summer books: Unwind

29/11/2012 § 3 Comments

Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
General Review: Shusterman does it again; he stole my undivided attention and had me going for this book – hook, line, and sinker.
Summary: The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

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8.1a Aerobic Respiration

29/11/2012 § Leave a comment

Establishing the structure of the power houses of the cell, mitochondria, will be important for this unit, so let’s get started. Membranes are a vital part of the structure of mitochondria: there is an outer smooth membrane that has an inner membrane inside of it. The inner mitochondrial membrane has larger space within it than the narrow space of the outer mitochondrial membrane. It normally has folds or invaginations that create a maze-like matrix within the organelle. This is what you should focus on when identifying organelles under a microscope: the double membranes and the folds will make mitochondria easy to recognize.

So why do we need to know about the mitochondria and all of its invaginations? Great question. « Read the rest of this entry »

3.7b Aerobic Respiration

27/11/2012 § Leave a comment

Glycolysis is the basis of anaerobic cell respiration, which requires no oxygen. If there is no oxygen, glycolysis will take pyruvate and produce ethanol and carbon dioxide, or lactate. If there is oxygen available in a cell, the pyruvate can then be oxidized in the mitochondrion to release more energy. The energy released from this oxidation is used to produce ATP – and more than ten times as much ATP than is produced during anaerobic cell respiration.

In the process of oxidizing pyruvate, carbon dioxide and water is also produced. The carbon dioxide is waste and is excreted but the water is kept for use. For example, desert animals are supplied with almost all of their water through cellular respiration. « Read the rest of this entry »

3.7a Anaerobic Respiration

25/11/2012 § 1 Comment

Welcome to the fifth unit of Biology Year One. Today we’ll be starting one of the hardest concepts to cover: Cell respiration. Okay. Let’s get this over with.

Cell respiration. It is “the controlled release of energy from organic compounds to form ATP” as cells cannot absorb ATP through their plasma membranes and must instead produce their own supply. We all know that ATP is adenosine-triphosphate, which is the currency the cell uses to do the many different reactions for it to function. Cells do three main types of activity to fully function. These are:

  1. synthesizing macromolecules such as nucleotides and proteins
  2. pumping substances, typically molecules or ions, across membranes by active transport
  3. transporting substances around the inside of the cell

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oh, look, I posted it (Chapter 7 Q & A)

23/11/2012 § Leave a comment

#3. Two parter, as always. 25 marks. I don’t know what I expected?

a) At what level of output should a firm produce to maximize its total profits? Use a diagram to help explain your response.

Every firm aims to maximize its total profits, which is something different from revenue. The revenue is the income a firm earns from its sales but they have to use that income to cover the costs it took to produce and sell the goods in the first place. Thus, the leftover money is what we call the profit, therefore profit = TR (total revenue) – TC (total cost). This is what all producers and firms aim to maximize because, well, it’s more money. Firms, in order to maximize their total profit, should always aim to produce at a point where their marginal costs equal their marginal revenue. In the graph below, one shown of a firm in an imperfectly competitive market (identified because the demand curve slopes downwards, which indicates that the firm has some price-making power and the demand is less sensitive to price changes), point A is the point in which MR = MC, and this is where all firms should aim to maximize their total profits. At this point, all their costs are covered by their revenues, which is perfect, actually, and if the firm can keep this up, their business can stay running. Any profit above point A is not normal profit – it is called economic profit (or “supernormal” or “abnormal” profit), which is the typical misconception of what profit is. No, that isn’t the case here. All firms, in order to maximize their profits, should aim to produce at the level of output wherein their MR (marginal revenue) equals their MC (marginal costs).


b) ‘Whatever the type of market structure, profit maximization will always be the only goal of firms.’ Discuss.

Typically, all firms will hold the goal of profit maximization – isn’t that the point of running a business? These firms obviously include those in perfect competitions and some in certain imperfect competitions, including oligopolies, and monopolistic competitive firms. These kinds of companies have competition, which means that they aren’t the head honchos in their line of goods and products. Other businesses could easily overtake a single firm if they don’t constantly work to increase their profits and aim to better their goods in the market. I actually don’t know what other goals a firm could have other than earning more profit, but firms that probably won’t hold the goal of profit maximization would be those that are monopolies already. As the big figures of the markets they are already in (I think the airplane-making companies count as monopolies, because there are only two big companies in the world?), they don’t need to worry about making profit maximization their biggest goal because all the money would be going to them anyway. That is the difference between monopolies and the rest of the types of firms – their goals are different because of the amount of competition (or lack thereof).

better late…

18/11/2012 § Leave a comment

…than never.

Click away for information on Japan’s rice and China/India biotech.

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3.5/7.4 Translation – part ii

10/11/2012 § Leave a comment

For the detailed rundown of how translation works, click here.

Otherwise, the rest of this blogpost is only a list of answers to the chapter questions of this unit. These have been checked and are all correct answers now.

Note: the actual assigned DBQ can be found at the very end of this post; no. 15 of the Chapter 6 questions on page 75.

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