Who appreciate the extent to which hereditary information in

Who are we? A simple three word question with a world of possible answers. Is it our individual genetic make up that sets us part from other living organisms? or our ability to question life in itself? These are the types of questions I strive to answer.  In order to understand multidimensional  human life one must look at it from a range of angles. It is this interdisciplinary nature of human science that draws me to it; it is a subject which examines broad range of topics in order to generate a conclusion. Genetics currently stands out as one of the most fascinating areas of human science. Reading Matt Ridley’s ‘genome’ made me appreciate the extent to which hereditary information in humans shapes our physical characteristics and behaviours. It also showcased the impact of behavioural genetics on political theory and practice and how this may shape the meritocracies in today’s society. I was born in Dubai, UAE, and at the age of 12 my family and I moved to Kampala, Uganda. Experiencing  the disparity between the ideologies of such contrasting cultures  acted as the premise to my interest in human science. I have seen first-hand the significant role culture has in shaping populations and how it may determine who you are and who you become.I find it extraordinary that culture- an inescapable aspect of any human phenomenon- has the ability to divide our species into such varied and different groups, such that they can be seen as ‘pseudo species’. Attending a Cambridge masterclass on ‘Evolutionary Biology’ has made me understand to a greater extent the ultimate functional reasons to why structures have evolved. Like the vast majority of biological topics, human evolution and the driving factors behind it are controversial. But I strongly believe that cultural processes, as well as genetics, have a profound effect on evolution and human genetic variation.  As a Seren student I have been selected as one of Wales’ highest achieving sixth formers and gifted young student. Through the seren network I have been able to attend a variety of lectures to widen my knowledge beyond the A level curriculum. I found a lecture on ‘Crossing Biological Kingdoms’ in order to overcome limitations in medical research at Cardiff University particularly interesting. The lecture enabled me to explore the human ecology of disease and how diseases contribute to the global burden of mortality and cultural change. How epigenetics shape behaviour is another topic I find fascinating; reading the ‘Epigenetics revolution’ by Nessa Carey enlightened me to the biological consequences of changes in environment. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone acetylation, provides the missing link between the ‘nature vs nurture’ dilemma and therefore plays an important role in answering the initial question of ‘who we are’.