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    'Brain Day' gets Students Thinking

    Sixth Form Biologists gain a valuable insight into neuroscience.

    Sixth Form Biologists gained a valuable insight into neuroscience when Dr Guy Sutton visited Kimbolton for ‘Brain Day’ (23 February). Dr Sutton, Director of Medical Biology Interactive and an Honorary Consultant Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham Medical School, gave a series of presentations on the anatomy of the brain, its development, and the effects on it of disease and drugs.

    The day-long tutorial provided students with an overview of how the brain and nervous system works, revealed what happens when the brain becomes damaged, and explored topical issues including altered states of consciousness, behavioural genetics and brain imaging.

    Recent research and case studies were used to illustrate how scientists study the way the brain works and how this knowledge is being used for communicating with coma patients, mind control of prosthetic limbs, and treating patients with dementia, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Students also discussed brain anatomy across species, from fly to dog to dolphin, and took part in a hands-on dissection of a sheep’s brain.

    Brain Day organiser and Biology teacher Mrs Clare Firby said; "The programme was a fascinating combination of lectures, computer simulation and dissection which gave the students a real flavour of undergraduate study. By linking neuroscience with other fields of research such as epigenetics, embryology and the effects of drug abuse, Dr Sutton introduced them to the complexity of the human brain. A highight of the day was seeing some stunning images, particularly a newly developed technique called ‘Brainbow’ – a process by which individual neurons in the brain can be distinguished from neighbouring neurons using fluorescent proteins.”