A Biologists Birthday

This week I celebrated my 21st birthday (man I’m getting old). The day was great and full of biology and I thought I would write a little bit about it.

Starting off the day saw me being a part of my boyfriend’s dissertation survey. His dissertation is about the effect of energy drinks on students. This meant doing a memory task, a reaction time test and having my heart rate taken. Then drinking a frankly vile drink waiting for half an hour and repeating the three tests. Obviously as the study is ongoing I don’t really know whether there was a difference but it certainly kicked off my day in a biological way.

Then the next step in my day was to go for coffee with my best friend. Starbucks in Bath is our normal hang out place but coffee is so wonderfully biological also. As well as the coffee plant being of extreme interest

Then it was back to university for my normal three hour session of marine biology. Clearly this would be biological! The lecture involved three different sections. The first section was about marine pollution; it’s a scary topic pollution when you realise just how much goes on. We got to talk about oil spills which is a topic that first turned my attention towards the human effects on the world. When you see the shocking sites of all these beautiful birds covered in black oil it’s hard for it not to take some sort of effect. The second topic was part of our peer lectures scheme where one of the students in my class does a 5 minute presentation. This one was on a very weird little creature called the nautilus. Very strange looking creatures that have been around for a lot longer than I. In fact fossil records show that nautiloids have not evolved in over 500 million years. The last topic was on marine biotechnology. It is quite incredible how much has been developed from the marine environment and how much we have left to discover. I would love to go into more detail about marine biotechnology here but then this blog post would become a dissertation so I shall save it for another day.

I returned home after my lecture and went to my room where my boyfriend had put two bouquets of roses either side of my bed and given me another living rose plant. Roses are my favourite flowers and I’m currently writing a paper on the rose family. The whole rose family is economically important because it stretches from cherries and similar fruit back to roses themselves. It’s a fascinating family and one I’m enjoying learning about.

My birthday ended with dinner out with my friends and housemates in Bath. Now with it being my birthday alcohol was consumed. Alcohol also opens up a whole other world of biology so I think I’ll save talking about it for another day.

I think it can be quite outstanding when you go through a day and figure out just how much is connected because aside from all of the things that was biologically related, my whole body was working hard to get me through the day, mitochondria creating ATP. Muscles using it to get me from place to place. My brain sifting through all the things that my sensory organs were sending it. It is truly incredible. Either way I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday.

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