Professor Philip Lowe is pioneering an initiative to use folates to help diagnose and deliver therapeutic drugs to cancerous tumors. The research is in human trials and is being commercialized by Endocyte, Inc. In animal trials, researchers achieved 100 percent cure rates with advance, metastatic cancers.
Details at http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/020619.Low.Endocyte.html
Professor Michael Rossmann heads a team of biologists who are unraveling the secrets of viruses. Rossmann was the first person to solve the structure of a common cold virus, and subsequently has made other breakthroughs.
Details at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html3month/02SUM.PERS.Rossman.html
Professor Richard Borgens heads the Center for Paralysis Research, which has discovered that function and movement can be restored after a spinal cord injury by transmitting a weak electrical signal over the injured area. After success with dogs, the treatment is in human trials.
Details at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/001120.Borgens.SpinalTrial.html
Professor Emeritus Herbert C. Brown received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1979 for his work with boron compounds and their chemical reactions, which revolutionized the low-cost production of medicines and agricultural chemicals.
Details at http://www.chem.purdue.edu/hcbrown/Biography.htm
Technololgy transfer in Purdue Agriculture doesn’t only affect commodity crops. Fresh orange juice‹once a rarity in Europe and other countries‹ now travels the world in ocean-faring tankers, thanks to the pioneering research of Philip F. Nelson , professor of food science. Nelson’s invention of bulk aseptic, or sterile, processing allowed for the production and worldwide shipping of large quantities of not-from-concentrate orange juice. But the benefits of aseptic processing extend beyond the orange juice industry, profiting other food processing industries as well. In aseptic processing, a sterilized food product is placed in a sterilized container within the confines of a sterile environment‹a system that ensures the purity of a food product through the entire packaging process. Aseptic processing, combined with a type of packaging invented by the late William Scholle, a Purdue graduate, made possible the long-term storage and transport of fresh fruits and vegetables. Together, these technologies are known as aseptic packaging, a development named the ?most significant food science innovation in the last 50 years,? by the Institute of Food Technologists . That technology is ubiquitous today in the form of juice drink boxes, wine in a box, cartoned milk and orange juice, and countless other packaged foods. Purdue originally granted exclusive access to the technology to Tropicana, one of the world’s largest orange juice producers, who arranged to ship fresh orange juice overseas in specialized ships‹much like oil tankers‹capable of carrying 8 million gallons of juice. Tropicana’s arrangement with Purdue later led to industry-wide adoption of aseptic processing of fresh orange juice.
Another Purdue-corporate partnership is helping some farmers battle a costly agricultural pest and giving others the opportunity to grow soybeans for the first time. A joint venture between Purdue and Access Plant Technology, Inc. will give farmers access to high-yield soybeans with complete, broad-based resistance to the soybean cyst nematode, a serious agricultural pest responsible for losses totaling $1.4 billion per year in the United States alone. A team of Purdue Agriculture researchers that included Virginia Ferris , professor of entomology; her late husband John Ferris, professor of nematology; Jamal Faghihi , research and Purdue Extension nematologist; and Rick Vierling , adjunct professor of agronomy and director of the genetics program at the Indiana Crop Improvement Association , received funding through check-off funds from the Indiana Soybean Board to develop the resistant soybeans. The soybeans are the product of years of genetic analysis and selective breeding, but they are not genetically modified organisms. The technology, CystX® , is patented and licensed to Access Plant Technology, which specializes in marketing and commercialization of plant-based technology. CystX® soybeans are expected to be widely available to farmers for the 2005 planting season. The technology will have an enormous impact on soybean producers, the researchers say. ?People tell us that we’ve saved their farms, because they just couldn’t produce soybeans before, and they didn’t have a good rotation with their corn,? Vierling says. Ferris adds, ?We have been in labs for our entire careers, and it feels so good to be doing something that’s truly useful to the agricultural community.? Purdue’s partnership with Access Plant Technology was pivotal in moving the research out of the lab and into the hands of seed developers. ?This particular technology required significant development to bring to market,? Trana says. ?CystX® probably would not have penetrated the market without the full effort of Access Plant Technology. Everybody wins in this situation‹farmers benefit from having a pest-resistant crop; local seed producers benefit from having an improved product to provide to their customers; and Purdue benefits by routing revenues generated by the technology back into research programs.? When Ferris looks back on the years of work, she is reminded of one of her college professors. ?We had a professor who would tell us, ŒYour work isn’t worth much until you’ve put more beans in the farmer’s basket,’? she says. ?So John, my husband, used to say, ŒWell, now, we’re putting more beans in the farmer’s basket.’ I know Professor Thorne would be happy.?
