Eli Vlaisavljevich, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, has received a $1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop new technology for rapid extraction of DNA from timber and plant tissue, research that could directly impact the monolithic illegal timber trade and, ultimately, serve to protect our environment.

Mehdi Tajvidi, an assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials at the University of Maine, has been awarded $250,000 to develop next-generation floor and wall products that utilize cellulose nanofibrils, the microscopic natural structural building units of wood that are biodegradable and possess incredible strength and bonding attributes.

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