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Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 swissnex Boston (Dr. Felix Moesner / Felicitas Flohr) Page 1 of 26 Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Confédération suisse Confederazione Svizzera Confederaziun svizra Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 Table of Contents 1. Policy ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 2. Education .................................................................................................................................................................................. 6 3. Life Science .............................................................................................................................................................................. 6 4. Nano / Micro Technology / Material Science........................................................................................................................... 14 5. Information & Communications Technology ........................................................................................................................... 14 6. Energy / Environment ............................................................................................................................................................. 14 7. Engineering / Robotics / Space ............................................................................................................................................... 17 8. Physics / Chemistry / Math ..................................................................................................................................................... 20 9. Architecture / Design............................................................................................................................................................... 22 10. Economy, Social Sciences & Humanities ............................................................................................................................. 23 11. Start-ups / Technology Transfer / IPR / Patents ................................................................................................................... 23 12. General Interest .................................................................................................................................................................... 24 13. Calls for Grants / Awards ...................................................................................................................................................... 24 Upcoming Science and Technology Related Events .................................................................................................................... 26 swissnex Boston welcomes you to the 14 th edition of the monthly newsletter Science-USA (Boston+). This electron- ic publication is designed to report on trends in education, research, innovation and art. Created for busy people in Switzerland, the newsletter will consist of two spotlights on outstanding Swiss talents and a concise overview of the developments in the science and innovation industries on the US East Coast. Additionally, we will provide you with a taste of swissnex Boston activities throughout the year. Swiss Spotlight Scientist: Droplet based microfluidics (Esther Amstad, November 14, 2013) Everybody knows a faucet that drips because it is leaking; this can be extremely annoying. However, have you ever thought what determines the size of these drops and how they can be used to produce new materials? Esther Amstad, a Postdoc at Harvard University in the group of David A. Weitz, does exactly that. She uses drops as templates to build new materials such as stimuli-responsive capsules that can efficiently be loaded with cargo and enable good control over its release kinetics. To enable the assembly of these materials, she designs new mi- crofluidic devices to push the limits of this technique towards smaller drop sizes and higher throughputs. The new materials are not only of scientific interest but also make it possible to industrialize some of these products; there- fore, she closely collaborates with different industrial partners. In June 2014, Esther Amstad will move to Lausanne as an assistant professor in the Material Science department at EPFL. She and her group will further exploit the exquisite flow control afforded by microfluidic techniques to design new types of soft materials. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131114-cf Startup: Efficient & flexible lab management software (Genohm, November 15, 2013) Research labs in academia, biotechnology, bio-banks and university hospitals all around the globe face the fact that their paper and file based laboratory information manage- ment solutions (LIMS) and homemade electronic lab notebook (ELN) solutions fail to comply with the challenges of a lab in 2013. Cheaper and more efficient lab machines, big data volumes, short deadlines, budget control and legislation requiring auditing and traceability of results have led to a new reality in which efficient & flexible lab automation software is key. Founded in 2011, Genohm established a novel lab software automation platform called “SLims” that delivers the much-needed functionality to address all of these challenges. In less than 2 years time, SLims became one of the major recognized players in this field in Europe and is now set to deliver its SLims platform to US customers starting Q1 2014. A stay at swissnex Boston in the CTI US Market Entry Camp in early 2014 will assist Genohm’s entry into the US market. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131115-cf

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Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 • swissnex Boston (Dr. Felix Moesner / Felicitas Flohr) Page 1 of 26

Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft

Confédération suisse

Confederazione Svizzera

Confederaziun svizra

Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 Table of Contents

1. Policy ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 2. Education .................................................................................................................................................................................. 6 3. Life Science .............................................................................................................................................................................. 6 4. Nano / Micro Technology / Material Science ........................................................................................................................... 14 5. Information & Communications Technology ........................................................................................................................... 14 6. Energy / Environment ............................................................................................................................................................. 14 7. Engineering / Robotics / Space ............................................................................................................................................... 17 8. Physics / Chemistry / Math ..................................................................................................................................................... 20 9. Architecture / Design ............................................................................................................................................................... 22 10. Economy, Social Sciences & Humanities ............................................................................................................................. 23 11. Start-ups / Technology Transfer / IPR / Patents ................................................................................................................... 23 12. General Interest .................................................................................................................................................................... 24 13. Calls for Grants / Awards ...................................................................................................................................................... 24

Upcoming Science and Technology Related Events .................................................................................................................... 26

swissnex Boston welcomes you to the 14th edition of the monthly newsletter Science-USA (Boston+). This electron-

ic publication is designed to report on trends in education, research, innovation and art. Created for busy people in Switzerland, the newsletter will consist of two spotlights on outstanding Swiss talents and a concise overview of the developments in the science and innovation industries on the US East Coast. Additionally, we will provide you with a taste of swissnex Boston activities throughout the year.

Swiss Spotlight

Scientist: Droplet based microfluidics (Esther Amstad, November 14, 2013)

Everybody knows a faucet that drips because it is leaking; this can be extremely annoying. However, have you ever thought what determines the size of these drops and how they can be used to produce new materials? Esther Amstad, a Postdoc at Harvard University in the group of David A. Weitz, does exactly that. She uses drops as templates to build new materials such as stimuli-responsive capsules that can efficiently be loaded with cargo and enable good control over its release kinetics. To enable the assembly of these materials, she designs new mi-crofluidic devices to push the limits of this technique towards smaller drop sizes and higher throughputs. The new materials are not only of scientific interest but also make it possible to industrialize some of these products; there-fore, she closely collaborates with different industrial partners. In June 2014, Esther Amstad will move to Lausanne as an assistant professor in the Material Science department at EPFL. She and her group will further exploit the exquisite flow control afforded by microfluidic techniques to design new types of soft materials. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131114-cf

Startup: Efficient & flexible lab management software

(Genohm, November 15, 2013)

Research labs in academia, biotechnology, bio-banks and university hospitals all around the globe face the fact that their paper and file based laboratory information manage-ment solutions (LIMS) and homemade electronic lab notebook (ELN) solutions fail to comply with the challenges of a lab in 2013. Cheaper and more efficient lab machines, big data volumes, short deadlines, budget control and legislation requiring auditing and traceability of results have led to a new reality in which efficient & flexible lab automation software is key. Founded in 2011, Genohm established a novel lab software automation platform called “SLims” that delivers the much-needed functionality to address all of these challenges. In less than 2 years time, SLims became one of the major recognized players in this field in Europe and is now set to deliver its SLims platform to US customers starting Q1 2014. A stay at swissnex Boston in the CTI US Market Entry Camp in early 2014 will assist Genohm’s entry into the US market. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131115-cf

Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 • swissnex Boston (Dr. Felix Moesner / Felicitas Flohr) Page 2 of 26

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swissnex Boston Events Lazy Bytes: Remote Redesigned and Showcased at Parsons Design School

(swissnex Boston, November 18, 2013)

Why do we invest in a vase, a plate or a lamp, but not in a remote control for the televi-sion, although it's in the heart of our lounge? Sixty years after its creation under the name of “Lazy Bones”, the EPFL + ECAL Lab, in association with the Kudelski Group, presents the project “Lazy Bytes “, which revisits radically the remote control with the ambition to renew our relationship to digital contents, to which the television from now on belongs. Lazy Bytes gathers creations of the ECAL in Lausanne, the ENSCI-Les Ateliers in Paris, Royal College of Art of London and Parsons The New School for Design in New York. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131118-9e

Insights in biological research by iGEM and Prof. Jukka Jokela

(swissnex Boston, November 04, 2013)

swissnex Boston welcomed younger and elder generations of researchers to present their work to a broad public. The evening started with presentations of two student groups from EPFL and the ETH Zurich. Both were finalists at the iGEM competition of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). EPFL participated with a girls’ only team and their project titled “Taxi.Coli: smart drug delivery”, the team from ETH Zurich presented their project project “COLISWEEPER – the world’s first bacterial minesweeper game!” After a short break, Prof. Jukka Jokela, Full Professor of Aquatic Ecology at ETH Zurich and Member of the Directorate of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Research & Technology (Eawag) gave a fascinating talk about "Why there is sex?", presenting to the audience his research about host-parasite co-evolution and it's influence on sexual reproduction. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131103-cf

University of Lausanne Alumni Boston chapter launched

(swissnex Boston, November 03, 2013)

The University of Lausanne Alumni (ALUMNIL) Boston Chapter is now officially launched. The goal of this chapter is to build and strengthen bridges between Lausanne and Boston through various activities, like meetings and events with UNIL researchers and allowing the alumni to keep in touch with each other and recent UNIL activities. Two special guests addressed the founding meeting of the new chapter: Prof. Francesco Panese, specialist in History of Medicine and Sociology of sciences, currently on scien-tific leave at swissnex was the Ambassador of the UNIL for the event. Dr. Z. Charles Fixler, President of the Lausanne Medical School Alumni Association, gave an inspiring speech on the history and activities of his association: at the end of World War II, many American Jewish people found a haven in Switzer-land, which allowed them to successfully complete their studies at the Faculty of Medicine of Lausanne. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131103-22

ETH Alumni event with Prof. Spolenak on Colors in Thin Materials

(swissnex Boston, November 21, 2013)

A select group of 35 guests joined us for a talk by Prof. Ralph Spolenak on colors in thin mate-rials. The event was hosted by the ETH Alumni New England Chapter in collaboration with swissnex Boston. Mr. Spolenak is Professor for Nanometallurgy at ETH Zurich, and is current-ly serving as the director for the Materials Research Center of ETH Zurich. His presentation investigated how the microstructure, the architecture and the chemistry of a thin film material influences its interaction with visible light. He presented applications in the biomedical field, microelectronics and jewelry, and illustrated how light absorbing and reflecting properties of engineered materials can be utilized to achieve certain hues of color. Prof. Spolenak also ad-dressed application-driven properties of coatings on the nanoscale, which range from fracture strength over wear resistance, to electrochemical stability. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131121-cf

Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 • swissnex Boston (Dr. Felix Moesner / Felicitas Flohr) Page 3 of 26

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Massachusetts STEM summit (swissnex Boston, November 13, 2013)

