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MAPPING COTTON GENES: The American Textile Partnership (AMTEX), Washington, said last week that it is setting out to create cotton fibers that are stronger, longer and more uniform.
The main focus of the research, in what AMTEX is calling its Cotton Biotechnology project, will be mapping the cotton genome — a set of cotton chromosomes and the genes they contain — locating every cell on the cotton seed. The study, which will begin sometime in 1995, aims to determine why some cotton seeds produce fibers and why some don’t. An AMTEX spokesman said by improving the overall quality of cotton, it will enable U.S. producers to offer cotton products with qualities not available from foreign sources.
It will also help the industry keep pace with the requirements of high-speed, high-technology spinning, knitting and weaving equipment.
The mapping is expected to take about 10 years.
AMTEX, which was launched in March 1993, links eight Department of Energy laboratories with the textile and apparel industries and supporting research groups. Its goal is to create programs and develop technologies for the U.S. textile and apparel industries. The cotton project is the first AMTEX program to focus specifically on fiber quality, according to Cotton Incorporated, the research and promotion arm of 30,000 U.S. cotton growers, and the organization managing the cotton research. The initial funding of $4 million will be provided by DOE and industry partners.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y., will be the headquarters lab, with Lawrence Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif., and Pacific Northwest, Richland, Wash., assisting in the research. Cotton Inc. will also do research in its Raleigh, N.C., facility.
“[Cotton Inc.] has made great strides in cotton bio-engineering for the past two decades,” said Hal Brockman, Cotton Inc.’s managing director of research, noting the organization’s programs in pest- and disease-resistant cotton plants. “Adding the labs’ expertise in biological research will take us to a new generation of fibers in record time.”

CYTEC UPS ACRYLIC PRICES: Cytec Industries, West Paterson, N.J., said it is increasing the price of its acrylic fiber used in all textile areas from 3 to 5 percent, effective with shipments of Jan. 1.
The company cited rapidly escalating raw material costs as the primary reason for the price hike.
In addition, the price of industrial acrylic fibers will increase from 6 to 8 percent, also effective with shipments of Jan. 1.

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