Our wine owes a debt to ancient viruses
Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-milion-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes.
Maize analysis yields whole new world of genetic science
A groundbreaking paper from a team of Florida State University biologists could lead to a better understanding of how plants could adapt to and survive environmental swings such as droughts or floods.
Can plants edge out petroleum as raw material for textiles and plastics?
Your next pair of spandex pants could be made out of corn—or, more precisely, from dextrose derived from corn. This option is part of a new wave, albeit a small one, of consumer goods that are being produced from plants ...
New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat
A multidisciplinary engineering team at the University of California, San Diego developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more ...
Clemson leads research on new materials that could make it safer to store nuclear waste
Minerals that endure in nature for millions of years are inspiring a Clemson University-led research team to explore whether new materials could be developed to encase nuclear waste for safe storage.
Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings
Scientists worldwide are turning to plants as a resource for biodegradable, renewable and environmentally friendly products and materials that can reduce landfill waste, help the environment and cause little ...
Termites evolved complex bioreactors 30 million years ago
Achieving complete breakdown of plant biomass for energy conversion in industrialized bioreactors remains a complex challenge, but new research shows that termite fungus farmers solved this problem more than ...
New 3-D imaging techniques may improve understanding of biofuel plant material
Comparison of 3D TEM imaging techniques reveals never-seen-before details of plant cell walls, according to a study published September 10, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Purbasha Sarkar from U ...
Ordinary materials, fantastic opportunities
For Michael Demkowicz, some of the greatest scientific mysteries and major engineering opportunities lie in everyday materials. "Structural materials are sometimes seen as low-tech," he says. "Who thinks ...
Plants can 'switch off' virus DNA
A team of virologists and plant geneticists at Wageningen UR has demonstrated that when tomato plants contain Ty-1 resistance to the important Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), parts of the virus DNA ...
Lucky heather earns its name in carbon study
Researchers have found that heather has an important role to play in keeping carbon locked in the earth.
ARS scientists help improve soil carbon calculations
A potential source of error in calculating soil carbon budgets has been identified by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
'Microbe sniffer' could point the way to next-generation bio-refining
A new biosensor invented at the University of British Columbia could help optimize bio-refining processes that produce fuels, fine chemicals and advanced materials.
Iowa State engineers turn LEGO bricks into a scientific tool to study plant growth
Ludovico Cademartiri had what seemed like an impossibly demanding list of requirements for his lab equipment.