Thursday, December 21, 2006

Discover Magazine has 100 stories summarizing the Year in Science 2006

Discover has the "Year in Science 2006" with a lead story of "Alternative Energy" (by Eli Kintisch) which includes the line "so that cars can run on hydrogen produced by renewable non carbon-emitting power sources." The story includes text on MIT's ultracapacitors, which are supposed to replace batteries.

Story #36 is "nano risks worry scientists," about potential problems with nanotechnology.

Story #44 is "stem cells reverse Parkinson's," on the work of Steven Goldman at the University of Rochester.

Story #63 is on Fischer-Tropsch.

Not one of the hundred stories discussed the retraction in Janury 2006 by the journal Science of the two papers by Hwang Woo Suk on SCNT.

Kintisch presented a misleading picture of continuation applications in the July 28 issue of Science. Another deceptive area in the "patent reform" discussion is that of patent grant rates.

A recent board post is relevant:

[Patent examiners] only get bad press for issuing patents which are taken to task by powerful groups. They never get bad press for failing to issue patents, whether those unissued patents would be "good" or "bad".

On hydrogen storage, US 5,653,951 of Nelly Rodriguez and R.T.K. (Terry) Baker has a first claim:

A composition comprised of:

(a) a solid layered nanostructure comprised of: (i) crystalline regions; (ii) interstices within said crystalline regions which interstices are from about 0.335 nm to 0.67 nm, and (iii) surfaces of said nanostructure which define said interstices, which surfaces have chemisorption properties with respect to hydrogen; and

(b) hydrogen stored within said interstices.

The '951 patent was assigned to Catalytic Materials Limited (Mansfield, MA).

The '951 patent has been cited by 41 US patents. Most recently, it has been cited within US 7,094,276, entitled Hydrogen storage material and hydrogen storage apparatus. The first claim of the '276 states: A hydrogen storage apparatus comprising a hydrogen absorbing material comprising a porous carbon material with a specific surface area of 1,000 m.sup.2/g or more, and a hydrogen absorbing alloy wherein the hydrogen storage apparatus includes a container and the hydrogen absorbing material accommodated in the container.

US 6,834,508 to Nanomix also cites the '951 patent. The first claim of the '508 states: A hydrogen storage and supply system comprising: a first hydrogen storage tank; a second hydrogen storage tank containing an inlet configured to receive hydrogen from the first tank; a porous medium in the second hydrogen storage tank, including at least one compound selected from the group consisting of Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, and Cl, wherein the medium includes at least one compound selected from the group consisting of boron oxide and its derivatives; and an outlet on the second hydrogen storage tank configured to release hydrogen.


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