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Jan. 12, 2012

New manufacturing technology could mean cheaper solar cells
Technology Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A novel way to make thin, uniform coatings developed at Rice University could reduce the cost of making conventional silicon solar cells, and could open the way for new kinds of solar cells that are far more efficient or cheaper than conventional ones. The technology, which deposits coatings in a low-temperature, liquid-based process rather than the high-temperature gas-based process used now, is being commercialized by Natcore Technology, a startup in Red Bank, New Jersey. More

US competitiveness report shows struggle with balance of IP and access
Intellectual Property Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report from the United States Department of Commerce on competitiveness and innovation details the U.S. needs to boost innovation in order to compete globally and grow the economy. But while it stresses the need for strong intellectual property rights enforcement to create high-priced monopolies as an incentive for innovation, it also acknowledges that access to inexpensive technology and ideas is key to innovation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, it shows that the rise in IP rights in recent years has been accompanied by a drop in innovation. More

Plasma brush aims to ease pain at the dentist
Columbia Missourian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
University of Missouri engineers and Columbia, Mo., researchers say their plasma brush painlessly disinfects and cleans a cavity before filling a tooth in less than 30 seconds. It uses a "cool flame" that strengthens the bond for a longer-lasting filling, which reduces the chance of losing a tooth as the result of a filling being repeatedly replaced. More

Plasma Clean's lightning touch clears the air
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What does the boss of a small technology business that sells to Europe make of the debt crisis that's gripping the continent? David Glover says he's the wrong man to ask — things have got so gloomy, he's resorted to simply switching off or over whenever a news bulletin is imminent. "I can't afford to watch the news — it gets you down and you start believing it. If you listened, you wouldn't bother trying to expand your business." Instead of current affairs, Glover spends his days thinking about bad smells, or rather, how to tackle them — he runs Stockport-based Plasma Clean, a hi-tech spinout from the University of Manchester which has harnessed the power of lightning to "zap" airborne odors. More

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McGill professor creates super-soldier ants
The Montreal Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They sound like monsters out of science fiction: super-soldier ants that grow to double or triple normal size, with huge oblong heads and giant vicious mandibles they use to defend their colonies from attack. They are biological anomalies known to occur in a handful of ant species in nature as a result of environmental stresses, but now a McGill University researcher has induced the growth of super soldiers in his lab and shown this Incredible Hulk-like potential exists in all species — including humans. More

Innovation 101
Financial Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Israel's startup-friendly environment has been credited with contributing to the country's economic strength. In 2009, Tel Aviv University established its nonprofit Entrepreneurship Center, called StarTAU, to nurture new businesses by connecting business leaders, researchers and academic experts with aspiring entrepreneurs. On a recent visit to Toronto, Professor Joseph Klafter, an award-winning chemist who is currently the president of Tel Aviv University, spoke with Rebecca Walberg about promoting creativity and supporting new business ventures. More

A wireless charger for your electric car? Utah State laboratory says why not?
ThomasNet Industrial News Room    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the idea of electric vehicles flooding the highways and byways of the United States becomes closer and closer to reality, more and more scientific laboratories and companies are devising products that will help us when we're all tooling around in electric cars. One of the issues that has come up when consumers are contemplating an electric-car future is this: The pain in the neck that will be waiting for your car to charge at a roadside charging station, or a station in your garage. Think about it: Now, when our cars are low on fuel, we go to the gas station, spend about five minutes there filling up and buying snacks and drinks, then get back in our cars and go on our way. More

If patents become irrelevant in a biosimilars future, what about university patents and startups?
Patent Docs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pros and cons of patenting in the biosimilars scheme recently enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been discussed. Whether envisioned by the bill's drafters or not, the provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 contain incentives for biologic drug innovators not to rely on patents to protect these drugs and the return on investment needed to support the capital-intensive effort that must be exerted to bring such drugs to market. More

Hebrew University: Tobacco plant can produce anti-malaria drug
The Jerusalem Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although tobacco in the form of cigarettes is generally recognized as being a killer of millions, the plant has been used by Hebrew University researchers to produce an effective anti-malaria drug. A genetically engineered form of artemisinin, a natural compound that produces large quantities of the anti-malaria drug — was announced by the Yissum Research Development Company — the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's technology transfer company. The biosynthesis method — a novel way of producing Artemisia annua, which is naturally produced by sweet wormwood plants — was developed by professor Alexander Vainstein and the research was published as a letter in the journal Nature Biotechnology. More

AUTM 'Better World Report' seeks technologies that help the world
AUTM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do you have a licensed technology that is helping make the world a better place? If so, we want to hear about it. The Better World Report — which celebrates real-world examples of how academic research benefits humankind — is seeking story ideas for the 2012 edition. This year’s report will feature two stories per month in a dynamic, interactive, Web-based format. To learn more or to download a submission form, visit the Better World Project website at The first cutoff for submissions is Feb. 15. Subsequent deadlines will be announced throughout the year on a quarterly basis. More

Global collaboration through research strengthens wheat and grain industries (The University of Idaho)

Vectalys of France licensed to use Kyoto University stem cell patents (Kyoto University via The Mainichi Daily News)

The University of North Dakota signs license to develop breakthrough breast cancer detection technology with Neomatrix, LLC (The University of North Dakota)

Lab test technology 'spot-on' for originality (NewsMaker)




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