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Development Of Biodegradable Bait Station For Liquid Ant Bait

Background: Current bait station designs and other pest control tools are not very ideal nor advanced – they leak, become excessively hydrated or dehydrated, and need frequent maintenance. The global pest control services market is expected to grow annually at 5.3% and the industry is always looking for unique ways to conquer them.  Brief Description: UCR Researchers have developed a novel, protected bait station that has controlled liquid bait release. The compact design contains a sugary, insecticide liquid bait that diffuses through an absorbent polymer or gel matrix. Only ants have access to the station and once an ant consumes the bait, the station biodegrades thus eliminating bait station cleanup.

Development Of Pheromone Assisted Techniques To Improve Efficacy Of Insecticide Sprays Targeting Urban Pest Ant Species

Background: Pheromones are chemical secretions that dictate behavior in many social insects such as ants, bees and termites. They use them for various pivotal roles in foraging, nest relocation, defense and reproduction. Implementation of pheromone trails that lead urban pests to their imminent doom is a very notable, strategic approach. Current pest management programs are in need of better synthetic pheromone formulations for a more effective and species-specific utilization.   Brief Description: UCR Researchers have developed a novel synthetic pheromone compound and management system that lures targeted ant species to an insecticide-treated area. This pheromone-assisted technique will maximize the efficacy of insecticide sprays by reducing insecticide contact in the environment while increasing exposure of ants for eradication.  

Composition Structure with Tessllated Layers

The technology is a tessellated composite structure that is resistant to tearing and fatigue.It features improved resistance to tearing and fatigue damage and is biased towards compression stress, as opposed to tensile stress.

Catalytic Synthesis Of Fluorinated Anilines

Molecules containing aniline and aniline derivatives are common in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and pigment industries and numerous methods for the preparation of anilines have been reported.  Aniline derivatives containing electron-withdrawing substituents are more valuable in medicinal chemistry because anilines are prone to oxidation.  The past methods to obtain fluorinated anilines, which also mitigate oxidation, have been limited and the yields were moderate.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed a reaction for the coupling of primary fluoroalkylamines with aryl bromides and aryl chlorides and occur in the presence of functional groups that are typically not tolerated by C-N coupling reactions. The reaction yield is high and can be conducted with low catalyst loadings for most substrates.  

Chemical Lure for the Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri

Researchers at UC Davis have developed a novel synthetic chemical lure for the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. As a vector for the bacteria pathogens that cause citrus greening, the Asian citrus psyllid is a serious threat to citriculture worldwide and within the U.S. Through chemical profiling of the volatile organic compounds emitted by infected citrus trees, the researchers developed a lure composing of the endogenous chemoattracts that naturally attract Asian citrus psyllids.

Novel Compounds Modulating Ethylene in Plants

Background: Many plant growers wish to control or speed the process of the plant growth in order to benefit the needs of plant buyers and exporters. A way to do this is inducing Ethylene, a natural plant hormone that expedites the ripening process. Description: UCR researchers have developed methods and compounds to control ethylene responses in plants. These compounds provide the possibility of inducing ethylene response in a plant that has absence of significant ethylene or one that is not responsive of ethylene. They can be incorporated into daily  treatments given to plants.   

Synthetic Auxotrophs for Industrial Applications

Synthetic auxotrophs are organisms engineered to be dependent on one or more specific molecules for their viability.  Synthetic auxotrophs have many potential uses related to biocontainment and biosensing for enzyme engineering.  Until now, however, there has been no means to practically generate synthetic auxotrophs for these applications.   In order to address this, UC Berkeley researchers have developed synthetic auxotrophs based on ligand dependent essential genes (SLiDE).  Using the SLiDE system allows new synthetic auxotrophs to be generated rapidly, easily, and cost-effectively.  By combining multiple SLiDE strain alleles into an industrial E. coli strain, the researchers were able to generate high-performance small molecule-dependent organisms exceeding biosafety criteria.  Engineering SLiDE strain alleles to depend on valuable fine/specialty chemicals might also provide biosensors for metabolic engineering applications.  

Sampling Cartridge for Gas-Phase Ammonia and Amines

The purpose of the technology is the efficient measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines that minimizes exposure of sample to instrument surfaces prior to measurement. Measuring ammonia and/or amines at atmospherically relevant concentrations for use in industrial and/or pharmaceutical processes. The technology is a sampling cartridge for measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines. Properties include: a detection limit in low ppt, short sampling times (<60 min), ability to operate at atmospherically relevant conditions. The cartridges are long lasting and easily regenerated and have higher quality detection limits for evaluation of gases.