In 2004, the state of Massachusetts launched the United States’ first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Summit. It's 2013 edition was by far the largest since its launch. The idea of the STEM summit is to uncover strategies in order to estab-lish and develop the momentum, and to enable the share of resources, programs and ideas. Leaders and practitioners from education, business and government sectors were brought together to share progress and ideas. swissnex Boston’s Alexandra Zingg, Pro-ject Leader for University Relations, took the opportunity to attend interesting panel dis-cussions during one of the three parallel sessions that covered the full education spectrum, workforce development, economic development, and other key policy issues. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131113-aa

>> More past events at swissnex Boston: http://www.yourswissnexboston.org/

Boston is exploring bid for 2024 Olympics

(The Boston Globe, November 10, 2013)

An elite group including some of the area’s most powerful business leaders, developers, and construction experts is quietly exploring the prospect of bringing the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to Boston. The group also has recruited former governor Mitt Romney, who ran the 2002 Salt Lake City winter Games, as a key adviser. “It’s a huge-impact event,” he said. “It’s like 20 Super Bowls all at once. The transportation has to be com-pletely redone. The fund-raising and marketing of the Games is extensive. It’s an amaz-ing undertaking.” Though Boston is packed with athletic venues that could potentially host events, the city lacks several major components necessary to host a Summer Olympics, such as a venue suit-able for hosting the opening and closing of the Games and the track and field events. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131110-89

Ranking: Boston among top 3 smartest cities in North America

(fastcoexist.com, November 14, 2013)

Smart cities find ways to become more efficient, to deliver more services via mobile technology, to optimize existing infrastructure, and to leverage citizen participation to create better land-use decisions and to break down bureaucracy in order to stimulate a creative, entrepreneurial economy. In short, smart cities are innovative cities. In the 2013 ranking of the smartest cities of North America, Boston is, along with Seattle and San Francisco, among the top 3. Boston has an incredibly smart and innovative population, boasting more than 70 universities and leading North America in both patents per capita and venture capital investment per capita. The city's effort is visible through the launch of the Innovation District, the creation of the Office of New Urban Mechanics, and support for acceleration programs, like the MassChallenge. Boston is also excelling in the smart government arena. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131114-87

Swiss-US Bilateral News ETH Alumna: President of the Charles River Conservancy honored with Olmsted Medal

(Charles River Conservancy, November 19, 2013)

Renata von Tscharner, founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy (CRC), received the 2013 Olmsted Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The medal recognizes individuals, organizations, agencies, or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship. Established in 1990, one medal is awarded annually. Formally trained as an architect and urban designer at ETH Zurich, von Tscharner founded the Charles River Conservancy in 2000, a nonprofit organization dedi-cated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parklands along the Charles River—from Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam. Under her leadership, the Conservancy has enlisted more than 23,000 landscape volunteers who have contributed more than $1.5 million of donated labor to improve the health, safety, and beauty of the urban parklands along the Charles. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131119-48

Science-USA (Boston+), November 2013 • swissnex Boston (Dr. Felix Moesner / Felicitas Flohr) Page 4 of 26

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Novartis expands Global Research Headquarters in Cambridge (The Boston Globe, November 13, 2013)

Swiss pharma giant Novartis, which plans to cut about 500 research jobs around the world while adding about 175 jobs at the company’s global research headquarters in Cambridge. The jobs at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research will include some new hires along with other researchers moving from Horsham, England, where Novartis is closing a respiratory diseases research site, and Emeryville, CA, where it is shutting down a cancer research program. Novartis has become one of the largest biopharma-ceutical players in the Boston area in recent years, employing about 2,400 people in Cambridge, including 1,800 in research. Novartis spends about $9 billion a year on research and development, more than almost any other large pharmaceutical company. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131113-50

Fighting diseases related to mitochondrial dysfunction

(EPFL, November 04, 2013)

Mitokyne, a startup based in Cambridge co-founded by EPFL professor Johan Auwerx, has signed a 45 million dollars research agreement with pharmaceutical company Astel-las. Mitokyne’s objective is to fight mitochondrial related diseases, which can cause blindness, deafness, chronic muscle weakness or neurological disorders. Because these diseases are relatively rare, they fall into the category of orphan diseases. "The mole-cules that we will develop for treating extreme forms of these diseases are very likely to also work on less severe ones or on types occurring at an advanced age, such as glau-coma, hearing loss, sarcopenia and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases", estimated Auwerx, thereby also paving the way to a larger-scale success on the market. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/00-131104-95

1. Policy

Martin J. Walsh is Boston's new mayor (The Boston Globe, November 06, 2013)

Martin J. Walsh, a legislator and longtime labor leader, ground out a tight victory over Coun-cilor at Large John R. Connolly to become Boston’s 48th mayor. The two candidates were separated by fewer than 5,000 votes, making it the closest mayor’s race in decades. When Walsh takes office Jan. 6, it will mark the end of the 20-year tenure of Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The election marked the dawn of a new era in city politics, with a flood of money from outside groups and anonymous political committees rivaling spending by the candi-dates’ official campaigns. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131106-2e

MIT professor nominated to head DOE Office of Science

(MIT, November 14, 2013)

President Barack Obama intends to nominate MIT’s Marc Kastner to head the Department of Ener-gy’s Office of Science, which manages much of the nation’s basic research on energy. The DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. Kastner is the dean of MIT’s School of Science, as well as the Donner Professor of Physics. He has been on the MIT faculty since 1973 and has led MIT’s Department of Physics and its Center for Materials Science and Engineering. “In nominating Dean Kastner to head the De-partment of Energy’s Office of Science, President Obama made an inspired choice,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131114-ce

Bostonian physician nominated US chief doctor

(The Boston Globe, November 15, 2013)

Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a 36-year-old attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, will be nominated by President Obama to become the nation’s 19th surgeon general. If approved by the US Senate, Murthy will assume the role of America’s chief doctor. In 2009, Murthy

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founded Doctors for America, which is composed of 16,000 doctors and medical students across the country and states that its mission is to improve the quality of health and health care. “For years, really, on his own time, he has dedicated himself to health insurance, to health coverage for people who are needy, and been a tireless advocate for the president’s Affordable Care Act,” said one of Murphy's peers. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131115-cf

FDA plans to ban trans fats

(Huffington Post, November 07, 2013)

The US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has announced plans that it will require the food industry to gradually phase out all trans fats, saying they are a threat to people's health. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the move could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths in the US per year. While the amount of trans fats in the country's diet has declined dramatically in the last decade, Hamburg said they "remain an area of significant public health concern". To achieve the phase-out, the FDA wants trans fats to no longer fall in the agency's "generally recognized as safe" category, which is reserved for thousands of additives that manufacturers can add to foods without FDA review. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131107-55

Shrinking information sector due to tech-driven innovation

(Harvard Buisness Review, November 03, 2013)

The information industry—which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as processors, producers, and distribu-tors of data, informational, and cultural products—shed more jobs in the first decade of the millennium than any other sector except manufacturing. Down more than 750,000 jobs, the industry accounts for about 2% of the U.S. market and 4.6% of America’s GDP. The losses seem surprising, given that information businesses have long been assumed to be an engine of the modern economy. The culprit, ironically enough, is tech-driven innovation, which has produced dramatic gains in efficiency and widespread automation. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131103-1b

More foreign investment to US

(The Boston Globe, November 01, 2013)

Facing a sluggish economy, President Obama announced an expanded government role to draw foreign companies to the United States, arguing that the American workforce, cheaper energy costs, and an improving economy make the country an attractive home for invest-ments. Obama said the goal is to make that outreach more efficient, making better use of the federal government to promote the United States overseas — a job that had previously been left primarily to states and cities, which had to compete against foreign countries to attract foreign investors. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131101-9a

New economy neighborhoods in the innovation city

(The Boston Globe, November 10, 2013)

Boston's Innovation District has been hugely successful, creating white-collar jobs and trans-forming the waterfront. However, Boston still has intractable poverty highly concentrated in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. These communities have not benefited from Boston’s innovation renaissance. Transforming the city will require the innovation economy making it out to Boston’s black, Hispanic, and Asian communities. How? Identify and build innovation clusters right where people live. Call them “New Economy Neighborhoods,” turning Boston’s disenfranchised neighborhoods into successful, small-scale engines of tomorrow. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131110-68

Sustained but modest job growth through 2017

(The Boston Globe, November 13, 2013)

The Massachusetts unemployment rate is projected to decline to 5.2 percent by mid-2017. Earlier this year, Massachusetts had regained all of the jobs lost in the last recession, but the economy has since created jobs more slowly than expected. Economic expansion in Massachusetts should solidify next year and begin a period of steady but modest job growth, according to a new forecast. It estimates employment in the state will increase at an average annual rate of 1.4 percent, or about 45,000 to 50,000 jobs a year, through 2017. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131113-3c

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Plans to ease restrictions for cellphone calls on planes (The Boston Globe, November 22, 2013)

Rules against making cellphone calls during airline flights are ‘‘outdated,’’ and it’s time to change them, federal regulators said Thursday, drawing immediate howls of protest from flight attendants, airline officials, and others. The Federal Aviation Administration recently lifted restrictions on the use of most personal electronic devices during takeoffs and land-ings, but not cellphone calls, which fall under the FCC. The FAA based its decision to ease restrictions on electronic devices on recommendations from an industry advisory group. The same advisory group also recommended that the FCC review its restrictions on phone calls. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131122-bb

2. Education

MOOCs bring Hollywood-style concerns to academia (The Boston Globe, November 02, 2013)

Massive open online courses — known as MOOCs — have been around for years, but re-cently they have taken off. Mostly free, on topics as wide-ranging as “The History of the World from the 1300s’’ to “Warhol’’ to “Diabetes,’’ the online courses are giving the common person access to elite professors. Along the way, they are bringing Hollywood-style concerns — wardrobe, continuity issues, social media buzz— to the halls of academia. “Now I have to worry about what shirt I’m wearing,” said David Cox, an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard. If he wears a different button-down during the multiple-day process of taping a single segment of the “Fundamentals of Neuroscience,” his shirt appears to “change magically” on camera, he noted. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131102-08

Women still underrepresented in STEM work environments

(The Boston Globe, November 03, 2013)

