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Posts Tagged: "basic science"

AUTM Licensing Survey: Ominous trend likely attributable to eroding patent rights

Concerns about the ability of academic institutions to keep contributing to the U.S. innovation economy go well beyond federal funding stagnation according to the recent AUTM survey. In an executive summary section entitled The Perils of Eroding Patent Rights, AUTM notes that a slight decrease in options and exclusive license agreements compared to the number of non-exclusive license agreements could be due to fears that licensing companies have over protecting the intellectual property under the current iteration of the U.S. patent system. In 2016, option agreements were down year-over-year by 7 percent while exclusive licenses dropped 2.1 percent. Non-exclusive license totals, however, rose by 2.1 percent to 4,201 such license agreements in 2016. A sharp increase in startups ceasing business activity, up 37.4 percent to a total of 331 such startups, is another “ominous trend” which AUTM notes is likely attributable to eroding patent rights.

Putting the pieces together on how to cure Alzheimer’s

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disorder of the human brain which over time reduces a person’s cognitive abilities to the point that they cannot carry out the most basic tasks. This terrible disease was thrust back into the national conscious as the result of the death of Nancy Reagan. With this in mind we thought we might take a moment to review what scientists know about Alzheimer’s disease and what treatments and cures are currently being pursued.

137 Years of Einstein: The scientific contributions of Einstein continue to amaze

On February 11th, 2016, researchers working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that, for the first time ever, gravitational waves had been directly observed. The discovery of these waves provides further confirmation of the scientific theory of general relativity, which was first promoted by German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Given today would have been Albert Einstein’s 137th birthday, we wanted to revisit this recent discovery and explore what it means for the future of scientific research.

Debunking the myth that the government built the iPhone

Only someone who is completely indifferent to the truth, and who has intentionally put on blinders so they don’t see the truth, could ever say that the public does not benefit from federally funded research. It is sad that this even needs to be pointed out, but critics of the patent system and federal research funding can take intellectual dishonesty to bizarre heights. In other words, they are not beyond making outright false statements, which all too frequently go unchecked. Equally ridiculous is the argument that the federal government built every technology that is the result of some funded scientific breakthrough. The fact that the government invested in basic science doesn’t mean that all follow-on innovation that utilizes the discoveries was built and paid for by the government. Such an argument is completely disingenuous.