Simple sugars apparently are the biological signals needed to maintain the steel-like strength of plant cell walls, according to Purdue University scientists.
Purdue researcher Nick Carpita uses Arabidopsis plants grown in this growth chamber at Purdues Hansen Life Sciences Research Building to determine what makes some plant cell walls as strong as steel. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)
"This is a really fundamental discovery in the mechanics of plant growth that eventually could have several practical applications," said Nick Carpita, a botany and plant pathology professor. "These could include controlling crop plant size and shape, improving desirable textural properties of fruits and vegetables, and enhancing nutritional fibers in plant cell walls without changing other plant structural factors."
Before these goals can be accomplished, however, the scientists must learn as much as possible about how plant cell walls are created and evolve, he said.
Susan A. Steeves | Purdue News
The neocortex is critical for learning and memory
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Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.
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Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.
By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...
An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.
With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
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