Unlocking cedar's hidden potential against pests

Trained as an entomologist, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Fred Eller still has a soft place in his heart for insect-related research. When he noticed ants climbing up the pole of his backyard hummingbird feeder ...

Better 'housekeeping' in wood-decomposing fungi

Scientists hope to harness fungi that decompose the most abundant type of biomass in wood, lignocellulose. Lignocellulose could be used to create the building-blocks of polymers for bioproducts. The key to understanding how ...

Climate systems in museums appear to be too strictly regulated

Large museums have climate systems to protect their objects from bending or cracking. These systems are set up for limited fluctuations in humidity, based on the assumption that larger variations are harmful. This assumption, ...

Siberian smoke heading toward U.S. and Canada

Fires in the Siberian area of Russia are usually quite severe by this time of year and 2019 is no exception. This NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP image taken on July 30, 2019 shows dozens to hundreds of fires burning across a large expanse ...

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Wood

Wood is an organic material; in the strict sense it is produced as secondary xylem in the stems of trees (and other woody plants). In a living tree it conducts water and nutrients to the leaves and other growing tissues, and has a support function, enabling woody plants to reach large sizes or to stand up for themselves. However, wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber.

People have used wood for millennia for many purposes, primarily as a fuel or as a construction material for making houses, tools, weapons, furniture, packaging, artworks, and paper. Wood can be dated by carbon dating and in some species by dendrochronology to make inferences about when a wooden object was created. The year-to-year variation in tree-ring widths and isotopic abundances gives clues to the prevailing climate at that time.

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