“Big Hand Holds Small Hand” Scientists Enter Campus Series of Activities – The Technique Used to Replicate Organisms
On November 1, Beijing Royal School hosted the 2nd lecture of the 2020 “Big Hand Holds Small Hand” Scientists Enter Campus Series of Activities on our campus and welcomed Professor Sun Wanru, a scientist from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, specializing in enzymology, enzyme engineering, genetic engineering, fermentation engineering and biochemical engineering. His presentation was themed ‘The Technique Used to Replicate Organisms’ and nearly 100 BRS junior-high and senior-high students interested in biology attended the lecture. Li Xinyi, a student from BRS junior high Grade 9 Class 4, served as the host for the event, and RFLS Executive Vice Principal Ms. Zhao Yanmei gave a welcome speech.
Beginning with the technology used to replicate organisms called “cloning”, Professor Sun told the story of the birth of the world’s first cloned sheep Dolly, and the basic concept of copying biotechnology. Dr. John Bertrand Gurdon, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on cloning in 2012, faced adversity and difficulty in his life, and Professor Sun shared this during the lecture in order to encourage our students to embrace life and learning through good times and hard times. He also introduced the concept of telomere plum, explained the relationship between life extension and telomere shortening, and how to use this research to overcome new issues in cancer.
Professor Sun shared interesting pictures on the big screen which captured the students’ attention, like the cloned cat CC who came to this world using cloned biotechnology, and emphasized the impact and changes this technology has brought to the world. In the interactive Q&A session, students gave free rein to their imaginations and interacted with Professor Sun, asking questions such as, “Does the cloned brain still retain the original memory?” Dr. Wang Guihua, a teacher from our BRS science group, and Professor Sun also engaged in dialogue regarding “gene editing”.
Executive Vice Principal Ms. Zhao Yanmei concluded the lecture, noting that this is a lecture on life sciences which has important implications for each of us. She said that for each independent living body, the significance of our education is to maximize the possibility of life, to continuously exercise the brain and expand one’s knowledge reserve, and to cultivate various skills through hard work. Ms. Zhao Yanmei encouraged our students to learn to discover, to ask questions and to find the answers through exploration and research. She also urged our students to follow the indomitable spirit of our scientists: to practice perseverance and to not be afraid of failure and setbacks; to bravely face this unknown world and to contribute to discovery of it; and, be it small or large, to contribute to the development of all mankind.
BRS’s “Big Hand Holds Small Hand” Scientists Enter Campus Series of Activities provides our students with a chance to engage in discussion with the best minds in science, to participate in lively discussion around every topic, and to rethink and guide our current practices in science education.