October Progress Report

A busy month for us here as Pamela was back in China, lobbying for the use of new Power Converters in domestic households. Jason was getting to grips with his new Research Team and Nastiya had her hands full with a new strain of plant DNA from Africa.

Power Converters for Beijing

“China has a bad reputation throughout the Western world for being one of the largest contributors to global pollution – with it’s CO2 emissions estimated at being over twice that of the United States and three times as much as the entire European Union put together. This has been the case for some time but, instead of the Chinese authorities looking at the figures as a catalyst for change, it has simply become a fact to be stated. Despite pressure from the international community, it appears like the problem is not going to cease any time soon.

beiking-pollution

Last month, I travelled back to my home city of Beijing to speak to my family, old colleagues and research partners about trying to empower change in behavioural patterns – for the sake of the planet’s well being. The main thrust of my argument centred around the use of AC/DC Power supplies, when approaching domestic power consumption. Instead of relying on wasteful chemicals and petroleum to supply energy, I hoped to start a grass-roots movements that would ignite a passion for the environment amongst the local communities. Only time will tell if these communities will embrace change and start having a positive impact on their environment.”

New Research Fellows Cause Headaches

“We’re a relatively small team here at AVP – but we have grand ideas, so we often need to enlist help to ensure that we have half a chance of executing them. Luckily we’re based in the centre of Liverpool’s Academic Hub – just a stone’s throw away from thousands of well-trained science students, just itching to get some professional experience on their portfolios. Thanks to our connections with the local Science Departments, we were able to stick up a few flyers, so pretty soon our phone was off the hook with excitable students looking for work.

student-researchers

This is my first year in charge of students – I mistakenly thought it was going to be a cake-walk. I know now that it is immeasurably easier looking out for ‘number one’ compared to watching out for a handful of other underlings. The new team are wonderfully enthusiastic, but equally chaotic to have around. The equipment we use here is expensive and I’ve already lost count of the amount of test tubes that have been shattered. It’s going to be an interesting few months, bring on Christmas!

Tree Tumbo DNA Is Bizarre

“I’ve recently had a massive batch of welwitschia DNA sent through from our partner trust in Angola. Although it’s the only species in it’s genus, it’s a relatively safe species as the large majority of it’s population is confined to the Namib desert, which is spotted with land mines that keeps collectors at bay. Unfortunately, it also makes for a tricky specimen for scientists to study. Luckily, we have local knowledge in the area that gives us the edge over the dangerous terrain and allows us to study this fascinating plant.

tree-tumbo-2

The Tree Tumbo is a bizarre plant, with some specimens being recorded as being over 1’000 years old. The leaves that it grows are permanent, conserving the scarce water that can be found in the desert and converting it into giant receivers for the plentiful sunshine that beam down for nearly 13 hours a day.

We’ll try and keep you guys updated with as much as possible, but November’s looking to be one of our busiest yet!