One area where women are still woefully underrepresented is on the boards and manage-ment teams of companies in the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math. In high school, girls and boys are equally enrolled in science and math courses, according to the US Department of Education. But then they hit college, where women make up just about a third of the students majoring in a STEM field. By the time they’ve arrived in the workplace, the proportion of women working as hardware developers, electrical engi-neers, or systems managers has nose-dived to 25 percent or less, according to the research group Catalyst. MIT professor Susan Silbey, attempting to explain the brain drain found the female engineers weren’t daunted by work-life balance or lack of confidence, but by what they saw as a negative work environment. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131103-a3

Centennial: New vision for the Harvard School of Public Health

(Harvard Gazette, November 04, 2013)

100 years after its founding as the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers, the Harvard School of Public Health has presented a new vision for education that has emerged from a three-year process of evaluating the past and look-ing to the future. As part of its plans, the School is launching a new doctorate program and revamping its master’s in public health program. The new vision is needed, school officials said, as public health seeks to meet the chal-lenges of a changing world and build on the dramatic gains of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. Those gains include the development of effective treatments for diseases that had plagued humankind for millen-nia, and rapid growth in life expectancy. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131104-8d

Harvard University faces $34 million operating deficit

(The Boston Globe, November 09, 2013)

Harvard University’s budget deficit rose to $34 million in the year ended in June, a gap that will prompt the world’s richest school to cut down near-term spending even as it proceeds with ambitious building plans and fund-raising. The results, reported in the university’s fiscal 2013 annual report, show Harvard is in better financial condition than it was five years ago, during the financial crisis. But the budget deficit is up from $7.9 million in 2012, and school

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officials indicated they will stay sharply focused on costs. To raise new revenue, Harvard said it hopes to do more with the sale of technology developed at its schools. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131109-90

Massachusetts public colleges increasingly popular

(The Boston Globe, November 13, 2013)

Once overlooked amid the higher education elite of Massachusetts, the state’s public universities and community colleges are stepping into the limelight with increased funding, state-of-the art facilities, honors programs, afforda-ble prices, and higher graduation rates. With the rising cost of a private school education, combined with the public system’s big push to improve its standing locally and nationally, interest and enrollment is up at public colleges. In the past 10 years, undergraduate enrollment has gone up by 21 percent, with the biggest overall gain seen at the community college level. Throughout the system, there are 290,000 students at 29 institutions — 15 community colleges, nine state universities, and five UMass campuses. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131113-cc

Student turns to ‘crowdfunding’ to raise money for tuition and fees

(The Boston Globe, November 13, 2013)

Halfway toward earning a bachelor’s degree, a 19-year-old student at Boston University said she had no way to pay for next semester, never mind the two years after that. So she turned to “crowdfunding.” Through a website, she asked family, friends, and even strangers for help covering her tuition and fees. Within 27 hours, she had eclipsed her goal of $5,000, enough to stay at BU through the spring and to keep pace to become the first in her family to earn a degree. 25 days after launching the effort, she had received 203 donations totaling $8,856, according to the website. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131113-45

'Bridge Professors' for interdisciplinary research and teaching

(Tufts University, November 14, 2013)

Tufts University will bolster its approach to interdisciplinary education by establishing a pro-gram that will add new senior-level faculty positions to foster teaching and research across traditional disciplines, connecting at least two academic departments or schools. Bridge Pro-fessors will also contribute to creating and nurturing transformational experiences for all stu-dents: experiences that "fundamentally challenge a person’s assumptions and preconcep-tions, as well as their beliefs and values, and thus affect how they understand themselves, others and the world." http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131114-4d

Additional $100 mio gift for Broad Institute

(MIT, November 14, 2013)

American philanthropists and entrepreneurs Eli and Edythe Broad announced they are in-vesting an additional $100 million into the Broad Institute to launch a new decade of trans-formative work to harness recent biomedical discoveries to benefit patients. The Broad Insti-tute was founded in 2003 as an unprecedented model of research collaboration, bringing together scientists from across the MIT and Harvard University communities, including the Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals, and from diverse disciplines including biology, medi-cine, chemistry, and computer science. Over the last decade, Broad researchers have led pioneering work in hu-man biology that forms the cornerstone of its next decade of research. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131114-5a

Emergency medication for severe allergies at schools

(The Boston Globe, November 14, 2013)

The deaths of two girls in Illinois and Virginia from severe food allergies have helped spur efforts to get schools to stockpile emergency medications that can save lives. President Obama signed a bipartisan bill that offers a financial incentive to states if schools stockpile epinephrine, considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. Epinephrine is used for severe allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, to food, insect bites, latex, and med-ication. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131114-75

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Harvard's computer science course CS50 among most popular on campus (The Boston Globe, November 26, 2013)

CS50, a wildly popular computer science course at Harvard, has rocketed from being a mid-dling course to one of the biggest on campus, with nearly 700 students and an astounding 102-member staff. Beyond sheer popularity, the success of CS50 is also emblematic of how Harvard is righting an imbalance in academia, putting it on a level field with the Massachu-setts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. Long eclipsed by its two rivals for su-premacy in technology fields, Harvard is fast becoming the kind of hotbed of innovation and start-up activity that draw venture capitalists and wheelbarrows of investment money. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131126-be

Colleges may offer tuition discounts to attract students

(The Boston Globe, November 30, 2013)

Many public and private schools use tuition discounts to woo students who are unable, or unwilling to pay the full price. These discounts come in the form of institutional grants and scholarships that offset published tuition and fees. As a result, students at the same institu-tion can end up paying different amounts depending on their financial situation, academic standing, or athletic ability. College affordability is just one of the motives behind discounting. Depending on their mission, some institutions use it to attract specific students, to shape their incoming class in terms of demographics, or to boost enrollment. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/02-131130-b9

3. Life Science

Ranking: Massachusetts #1 in biotech IPOs (The Boston Globe, November 06, 2013)

Karyopharm, an only four-year-old Massachusetts biotech company raised $109 million in an initial public offering. The company is working on discovery and development of novel first-in-class drugs directed against nuclear transport targets for the treatment of cancer and other major diseases. The principle of this class of drugs is to aid the bodys natural tumor-supressing mechanisms. The company’s lead drug candidate, called Selinexor, is in early-stage clinical trials. Karyopharm became the ninth Massachusetts biotechnology company to complete an IPO this year, placing the state’s sector first in the nation in minting public companies. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131106-84

New insights into Down syndrome

(boston.com, November 02, 2013)

Professor Jeanne Lawrence of the University of Massachusetts Medical School showed earlier this year that her research team was able to shut down the extra copy of a chromosome that causes Down syndrome in cells in a lab dish. They are now comparing the gene activity in these cells with healthy cells. In very surprising preliminary new results, they found that the biggest magnitude changes are not in the activity of genes found on the extra chromo-some; the most-affected genes are scattered on other chromosomes, suggesting that the condition may stem from the way that the extra chromosome regulates gene activity on other, normal chromosomes. Lawrence is also test-ing whether her technique works in living animals -and if it does, to see what effects it has on their behavior and development. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131102-b1

Long-term implantable NO monitoring nanosensor

(MIT, November 03, 2013)

Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed, but very little is known about how NO behaves in both healthy and cancerous cells. To improve that, researchers at MIT have built a sensor that can moni-tor NO in living animals for more than a year. The sensor made of carbon nanotubes can be implanted under the skin and used to monitor inflammation — a process that produces NO. This is the first demonstration that nanosensors could be used within the body for this extended period of time. In the future, such sensors could also be adapted to detect other molecules, including glucose. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131103-a9

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Development towards Hepatitis C treatment (The Boston Globe, November 05, 2013)

Idenix Pharmaceuticals is a Cambridge biotech firm working on drugs to treat hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that affects an estimated 150 million people globally, according to the World Health Or-ganization. Hepatitis C is spread primarily by sharing needles with others who have the virus. It can be transmitted sexually, similar to HIV, and also can be passed from mothers to newborns. Idenix' drug candidates are seen as very promising, and one of their antivirals is now going into clinical trials in Belgium and Canada. These developments have led the Baupost Group, the largest hedge fund firm in Boston, to buy up more than one-quarter of the company's stock. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131105-20 Clock cells produce 1000 proteins rhythmically 2 times a day

(Tufts University, November 06, 2013)

Researchers at Tufts University have examined a large group of rhythmically produced proteins in cells that make up the circadian clock (also called clock cells) of the fruit fly Drosophila. Surprisingly, they find that a majority of the proteins are produced during two intervals of the circadian cycle, the middle of the day or middle of the night. This study uses an innovative ribosome profiling technique to reveal the complete circadian program of protein synthesis within these clock cells. The researchers hope that by identifying the specific times proteins are produced in clock cells and their functions, they can better understand how the circadian clock regulates protein production and the body’s biological systems. This, in turn, will provide insight into diseases and psychiatric disorders caused by dis-ruptions in the circadian system. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131106-5e

Old Boston family business helps amputees

(MassLive, November 06, 2013)

United Prostethics was founded by Philip Martino, an Italian immigrant - originally a shoe-maker - in Boston in 1914. Today, the company is helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombing back on their feet. State-of-the-art technology is a part of the Martino's job, another one is being honest with those who are suddenly realizing they won't get back everything they had. The Martinos urge people to give it time. Mery Daniel, a 31-year old medical school graduate lost most of her left leg in the Marathon bombing says it's not easy to cope with the disappointments of not getting back to normal very quickly: "We keep on comparing those legs with what we used to have. But they're not our legs. But the idea of 'Give it time' I think was spot-on." http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131106-2c

New treatment for Leishmaniasis

(Boston University, November 07, 2013)

Leishmaniasis is a sand fly–borne illness afflicting 12 million people worldwide, leaving them with disfiguring skin lesions that scar for life, requiring painful, burning injections or IV infu-sions to cure. Researchers from Boston University who are developing compounds active against the Leishmania parasite are among eight winners of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) first Discovery Fast Track Competition, which seeks promising ideas for future drugs. Scott Schaus, associate professor of chemistry and one of the winners, says he's looking forward to working with GSK on the drug candidates: "Boston University has the chemistry expertise to be able to develop compounds that are effective. GSK has the drug development expertise to be able to move this forward.” http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131107-69

