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U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

U.N. chief welcomes announcements made in Climate Summit

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed bold new actions to addres...

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Climate Summit sees intiatives and commitments

Various bodies and entities on the Climate Summit in New York have announced the...

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

Climate Rally reaches 310,000 participants

The number of people who joined the People’s Climate March this September 21 rea...

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 ...

Business

Technology

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

New oxygen-removing catalyst developed for better biofuel production

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a new catalyst that can remove oxygen from plant-based materials for a more efficient biof...

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Politics

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

New Yorkers support renewables, opposes fracking – N.R.D.C. poll

Sunday, 12 October 2014

A state-wide poll commissioned for the Natural Resources Defense Council reveals that New Yorkers oppose fracking and support clean, renewable energy....

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Living Green

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Why saving chinchillas is important for saving the earth

Friday, 24 October 2014

Chinchillas make expensive pets and they are a long time commitment as well. They have a life span of around 15 to 20 years. Hence, people who adopt t...

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Renewables

World’s largest convention center solar array completed in Las Vegas

World’s largest convention center solar array completed in Las Vegas

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The world’s largest rooftop solar array on a convention center has been completed at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. NRG Energy, Inc....

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Low-Carbon

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

What needs to be injected In the core DNA of urbanity

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Urbanization has taken an unprecedented upward turn in recent years. In 2007, half of the world’s population – around 3.6 billion people – lived in ur...

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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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