NEW YORK, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- What will be the next technological
breakthrough? What new invention will change our lives? If the six winners
of this year's Collegiate Inventors Competition are any indication-fast and
inexpensive eyeglass lens production will find its way into third world
countries, genetically encoded amino acids will modify bacteria to produce new
and useful proteins, and nanotechnology, non-invasive tests for colon cancer,
and protein mapping will impact our lives in the next five to ten years.
Hosted by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the Collegiate Inventors
Competition is the largest collegiate competition of its kind and is designed
to identify the most advanced technology research in all fields of science.
Each year, it solicits entries from more than 900 college and university
campuses across the country and received nearly two hundred entries this year-
from which sixteen finalists were chosen. The 2002 Collegiate Inventors
Competition winners are:
Jeffrey Anker "Magnetically Responsive Optical Nanoprobes"
(University of Michigan)
A new approach to conducting more sensitive, accurate chemical and
biological measurements. When used in place of traditional chemical dyes,
these nanoprobes can be magnetically prompted to flash, making the tested
material clearly visible.
Saul Griffith "Lens Molding Method and Apparatus"
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
A simplified method of producing eyeglass lenses inexpensively enough to
serve Third World countries. The technique involves a single mold whose
shape can be changed in the field. Other applications may include advanced
optics, rapid prototyping, and injection molding.
Yu Huang "Nanocircuits"
An approach to fabricate extremely small electronic circuits. These
integrated nanoscale circuits hold the potential of powering computers and
miniaturized electronic devices that may outperform those on the market
Zachary Knight "Phosphorylation Mapping of Proteins"
(University of California, San Francisco)
A fast, thorough method to determine the structure and behavior of
proteins by mapping their phosphorylation sites. This method may prove
useful for understanding, at a minute level, almost any process of life-
growth, aging, disease, or reproduction.
Carlo Giovanni Traverso "Non-invasive Test for Colorectal Cancer"
(Johns Hopkins University)
Stool test for early detection of mutations that may lead to colorectal
cancer without the need for expensive, invasive procedures. This test
analyzes fecal DNA and offers the ability to detect potential cancers at
very early stages.
Lei Wang "Genetically Encoded Amino Acid"
(University of California at Berkeley)
A new technique for modifying bacteria so that they produce amino acids
never before found in nature. The approach may open up broad avenues of
research and enable the manufacture of new, useful proteins for research
and pharmaceutical applications.
Winners were chosen based on the originality, inventiveness, potential
value to society and the range or scope of use of their invention. Each of
the six winners is taking home a $20,000 cash award for themselves and $10,000
for their advisors. All sixteen finalists are taking home a $1,000 cash
award, an ipaq handheld computer from Hewlett-Packard and a set of tires from
the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, both sponsors of the event.
For the first time in the competition's thirteen-year history, finalists
were asked to travel to New York City and defend their inventions before a
panel of judges. This year's eight-member panel included two inductees to the
National Inventors Hall of Fame, along with research and technology executives
from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Hewlett-Packard, NASA's John Glenn
Research Center, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. All of
the finalists will be recognized later today at a special ceremony at the New
York City Public Library, when the winners receive their awards.
Just as inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame are honored for
their contributions to the welfare of mankind and promotion of the progress of
science and technology, Collegiate Inventors Competition winners are the next
generation of scientific researchers and innovators with an extraordinary
idealism, persistence and talent that will produce a safer, healthier,
productive environment for all humanity.
The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame(R) is the premier
organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering creativity and
invention. Each year a new class of inventors is inducted into the Hall of
Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make human, social and
economic progress possible. Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark
Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations, the
Hall's permanent home is Akron, Ohio, and serves as both a museum and an
educational programming resource. For information on the National Inventors
Hall of Fame, you can visit the organization's web site at www.invent.org .
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SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame