coming back to you after promising to reply "v soon" - I hope "she is still hoping"!

SOME TIPS:-
a) Melanin is synthesized from a precursor that is an aromatic (i.e. contains a benzene ring) amino acid, namely tyrosine. The steps include conversion into phenylalanine then into DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine), etc. So I would suggest you google the words in bold plus these: iris colour; photophobia (literal meaning: fear of light - patients with albinism suffer from it as there is no pigment to block the light); squamous cell carcinoma (carcinoma is a malignant tumour of epithelial tissue - increased risk in albinism); fundus [back of the eye = retina as seen by using an ophthalmoscope [an instrument that shines a bright light into the eye to detect eye disease - can also pick up diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, etc [that is why a regular sight test is important]]]; visual pathway; optic chiasma; "albinism AND visual acuity" (exactly that: "AND" makes it a Boolean search - more specific results [and less of them] come up); nystagmus [fine vibrations of the eye that occur in various [mainly neurological] diseases].
b) Go to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov then select PMC from the databases dropdown - gives you free access to millions of full text research papers. Just do Boolean searches as needed.
c) DON'T BE ALARMED by the complexity and sheer volume of info out there! If confused.com (!), ask Sheldon (me - ). Seriously, I will help out with simplifying things, and I can proofread your essay if you like (I picked up 500+ minute errors from the editors' final draft of my first book - one editor nicknamed me "hawk eyes"! (sorry about the bragging!)).

More in next post! "Does this guy ever stop?" she asks haha!
M
Hi, I'm currently doing my EPQ on gene therapy and I'm trying to write my discussion but I don't know how to start or how to structure my discussion paragraph. Could you please give me some tips? Thanks.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi Wakie Wakie young man/lady [sorry I never remember which way round the names Ashley and Ashleigh work [guy or gal] ),

It will depend quite heavily on whether your specific EPQ has been a literature search type of project OR a practical experiment based one. The former, when referring to articles published in peer-reviewed journals is referred to as a review WHEREAS the latter can be a research paper OR original article [dw if this sounds unfamiliar - I am just trying to get the right context so I can suggest the relevant ideas]. It will also depend on the exact title of your EPQ and a little on the content.

I will assume it is the former.

In that case, your discussion should start with a general sentence[s] summarizing what you said in the introduction, then expanding on that with more detail backed up by findings quoted by researchers, [which you will include in your references section].
After that, particularly if your EPQ involves some kind of debate [which is usually the case], at this stage you want to provide your own personal viewpoint on your interpretation/summary of the data, [combining it will varying viewpoints cited in the literature]; oc you will want to explain [give reasons] for your views.
Finally, provide a brief concluding paragraph, succinctly analyzing the entire work, and possibly a statement predicting progress in the future, and what aspects warrant further research.

I hope this helps!

I am now going to have my 2nd breakfast [overdue]; I suppose you are going back to bed [good night! ]

M
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ashleyyy.x
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(Original post by macpatgh-Sheldon)
Hi Wakie Wakie young man/lady [sorry I never remember which way round the names Ashley and Ashleigh work [guy or gal] ),

It will depend quite heavily on whether your specific EPQ has been a literature search type of project OR a practical experiment based one. The former, when referring to articles published in peer-reviewed journals is referred to as a review WHEREAS the latter can be a research paper OR original article [dw if this sounds unfamiliar - I am just trying to get the right context so I can suggest the relevant ideas]. It will also depend on the exact title of your EPQ and a little on the content.

I will assume it is the former.

In that case, your discussion should start with a general sentence[s] summarizing what you said in the introduction, then expanding on that with more detail backed up by findings quoted by researchers, [which you will include in your references section].
After that, particularly if your EPQ involves some kind of debate [which is usually the case], at this stage you want to provide your own personal viewpoint on your interpretation/summary of the data, [combining it will varying viewpoints cited in the literature]; oc you will want to explain [give reasons] for your views.
Finally, provide a brief concluding paragraph, succinctly analyzing the entire work, and possibly a statement predicting progress in the future, and what aspects warrant further research.

I hope this helps!

I am now going to have my 2nd breakfast [overdue]; I suppose you are going back to bed [good night! ]

M
My EPQ is unit 1 which is a dissertation. I've written my introduction but it's not completely finished. I'm 200 words short but I didn't know what else to write so I was advised to just start writing my discussion and come back to my introduction.
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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(Original post by ashleyyy.x)
My EPQ is unit 1 which is a dissertation. I've written my introduction but it's not completely finished. I'm 200 words short but I didn't know what else to write so I was advised to just start writing my discussion and come back to my introduction.
Good morning - sorry to keep disturbing your sleep!

How are you getting on with your EPQ? I hope well - btw thanks for the rep!

If you need proofreading help, the editors of one of my books dubbed me "hawkeyes" :flybye:, so please feel free to PM me!
Be safe!

M.
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ashleyyy.x
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i just sent in my first and only draft😒 so i would love it if you were able to read it. How should i send it to you?
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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(Original post by ashleyyy.x)
i just sent in my first and only draft😒 so i would love it if you were able to read it. How should i send it to you?
Chk PM
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