AUTM Newsbrief
Sept. 22, 2011

Patent reform: Universities and others will have to wait on micro entity status
Lexology (subscription)
We called the U.S. PTO to confirm one important point: universities and other applicants will have to wait for more rulemaking to use the new micro entity status. This gives a 75 percent discount on many PTO fees for selected applicants, including qualified universities, per new 35 USC Section 123. Many commentaries on patent reform have simply said the new micro entity law was effective Sept. 16. However, rulemaking must be considered. Time will tell how long the wait is. University patenting and technology transfer is, of course, an important element of cleantech and nanotech.More

Robotic fish test the waters for safety risks
Scientists at Michigan State University are designing and studying robotic fish to be made to swim in schools in order to monitor environmental signs such as accumulations of algae and oil spills. Through the use of sensors and wireless capabilities, the fish can travel in water to collect information. But why go to all that trouble to simulate real fish if other underwater devices can be deployed for the same purpose?More

Proton-based chips could let machines talk with living things
The Times of India
Human devices, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons. Human bodies and all other living things, on the other hand, send signals and perform work using ions or protons. Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.More

Colloidal quantum dots: Performance boost next-generation solar cell technology
Researchers from the University of Toronto, the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology and Pennsylvania State University have created the most efficient solar cell ever made based on colloidal quantum dots. The discovery is reported in the latest issue of Nature Materials. Quantum dots are nanoscale semiconductors that capture light and convert it into an energy source. Because of their small scale, the dots can be sprayed on to flexible surfaces, including plastics.More

Enzymes possible targets for new anti-malaria drugs
Medical Xpress
Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Monash University and Virginia Tech have used a set of novel inhibitors to analyze how the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, uses enzymes to chew up human hemoglobin from host red blood cells as a food source. They have validated that two of these parasite enzymes called peptidases are potential anti-malarial drug targets. The research appeared in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences.More

Thinnest nanowire will make computing super fast
The Economic Times
World's thinnest nanowires will drive computers super fast in the near future using light, a new research claims. Nanowires will use a "photonic chip" at its core to perform functions in computing and electronics. Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian National University engineered a nanowire thousand times thinner than a human hair in a special type of glass known as chalcogenide. More

Hope for powerful new C. difficile treatment
MGB Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company which has licensed technology from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, is developing a powerful new antibiotic treatment for resistant infections including the deadly MRSA and Clostridium difficile bugs. The Glasgow-based company is working on a new compound which has proved to be more effective in killing and preventing C diff. than vancomycin, currently one of the most widely used treatments against this bacterium.More

Researchers: Blood test can help diagnose heart attack
International Business Times
Researchers at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine believe that a possible new blood test could help diagnose heart attacks. Despite technological advances in the medical field, there is still no guaranteed test that could diagnose heart attacks. In fact, medical practitioners have to depend on a series of tests such as an electrocardiogram and other blood tests. An electrocardiogram can diagnose major heart attacks, but not minor ones. There are other blood tests for various proteins associated with heart attacks. But most of these proteins are not specific to the heart.More