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China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China takes big step in reducing ozone depleting gases

China has taken a big step towards reducing its hydrochlorfluorocarbons by closi...

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

Ozone layer on road to recovery – U.N.E.P., W.M.O.

The ozone layer is on the road to recovery, but unified action is still needed t...

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

Green vacation: Go on an eco-friendly safari

The primary goal of modern-day eco-friendly African safaris is to lessen the ove...

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could lose around 2 percent G.D.P. due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Nepal, the Maldives, and Bhutan could be looking at economic losses of around 2 ...

South Asian countries face economic losses due to climate change – A.D.B. report

South Asian countries face economic losses due to climate change – A.D.B. report

Various countries in the South Asian region are looking at significant losses du...

World Bank aids Laos’ hydropower with $40 million in financing

World Bank aids Laos’ hydropower with $40 million in financing

The World Bank Group has inked two agreements for around $40 million in financin...

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Vestas, EP Global Energy partner for donor-funded wind farm in Jordan

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and private energy asset developer EP Global En...

Business

Technology

Largest energy storage system in North America opens

Largest energy storage system in North America opens

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A 32 megawatt energy storage system – the largest in North America – has been successfully installed in California. The Tehachapi Energy Storage Proje...

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Politics

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

Sunday, 28 September 2014

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed bold new actions to address climate change that were announced at the Climate Summit in New York...

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Living Green

Nineteen easy ways students can help save Mother Earth

Nineteen easy ways students can help save Mother Earth

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Students are young, creative, energetic and outspoken that is why they have the perfect qualities to help save mother earth. They can be great eco-war...

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Renewables

Glennmont begins operations at its Sleaford biomass plant

Glennmont begins operations at its Sleaford biomass plant

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The 38 megawatt Sleaford biomass plant has commenced operations. Glennmont Partners, a leading investment manager dedicated to clean energy in Europe,...

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Low-Carbon

FedEx Trade Networks brings down its carbon footprint with solar-capable building

FedEx Trade Networks brings down its carbon footprint with solar-capable building

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A new environmentally-friendly office and distribution facility in New York is helping FedEx Trade Networks bring down their carbon footprint. The bui...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Researchers complete genetic map of miscanthus

Researchers from American energy crop company Ceres, Inc, and Aberystwyth University have completed the first high-resolution, comprehensive genetic map of the perennial grass known as miscanthus.

Miscanthus is considered a promising source of biomass for the production of alternative fuels and clean energy. It is fast growing, tough and capable of growing on marginal land. However, it is difficult to establish the crop as it is planted from cuttings or rhizomes.

According to Ceres, it can cost thousands of dollars an acre to establish a field of miscanthus, around five to 10 times more than a seed crop such as switchgrass.

In order for miscanthus to live up to its potential as a bioenergy crop, cheaper ways to breed and raise it need to be developed.

The researchers from Ceres, along with scientists from Aberystwyth's Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences mapped all 19 chromosomes of miscanthus and found 20,000 genetic differences or markers.

Markers allow geneticists to differentiate individual plants based on variations in their D.N.A. This will also allow easier identification of plants with characteristics that breeders may or may not want to propagate.

"By defining the genetic diversity in our germplasm collections with the new D.N.A. markers, we can more rapidly introduce important crop traits into our new, seed-propagated miscanthus products," said Richard Flavell, chief scientific officer of Ceres.

Professor Iain Donnison, head of the bioenergy team at the institute, noted that the mapping project would also provide greater insight into how the miscanthus genome compares with other crop plants.

The research was funded as part of Britain's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Sustainable Bioenergy Center. Both Ceres and Ibers are members of the council, an academic-industry research partnership focused on the bioenergy sector.



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