A process developed in Purdue University’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering, using surplus corn to distill fuel alcohol more efficiently, has become a commercial-success story. The process uses corn as a drying agent in the final distillation of fuel alcohol, or ethanol, dramatically increasing the efficiency of its production. One company reports saving more than $11 million a year in production costs compared to other methods. The patented technique, known as vapor-phase dehydration of aqueous alcohol mixtures, is the brainchild of Michael R. Ladisch, professor of food, agricultural and chemical engineering and group leader of research and process engineering in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering. Ladisch says, “Our adsorption system replaces the final distillation step in the production of fuel alcohol to make the alcohol virtually water-free, while at the same time being energy efficient.” Adsorption is the assimilation of a gas or vapor by the surface of a solid. Ladisch and colleagues experimentally discovered the technique in 1979. The work was helped along by grants from the state of Indiana and its Energy Development Board, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In 1982 the Purdue Research Foundation was awarded a patent for the process. During the same period, the largest fuel-alcohol producer in the nation, Archer Daniels Midland Co. of Decatur, Ill., entered the picture with additional development funding. The company produces half of the fuel alcohol made in this country. The end product is used as an octane booster in gasoline. Archer Daniels Midland has since outfitted three plants to use the Purdue-born technology. According to company management, “The use of dried corn grits to remove water from ethanol has been implemented by ADM to process approximately 800,000 gallons of alcohol per day in three plants. A corn-grit system is currently being installed in a fourth plant. This technology has resulted in substantial energy savings with a cost savings of about four cents per gallon.” That translates to a savings of $32,000 a day or more than $11 million a year for the company. The company also says the use of dried corn grits to remove water from alcohol has essentially replaced azeotropic distillation _ using benzene _ as the method for dehydrating alcohol. The company plans to completely replace benzene with the Purdue technology in the near future. Ladisch points out that azeotropic distillation uses benzene or similar expensive organic chemicals to remove the final 8- to 10-percent of water from the alcohol. At the heart of the so-called corn-grits technology is a closed column or cannister packed with corn grits, which is corn milled to the consistency of sand. The cornmeal’s adsorptive properties selectively condense water from the ethanol vapor as it passes through the system. The heat that is released is stored in the corn bed immediately above the adsorptive zone. This heat can be used to dry the corn after its capacity for water is reached. Enhancing the appeal of the system, adds Ladisch, is the fact that the corn-filled columns can be reused. They are dried by passing a hot inert gas such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen through each column in the opposite direction from the alcohol-vapor feed. The gas drives the heat down the column where it evaporates the water, dries the corn and prepares it for the next adsorption cycle. Better still, when the filtering corn loses its effectiveness, it can simply be added to the raw product from which the ethanol is produced _ surplus corn. Laboratory studies show the corn can be reused many times in this application, Ladisch says. “The technology is available for licensing through the Purdue Research Foundation,” says Bernd Weinberg, associate director of the university’s Division of Sponsored Programs, Office of Patents and Copyrights. “Companies interested in using the process are certainly encouraged to contact us.” Weinberg says the process even has a registered trade name, Polysieve® also held by the Purdue Research Foundation. Ladisch sees uses for the Polysieve® process growing as world oil supplies tighten in the years ahead. In addition, he says, the technology can be adapted for use in such specialized cases as making dry, pure, conditioned air or for drying other industrially important chemicals. “But right now,” Ladisch says, “it’s playing its part in alleviating a chronic American farm problem by reducing processing costs for manufacturing a value-added product from our nation’s abundant corn crop.”
The Credit Research Center in Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management is the only nonprofit organization in the world that conducts basic research in consumer and mortgage credit; provides data and analysis of credit trends, issues and the economy; and determines the impact of legislative and judicial actions upon consumers and the credit industry.
Wheat yields have more than doubled in the past 20 years because of improved varieties developed at Purdue University by Purdue and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers.
Purdue’s COAST (Computer Operations, Audit and Security Technology) Laboratory, dedicated to computer security, is the largest academic computer security research group in the world. The center maintains close ties to researchers and engineers in major companies and government agencies. Research is focused on real-world needs and limitations.
Purdue University has developed 24 improved soft red winter wheat varieties and 19 spring oats varieties since 1950. Purdue-developed wheat varieties are grown on more than 80 percent of the U.S. acreage planted in soft red winter wheat.
Researchers in Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering designed and operate the only facility in the county used to test the design of the next generation of nuclear reactors. The Purdue University Multidimensional Integral Test Assembly (PUMA) is a scaled-down model of the simplified boiling water reactor – a new design that uses gravity rather than mechancial pumps to automatically cool the reactor in case of an accident.
Purdue University has the largest apple-breeding program in the world.
Purdue’s Department of Biological Sciences is recognized worldwide for its studies on the structures of viruses. Researchers use a combination of cryo-electron microscopy, crystallography and molecular biology to study the processes of viral entry, replication and pathogenesis. In 1985, a group directed by Purdue researcher Michael Rossmann became the first to solve the structure of an animal virus when it mapped, in atomic detail, the three-dimensional structure of a common cold virus.
Both high-lysine corn and high-lysine sorghum were developed by Purdue University researchers.
A Purdue engineer helped develop the first blue-green laser diode.
A Purdue physicist developed the theory of dynamic nuclear polarization, which provides the basis for nuclear magnetic resonance techniques used widely in medicine.
A Purdue professor cloned the first disease-resistance gene for crop plants.
Purdue researchers were the first to reproduce a black-and-white television picture.
Dr. Connie Weaver Department of Foods and Nutrition Professor and Head Dr. Weaver’s pivotal work in the area of calcium requirements have been used to set the national standards for adequate calcium intake for woman and adolescents.
Details at: http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/970808.Weaver.adoles.html