AUTM Newsbrief
Aug. 25, 2011

Pocket-sized sensor can detect 'date rape' drugs
Nanowerk News
Smart women know it's wise to beware when out at a bar or club — there could be more than just alcohol in that cocktail. Psychoactive substances classified as "date rape" drugs can be dropped into an unsuspecting victim's drink, rendering her barely conscious and susceptible to sexual assault. Professor Fernando Patolsky and Dr. Michael Ioffe of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences have developed an easy-to-use sensor that, when dipped into a cocktail, will instantly detect the presence of a date rape drug. When ready for commercial purchase in just a few years, the sensor will be lightweight and discreet, easily transportable in a pocket or purse.More

Gator power: Alligator fat pitched as biodiesel
The alligator, an animal that's been around since the time of the dinosaurs, can help reduce our use of fossil fuels, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Louisiana published a paper that concluded alligator fat has good potential for biodiesel. Fifteen million pounds of alligator fat is disposed of in landfills annually from U.S. industry, which slaughters alligators for their skin and meat. More

Compound may heal bones, prevent osteoporosis
Laboratory Equipment
A scientist has received a $2.6 million grant to study a chemical compound with potential to fight osteoporosis and accelerate broken bone healing. Early research suggests weakened bones treated with salubrinal experience a significant increase in strength, as well as accelerated healing in bones that have been fractured. "Salubrinal stimulates a cellular rescue program in response to stress," said Hiroki Yokota, professor of biomedical engineering at Indiana University. More

Chinese team develops fuel cell that can clean water as it generates electricity
Yanbiao Liu and his colleagues from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, have succeeded in building a device capable of both cleaning wastewater and producing electricity from it. Using light as an energy source the team created a photo-catalytic fuel cell that used a titanium dioxide nanotube-array anode and a cathode based on platinum. The light energy degrades the organic material found in the wastewater and in the process generates electrons which pass through the cathode converting it into electricity. The team has published its results on Water Science & Technology.More

Sketching with superconductors: Breakthrough in controlling defects could lead to new generation of electronic devices
Reporting in the journal Nature Materials, researchers from the London Center for Nanotechnology and the Physics Department of Sapienza University of Rome have discovered a technique to "draw" superconducting shapes using an X-ray beam. This ability to create and control tiny superconducting structures has implications for a completely new generation of electronic devices.More

Lockheed to work with universities
United Press International
Lockheed is working with three universities to support small businesses and universities participating in U.S. government technology programs. Called the Lockheed Martin Innovation Marketplace, the program will support private sector and academic sector technologists in participating in the U.S. Department of Defense's Small Business Innovation Research, Technology Transfer and Mentor Protege programs. Collaborating with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Huntsville, Ala., are Auburn University, Tuskegee University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.More

University research aims to make rail travel more reliable
Rail News
The costly disruption to rail travel caused by the breakdown of overhead power lines could become a thing of the past thanks to a new research project at City University London. It will develop an early warning system to detect defects before they escalate and cause major failures — a problem known as dewirement.More

Kyoto University granted first US patent for iPS cells
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted its first patent associated with iPS cell technology to Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University, Japan, for a technique used to reprogram fully differentiated somatic mouse cells into an embryonic-like state. Patents for the technique were previously granted to Kyoto University by Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and the European Patent Office.More

Air Products collaborates to accelerate development of electronic materials
The A to Z of Materials
Air Products has partnered with the Sustainable Energy Laboratory of the China University of Geosciences Wuhan and commenced a joint research and development project to speed up the development of electronic materials. More