Topic of the Month: April 2015

Natural rubber: the consequences of uncontrolled plantations

For several years, from the chemical industry almost repressed plant wins as supplier of raw materials for the production of rubber in importance. Image: Wikipedia

Natural rubber is in demand again

Tyres

The tyre industry consumes 70 per cent of all natural rubber grown, and rising demand for vehicle and aeroplane tyres is behind the recent expansion of plantations. © istockphoto

The three largest producing countries, Thailand, Indonesia (2.4 million tons)[16] and Malaysia, together account for around 72% of all natural rubber production. Source: wikipedia/Eleanor Waren Thomas et al., Conservation Letters (2015)

Ibis

In Cambodia, forest areas earmarked for further rubber plantations contain critically endangered water birds like the White Shouldered Ibis, globally threatened mammals like Eld's deer and Banteng, and many important primates and carnivores. Source: Archiv

Image: istockphoto

Latest articles

13/11/2017

November 2017: Real plastic hearts

An artificial heart would be an absolute lifesaver for people with cardiac failure. However, to recreate the complex organ in the laboratory, one would first need to work out how to grow multi-layered, living tissues. Researchers have now come one step closer to this goal: by means of a spraying process, they have created functioning muscle fibers a three-dimensional synthetic polymer scaffold.
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