SSS Begins- Genetics & The Human Genome Project

SSS stands for Student Selected Study, and this is what we’re doing instead of PBL for the next couple of weeks. We all had to pick three themes from Anatomy, Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology/Genetics, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Psychology, and we got given one randomly. From these themes, we have to do a 7 minute presentation on a given topic, and this presentation is worth 15% of our final mark in the medicine module. As part of SSS, we also have to do an online diary to record our research and progress, which is also assessed. Luckily the diary can be informal so I’m treating it like this blog, and everything I post on there will be posted on here too!

My choices were Anatomy, Pathology and Microbiology/Genetics and I wouldn’t have minded any of them, but really really pleased that I got Genetics and can’t wait to get started with planning my presentation. My topic is: The Human Genome Project has increased knowledge of inherited diseases- choose a disease & describe how our knowledge has increased. I chose to research this because I don’t know much about The Human Genome Project as I only studied Biology up to AS level, so it was only mentioned briefly during the course. Hopefully by the end of this process I’ll know all there is to know about it all!

So last Thursday was our brainstorm session with our SSS lead, Laura, and Mahan and I were very excited, even though we were in the wrong room…


The session was very helpful because through action planning, Laura and Mahan gave me some great ideas and even made me think about things I hadn’t previously considered. Here is the list of questions we came up with, which is currently hung up in my room for me to add to when I think of more:


From that list, I’ve picked out a couple of questions to tackle first and they are:

– Why did this appeal to me?

– What is the Human Genome Project? – Basic background info (aim, when it began, how it works/technology involved, countries involved)

– Is it finished or still developing?

– Is it a good or bad thing?

– Should we spend money on it/how much has it cost so far?

– Which inherited diseases has the HGP increased knowledge of in particular? (What was previous knowlegde like?)

– Do I have a disease in mind to look at, why?

– What is the genetic angle to it?

– Are there certain groups of people who benefit more?

With these I have somewhere to start, yay! Research begins today, so I will be posting as I go along. So far I’ve set up news alerts to be emailed to me on the Human Genome Project everyday because to be honest since coming to university, I haven’t really been keeping up to date with current affairs, so hopefully these alerts will solve that problem!


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