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Need for a better microscope prompts launch of a startup

By WIll Ferguson, College of Arts & Sciences
Originally published in WSU News

WSU physicist Matthew McCluskey wasn’t trying to invent the next generation of material characterization microscopes, but when he couldn’t get the results he wanted from the best on the market, he improvised.

Four years later, McCluskey launched Klar Scientific, a startup designing and manufacturing an innovative, new instrument that collects more information about materials in less time and at a lower cost than what is currently on the market. The company is the recipient of a $210,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant to bring the affordable and easy to use microscope to market.

“Our new instrument could make a major impact in the $6.2 billion microscope market,” McCluskey said. “The business development advice and funding we received from the WSU Commercialization Gap Fund and the WSU Innovation Corps program were instrumental in our efforts to build a prototype and demonstrate the potential of this new technology.”

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Licensing deal with Genus will help combat deadly cattle disease

First published in WSU News

A gene editing technology developed at WSU is being licensed to Genus plc, a global animal genetics company, to develop cattle that are more resistant to bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

“From domestication and selective breeding to today’s use of advanced biotechnology, the goal of all animal husbandry remains the same,” said Bryan Slinker, dean of WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  “The goal is to continue to optimize animal health and well-being and produce disease-free food animals.  This work is another important step in ensuring we meet our responsibilities to animals as well as the world’s food supply, now and in the future.”

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Scientist develops gene therapy for muscle wasting

First published for WSU News by Seth Truscott

A discovery by Washington State University scientist Dan Rodgers and collaborator Paul Gregorevic could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.

The result of the team’s four-year project is a novel gene therapeutic approach. The work was published (http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/8/348/348ra98) July 20 in Science Translational Medicine, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Chronic disease affects more than half of the world’s population,” said Rodgers, professor of animal sciences (https://ansci.wsu.edu/people/faculty/dan-rodgers/) and director of the Washington Center for Muscle Biology (http://wcmb.wsu.edu/). “Most of those diseases are accompanied by muscle wasting.

“It occurs with chronic infection, muscular dystrophy, malnutrition and old age,” he said. “About half the people who die from cancer are actually dying from muscle wasting and there’s not one single therapy out there that addresses it. » More …

Research fund partner helps WSU innovation advance

First published for WSU News

Since the Commercialization Gap Fund launched at Washington State University two years ago, 14 researchers have received funding to fill the gap between their discoveries and private investment. The Washington Research Foundation (WRF) has just invested up to $1 million for the next four years in the fund.

The fund has helped with everything from taking a muscle regenerating treatment to the next step in the drug development process (https://economicdevelopment.wsu.edu/2016/03/28/2333/), to developing training that will help police officers overcome biases (https://economicdevelopment.wsu.edu/2016/06/21/counter-bias-training-simulation-reaches-officers-gap-fund-support/).

“We have been impressed with the diversity of innovations at WSU,” said Beth Etscheid, director of research commercialization at the WRF (http://www.wrfseattle.org/), which established the fund with WSU in 2014. » More …

Licensing agreement will improve chemical detection

First published for WSU News

A new licensing partnership between WSU and Excellims Corp. will improve chemical detection tools used to detect everything from dangerous chemicals to human disease.

“I am very happy to see our research achievements being implemented into a commercial instrument,” said Herbert Hill, a WSU Regents Professor in the Department of Chemistry who developed the licensed technology. “This will allow researchers in a variety of academic research and industrial research fields to have a more powerful tool based on ion mobility spectrometry.”

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