Perse Studio

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students

Is there a link between DNA and Obesity?

Rohail A, Year 8

People become obese for different reasons. Some people might eat a lot of high calorie foods but not become obese and some people might not eat very much but still become obese. Is becoming obese some people’s fate? It seems that there is more that what meets the eye. Could this be because of DNA? I will be presenting what I have researched to answer this question: Is there a link between DNA and Obesity?

But first we will have to start with the simple questions:

What is Obesity?

Obesity describes someone who is very overweight and has a lot of body fat. People use BMI, which means Body Mass Index, to see if you are a healthy weight for your height.

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Photo by dream designs. Published on 06 November 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100215691

How will Artificial Intelligence Affect Our Jobs in the Future?

Elspeth R, Year 8

In this project I will explore how the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) will affect our jobs in the future. I think this is important, as we are possibly on the fringes of another revolution. We may choose to accept this change. We may not. But most importantly, is this progress, or our slide into redundancy?

Firstly I will define Artificial Intelligence. This is harder than it sounds, as intelligence itself has quite a hazy definition. The Oxford Dictionary defines AI as ‘The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages .’ But this means that any artificial 1 beings, including statistical generators such as Google Translate are intelligent, as they have speech recognition software, translate between languages and make decisions on which word fits most  with the input. Most would still agree that Google translate is not intelligent, merely a program drawing matched words from a database. This then begs the question, what is intelligent?

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Photo by cooldesign. Published on 01 October 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100205380

The genetics of autosomal recessive conditions

Mikey H, Year 7

We inherit traits (physical characteristics) or conditions (diseases or disorders) from our parents. This happens through the DNA in our genes, which are found on the chromosomes in all our cells.

Autosomal traits or conditions are passed down through the 22 non-sex chromosomes, and these are the subject of this investigation. However, some other traits or conditions are passed down through the sex chromosomes, and these will be mentioned in the final section.

A gene is made up of two different alleles – one dominant (or expressed) and one recessive (or masked), and we inherit one allele from each of our parents. Through the genetic studies of Mendel we know how these work. A very useful diagram for this is the Punnett square (see below) – the dominant allele is given an upper-case letter (e.g. R0 and the recessive allele is given a lower-case letter (e.g. r).

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Photo by hywards. Published on 28 July 2015
Stock photo – Image ID: 100342127

Should The UK Renew The Nuclear Deterrent Trident?

Rishi T, Year 8

From 1969 until now, beneath the sea there has been a submarine patrolling all of the world’s oceans. Its purpose – to protect Britain from a nuclear attack. However, the UK is facing the decision whether or not we should renew Trident. The Government will have to discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of renewing Trident. The cost, the maintenance, the possibility of using Trident and the people of the UK’s opinion. The final decision is to be made in 2016. This essay will discuss if Trident should have a place in Britain’s nuclear defence programme or if it should be decommissioned. At the end, I will give you my opinion on Trident’s effect on the modern world and if we should renew the nuclear deterrent Trident.

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Photo by digitalart. Published on 15 May 2011
Stock photo – Image ID: 10041773

How did Saladin gain victory against the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin?

William S, Year 7

The Battle of Hattin was fought on 4th July 1187; it was the key battle that led to the Christian loss of Jerusalem and prompted the Third Crusade. The battle took place on and around the Horns of Hattin, a geographical formation on a volcano, near Tiberias, in present day Israel.

Putting the Battle of Hattin into context, it would be helpful to first explain what the Crusades were.  The Holy City of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried (and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built over these sites to preserve and venerate them), was also a major site of pilgrimage for the Muslim and Jewish faiths.

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Photo by Sira Anamwong. Published on 20 April 2013
Stock photo – Image ID: 100160389

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Rhys P, Year 9

Protein Pump Inhibitors are found in medications such as Lansoprazole. This type of medication is needed because in some people the mucus barrier produced by the stomach may have been eroded and this enabling the acid to damage the stomach and cause an ulcer. But this erosion of the mucus barrier does not just harm the stomach it also can cause problems in the sphincter muscle band at the top of the stomach that keeps it tightly closed.

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Photo by cuteimage. Published on 27 March 2014
Stock photo – Image ID: 100251784

First prize in the BooksEast ‘Waves’ writing competition – Emotions

Ana P, Year 7

First prize in the BooksEast ‘Waves’ writing competition.

Happiness. Lydia and her friend, Hayley fill the beach with laughter as they paddle through the warm, shallow waters of the ocean, while the sun sets behind the clouds. As the two girls finish their water fight, Hayley swims back to the shore, but Lydia doesn’t follow.

Curiosity. It fills the little girl. She swims out to sea enthusiastically, thinking that if she goes far enough, she might grow a mermaid tail; even one that glitters in the sunlight like the stars she sees at night.

Panic. Suddenly she feels something, something that she doesn’t quite like. It’s pushing her further and further out to sea. Frantically, she tries to swim back to her parents, but her arms and legs are too weak. She is about to give up, when she hears distant shouts coming from the shore.

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Jeremy S – Is it possible to provide high quality healthcare with limited resources?

Jeremy S, Lower Sixth

Jeremy has been awarded a highly commended award in the Corpus Christi William Briggs Essay Prize for Medical Science. (One winner, one runner up and 4 highly commended awards).

Healthcare costs around the world continue to spiral higher and higher, populations and industry demand ever-increasing levels of healthcare quality, forcing providers to ask ‘Is it possible to provide high quality healthcare with limited resources?’ Despite recent, vast improvements worldwide, for example 33% decrease in malarial-mortality rates in the World Health Organisation’s African region, significant challenges remain. News from South America concerning the spread of the Zika virus, as well as the less conspicuous concerns such as the average life-expectancy in Sierra Leone being just 46 are demonstrative of current health challenges

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Photo by Baitong333. Published on 28 January 2014
Stock photo – Image ID: 100231200

Finalist in the Rotary ‘Young Writer’ Competition – The Old Man and the Tree

Kirill N Year 9

Kirill has been placed amongst the finalists in the Rotary ‘Young Writer’ competition (intermediate section).

The Old Man and the Tree

He walked across the silent, beautiful beach, cool water licking at his feet, enveloping them in a cloak of pearly white froth.

The gulls screeched loudly across the gently rippling surface of the azure sea. Disturbed only by the occasional boulder, peaking its head tentatively above the waves, which still lapped placidly onto the aurulent beach.

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