'Spotlight' drug detects cancer cells left behind in surgery

(Tufts University, November 08, 2013)

When a tumor is surgically removed, there’s always a chance the cancer will return. Even the tiniest bit of malig-nancy left behind - not observable to the human eye - creates a pathway for the disease to recur. Researchers from Tufts University are now testing a method developed by MIT that will let doctors know whether even a single malig-nant cell remains while the patient is still in the operating room. The drug that is administered one day before sur-gery contains a fluorescent dye that acts like a cancer-illuminating spotlight during the operation. Once the tumor is removed, the surgeon aims a specially designed camera at the surgical area. Glowing areas pinpoint to the sites where tumor cells are left behind and need to be removed. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131108-db

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Sudden infant death cases linked to brain defects (The Boston Globe, November 11, 2013)

Most of the seemingly healthy babies who die suddenly in their sleep may have undetected brain abnormalities, according to research from Boston Children’s Hospital that is being pub-lished Monday. The scientists observed defects in the breathing-control region in the brains of babies whose deaths were attributed to sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The ab-normalities were present whether infants had been put to bed in a safe sleeping position — on their backs — or in unsafe sleeping positions on their bellies, face-down, or surrounded by pillows and heavy blankets. While the new finding needs replication from larger studies, it could eventually pave the way for the development of tests to determine which newborns are most at risk for SIDS. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131111-be

New treatment for resistant bacterial infections

(Northeastern University, November 13, 2013)

Researchers from Northeastern University present a novel approach to treat and eliminate methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a potent bacterium that infects 1 mil-lion Americans each year. The new work is on a specialized class of cells produced by all pathogens called persisters. These cells enter a dormant state that makes them impervious to traditional antibiotics. Since these drugs work by targeting active cellular functions, they are useless against dormant persisters, which aren’t active at all. For this reason, persisters are critical to the success of chronic infections and biofilms. In their new work, the team found that a drug called ADEP effectively wakes up the dormant cells and then initiates a self-destruct mechanism. The approach com-pletely eradicated MRSA cells in a variety of laboratory experiments and, importantly, in a mouse model of chronic MRSA infection. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131113-a0

Glowing worms for automated behavior studies

(Worcester Polytechnic Institute, November 14, 2013)

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and The Rockefeller University in New York has developed a novel system to image brain activity in multiple awake and un-constrained worms. The technology makes it possible to study the genetics and neural cir-cuitry associated with animal behavior. "One of our major objectives is to understand the neural signals that direct behavior - how sensory information is processed through a network of neurons leading to specific decisions and responses," said Dirk Albrecht, assistant profes-sor of biomedical engineering at WPI. The technology can also be used as a high-throughput screening tool for drug development targeting autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other brain disorders. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131114-8e

New target for cancer therapy

(MIT, November 14, 2013)

About half of all cancer patients have a mutation in a gene called p53, which allows tumors to survive and continue growing even after chemotherapy severely damages their DNA. A new study from MIT biologists has found that tumor cells with mutated p53 can be made much more vulnerable to chemotherapy by blocking another gene called MK2. In a study of mice, tumors lacking both p53 and MK2 shrank dramatically when treated with the drug cisplatin, while tumors with functional MK2 kept growing after treatment. The findings suggest that giv-ing cancer patients a combination of a DNA-damaging drug and an MK2 inhibitor could be very effective, says Mi-chael Yaffe, the David H. Koch Professor in Science and senior author of the report. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131114-f3

Rheumatoid Arthritis drug could halt kidney failure

(Harvard Gazette, November 15, 2013)

A drug approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis may also turn out to be the first tar-geted therapy for one of the most common forms of kidney disease, a condition that almost inevitably leads to kidney failure. “We identified abatacept as the first personalized, targeted treatment for kidney disease and specifically for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a dev-astating and largely untreatable disease” said Peter Mundel of the Division of Nephrology in

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the MGH Department of Medicine. “We also identified a biomarker that helps us discern which patients are most likely to benefit from therapy with abatacept." The new treatment prevented four patients from losing transplanted kidneys and achieved disease remission in a fifth. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131115-ad

Stem cells to avoid transplant rejection

(The Boston Globe, November 18, 2013)

Transplant patients need to take powerful drugs to suppress the body’s immune system and prevent it from attacking the new organ. So even if the transplant takes, patients can be-come seriously sick, and even die, because of minor illnesses that a fully functioning im-mune system would ward off easily. Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, a com-pany from Holliston is developing a system that dramatically reduces the risk of rejection and the need to suppress the immune system. The trick is that Harvard Apparatus infuses the transplant tissue with a patient’s own stem cells before surgery, fooling the body into believing the new organ is actually its own. The company's artificial tracheas have already been implanted in six patients under special ex-emptions, because approval by the Food and Drug Administration and equivalent regulators in other countries is still several years off. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131118-a6

Generating muscle from stem cells

(Harvard Gazette, November 18, 2013)

Harvard stem cell scientists have discovered that the same chemicals that stimulate muscle development in zebrafish can be used to differentiate human stem cells into muscle cells in the laboratory - and overcoming that historically challenging task has made muscle cell ther-apy a more realistic clinical possibility. The researchers first tested 2,400 chemicals in cul-tures of zebrafish embryo cells to determine if any could increase the numbers of muscle cells formed, and identified six active compounds. One of the six, called forskolin, was also found to increase the numbers of muscle stem cells from mice that could be obtained when these cells were grown in laboratory dishes. For human cells, it was found that a combination of three chemicals, including forskolin, could induce differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, made by reprogramming skin cells. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131118-0b

Dispute about new cholesterol treatment guidelines

(The Boston Globe, November 19, 2013)

A new guideline for treating people at risk for heart disease, including a risk calculator, has been raising concerns from researchers: Brigham and Women's Hospital cardiologist Paul Ridker and biostatistician Nancy Cook tested the new tool by applying it to more than 100,000 people who had been followed for decades in Brigham-led studies. They found that it overestimated a person’s 10-year risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 75 to 150 per-cent, based on the study participants who later went on to develop these cardiovascular problems. The new guideline proposes that the identified individuals - potentially millions of Americans - be put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to prevent heart attacks and strokes. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131119-48

Eating nuts reduces mortality and weight

(Harvard Gazette, November 21, 2013)

According to the largest study of its kind, people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 per-cent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than those who didn’t consume nuts, say scientists from the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health. The report contains further good news: The regular nut-eaters were found to be more slender than those who didn’t eat nuts, a finding that should alleviate fears that eating a lot of nuts will lead to overweight. “The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29 percent in deaths from heart disease — the major killer of people in America,” said Charles S. Fuchs, a senior author of the study. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131121-39

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3D imaging to decipher movement of malaria parasite (Harvard Gazette, November 21, 2013)

3D imaging has entered the laboratory as an important research tool. Researchers from Harvard have now employed this technique to produce detailed 3-D images of malaria sperm — the cells that reproduce inside infected mosquitoes — that shed new light on how the cells move. “The working assumption was that this structure moved through a consistent clock-wise beating,” Laurence Wilson, a fellow at Harvard's Rowland Institute, “but what we found was, if you look at the malaria swimming, it doesn’t just move in a ‘right-handed’ way — it actually turns out to be a very general motor." Understanding how malaria parasites move may one day help scien-tists develop new strategies for combating the disease by halting its ability to reproduce. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131121-f0

Magnetic nanoparticles to deliver drugs to cancer cells

(Northeastern University, November 21, 2013)

Every day, more than 20,000 people around the world succumb to cancer, according to sta-tistics compiled by the World Health Organization. Thousands more continue to suffer through treatment and its side effects. To deliver drugs to cancer cells only and spare neigh-boring cells, researchers at Northeastern University are developing drug delivery systems that target magnetic nanoparticles loaded with drugs to the tumor site by MRI. They are working on a simulation software to model the movement of the nanoparticle in the body. Furthermore, using this one-of-a-kind program, clinical researchers would have the opportunity to more quickly real-ize MRI-guided drug delivery for mainstream cancer treatment. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131121-11

New factor in immune response against viruses

(Harvard Gazette, November 24, 2013)

A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has identified an immune cell protein that is critical to setting off the body’s initial response against viral infection. The researchers found that a protein called GEF-H1 is essential to the ability of macrophages — major con-tributors to the innate immune system — to respond to viral infections such as influenza. “The detection of viral genetic material inside an infected cell is critical to initiating the re-sponses that signal the immune system to fight an infection and prevent its spread through-out the body,” said Hans-Christian Reinecker of the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at MGH. “Our findings indicate that GEF-H1 may control immune responses against a wide variety of RNA and DNA viruses that pose a threat to human health.” http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131124-2d

Sleep therapy aids recovery from depression

(The Boston Globe, November 24, 2013)

Depression is the most common mood disorder, affecting some 18 million American adults in any given year. A new study has found that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia can be a powerful complementary therapy to antidepressant drugs, as many patients also have sleep problems. Cognitive behavioral Therapy for Insomnia can cure Insomnia in 40 to 50 percent of all cases. It's not a single technique, but a collection of ideas: One is called stimulus control, which involves breaking the association between being in bed and activities like watching televi-sion or eating. Another is sleep restriction: setting a regular “sleep window” and sticking to it. However, across the US, only 400 practitioners are certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine to perform this form of therapy. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131124-54

4,400 sports-related head injuries at Massachusetts' schools

(The Boston Globe, November 25, 2013)

Students across Massachusetts suffered more than 4,400 concussions or other head inju-ries while playing school sports during the last school year, according to surveys submitted to the state by about 360 public and private schools. This was the second year that the sur-veys were collected under the state’s 2010 concussion law. The data will be studied by the Sports Medicine Committee of the MIAA, which oversees high school interscholastic compe-tition, said the committee’s chairman, Dr. Alan Ashare. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131125-d3

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Genome engineering (The Boston Globe, November 25, 2013)

