AUTM Newsbrief
Aug. 11, 2011

Natural food preservative could be key to fight food-borne bacteria
BioScholar News
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered a natural option that could help to keep food safe from harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. The naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — is the first natural preservative found to kill gram-negative bacteria, typically the harmful kind. The U of M's Office for Technology Commercialization is currently seeking a licensee for the technology.More

South Africa: Intellectual property rights failing
University World News
South Africa's current intellectual property rights regime is failing to support the national system of innovation and is actively disadvantaging local inventors while facilitating exploitation by foreign interests, according to new research to be published in the South African Journal of Science. Analyzing data based on university patent registrations, the authors show that only 58 out of the 280 patents registered in South Africa by academics between 1996 and 2006 — in other words, 20 percent of cases — secured international protection.More

Bacterial nanowires conduct like metals
Derek Lovley and colleagues of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst made their discovery in networks of "bacterial filaments." These are also known as "microbial nanowires" because they conduct electrons along their length. These are produced naturally by some bacteria and are about 3-5 nm wide and up to tens of micrometres long. The filaments bind bacteria together into clumps called microbial biofilms.More

New coating developed by Oxford Advanced Surfaces
Stock Market Wire
Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group, a spinoff from Oxford University which develops and licenses intellectual property solutions as a tool kit to create engineered surface coatings and advanced materials, has been able to demonstrate an industry-leading anti-reflective coating for LCD displays. The AIM-listed company has prepared initial samples for potential customers which shows optical performance of 0.3 percent reflection which is better than the industry standard of 0.5 percent using its VISARC™ nano-particle based anti-reflective coating on TAC.More

Pfizer teams up with University of California for drug discovery
The company will invest up to $50 million over the next five years toward the collaboration, with much of it going to support research programs and potential milestone payments to University of California San Diego Health Sciences for successful projects. The partnership includes dedicated lab space at Pfizer's La Jolla research and development campus, which allow scientists from Pfizer and UC San Diego Health Sciences to work closely together.More

Photonic chips a set closer with method to combat pesky interference
Electronics News
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California have discovered how to prevent photonic interference on a silicon chip. By preventing light signals on the chip from reflecting backwards and interfering with other photonic components, ultrafast information sharing is a step closer.More

Startup company drawn by Cornell expertise
R&D Magazine
In a few years, MicroGen Systems Inc., a startup incubating in the Cornell Business and Technology Park adjacent to Ithaca Airport in New York, may have its products in everything from cars to clothes dryers. At a recent trade show, the company, which moved to Ithaca to be close to Cornell's expertise, demonstrated its BOLT microscopic power source that turns vibrations into electricity. The product is the result of more than a year of development using the nanofabrication tools at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility.More

Hybrid solar system makes rooftop hydrogen
While roofs across the world sport photovoltaic solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, a Duke University engineer believes a novel hybrid system can wring even more useful energy out of the sun's rays. Instead of systems based on standard solar panels, Duke University engineer Nico Hotz proposes a hybrid option in which sunlight heats a combination of water and methanol in a maze of glass tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen much more efficiently than current technology without significant impurities. The resulting hydrogen can be stored and used on demand in fuel cells.More