Solar evaporator offers a fresh route to fresh water

About a billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. Desalinating salty water into drinkable water can help to fill this dangerous gap. But traditional desalination systems are far too expensive to ...

Transparent wood can store and release heat

Wood may seem more at home in log cabins than modern architecture, but a specially treated type of timber could be tomorrow's trendy building material. Today, scientists report a new kind of transparent wood that not only ...

Researcher uses decomposition fungi to create patterns in wood

Fungi that decompose tree trunks can conjure up real works of art in wood. In nature, however, the decay-causing fungi not only decorate the tree, but also destroy it. Empa researchers are now teaching the fungi how to draw. ...

How to make coated wood products last longer

By painting wood products like facades and outdoor furniture you can prolong their service life. However, it is not only the paint that affects the durability, but also the characteristics of the wood. Studied variables were ...

Wood-based technology creates electricity from heat

A University of Maryland-led team of researchers has created a heat-to-electricity device that runs on ions and which could someday harness the body's heat to provide energy.

Genetic diversity maps to help forests survive climate change

Forests have a special magic for many of us. Steeped in folklore and fantasy, they are places for enchantments, mythical creatures and outlaws. But if they are to survive into the future, they may also need a helping hand ...

Transcription factor network gets to heart of wood formation

North Carolina State University researchers have uncovered how a complex network of transcription factors switch wood formation genes on and off. Understanding this transcriptional regulatory network has applications for ...

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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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