When a tumor grows on an organ, doctors remove it. When a hip stops working, they replace it. When a faulty gene causes a disorder such as Huntington’s disease or sickle cell anemia, however, there isn’t a surgery to fix the problem. A new Cambridge life-science company aims to develop therapies that can put troublesome genes under the knife, so to speak, cut-ting out bad DNA like a scalpel excises bad tissue. The company is backed by a $43 million initial investment by three well-known venture capital firm. The company, which hopes to eventually treat people with genetic disorders for which there are few or no options today, is embarking on its ven-ture with an almost unbridled optimism that is rare in medicine. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131125-d8

Drug-carrying nanoparticles for oral delivery

(MIT, November 27, 2013)

Drugs delivered by nanoparticles hold promise for targeted treatment of many diseases, including cancer. However, the particles have to be injected into patients, which has limited their usefulness so far. Now, researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a new type of nanoparticle that can be delivered orally and absorbed through the digestive tract, allowing patients to simply take a pill instead of receiving injections. The re-searchers used the particles to demonstrate oral delivery of insulin in mice, but they say the particles could be used to carry any kind of drug that can be encapsulated in a nanoparticle. The new nanoparticles are coated with anti-bodies that act as a key to unlock receptors found on the surfaces of cells that line the intestine, allowing the nano-particles to break through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131127-b0

Carbon monoxide may have cancer-therapeutic potential

(boston.com, November 27, 2013)

It’s common knowledge that carbon monoxide can be lethal—the colorless, odorless gas is such a hazard that people guard against its toxic effects by installing detectors in their homes. But Leo Otterbein, researcher at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, received a federal grant to probe a surprising idea—that small amounts of carbon monoxide might have healthful benefits. In a study published in the December issue of Cancer Research, Otterbein and colleagues found that administering carbon monoxide to cancer cells in a dish could increase the cells’ susceptibility to chemotherapy 1,000-fold, while protecting normal cells. In mice with prostate and lung can-cer, carbon monoxide inhibited tumor growth. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131127-4a

GlaxoSmithKline to open Cambridge R&D office

(The Boston Globe, November 27, 2013)

The British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC confirmed it plans to open a new re-search and development office in Cambridge, MA next year. Glaxo will join multinational life-sciences companies, which have set up shop or expanded operations in the Boston area in recent years to capitalize on university and hospital research and collaborate with the area’s cluster of biomedical start-ups. The move in Cambridge, coupled with a plan to open a satel-lite office in San Diego, is part of a broader push to increase Glaxo’s presence in research hubs worldwide. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131127-ee

Breast cancers may be linked with cholesterol byproduct

(News Observer, November 28, 2013)

Studies have long shown a link between obesity and breast cancer, and now scientists at Duke Cancer Institute may have found one important explanation: a byproduct of cholesterol that fuels tumors in some of the most com-mon forms of the disease. The researchers wondered how large a role was played by the high cholesterol levels often associated with obesity. Using human tumor cells and mice bred to be especially vulnerable to breast cancer, they found that a molecule called 27-hydroxycholesterol or 27HC, which is converted from cholesterol in the body, fuels the growth and spread of tumors. They also determined that raising cholesterol levels raised risk, and that reducing cholesterol had an effect similar to suppressing its dangerous byproduct, resulting in tumors that grew at significantly slower rates. Also, the study data suggest that tumors aren’t reliant on the presence of 27HC in the blood. They are capable of producing large amounts of an enzyme that converts cholesterol to 27HC. That means that the tumors can essentially feed their own growth. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/03-131128-c1

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4. Nano / Micro Technology / Material Science

Nanowire production using viruses for better lithium-air batteries (MIT, November 13, 2013)

Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years. They hold the prom-ise of drastically increasing power per battery weight. But bringing that promise to reality has faced a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more durable materials for the batteries’ electrodes and improving the number of charging-discharging cycles the batteries can withstand. MIT researchers have found that adding genetically modified viruses to the production of nanowires — wires that are about the width of a red blood cell, and which can serve as one of a battery’s electrodes — could help solve some of these problems. Unlike wires “grown” through conventional chemical methods, these virus-built nanowires have a rough, spiky surface, which dramatical-ly increases their surface area, providing a big advantage in lithium-air batteries. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131113-2b

Magnetic nanoparticles for improved cooling systems (MIT, November 19, 2013)

Cooling systems generally rely on water pumped through pipes to remove unwanted heat. Now, researchers at MIT and in Australia have found a way of enhancing heat transfer in such systems by using magnetic fields, a method that could prevent hotspots that can lead to system failures. The system could also be applied to cooling everything from electronic devices to advanced fusion reactors, they say. The system relies on a slurry of tiny particles of magnetite, a form of iron oxide in water flowing through tubes that can be manipulated by magnets placed on the outside of the tubes. Adding the nanoparticle-magnet-system to regular cooling systems based on waters improve the heat transfer coefficient in the best case by about 300 percent. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/04-131119-e8

New record in hydrophobic material (MIT, November 20, 2013)

In the study hydrophobic materials — water-shedding surfaces such as those found in na-ture and created in the laboratory — there is a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a wa-ter droplet to bounce away from such a surface. But MIT researchers have now found a way to burst through that perceived barrier, reducing the contact time by at least 40 percent. “The time that the drop stays in contact with a surface is important because it controls the ex-change of mass, momentum, and energy between the drop and the surface,” explains one of the researchers, “If you can get the drops to bounce faster, that can have many advantages.” For example, the new materials could be used to prevent the buildup of ice on an airplane wing. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/04-131120-b3

Synthetic antibodies using carbon nanotubes (MIT, November 24, 2013)

MIT chemical engineers have developed a novel way to generate nanoparticles that can recognize specific molecules, opening up a new approach to building durable sensors for many different compounds, among other applications. To create these “synthetic antibodies,” the researchers used carbon nanotubes — hollow, nanometer-thick cylinders made of car-bon that naturally fluoresce when exposed to laser light. In the past, researchers have ex-ploited this phenomenon to create sensors by coating the nanotubes with molecules, such as natural antibodies, that bind to a particular target. When the target is encountered, the carbon nanotube’s fluorescence brightens or dims. The MIT team found that they could create novel sensors by coating the nanotubes with specifically designed amphiphilic polymers. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/04-131124-d3

5. Information & Communications Technology

The mysterious Google barge (arstechnica, November 01, 2013)

The mysterious Google barge discovered floating in San Francisco Bay will be used as a party space and show-room just for Google’s Glass and “other gadgets," The boat will be stationed near Google’s campus in Mountain

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View, CA and will host “invitation-only clients.” Google filed a patent in 2009 for a floating data center, leading outlets like CNET and AllThingsD to believe that the structures might be Google’s first attempt at realizing this idea. The second theory was that the barges were go-ing to be retail presences for Google Glass as the date of the product’s commercial launch nears. The showrooms will be outfitted with “chrome features” and floor lighting, and the up-per party deck will have “bars, lanais, and other comforts.” Here’s hoping your town is a stop on the Google Party Box World Tour. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131101-94

Unreliable chips as an opportunity in computer design

(MIT, November 03, 2013)

As transistors get smaller, they also become less reliable. So far, computer-chip designers have been able to work around that problem, but in the future, it could mean that computers stop improving at the rate we’ve come to expect. A third possibility is that we could simply let our computers make more mistakes. If, for instance, a few pixels in each frame of a high-definition video are improperly decoded, viewers probably won’t notice — but relaxing the requirement of perfect decoding could yield gains in speed or energy efficiency. In anticipa-tion of the dawning age of unreliable chips, MIT researchers have developed a new programming framework that enables software developers to specify when errors may be tolerable. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131103-db

The emerging e-wallet

(The Boston Globe, November 04, 2013)

When Will Graylin held his iPhone up to a credit card reader to buy lip balm for $5.29, the cashier did a double take. “That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Bonnie Lingoski, a longtime employee of the Coop in Harvard Square. Graylin used his smartphone to wireless-ly transmit his card number to Lingoski's register. With the tap of a button, he completed the sale, leaving behind an astonished cashier. Using still-nascent technology, most of the mo-bile payment systems available today are aimed at merchants and require special equip-ment, such as a credit card readers. But Loop’s approach is aimed at consumers, and it involves small discrete gadgets that store the user’s credit card information and wirelessly transmit it when close to a magnetic card reader commonly attached to cash registers. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131104-3c

Many fake online reviews

(Boston University, November 04, 2013)

A recent report titled 'Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud' found that that at least 16 percent of Yelp reviews are fake.The researchers found that the worst offenders are restaurants seeking to offset negative write-ups, that chain res-taurants are the least likely to commit review fraud, and that restaurants sometimes take the low ground by posting fraudulent negative reviews for establishments competing for the same customer base. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131104-54

Social sensing badges

(The Boston Globe, November 05, 2013)

Sociometric Solutions, a Boston start-up is marketing “social sensing” badges, worn on a lanyard around employees’ necks. Filled with sensors and wireless communicators, the latest models know when you’re sitting at your desk, when you’re walking around, and where you’re within an office building or store. They can determine, for instance, that the product development team never talks to customer service to understand what customers like and don’t like. There isn’t a camera; the badges rely on infrared sensors to know when you are clustered with other people in a meeting or conversation. While they don’t record conversations, they capture data about how often you talk versus listen, how frequently you interrupt people, and your tone of voice. The company says this data will enable companies to try different approaches to office design, corporate hierarchies, and perhaps even work schedules. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131105-8b

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Facebook returns to Boston (BostInno, November 07, 2013)

It has been almost 10 years since Facebook was started at Harvard. In that time, the social network has expanded to 1.2 billion users worldwide, gone public with a $104 billion valua-tion, and already been chronicled in an Academy Award-winning movie. Now, the company is returning to its roots, opening an office in Kendall Square, addressing founder Mark Zuck-erberg's oft-touted opinion: "If I were starting Facebook now, I would have stayed in Boston." Boston site lead and engineering manager Ryan Mack said: "Boston was an easy choice. The tech community here is world-class, from the incredible academic institutions to the vibrant startup ecosystem to the bevy of global companies who have teams here." http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131107-eb

Digital Native kids shape the TV industry

(The Boston Globe, November 11, 2013)

