PatSnap Weekly: 2017 February Week 4


Welcome to the fourth edition of PatSnap Weekly, a weekly review of the latest developments from around the world in innovation including technology, medicine and intellectual property.


  • Bot can identify toxic comments online

    A tool developed by Google subsidiary analyses user comments on websites. The tool, Perspective, is created by Jigsaw and is intended to limit the impact of trolls.

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  • Robot helps farmers identify high yield plants

    Scientists from Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic biology and University of Illinois are developing a robot that collects about crop growth and development data. While roaming in fields, it transmits real time data to help farmers identify traits in plants which will produce highest yields.

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  • Steam Audio transforms sound in VR

    Game developer Valve launches Steam Audio, an advanced spatial audio solution for video games. The new system adds physics based sound propagation on top of HRTF based binaural audio enabling sounds to be bounced off scene geometry to increase the authenticity of sounds.

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  • Komodo Dragon to prevent antibiotic resistance?

    Komodo dragon blood contains antimicrobial properties which helps them resist toxic bacteria, researchers have suggested that this could be used to develop new drugs to combat antibiotic resistance in humans.

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  • Vaccine to wipe out all mosquito related diseases

    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are conducting phase 1 clinical trials to test vaccine intended to provide protection against a range of mosquito transmitted diseases including malaria, dengue fever, Zika and West Nile fever.

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  • Surgical robot for precise medical procedures

    University of Michigan team has developed a surgical robot for minimally invasive surgery intended to help surgeons in small and remote hospitals carry out precise medical procedures. It acts as an extension by mounting onto the surgeon's arm.

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  • Hibernation could save cancer patients

    Scientists from Trento Institute claim cancer could be tackled by putting patients into a torporific state. Inducing the state - similar to hibernating bears - could slow down or cease tumour growth while healthy cells in the body become resistant to radiation.

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  • One penny microchip could diangnose diseases

    Device developed by Stanford engineers could diagnose multiple diseases for as little as a penny. The device incorporates a reusable microchip made from inkjet printing and requires only 20 minutes to assemble.

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  • Jay Z launches VC firm

    Shawn Carter, more famously known as Jay Z, is launching a venture capital fund. The rapper, who follows in the footsteps of Kobe Bryant, has previously invested in Uber and many other tech startups.

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  • Brands team up over navigation software

    Tech giants Alphabet, HTC, ZTE and Huawei have teamed up to challenge a US patent for a mobile navigation system. The system, designed for the automotive industry by InfoGation, was patented in 2001 and the suit is thought to be a response to InfoGation’s challenge of another patent last year.

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