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The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

Posted May 15, 2017 3:30 PM by MaggieMc

The silver birch (Betula pendula) is one of the major trees for forest products in the Northern Hemisphere, according to biologist Victor Albert, who just co-led a Finnish-funded project that hoped to illuminate the evolutionary history of the birch. Birch is among the more widely used woods for veneer and plywood worldwide. Silver birch, which was the focus of the study, is used in everything from plywood and interior trim to boxes and turned objects. According to Albert, “[o]thers, like spruce, pine and poplar, all have genome sequences, but birch did not—until now.”

The research team, including Jaakko Kangasjärvi, Ykä Helariutta, Petri Auvinen and Jarkko Salojärvi of the University of Helsinki in Finland, discovered gene mutations that could prove quite valuable to multiple industries.

Together they sequenced about 80 individuals of Betula pendula, more commonly known as the silver birch. The silver birch is native to Europe and southwest Asia, so the team sampled populations of the species “up and down Finland, down to Germany, over to Norway and Ireland, and all the way up to Siberia.”

Thanks to the 80 genomes sequenced, the researchers were able to identify genetic mutations that could potentially benefit multiple industries. To do this, the researchers searched for distinctive stretches of DNA within the genomes called “selective sweeps” that identify genetic regions that are critical to the survival and development of the species.

The team found sweeps that influence tree growth—important for increasing production—in addition to selective sweeps associated with environmental conditions. “The selective sweeps we identified may be the basis for local adaptation for different populations of birch,” Salojärvi stresses. “Trees in Siberia are under different selective pressure from trees in Finland, so genes are being tweaked in different ways in these two places to allow these plants to better adjust to their environment.”

The researchers hope that, as Helariutta said, “[a]n understanding of these natural adaptations can facilitate genetic engineering and artificial selection,” making their research “very useful for forest biotechnology.”

Image credits: The Woodland Trust and Marcye Philbrook

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#1

Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/15/2017 11:30 PM

Use Multi-Ply birch in a lot of projects..Stable, non warping, dense, holds fasteners well, but am unsure if the laminations are water -proof or water resistant???

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#2

Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 12:12 AM

Mentioning "Birch", on a public forum, where possibly people, who were then school age children, and as late as the early 2000s might see, and remember, what "BIRCH" meant to some of them!!

It may bring back painful memories!!

See here:-

School_corporal_punishment_UK

Taken from current online version of the Cambridge Dictionary.

birch noun (PUNISHMENT)

the birch [ S ] uk ​

an official punishment in the past, that involved hitting a person across the bottom with thin

sticks. The thin sticks are also called the birch.

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#4
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 12:51 AM

..there ya go weirding me out again. And that's not easy.

That's a lot of peculiar OT links.

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#8
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:36 AM

There are some students that fully deserve any punishment meted out, but only by perfeshunal punishers, that (1) know how much birch to cut, (2) know how many foot-pounds to administer and the number of repetitions thereof, and (3) are certified to be bare butt spankers.

We didn't have bare butt spankings in the public school I attended, but I will say the spankings received by me were well deserved, appropriate, even if they did lift my feet off the ground, and helped to set me on a rightful course of life (at least to an extent). None of the public school spanking were within an order of magnitude of the ones I received once I got home from school, or if the "crime" were committed on the farm, were doled out once my dad pronounced sentence on me for my actions, or serious dereliction thereof.

There was the US Navy way, my Dad's way, and the wrong way at our farm. Most of the time Dad's way overruled even the Navy way.

I seriously did not like my Dad while he was spanking me, even though he many times prefaced the corporal punishment with "this is seriously going to hurt me far more than it will you." He apparently had no joy in meting out punishment, unlike the true abusers out there. Almost without fail, he was a kind, understanding, teaching father, but he didn't put up with bull crap either.

I totally thank God for him now, and look back on his life, with wonder and awe that he accomplished so very much with so little to hand when he started.

I sure my views on this topic do not align with "socialistic" thinking, and certainly not with most psychologists. All one has to do is read in the scripture where it clearly states: "Spare the rod (of discipline) and spoil (ruin) the child." That does not mean beat the child to an inch of their life for the slightest infraction. It means teach the children well, and their father's hell will slowly go by. Those who are on the road, you know the code. Love is the answer.

Discipline is meant to be a rudder for the rudder-less, until such time as they find the beginning of wisdom and understanding, and grow their own rudder.

A couple of quick swats is far better than having six carry that child to their grave later, because no one taught them their limits or boundaries.

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#9
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:41 AM

Meanwhile she said "A little to the left, please. And for gawd's sake use the cane!"

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#10
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:47 AM

Thanks for sharing.

I really don't believe in corporal punishment myself at all, and both my kids have only once received a slap on their rear ends (I forget the reason, something dangerous!), and a sharp word was enough for the rest of the time they live with us.....

It appears to have worked out well, neither of them believe in CP either......

My parents were not for it either.....

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#11
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:52 AM

I expect the rod can appear in many forms other than a physical object applied with brisance to the back-sides of youth.

Generally teaching children why things are as they are is a better plan, I agree.

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#3

Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 12:30 AM

The Birch John Society approves this announcement

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#5
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 12:53 AM

Much better.

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#6
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:22 AM

Truly, you are the only one of my fellow aristocrat engineers that would think of such a fitting place for crap.

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#7
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/16/2017 10:29 AM

Why, thank you!

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#12

Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/18/2017 12:23 PM

It's due to the economics of supply-and-demand...

Thanks, in large part, to improved glue chemistry, even (particleboard) is becoming more (structural) all the time, in response to proportionately fewer full-growth trees being (availabe) for each annual lumber harvest. Newer wood fiber sources will have to be improvised to include ever more marginal wood species and more types of wood by-products...

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#13
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/18/2017 1:17 PM

Whatever happened to that German product made by intense heat and pressure?

I think they called it Wunderwood Stoff, or something with too many syllables.

I could not find it, so maybe it was fake news 20-30 years ago when I read about it.

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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/19/2017 10:09 PM

They turned it into Gefälschte Zeitungsdruckpapier?

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#15
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Re: The Birch Could Evolve as a Construction Material

05/22/2017 9:52 AM

Are we talking fake newspaper here? Now you see it, now you don't? News that evaporates before your very eyes? Ersatz? Like the fake bread, fake fat (oil), and fake cheese the German folk had during the WWII era?

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