When kids who have grown up in an on-demand world with Youtube, DVDs and Netflix dis-cover that they cannot rewind or fast-forward a TV show, they are perplexed. Their expecta-tions — that every episode of every show is available anytime — give a glimpse into the future of entertainment, and are already shaping the decisions of media executives who are their grandparents’ ages. Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming video services are competing fero-ciously for children’s programming. And networks that cater to children are starting to show programs online before they appear on old-fashioned television. But stalwarts like Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel are reacting: They are promoting new phone and tablet apps that give cable and satellite subscribers streamlined access to programs. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131111-d0

Access to supercomputer for everyone

(The Boston Globe, November 14, 2013)

IBM announced that Watson, the computing system that beat all the humans on “Jeopardy!” two years ago, will be available in a form more than twice as powerful via the Internet. Companies, academics, and individual software developers will be able to use it at a small fraction of the previous cost, drawing on IBM’s specialists in fields like computational linguistics to build machines that can interpret complex data and better interact with humans. This move is an indication of how quickly the technology industry is changing, from complex systems that cost millions to install to pay-as-you-go deals that provide small companies and even individuals access to technology that just a few years ago only the largest companies could afford. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131114-c6

Google pays $357K to Massachusetts

(Inside the Hive, November 18, 2013)

Internet search-and-advertising giant Google Inc. has agreed to pay the Commonwealth $357,000 as part of a $17 million settlement with nearly 40 states to settle allegations that it placed tracking cookies on the computers of some consumers using the Safari browser without their knowledge or consent. According to the allegations, Google misled users of the Safari Web browser that its default settings would block Google from placing third-party adver-tising cookies. The cookies enable the collection of information about consumers for advertising purposes. But in-stead, Google circumvented the default settings to place the cookies on Safari users’ computers without the knowledge or consent of consumers. As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to improve the information it provides to consumers regarding cookies, their purposes, and how they can be managed by consumers using Google’s products or services and tools. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131118-4c

Personal touchwith smart map-making app

(boston.com, November 18, 2013)

A Cambridge startup called Mapkin wants to revive the personalized approach to cartog-raphy, with an iPhone app that promises to make GPS fun. "GPS navigation does one thing extremely well, which is getting you to the destination as fast as possible," says Regan. "But what if you want to point out the great coffee shop on the way, or know about the most sce-nic route for a bike ride?" That's the kind of situation Mapkin was created for. The app lets you create and share your own routes, complete with written or spoken notes on points of interest. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131118-15

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New graduate program in Data Science (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, November 21, 2013)

Responding to a skyrocketing demand for professionals who understand how to analyze and distill value from massive data sets, popularly known as big data, Worcester Polytechnic In-stitute (WPI) is launching the first graduate program in data science in Massachusetts and one of only a handful of such programs in the nation. The program will prepare students to apply and advance state-of-the-art data analytic tools and methods; to use the knowledge and skills they gain in analytics, computing, statistics, and business intelligence; and to serve as visionary leaders and project managers in data analytics. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131121-3c

Bitcoin alternatives get investors' interest (The Boston Globe, November 25, 2013)

With mounting interest from prominent investors and growing acceptance from regulators, bitcoin — either the new gold or the next Dutch tulip craze, depending on whom is being asked — is at the center of the virtual money universe. Yet there are dozens of digital alter-natives, including PeerCoin, Litecoin, and anoncoin, whose backers point to advantages they say their currency has over bitcoin. However, if this is a contest, bitcoin is still light-years ahead of any of its competitors — known as altcoins — when it comes to value. What’s more, most altcoins share the biggest weakness of bitcoin: a violently fluctuating value. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131125-c7

Incubator for indie game developers (The Boston Globe, November 28, 2013)

Starting next year, Cambridge-based Fire Hose Games will transform itself into an incubator for indie game developers, who will receive stipends, mentoring, and workspace at the com-pany’s Inman Square office in exchange for sharing the proceeds of games they produce. Fire Hose’s video game incubator will be the first in Greater Boston. It’s an unconventional business model, but one that reflects the changing landscape of the video game industry. If the industry is shifting toward indie development, then Boston is a natural fit for the experi-ment, said Dave Bisceglia of a Cambridge indie game studio called The Tap Lab. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/05-131128-b4

6. Energy / Environment

Governor Deval Patrick about Massachusetts as Cleantech leader (mass.gov, November 13, 2013)

At the MA Clean Energy Center's Annual Global Cleantech Meetup, Governor Deval Patrick gave a speech about Massachusetts economic achievements and the impact of the clean-tech sector to that. Governor Patrick pointed out that for economic growth, investment is re-quired. The government of Massachusetts supported business growth by investing strategi-cally in education, innovation and infrastructure. "With over 300 colleges, universities and research institutions within a 90-minute drive of Boston, education is our most significant resource -- as important to Massachusetts as oil is to Texas and corn is to Iowa", Governor Patrick said. With this strategy by investing in education, innovation and infrastructure, Massachusetts has become a national leader in clean and alternative energy. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131113-a4

Bottom-Feeding Behavior of Humpback Whales (University of New Hampshire, November 01, 2013)

Humpback whales are known for the complexity of their feeding techniques, which include “trapping” krill and other prey within bubble nets they produce and gulping up to two-thirds their weight in prey-laden water. Now, scientists of the University of New Hampshire have confirmed that humpback whales in the southern Gulf of Maine are spending more feeding time on the ocean floor than in any of these other feeding behaviors. Because entanglement in fishing gear is a major risk to humpbacks, these findings have implications on bottom-set gear like those used in lobster traps. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131101-ca

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Coal-fired power plants go green using wood as fuel (The Boston Globe, November 04, 2013)

Some coal-fired power plants have started to add sawdust and wood scraps to their coal to cut their carbon dioxide output. Apart from emissions improvement benefit there is also an economic benefit, because the wood is cheaper than coal. Unlike wind or solar power elec-tricity from a boiler, burning wood is easy to schedule and integrate into the grid. But co-firing has its drawbacks. In some cases, there is simply not enough wood. The larger mass of wood compared to coal is an issue, too. A pound of wood can produce only about two-thirds as much heat as a pound of coal, and it is a lot bigger. To produce the same amount of energy, companies must enlarge fuel-handling systems. And coal-fired plants are not used to handling fuel that can rot. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131104-89

'Hybrid' nuclear power plants

(MIT, November 04, 2013)

A new study from MIT comes up with an ambitious idea: marrying a nuclear power plant with another energy system. The paper outlines three concepts, which involve pairing a nuclear plant with an artificial geothermal storage system, a hydrogen production plant, or a shale-oil recovery operation. The last of these ideas would locate a nuclear plant near a deposit of oil shale. That might sound like a “dirty” solution, enabling the use of more carbon-emitting fuel. But author Charles Forsberg suggests that it’s quite the opposite: Instead of burning fossil fuels to heat up the rocks for gaining the crude oil from these deposits, the nuclear power plant’s steam output can be coupled to the shale oil-wells and thus reduce the release of greenhouse gas. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131104-22

Underwater kites for energy production

(Worcester Polytechnic Institute, November 05, 2013)

A new research program directed by David Olinger, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore ways to harness ocean currents and tidal flows using this unexpected technology. Olinger's new re-search builds on earlier work, in which he developed low-cost kite systems that use the wind to generate electricity or power simple devices like water pumps. Olinger says he expects underwater kites to have important advantages over stationary marine turbines, which have been used on a limited scale in Europe, Asia, and North America to generate power from tides: "The generators can be smaller, and they will be substantially less expensive to install and easier to retrieve for maintenance." http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131105-15

Study: Nexus of energy, water, and climate

(MIT, November 15, 2013)

A new study at MIT focused on the question, how the decision what energy source is pre-ferred, depends on the different needs that are applied. Associate professor of engineering systems Mort Webster studied electricity generation in the year 2050 under three different scenarios: purely cost-based choices; with a requirement for a 75 percent reduction in car-bon emissions; or with a combined requirement for emissions reduction and a 50 percent reduction in water use. To deal with the large uncertainties in many projections, Webster and his co-authors used a mathematical simulation in which they tried 1,000 different possibilities for each of the three scenarios. It turns out, that variation of the needs leads to a very different set of choices. The study makes clear that it is crucial to examine these needs together before making decisions about investments in new energy infra-structure. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131115-25

Cheap fossil fuels hinder fight for climate change

(The Boston Globe, November 17, 2013)

Falling prices of crude oil, natural gas, and gasoline are presenting new challenges to the efforts to combat climate change. Christopher Knittel, a professor of energy economics at MIT, said cheap fossil fuels could not only encouraging more consumption of these fuels, but also making renewable alternatives, such as solar panels, less economically competitive. On the other hand, Robert Stavins, a professor of energy economics at Harvard University says

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that in some ways, falling fuel prices might make it easier to adopt climate change policies, as it reduces financial pressures on consumers — and voters — and makes them more willing to accept the costs. “When energy prices are low, that’s when people are going to be much more tolerant of things like a gasoline tax,” he said. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131117-72

Fire suppression enhancement hinders fire prevention

(MIT, November 20, 2013)

The “firefighting trap” is a term often used by business managers to describe a shortsighted cycle of problem-solving: dealing with “fires,” or problems, as they arise, but failing to ad-dress the underlying cause, thereby increasing the chance that the same problem will crop up in the future. Researchers at MIT’s Engineering Systems Division found fire management can fall into the firefighting trap: Energy and resources are spent mostly on fire suppression — putting out fires in the moment — while less attention is devoted to fire prevention, such as clearing brush and building fire lanes during the off-season. They found that after severe fires, policymakers — driven by public pressure — funnel more funds into fire suppression for the next season. While this may put people temporarily at ease, this attention to fire suppression may undermine prevention efforts. The result, counter-intuitively, is even worse fires the following season. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131120-1a

Massachusetts native to lead federal energy agency

(The Boston Globe, November 21, 2013)

Massachusetts native and former National Grid executive Cheryl A. LaFleur will become acting chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of oil, natural gas, and electricity. LaFleur will replace Jon Wel-linghoff, who is leaving the commission after nearly five years at its helm. LaFleur’s promotion to head of FERC is expected to be formalized shortly by the White House. She was first appointed to the commission by President Obama in 2010 and, according to her agency biography, her priorities have been strengthening the reliability and security of power delivery systems and promoting re-gional planning for transmission projects. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131121-6d

