• R&DStudy: NIH funding generates large numbers of private-sector patents

    By Peter Dizikes

    Research grants issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) contribute to a significant number of private-sector patents in biomedicine, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal Science, examines twenty-seven years of data and finds that 31 percent of NIH grants, which are publicly funded, produce articles that are later cited by patents in the biomedical sector. “The impact on the private sector is a lot more important in magnitude than what we might have thought before,” says one of the researchers.

  • Pathogen detectionNew technology sheds light on viruses

    Scientists develop diagnostic tests that rapidly detect disease-causing viruses in animals and humans; the scientists using a new technology called surface-enhanced Raman scattering, or SERS

  • Emergency communicationCSC wins $86 million task order for emergency communications

    On Wednesday CSC announced that it had won an $86 million task order from DHS to continue providing emergency priority telecommunication services for the agency

  • Abbott shows new pathogen detector

    Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Abbott unveiled a new assay system that can accurately detect seventeen different bio-threat pathogens; among different bio-agents targeted in the new test are Bacillus anthracis, E. coli, salmonella, Ebola virus, and avian influenza viruses; the company says the new method provides results in less than eight hours

  • Alien life on EarthNew life form -- thriving on arsenic -- found on Earth

    Life as we know it requires particular chemical elements and excludes others—- But are those the only options? How different could life be?” — asks Arizona State University professor Ariel Anbar; researchers find that the toxic element arsenic can replace the essential nutrient phosphorus in biomolecules of a naturally occurring bacterium; the finding expands the scope of the search for life beyond Earth

  • In the trenchesDARPA looking for methods to freeze soldiers with brain injuries

    Traumatic brain injuries are caused by repeated exposure to blasts, specifically the “supersonic wave” of highly-pressurized air they emit; within a fraction of a second after impact, brain cells, tissues, and blood vessels are stretched, torn, and distorted; over the hours, days, and months that follow, altered brain processes create a snowball effect of damage — which is why symptoms often don’t show up until troops come home; in its solicitation, DARPA notes that a portable brain-cooling unit, deployed in the field, could “extend the golden hour of patient survivability and increase the chances for full recovery”