Los Alamos National Security LLC and University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-09-05
The invention relates to transgenic plants exhibiting dramatically enhanced growth rates, greater seed and fruit/pod yields, earlier and more productive flowering, more efficient nitrogen utilization, increased tolerance to high salt conditions, and increased biomass yields. In one embodiment, transgenic plants engineered to over-express both glutamine phenylpyruvate transaminase (GPT) and glutamine synthetase (GS) are provided. The GPT+GS double-transgenic plants of the invention consistently exhibit enhanced growth characteristics, with T0 generation lines showing an increase in biomass over wild type counterparts of between 50% and 300%. Generations that result from sexual crosses and/or selfing typically perform even better, with some of the double-transgenic plants achieving an astounding four-fold biomass increase over wild type plants.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-09-08
Strong, light-weight composite laminates are made by impregnating layers of paper with a cellulose nanofiber (CNF) slurry, laying the coated papers up in a plurality of layers or stack, and subjecting the stack to pressure and heat for a period of time sufficient to cause the CNF to impregnate, reinforce, and bond the paper layers into a composite. The resulting composite has impressive mechanical strength and exhibits a substantially homogeneous composition throughout its depth. The composite should have good strength to weight properties, and be recyclable or compostable.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-07-14
A hybrid composite panel suitable for forming a container includes a wood layer and a fiber-reinforced polymer composite layer having a sensor system embedded therein. The wood layer is laminated plywood that includes at least one of hard and soft wood, solid-sawn tongue-and-groove hardwood planks, and partially laminated solid-sawn hardwood.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-12-14
An adjustable lighting apparatus for illuminating a specimen while facilitating access to the specimen includes an elongated post defining a first axis, a hub movably attached to the post, and a pair of pivotable curved plate jaws, each jaw connected to the hub and configured for independent movement relative to the hub. The hub is configured for movement parallel to the first axis of the post. Each jaw of the pair of pivotable curved plate jaws has a concave interior surface and has one or more light sources positioned within or against the interior surface between a proximate jaw end and a distal jaw end for illuminating a specimen located within the expandable boundary.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-11-08
A wind turbine platform configured to float in a body of water and support a wind turbine thereon includes a buoyant hull platform. A wind turbine tower is centrally mounted on the hull platform and a wind turbine is mounted to the wind turbine tower. An anchor is connected to the hull platform and to the seabed, and a weight-adjustable mass is suspended from the hull platform.
Los Alamos National Security LLC and University of Maine, France | Date: 2016-08-10
The invention relates to transgenic plants exhibiting enhanced growth rates, seed and fruit yields, and overall biomass yields, as well as methods for generating growth-enhanced transgenic plants. In one embodiment, transgenic plants engineered to over-express glutamine phenylpyruvate transaminase (GPT) are provided.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2017-01-04
A wind turbine tower includes a plurality of tower sections axially aligned and connected together. Each tower section includes an inner wall having a tapered cylindrical shape concentrically positioned within an outer wall having a tapered cylindrical shape. An annular space is defined between the inner wall and the outer wall, and a layer of concrete is disposed within the annular space. A plurality of post-tensioning cables extend longitudinally within the annular space or outside the outer wall, such that a first one of the tower sections is connected to a second one of the tower sections by a plurality of the post-tensioning cables.
University of Maine, France | Date: 2017-03-15
A scalable, energy efficient process for preparing cellulose nanofibers is disclosed. The process employs treating the cellulosic material with a first mechanical refiner with plates having a configuration of blades separated by grooves, and subsequently treating the material with a second mechanical refiner with plates having a configuration of blades separated by grooves different than the first refiner. The plate configurations and treatment operations are selected such that the first refiner produces a first SEL that is greater than the SEL of the second refiner, by as much as 2-50 fold. An exemplary high first SEL may be in the range of 1.5 to 8 J/m. Paper products made with about 2% to about 30% cellulose nanofibers having a length from about 0.2 mm to about 0.5 mm, preferably from 0.2 mm to about 0.4 mm have improved properties.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.60M | Year: 2017
The GHaNA project aims to explore and characterize a new marine bioresource, for blue biotechnology applications in aquaculture, cosmetics and possibly food and health industry. The project will determine the biological and chemical diversity of Haslea diatoms to develop mass-scale production for viable industrial applications by maximising biomass production and associated high-value compound production, including terpenoids, marennine-like pigments, lipids and silica skeletons. The genus Haslea species type H. ostrearia, produces marennine, a water-soluble blue pigment used for greening oysters in Western France, which is also a bioactive molecule. Haslea diatoms have thus a high potential for use in (1) existing oyster farming, (2) production of pigments and bioactive compounds with natural antibacterial properties, (3) application as a colouring agent within industry, and (4) use of silica skeletons as inorganic biocharges in the formulation of new elastomeric materials. This will be achieved through fundamental and applied-oriented research to isolate fast- growing strains of Haslea, optimising their growth environment to increase marennine and other high-value compound productivity; to develop blue biotechnology specifically applied to benthic microalgae (biorefinery approach, processes); and to develop industrial exploitation of colouring and bioactive compounds through commercial activities of aquaculture, food, cosmetics and health.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ITEST | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by developing and studying an educational intervention for rural youth to engage with computer science and math concepts through a popular videogame. This project uses the software environment Minecraft, which has already attracted over 100 million users, as a platform for teaching middle schoolers about math and computing concepts. Curriculum and assessment badges will be developed to motivate and teach youth. Research will study how implementing the curriculum in in-school settings, and in afterschool settings through 4-H, influences youngsters knowledge of math and programming, their attitudes and inclination to STEM careers, and their standardized test scores.
This project proposes to use LearnToMod for Minecraft to engage rural middle school learners (5th to 8th grades) in programming, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving skills. LearnToMod will be piloted with approximately 80 4-H Extension participants and 80 in-school participants, and then a larger implementation will be launched to involve a total of approximately 1000 students in urban and rural areas through five more iterations of curricular refinement. Outcomes will be examined using case studies, participation logs, teacher and student surveys, the badges and embedded assessments developed by the project, and standardized test data from the Maine Department of Educations State Longitudinal Data System. The project will use multi-level mixture modeling to identify specific school characteristics that are associated with different usage and engagement patterns by both students and teachers. Similar analyses will use school-level variables and characteristics, such as poverty, access to resources, existing STEM programs/activities, etc., as predictors of implementation and change in reported teacher attitudes and behavior, such as incorporation of computer science into STEM areas. These analyses will focus on the cross-level interaction/moderator relationships between behaviors of participating students and teachers and school-level characteristics or demographics (e.g., what types of computer programming activities or skills are associated with the greatest change specifically in low-versus-high income schools?).The partnership consists of education and computer science researchers at the University of Maine, the nonprofit ThoughtSTEM, UMaine Cooperative Extension (4-H), the Network Maine state cyberinfrastructure project and the Maine Department of Educations Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), plus K-12 partners. K-12 partners include the Western Foothills Regional School Unit, Eastern Maine AOS, Bangor School Department, Southern Maine SAD Cumberland and North Yarmouth, and the Maine Virtual Academy. Formal evaluation will be conducted by TERC, an independent research organization.