Government shutdown impacts climate studies in Antarctica

(The Boston Globe, November 24, 2013)

John Priscu's team from the Montana State University is doing research in Antarctica. They were the first to find bacteria living in shallow lakes beneath a half-mile of ice, a discovery that could help scientists understand how life might survive in the dark and cold of other planets. But when the government shut down in October, the researchers lost an entire, criti-cal season in the field — and a year of data collection — because they can’t get into Antarc-tica. Contracts for support personnel were canceled by the shutdown, and it is too late now to get the project teams back into Antarctica for the brief summer, when the weather is warm enough to allow field research. For climate researchers, the shutdown continues to reverberate, long after most people have moved on. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/01-131124-00

U.S. methane emissions 1.5 times higher than estimated

(Harvard Gazette, November 25, 2013)

Emissions of methane from fossil fuel extraction and refining activities in the South Central United States are nearly five times higher than previous estimates, according to researchers at Harvard University and seven other institutions. Their study also suggests that the contribution from livestock operations may be twice as high as previously thought. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is pro-duced through natural gas production and distribution, cattle farming, landfills, coal mining, manure management, and other anthropogenic and natural sources, though human activities are thought to contribute approximately 60 percent of the total. Overall, according to the new study, total methane emissions in the US appear to be 1.5-1.7 times higher than the amounts previously estimated. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/06-131125-19

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7. Engineering / Robotics / Space

Laser-based space communication (20min.ch, November 02, 2013)

NASA has been experimenting with the use of lasers for high-speed communication to space. Until now, data rates from spacecraft have been very slow, but the new laser-based system being used to transmit data from a space-craft around the Moon back to Earth is able to achieve speeds up to 622 megabits per second. The same technolo-gy could be used to create an interplanetary Internet. Further tests will be conducted in 2017. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131102-5b

New drone startup from iRobot co-founder

(boston.com, November 05, 2013)

More money is flowing into the Massachusetts robotics sector, with $7 million just deposited to the bank account of Danvers-based CyPhy Works, the drone startup from iRobot co-founder Helen Greiner. What makes CyPhy's drones unique is that they're tethered to a portable command station on the ground by a "microfilament" that's thin-ner than the cord on your headphones. The tether lets them stay up for extended periods, enables them to send high-def video to the ground, and makes jamming or intercepting their communications difficult. They're designed to be flown low to the ground, and even into buildings or under bridges. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131105-54

Cutting-edge 3D printing studio

(Northeastern University, November 06, 2013)

A team of visionaries and digital technologists at Northeastern University celebrated the launch of a 3-D Printing Studio at Northeastern's Snell Library. The facility is incorporated into the Digital Media Commons, an innovative media lab and digital creativity center located on the second floor of the Library. The studio’s designers view the lab as an interdisciplinary space for creating low-cost, high-quality intellectual property. “We’re looking forward to see-ing students and faculty take advantage of the studio in order to fulfill their inspirations,” said Will Wakeling, dean of university libraries, who helped design the facility. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131106-0d

Human-like robot for manufacturing plants

(Inside the Hive, November 06, 2013)

Japanese researchers will soon get their hands on Baxter, the humanlike robot developed by Boston’s Rethink Robotics Inc. Nihon Binary, a Japanese robotics firm, has signed an exclusive deal to distribute Baxter robots. In September, Rethink struck similar deals to bring Baxter to customers in Europe and Great Britain. Baxter is designed to work in manufactur-ing plants alongside human workers. It’s designed with an industry-standard operating sys-tem so that it can be easily customized for a variety of tasks. Rethink‘s founder and chief technology officer, Rodney Brooks, is a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder of iRobot Corp., a major builder of robots for consumer and military markets. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/08-131106-36

Adjustable glasses

(The Boston Globe, November 11, 2013)

Many Americans with poor vision can ill afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a spare pair of eyeglasses. In developing countries such as Rwanda, millions can’t afford glasses at all. Ad-lens, a British company that recently opened its US headquarters in Boston, thinks it has a solution to both problems by making two types of user-adjustable eyeglasses. The cheaper version uses “Alvarez lens” technology, using two lenses per eyepiece. The newly developed technology includes a liquid-filled membrane laminated between two layers of hard plastic. Turning a knob pressurizes the liquid and flexes the lens, adjusting its focus. Next year, Adlens will enter the main-stream market, planning to donate a pair of the plastic glasses to someone in Rwanda every time it makes a sale. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131111-cc

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Car safety systems (The Boston Globe, November 15, 2013)

The government is speeding up research on safety systems that automatically prevent drivers from operating their cars if they are drunk or aren’t properly buckled in. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the innovations — collision avoidance, seat belt interlocks, and driver alcohol detection systems — hold the poten-tial of dramatically reducing traffic fatalities. The collision avoidance would warn drivers that they are about to run into another vehicle and can brake automatically to avoid a crash or make it less severe. The seat belt interlocks would prevent cars and trucks from being driven when the driver or a passenger isn’t buckled in properly. Driver alcohol detection systems such as those NHTSA is researching don’t require any action on the driver’s part except putting hands on the steering wheel, pushing a start button with a finger or simply breathing. The systems can de-tect through touch or air samples whether the driver’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131115-cc

Mars satellite to measure atmosphere

(Boston University, November 18, 2013)

Slowly, the sun is searing Earth’s precious atmosphere, the same process occurred on Mars billions of years ago, scientists believe. Aided by a team from Boston University, NASA is launching MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution), a small satellite, to do some chemical meter-reading in the Martian atmosphere. “MAVEN will provide key knowledge for understanding how all atmospheres, even our own, have changed since the formation of the solar system,” says Paul Withers, assistant professor of astronomy at Boston University. The goal of the mission is to detail the processes that lead to atoms and molecules escaping into space, so that it can be extrapolated back in time to tell what the conditions were like when Mars was young http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131118-15

Billionaire proposes sending astronauts to Mars and back

(The Boston Globe, November 21, 2013)

Billionaire Dennis Tito, tired of being told that we cannot send humans to Mars yet, revealed his scheme for launching two astronauts to the red planet as early as December 2017. Dubbed ‘‘Inspiration Mars,’’ the fly-by mission would exploit a rare alignment of Earth and Mars that minimizes the time and the fuel it would take to get to Mars and back. The astro-nauts would come within 100 miles of the Martian surface before being slung back to Earth. The project would require cooperation from NASA and a great deal of NASA hardware. NASA officials did not immediately respond to Tito’s detailed proposal. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131121-29

Store for 3D printers in Boston

(The Boston Globe, November 22, 2013)

New York-based MakerBot has opened a retail store on Boston’s Newbury Street, giving consumers a close look at machines that could prove just as disruptive as the personal computer — low-cost 3-D printers capable of cranking out made-to-order objects, from Christmas ornaments to auto parts. Engineers and manufacturers have used large, expen-sive 3-D printing machines for more than two decades. But MakerBot builds versions that are simple enough for use by ordinary tinkerers, and priced at around $2,200 — the cost of a high-end personal computer or a large-screen TV. Boston is the second retail location for MakerBot, which last year opened a store in Manhattan. The New York City location not only sells the printers but also does custom print jobs, like a 3-D version of Staples or VistaPrint. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131122-35

Drones in news reporting

(The Boston Globe, November 25, 2013)

Drones, or unstaffed aerial systems, as many of their handlers prefer to call them, were largely developed for, and remain associated with, the military. But they are increasingly being used for civilian purposes. For example to film the destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, says Lewis Whyld, a British photographer who builds his own drones. The Associated Press and News Corp. have used them to show the scale of large disasters. So-phisticated nature documentaries use them to get intimate shots of wildlife. News Corp. uses drones to film sporting

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events in Australia. Paparazzi use them to chase celebrities in Europe. Now journalism programs, including those at the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska, and Columbia University, have started drone journalism courses. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131125-f6

$500 nano-camera in 3D

(MIT, November 26, 2013)

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a $500 “nano-camera” that can operate at the speed of light. The three-dimensional camera could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming. The camera is based on “Time of Flight” technology like that used in Microsoft’s recently launched second-generation Kinect de-vice, in which the location of objects is calculated by how long it takes a light signal to reflect off a surface and re-turn to the sensor. However, unlike existing devices based on this technology, the new camera is not fooled by rain, fog, or even translucent objects. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/07-131126-59

8. Physics / Chemistry / Math

Shape of particles determines trajectory in microfluidic devices (MIT, November 08, 2013)

MIT chemical engineers have designed tiny particles that can “steer” themselves along pre-programmed trajectories and align themselves to flow through the center of a microchannel, making it possible to control the particles’ flow through microfluidic devices without applying any external forces. This method takes advantage of hydrodynamic principles that can be exploited simply by altering the shapes of the particles. The new particles could make it more feasible to design lab-on-a-chip devices, which hold potential as portable diagnostic devices for cancer and other diseases. These devices consist of microfluidic channels engraved on tiny chips, but current versions usually require a great deal of extra instrumentation attached to the chip, limiting their portability. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/08-131108-25

9. Architecture / Design

New WTC tower officially declared tallest US building (New York Post, November 12, 2013)

The new World Trade Center tower in New York will replace Chicago’s Willis Tower as the nation’s tallest building when it is completed next year, an international panel of architects announced. Because the needle atop the New York skyscraper is a permanent spire and not an antenna it can be counted when measuring the structure’s height. With the needle, 1 World Trade Center is a symbolically important 541 meters tall. Without it, the building would have been only 416 meters tall — well short of the 442-meter Willis Tower. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/09-131112-9c

Harvard's Deans' Design Challenge to Change Urban Life by 2030

(BostInno, November 23, 2013)

An entrepreneurial dose of design will soon grace the Harvard Innovation Lab. The i-lab an-nounced the launch of the Deans' Design Challenge, a contest aimed at addressing the chal-lenges facing the world's swiftly growing population. Participants will be tasked with develop-ing tools that will improve the livability of the world's cities - particularly in less developed regions where an influx of individuals could compound the effects of existing transportation, safety, food, water and inequality issues. The i-lab has identified four areas of focus for the Deans' Design Challenge debut: responsive cities; urban metabolisms; the future of consumption; and aging in place. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/09-131123-a8

