AUTM Newsbrief
Jan. 6, 2011

AUTM praises commission's report on the bioethical issues of synthetic biology
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its first report, New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies. In September, the commission invited AUTM President Ashley J. Stevens, DPhil. (Oxon), CLP, to give testimony to the commission on the intellectual property aspects of synthetic biology. Stevens' testimony focused on the parallels between the current debate on synthetic biology and the debate on genetic engineering some 35 years ago. Stevens made two main points: First, he pointed out that the patent system is constantly in flux in terms of what is and isn't patentable. Second he pointed out that from its outset, the biotechnology industry had been characterized by patent-protected, broad platform technologies, some of which had been owned and controlled by academic institutions, while others had been owned and controlled by private companies.More

Many weigh in on Stanford v. Roche, siding with Stanford
The MIT Tech
Things are looking up for Stanford in Stanford v. Roche, the university intellectual property case headed for the Supreme Court. In December, the court scheduled the case for oral argument on Feb. 28. Eight separate parties, including the United States Solicitor General, filed amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs, all supporting Stanford University's side of the case.More

Illinois' innovation to change how scientists treat MRSA
BusinessWire via Morningstar
Startup company ImmuVen and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have entered into a license agreement under which ImmuVen will develop modified T cell receptor proteins for the purpose of treating cancer and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). ImmuVen was co-founded by David Kranz, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Patrick Schlievert, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota.More

EnWave's dehydrating technology has potential to become new
food industry standard

Freeze drying technology has been the industry standard in both the food and pharmaceutical industry for decades. It has increased the shelf life of numerous products and allowed many that previously required refrigeration to be stored at room temperature. However, the process has many drawbacks, including high costs and slow processing. Interest has grown in developing improved dehydrating processes. EnWave has done this by bringing to market its Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) technology. EnWave licensed the original REV technology from the University of British Columbia in 1996, developing it to commercial scale in 2008.More

Johnson & Johnson teams with Massachusetts General Hospital on cancer blood test
Imagine doctors being able to find common cancers just by testing a little bit of blood. Sure would beat getting poked with a sharp needle, right? Johnson & Johnson and Massachusetts General Hospital announced a $30 million investment by the company in a partnership that aims to develop technology that could detect even a few cancers cells floating in a person's blood.More

Creativity at Lakehead University yields stronger concrete
A green cement additive that shows potential to significantly strengthen concrete and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been licensed to GreenCentre Canada by Lakehead University in Canada. The technology, developed by Lionel Catalan, Ph.D., and Stephen Kinrade, Ph.D., can potentially increase concrete strength by up to 40 percent and reduce the amount of Portland cement needed to make concrete. "This technology is exciting because it has the potential to create a better product for industry while also benefiting the environment," says Rui Resendes, Ph.D., executive director of GreenCentre Canada. More

New spinoff venture established to commercialize Polymer Technology
The A to Z of Materials
PolymerPlus, LLC, has a license from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, for some of the intellectual property that has been developed at the university's Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS), a National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center. It will seek to find specific applications for multilayered materials for which CLiPS is well known and carry out the research and development necessary to commercialize those applications. There is a strong technology transfer aspect to PolymerPlus, said Jim Pae, operations director at Case Western Reserve's Institute for Advanced Materials.More

OlFactor paves way for commercialization of new mosquito
control technologies

PCT Magazine
OlFactor Laboratories Inc. is about to open California's newest research laboratory, which will enable the company to begin extensive testing of its new mosquito control technologies. "We are very excited about the opening of our new laboratory because the testing that we conduct there will lay the foundation for the commercialization of new mosquito control technologies that could help control the spread of West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, Malaria, and other mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. and around the world," said Steve Abbott, president of OlFactor Laboratories. OlFactor Laboratories recently licensed the use of several categories of environmentally friendly chemicals from the University of California, Riverside after university researchers discovered their potential in both luring and disrupting the ability of mosquitoes to find human beings.More

DARPA invests in Notre Dame's nano research
The Blue Waters Group via ThrivinginMichiana
Scientists around the world recognize the University of Notre Dame in Indiana as a center for advanced nanomagnet logic (NML) research — a promising new field where the transmission and computation of data are accomplished using magnetic fields, rather than electrical current. This remarkable technology has the potential to create an entirely new class of smaller and higher-functioning components and devices that could transform the electronics industry. This long-term strategic investment in NML research has paid off handsomely: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — the U.S. Department of Defense's research and development office — recently awarded a $9.9 million contract to Notre Dame's Center for Nano Science and Technology to accelerate these groundbreaking discoveries.More

Researchers at the University of Utah find new way to purify water
The University of Utah researchers have developed a new way to purify water: Zap microbes with electricity until they do the job for you. The team's electrobiochemical reactor process replaces tons of chemicals by feeding electrons to microbes. Tests show that the electrons accelerate how quickly the microbes remove pollutants such as arsenic, selenium, mercury and other materials, significantly reducing the cost of wastewater cleanup. The research is now being used by a University of Utah startup company named INOTEC.More