Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Day 7: Day Trip to The Animal and Plant Health Agency

Today we had full day visits to research establishments across the country, with one group even going to an establishment in Wales for the day. I chose to visit the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Surrey, England. I chose the APHA in particular because I wanted to learn more about the work they do in researching and regulating diseases that impact animals and plants throughout the UK. I knew touring the research farm would be a great experience, and indeed it was.
Here is the front of the APHA, looking British as ever. Inside there are countless molecular biology labs and offices. Unfortunately (but understandably) we weren't permitted to take any photographs, so I searched for an image of the APHA online. Image retrieved from here. 
The lectures we had at the APHA were very interesting. There were multiple speakers who each gave a short talk on a topic relevant to the APHA's research. For example, the APHA does a lot of research into bovine tuberculosis. Here is an image of Mycobacterium bovis (the bacteria that causes bovine TB) visualized using the Ziehl-Neelson stain. Image retrieved from here.
Some of the best parts of my visit to the APHA included seeing the insectary filled with meshed cages of UK mosquitoes bred for subsequent tests, having a tour through the extensive farm and associated research facilities by one of the veterinarians, and seeing transgenic mice! At the end of the visit, I had the honor of giving the note of thanks to the APHA for devoting almost a whole day to giving us a great experience and day of learning at their facilities. 

While travelling to the APHA, I had the pleasure of sitting with two girls from China, Jane and Vivian. I asked them if they would teach me a few words in Chinese, and by the end of our bus ride there we had filled an entire page with Chinese words.
Once back at the Imperial, I visited the common room area where artist Tom Tsuchiya was busy at work on his re-creation of Atlas Recycled, an amazing sculpture that he made from entirely reused materials. The re-creation that Tom is working on here is also made of recycled materials. When the framework is finished, Tom, along with anyone at LISYF who is interested, will cover the surface with old maps. I'm planning on stopping by soon and helping with the layout of Canada.

Only at LIYSF can you have frozen yogurt with students from Norway, Poland, Malta, Germany, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Canada all at once! The best thing about this evening was not the frozen yogurt, but rather the exchange of language between us. Everyone offered tongue twisters in their language and we all tried them, leading to lots of laughter and a heightened respect for other languages!

See you tomorrow!
- Vivienne 

No comments:

Post a Comment