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10. Economy, Social Sciences & Humanities

Changed racial prejudices in online dating (boston.com, November 04, 2013)

Kevin Lewis, a graduate student at Harvard University used data from the dating website OkCupid to study the earliest stages of courtship. His findings indicate that, in general, peo-ple were very likely to initiate an interaction with someone of their own race. But they were just as likely to respond to a message from a person from another race as their own. And in the week after replying to a person from another race, he found people were more likely to make amorous overtures to someone of another race. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131104-50

Institute for Carreer Transitions assist long-term unemployed

(The Boston Globe, November 17, 2013)

MIT professor Ofer Sharone hopes to solve a dark problem that few even want to discuss: how to help the long-term unemployed. What makes the problem so vexing, Sharone said, is these workers, typically older, have qualifications that should provide the path to employ-ment, namely experience, accomplishment, and college degrees. Sharone will launch a pro-ject called the Institute for Career Transitions, an organization to help the long-term unem-ployed, focusing on 40- to 65-year-old workers with college degrees. The institute will begin by pairing them with career counselors or job coaches, free of charge, for three months. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131117-ea

11. Start-ups / Technology Transfer / IPR / Patents

More European entrepreneurs in the Boston area (Boston Business Journal, November 22, 2013)

While the big European companies with a presence in Boston - Swiss-owned Novartis, Spanish-owned Santander Bank, French-owned Genzyme Corp. just to name a few - are well known, there's an increasing number of smaller, unfamiliar names: Germany wants to profit from Boston's biotech boom with a German Life Science Accelerator that opened in Cambridge earlier this year, a similar Czech venture opened recently in downtown Boston. A grow-ing number of European companies now see Boston as the place to jump-start their innovations. Boston's work-force, capital and the geographical convenience are increasingly luring startups over the pond. As of 2012, an esti-mated 190'000 employees in Massachusetts were working at foreign firms, a gain of 6000 jobs or 3% since 2008. The vast majority is employed by British, Dutch, French, German and Swiss companies. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/11-131122-5c

LabCentral: Coworking space for life science startups officially opened

(Inside the Hive, November 22, 2013)

LabCentral has officially opened in Cambridge. The new $12 million coworking space for life science companies has its first six tenants in residence, with four more expected before the end of the year. These are promising young companies with small staffs (often three or few-er) that don’t want the hassle or expense of finding independent lab space and buying their own equipment. Among the features of the new lab is a trio of refrigerators that hold com-monly used chemical reagents. Whenever you need one, you simply swipe your LabCentral badge, grab the chemical you need, and the fridge senses what’s been taken and bills your company’s account automatically. It’s like a minibar in a hotel room.The space also features conference rooms and phone booths available for reservation by any of the tenants. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/11-131122-64 Emerging entrepreneurial energy from Tufts

(BostInno, November 11, 2013)

An entrepreneurial energy is quietly brewing across the Charles River. "Tufts is two or three semesters away from erupting in a way that will make us very hard to ignore," posited Tufts student John Brennan. "Think Harvard and MIT entrepreneurship." In just over a year, the university, located high atop a Medford hill on the outskirts of town, has made an impact so strong, it's being felt here in city center. Spearheading the charge is James Barlow, Tufts director of entrepreneurial leadership, who took the reins just last year, fully aware of, and ready to break into, the

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school's "untapped potential." The Tufts $100K Business Plan Competition grew from 18 to 109 applicants earlier this year, and went beyond the scope of apps, featuring environmentally-engineered showerheads and education-changing programming instead. The success of Tufts entrepreneurship program is only beginning to show, with more and more students starting organizations on campus.The Tufts Venture Fund, a micro-seed investment fund for Tufts startups, is one of the newest initiatives, which Barlow said will be up-and-running in the next 12 months and potentially feature a social impact investing arm, courtesy of Tufts' Fletcher School. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/11-131111-7f

Harvard i-lab turns two

(Inside the Hive, November 19, 2013)

Harvard University’s Innovation Lab — a space dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial growth among students — celebrated its second anniversary. Company’s that have gone through the i-lab have raised more than $50 million in venture funding and the lab has housed nearly 300 unique ventures over the course of six separate 100-day terms. Beyond modern design the lab provides a lot of resources for students and their groups who are trying to gain trac-tion. Among those resources are access to legal council and venture capitalists who routine-ly make their way through the space, a fabrication lab, and conference and presentation space. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/11-131119-c2

Student-run seed investment fund for tech startups

(Inside the Hive, November 11, 2013)

One of Boston's two student-run seed investing collectives, Rough Draft Ventures, has chosen the new team of students that will make investment decisions this year. The ten students from MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Boston Universi-ty, Northeastern and Olin College will put anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 into student-founded tech startups. The money is supplied by Cambridge-based General Catalyst Partners. The startups that have received funding in the first round have gone on to raise over $3 million in seed funding, and have been accepted to Y Combinator, the first TechStars Chicago class, Summer@Highland, and the Thiel Fellowship. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/11-131111-4e

12. General Interest

Massachusetts and US economy grow faster than expected (The Boston Globe, November 07, 2013)

The state and national economies grew faster than expected over the summer, due to an improving housing market and wage and salary growth, according to a report by the University of Massachusetts and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Those improvements helped offset the economic drag from automatic budget cuts known as se-questration and higher federal payroll taxes that went into effect earlier this year. The state economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate from July through September, according to the report. The national economy expanded at 2.8 percent rate during the same period, the US Commerce Department reported. Economists, however, expect growth to slow next quarter as a result of the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government last month. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131107-41

Number of homeless is declining

(The Boston Globe, November 22, 2013)

The number of homeless people in the United States declined for a third straight year, helped by sharp dropoffs in veterans and chronic homelessness, according to a new gov-ernment survey. Nearly two-thirds of those experiencing homelessness were living in emer-gency shelters or transitional housing programs, while the remainder lived under bridges, in cars, or in abandoned buildings, the survey found. Five states — California, New York, Flori-da, Texas, and Massachusetts — accounted for more than half of the homeless population. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131122-ce

First major film studio for New England

(The Boston Globe, November 24, 2013)

The first major movie and film production complex ever built in Massachusetts, the $41 million New England Studi-os complex opened its doors at the end of September. New England Studios said they're in discussion with major

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players in the industry - Disney, Sony, Columbia and Fox and expect the first production to start moving early next year. The studios have all the bells and whistles, including private rooms and baths for the stars, so they don’t have to traipse out in the cold to rented trailers, Meyers noted. There is even a private passageway for the set’s leading men and women. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131124-91

Crazy jump into the water

(20min.ch, November 21, 2013)

In Kansas City, Kan, the largest water slide in the world is currently under construction. It has a name already - and it fits: "The Verrückt," or German for "insane". Visitors will reach top speeds close to 65 mph (100 mph) on their descent from the 17 stories high slide. The Verrückt will be the tallest and fastest water slide in the world - higher than the Niagara Falls and taller than the Statue of Liberty. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131121-9a

Insect protein as a sustainable meat alternative

(Inside the Hive, November 21, 2013)

At Cambridge start-up Six Foods, three students hope to create buzz in the food industry by building a business around consuming insects - mealworm tacos, cricket cookies or horn-worm salsa are just a few of their concoctions. The group is well aware of the hurdles to overcome, most of all getting people to eat bugs, but they are hopeful. “We know that per-ceptions can change,” one of the three women said. “Lobsters used to be fed to prisoners and people used to think eating raw fish was disgusting but now both of those things are del-icacies.” Also, the arguments for eating bugs are hard to combat especially in a climate where farm-to-table and sustainability are catch phrases used almost ubiquitously to promote food goods. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/12-131121-a7

13. Calls for Grants / Awards

SNSF Project Funding The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) accepts applications for project funding on April 1 and October 1 each year. Applications must be submitted directly by researchers. http://www.snf.ch/E/funding/projects/Pages/default.aspx

Mass Life Science Accelerator accepting loan applications

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announced the eighth round of the Life Sciences Accelerator Loan Program. The program is aimed at early-stage life sciences companies with a high potential for technology commercialization, rapid growth and private equity financing. Eligible early-stage companies in Massachusetts are encouraged to apply. http://www.masslifesciences.com/accelerator.html

Call: Global Innovation Initiative The Global Innovation Initiative is a joint effort of the United States and the United Kingdom to strengthen glob-al multilateral collaboration through grants to university consortia. The initiative anticipates funding at least 20 grants of up to $250,000. New or existing research partnerships comprised of at least one U.S., one UK, and one selected other country (Brazil, China, India, or Indonesia) institution of higher education and are invited to apply for a Global Innovation Initiative grant. Partnership research proposals in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are eligible. Deadline: December 16, 2013. http://swissinnovation.org/newsUS/web/2013/13-131115-33

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Upcoming Science and Technology Related Events

Materials Research Society 2013 Fall Meeting & Exhibit

December 1-6, 2013

www.mrs.org/fall2013/

Material Science

Boston, MA

New England Venture Summit

December 11, 2013

www.youngstartup.com/newengland2013/overview.php

Innovation / Entrepreneurship

Boston, MA

Conference On Retroviruses And Opportunistic Infections

March 3-6, 2014

www.croi2014.org

Infectious Diseases

Boston, MA

Bio-IT World Conference & Expo

April 29 – May 1, 2014

www.bio-itworldexpo.com

IT / Healthcare

Boston, MA

HOW Design Live

May 12-16, 2014

www.howdesignlive.com

Design / Creative Professionals

Boston, MA

American Society for Microbiology General Meeting

May 17-20, 2013

http://gm.asm.org

Biology

Boston, MA

TechConnect WORLD

June 15-19, 2014

http://www.techconnectworld.com/World2014/

Global Innovation

Washington, DC

7th World Congress of Biomechanics

July 6-11, 2014

http://wcb2014.com/

Biomechanics

Boston, MA

Material Research Society Fall Meeting

November 30-December 5, 2014

www.mrs.org/fall2014

Material Science

Boston, MA

>> More events at swissnex Boston: http://www.swissnexboston.org/activities/events-inhouse

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