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Metta Pratt

Biochemist

Metta Pratt

Because I really love nature and biology AND really enjoy finding out how things work, I just had to become a scientist!

I have studied pharmacology and learned how drugs work inside your body to make you feel better. I also studied the tiny flies that sometimes circle your fruit bowl or food bin looking for a tasty meal. Just like humans and all other living things, these little fruit flies’ bodies are built from lots of cells.

Most cells have a tiny little antenna called a cilium that they use to talk to each other and work together. By using very powerful microscopes, I learnt new things about how this little cilium-antenna is built and what happens to it when something goes wrong.

Doing experiments in the lab is really interesting, but not everyone has one on their doorstep. I am now making virtual labs so that students in schools and universities can do experiments on their computers that in real life would use a lot of really cool, but very expense machines. You can also do things that would be dangerous if you tried them in a real lab like mixing chemicals that might explode or catch fire.

Metta is our Microbeasts box champion.

I love being a scientist because...

I get to see things that no-one else has seen before me. I love looking through special powerful microscopes to see all the tiny building blocks that make up a cell and find out more about how they work. My favourite building block is called the “Golgi complex” because it looks like a stack of pancakes.

The most awesome thing I have done so far is...

I used my science skills to help a population of aliens survive. Sadly it was in virtual reality and not actual reality, but if I ever have to do this in real life, I’ll be prepared!

My heroes are...

There are so many inspiring people, from scientists like Rosalind Franklin who helped discover how DNA looks to Mary Beard, a professor who studies the Romans to the author JK Rowling who wrote Harry Potter. My absolute hero, though, is David Attenborough because he never stops being curious, travels all over the world and meets amazing people and animals!

Advice I would give my 7 year old self...

Never stop asking questions! Your quest to finding the answers might lead you to cool places or meet interesting people.

At primary school my favourite thing to do was...

Either climb trees or read books-both things that made me look at the world in a different way!



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