The increase in global demand for wood requires increase in forest productivity. There is, therefore, a need to invest more in the research and development (R&D) of high-yield, faster growth and short-rotation plantation forests. And forest biotechnology is essential to achieve this goal.
Biotechnology may augment traditional tree improvement activities by providing adequate tools to tree breeders and supplementing the production of high quality planting materials. Realising the needs, a joint industry-university smart partnership research programme between Sarawak Forestry Corporation and UNIMAS was sealed to provide requisite applied R&D and technical support for the development of plantation forests in the State of Sarawak. That included activities on forest genomics, biotechnology and tree improvement geared towards enhancing commercial plantation forests as well as a sustainable management of forest resources in Sarawak.
Using state-of-the-art technologies and approaches, development of adequate tools would enable the production of trees that are adapted to local conditions. The Forest Genomics Laboratory at UNIMAS are currently active in developing highly informative and polymorphic genetic markers/tools specific for identifying the genetic makeup of two fast growing indigenous tree species, Kelampayan and Sawih. These markers can then be used for a more accurate means of selecting trees for plantation and improvement activities of the species.
The joint R&D programme is also looking at the genetic transcript to better understand certain important cellular processes such as the genetic control of wood formation in the selected tree species; for example, which genes affect a desirable trait and how variations (mutations) in those genes influence an individual plant. By associating certain genetic makeup with a particular plant characteristic, early selection of improved planting materials for plantation establishment can be achieved at the seedling stage, thus resulting in a better economic return.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
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