Venezuela: How and Why Did It All Go So Wrong?

Venezuela was, until relatively recently, one of the richest countries in Latin America. Due to its vast oil reserves, and the revenue they brought in, they were able fund food subsidies health care and education programmes. Under the presidency of Hugo Chavez (1999–2013) unemployment and poverty halved and personal incomes doubled. Chavez nationalized the oil industry and used the profits for welfare programmes. Chavez dies in 2013 and was replaced Nicolas Maduro, who continued with the spending programme. However, the price ...

Biochemistry Option B – London forces in fat and oils (Lipids topic)

Firstly, before I forget, a very Happy New Year to all of my readers, wherever in the world you may be! Lipids are covered in the Biochemistry Option (Option B). They are large organic molecules that are not soluble in water. They are studies as they have a number of different uses in living systems, for example triglycerides (fats and oils), phospholipids (cell membranes) and cholesterol. Fats and oils have essentially to same overall structure. The difference between them is that fats ...

Cod Liver Oil Weeds?

Genes from algae and fungus have been added to the genes in a common weed (thale cres)  to allow the weed to produce omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are fatty acids. The long chain omega-3 fatty acids are important in keeping the heart, brain and joints healthy. Most plants make short chain omega-3 fatty acids which the body can convert into long chains - but this process is not very efficient. However, some algae make the long chain version of this ...

Super Plants

  Here is an imaginative way of trying to reduce CO2 emissions: Fruit and vegatables are grown in an enriched CO2 atmosphere just outside Rotterdam using waste CO2 from an oil refinery. Image reproduced according to the licence found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carrot.jpg This CO2 would make its way into the atmosphere but is now getting locked up in plants.

‘Better’ Palm Oil?

Palm oil is here to stay and it is found everywhere - in your washing powder or chocolate or margarine. In order to feed our needs, huge tropical plantations have sprung up around the world - mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia. This has led to huge areas of rain forest being cut down and destroyed to be replaced by palm oil plantations. Large areas of habitat have been destroyed. Now, in the UK, 'New Britain Palm Oil' is aiming to provide ...