Never ones to be faint-hearted, our Medical Biology students threw themselves with gusto into a very new experience this week―namely, the dissection of a sheep’s heart. Students headed over to the Oxford Laboratories, donned the requisite white coats, green gloves and goggles, and settled themselves at the lab benches ready to perform some careful sheep surgery.
First, though, teacher Sarah talked them through the process as she demonstrated a dissection at the front of the class, and highlighted some key components to look out for: the future doctors in the class would need to know their left ventricle from their right atrium. There was then great excitement as she handed the hearts around―the organs in question were freshly packaged by the local butcher, looking like meats ready for sale at the supermarket counter. And, with deft incisions and delicate probing, students began to explore the specimens before them, eager to prove for themselves the lessons that they had learned in anatomy class.
Over in the Global Issues Seminar, students were looking at the interplay between development and sustainability. They took Nigeria as a case study: whilst the country has experienced a high influx of wealth due to the oil industry, the government has failed to reinvest this profit into the country’s infrastructure. Therefore, students learned, the country, which once ran at a food surplus, is now reliant on imports. Students reported that this session has made them slightly more critical of global narratives about the trickle-down power of big business.