Encapsulation and Controlled Release of Bacteriophages in Biopolymers for Agricultural and Food Applications

Material formulations to stabilize and encapsulate bacteriophages in ambient conditions and during coating on food materials.

Synergy-based Biocontrol of Plant Pathogens

A synergistic effect between two avirulent microorganisms protects plants against infection by fungal pathogens and associated wilt symptoms. The result is a safe, simple and cost-effective method of preventing fungal wilt without resorting to chemical or transgenic means.

Cellulosic Gasoline

Brief description not available

Chemical Triggers to Improve Lipid Production by Microalgae

Oils produced by microalgae can be harvested and converted to biodiesel. New research has successfully improved the yield of oil from algae by using chemical triggers to regulate algal metabolic pathways. As a result, CO2 is sequestered, yield is increased, and there is greater viability in producing clean energy to replace petroleum.

Nitrate-Responsive Synthetic Promoter Produces Nitrate-Regulated Gene Expression in Plants

Inorganic nitrogen is a vital nutrient for plants. Soil nitrate provides as much as 90 percent of the nitrogen taken up by most plants and leads to a dramatic change in gene expression, which is critical to direct the productivity and survival of the plant. Consequently, nitrate is commonly provided by way of fertilizer to improve crop yield. However, many crop plants are inefficient in their ability to utilize the nitrogen. For example, corn and wheat typically only utilize 50 percent of the nitrogen applied to the soil and paddy rice may recoup as little as 30 percent. Nitrogen not used by crops may contribute to severe environmental problems, including pollution of ground water, run-off into nearby bodies of water, and release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Plants take up and assimilate nitrate in response to its availability in the soil and the demands of the plant, but with varying efficiency among species. Understanding and improving the ability of particular plant species to respond to and utilize nitrogen could therefore lead to increased crop productivity and decreased water and air pollution.

Monodisperse Silk Emulsions And Microspheres

Emulsions are commonly used in food products, cosmetics, paint, etc. Polymer microspheres have applications in, for example, drug delivery and tissue engineering. A challenge in creating polymer microspheres and emulsions is minimizing the polydispersity of the particles. The particles tend to have inconsistent size, shape and mass distribution. Silk is often used commercially as an emulsion, and has been demonstrated to be an extremely effective polymer for drug delivery. Microfluidic devices that produce microsphere have been demonstrated in the past. However, it has been difficult to produce particles with a consistent size and shape known as monodisperse particles. Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a microfluidic methodology for producing monodisperse silk microspheres. The unique chemistry and method enables production of exact microsphere diameter and percent of crystallinity. Both the microsphere and crystallinity can be precisely adjusted which can be used in for a variety of applications. It is particularly useful to vary drug release characteristics in a drug delivery system.

Efficient Extraction of Hydrocarbons from Microalgae Colonies

Green microalgae of the genus Botryoccene synthesize long-chain terpenoid hydrocarbons that can amount to as much as 30-40% of the dry biomass weight. These hydrocarbons can serve as renewable biofuels, feedstock for synthetic chemicals, feedstock in drug manufacturing, and in cosmetics as an alternative to squalene. However, existing methods of extracting these hydrocarbons aren't economically viable. To address this opportunity, scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a more efficient method for extracting and quantifying extracellular terpenoid hydrocarbons from terprnoid-producing and secreting Botryoccene microalgae.

Determination of Bioproduct Content in Live Cell Cultures for Industrial Applications

There is great variability among different organisms in their ability to naturally or artificially synthesize and accumulate lipids, hydrocarbons, and polymers. Consequently, many organisms must be screened in order to achieve the desired maximal bio-product accumulation. After an ideal organism is selected, its product content can vary with lifecycle stage, cultivation conditions, cellular stress and/or time. This variability must be understood and controlled during R&D, process development and manufacturing scale-up in order to maximize product yields. The above process of screening and development can be time-consuming and consequently costly.  To address this situation, scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a method for quick and precise estimation of lipid, hydrocarbon or biopolymer content in live cells -- whether grown as single cells or in colonies. This method can be used for screening a variety of microorganisms for product accumulation (microorganism prospecting), and to check yields throughout the production process -- allowing for more rapid improvement of production methods and shortened R&D timelines.

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