Sunday, March 01, 2009

IAM's use of MIT Technology Review to support Intellectual Ventures

As noted by IPBiz, IAM used material in MIT's Technology Review to prop up Intellectual Ventures against a "troll smear" by Matt Asay. The IAM argument would seem to run: if it's discussed favorably by MIT Technology Review, it must be good technology, and thus IV has good technology in addition to whatever else it's doing.

The relevant text on IAM:

"Intellectual Ventures, arguably the world's largest patent troll," wites Asay, "is set up to do nothing more than license its intellectual property". And to be fair, it is a view that is expressed commonly enough.

However, it may be an opinion that will be a little more difficult to sustain following a recently published article in the MIT Technology Review. In this, TerraPower - a new type of nuclear reactor which has been developed by IV scientists - was identified as one of the top 10 emerging technologies that could change the world.

IPBiz notes the following commentary by the same MIT Technology Review on the fraudulent work of Jan Hendrik Schon:

Hendrik Schön is reinventing the transistor at the place it was born. He and his Bell Labs coworkers have produced single-molecule transistors whose electrical performance is comparable to that of today’s best silicon devices but which are hundreds of times smaller. Making such molecular transistors, which could lead to ultrafast, ultrasmall computers, has been a goal of researchers for years; Schön’s clever design established Bell Labs as a leader in the race. But Schön is not interested in simply reinventing the transistor. He wants to change the very materials that form microelectronics,replacing inorganic semiconductors with organic molecules. Schön has made an organic high-temperature superconductor, renewing hopes that superconductors could have widespread electronic applications. He also helped devise the first electrically driven organic laser, which could mean cheaper optoelectronic devices. The soft-spoken Schön recalls being “very surprised” by how well his molecular transistors worked. But it won’t be a surprise if Schön helps transform microelectronics.

This rosy, but highly unrealistic, picture put forth by MIT Technology Review was vaporized when it turned out that all of Schon's work was fabricated.

A note to Joff Wild: be careful of which gods you worship. MIT Technology Review may not be a critical "review" of science. The test of good science is whether it works, not what some third party says about it.

***Apart from pumping the fraud of Jan Hendrik Schon, MIT Technology Review has put out some "shoulda coulda woulda" pieces on stem cells.

In Jan. 2006-->

ACT's Lanza also plans to restart his therapeutic cloning program, as soon as he can find a new source of eggs. He says he expects rapid progress, generating cloned embryos within a week or two. "After that, we are in unknown territory. However, there's no biological reason we shouldn't be able to generate stem cells," he says.

Lanza adds that he was particularly dismayed when he heard reports of the actual number of eggs Hwang used in his cloning attempts: more than 1,000 as opposed to 180 eggs reported in the paper. "Just think what we could have done with that number of eggs."

It's now March 2009. Where's the rapid progress of the last three years?

Separately, see MIT Technology Review Concern Over WARF Patent Royalty Demand To CIRM Over Stem Cells Is Misguided

**In passing, for some discussion in the year 2005, see

Federal Stem Cell Research: What Taxpayers Should Know.

As to the current mess with California and CIRM, this article might be titled "California stem cell research: what California taxpayers should know".


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