Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

IMAG ontwikkelt sensor om sterkte beton te meten

IMAG ontwikkelt sensor om sterkte beton te meten

IMAG ontwikkelt sensor om sterkte beton te meten

Het Instituut voor Milieu- en Agritechniek (IMAG-DLO) heeft een sensor op de markt gebracht om de sterkte van beton te meten. Dit helpt aannemers te bepalen wanneer beton hard genoeg is om verder te gaan met de bouwen. Nu laat menig aannemer zich hierbij nog louter leiden door ervaring. De nieuwe IMAG-vinding meet het de geleidbaarheid van het beton. Als beton hard wordt neemt de hoeveelheid water in het beton af, wat de geleidbaarheid beïnvloedt. L.N

DLO and WAU need to form a joint desk for development affairs according to Dr Eric Smaling. Smaling, coordinator of development oriented research and education for WUR is in favour of something without much structure: The best collaboration takes place if it is not confined by a rigid framework. He cites the example of the North-South-Programme that he set up between 11 DLO institutes last year. Research requests from developing countries increasingly require interdisciplinary cooperation, so DLO research now concentrates on four broad subjects: food security, natural resources, rural and peri-urban development and policy support. The Programme has no organisational divisions and no mandates - research in progress is the driving force

European agricultural universities are going to have to work together more and cooperate more with agrobusiness. This was one of the conclusions of the congress Towards an Agenda for Agricultural Research in Europe held in Wageningen last week. Agricultural universities' monopoly position comes from the government subsidies they receive. These will disappear and Pennsylvania State University director Irwin Feller predicted that Europe will follow what happened twenty years ago in the US. Research funding became dependent on collaboration with the private sector, and in order to compete with the biotechnologists, agricultural research had to become more science-based

Dr Jim van Vuurde of IPO-DLO (Institute for Plant Research) has been investigating the effect of endophytes on plant health and growth. Rather than concentrating on the effect of external agents on plants, van Vuurde and his colleagues have been determining which internal micro-organisms are beneficial to plant growth and disease resistance. Growth improvement can occur in two ways: symbiotic endophytes induce the plant to increase production of growth hormones, and others make more nutrients available . Disease resistance may be improved through endophytes which fight invaders themselves or by stimulating the plant to resist invasion itself. Interest in treating plants with internal biologicals is being shown by both organic and conventional farmers

Spiders are good for apple orchards, according to the PhD research carried out by S341ndor Bogya. The Hungarian discovered 165 spider varieties from 21 families. Orchards using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques had more variety. Each spider family has its own hunting methods which it employs for different prey. According to Bogya, who worked together with Dr Joop van Lenteren of the University Entomology Laboratory, the most promising spiders for fighting pests in orchards are members of the Clubionidae family. Bogya made video recordings of these spiders' nocturnal activities: they consume between three and six caterpillars per night as well as considerable quantities of pear suckers and pear lace bugs