Welcome to the second edition of PatSnap Weekly, a weekly review of the latest developments from around the world in innovation including technology, medicine and intellectual property.
With the continuing decline of the bee population, a team from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan have developed a system of distributing the pollen that fuels the ecosystem via drone. The drones collect and distribute pollen by simply knocking into flowers and plants, an effective but inefficient tactic so it’s likely to remain some way off production of the scales in Black Mirror.
Quick and easy material cools instantly
Materials scientists at the University of Colorado have developed a cheap, thin material capable of cooling almost any surface by up to 10 degrees C. The material, which uses techniques of passive cooling, is made from glass balls just 8 micrometres in diameter backed with a reflective coating and layered into sheets. The material costs as little as $0.25 (£0.20) per square metre to make and could have a wide range of both commercial and industrial uses.
Electric bacteria to be used for water cleaning
Scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara have managed to transfer the power producing abilities of electrogenic bacteria onto non-electrogenic bacteria in a use which, while not necessarily powerful enough to offer alternative energy sources, could lead to new methods of waste water treatment.
Could AI be the solution to decoding quantum mechanics?
When IBM’s Deep Blue defeated chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997 it marked a significant milestone in the development of Artificial Intelligence. While there have been several subsequent developments, only the advent of Google’s AlphaGo software defeating a world champion at the much more complex Go has been comparable. Now, scientists in Switzerland are using similar setups to decipher the incredibly complex tangle of quantum physics – knowing the state of ‘spin’ for a large number of quantum partices.
Battery to last a decade
Engineers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a way of storing charge in molecules dissolved in water, allowing for the production of a batter capable of storing 99% of its charge after 1,000 charge/discharge cycles.
MRSA superbug to be sent to space station
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is sending a strain of the MRSA superbug to the International Space Station to gauge the pace and evolution of mutation in zero-gravity. The hope is the faster rate of development in orbit will allow scientists to obtain a lead on combative drugs for the lethal pathogen.
The end of animal testing and beginning of personalised medicine
Professor Dianne Hoffman-Kim of Brown University has developed a way of artificially creating pseudo mice brains which have allowed for drug testing without the need for real animals. The technique could not only lead to a significant reduction in the controversial practice but also lead to a revolution in customised drug treatments.
CRISPR DNA splicing put into use
University of Illinois biomedical scientists have created a new way of splicing DNA using the revolutionary gene-editing technique known as CRISPR (read the PatSnap Whitepaper on CRISPR). Professor Huimin Zhao claims the technology will allow for “a desired biological function or reagent can be readily and precisely designed in a rational manner”.
Modified Salmonella virus used to battle cancer in mice
A team of Korean scientists have used a genetically modified strain of the Salmonella virus to help reduce the size of tumours in mice. The virus is altered to trigger a larger response from the immune system, then when the Salmonella enters the system and binds to the oxygen-poor tissue of the tumour, the immune system then eradicates the virus, along with the tumour.
5th edition of International IP Index published
The Global Intellectual Property Center in Washington DC has released its report into the state of intellectual property globally. The Roots of Innovation, now in its fifth year, shows that the most developed economies in the world continue to value innovation and the protection of its IP as a cornerstone in efforts to continue economic growth.
Intellectual Property on the blockchain
Taiwanese startup Bitmark claims is has developed a way of storing intellectual property information in the form of a blockchain, the sequential database format known best as the foundation behind bitcoin.
Apple vs Samsung case to run and run
The ongoing battle between the two technology giants is unlikely to end soon as the $400 million (£320 million) dispute over design patents was remanded back to a lower court this week in a unprecedented move.
Next week's PatSnap Webinar
Next week's webinar will be hosted by Peter Rouse, director at Patent Annuity Costs Ltd. and he will be discussing how companies can best keep their patent annuity costs low.
Patent Annuity Costs Ltd. provide a range of services such as invoice analysis, pricing proposals, negotiations with providers and invoice monitoring to give patent holders the right information in order to determine how much to pay for patent annuity payment services.