Most Recent Inventions

Wind Shield to Improve Overwinter Beehive Survival

University of Wisconsin-Superior researchers have developed a new technology that shields the beehive from wind while still promoting ventilation. This device has a curved structure that installs easily over the standard beehive entrance. Using an initial prototype, preliminary laboratory tests have indicated reduced wind infiltration, preventing 90% of entry of 20 mile per hour winds without inhibiting passive ventilation. Bees adapt to the device on the hive and are able to freely enter and leave the hive. Furthermore, 6 of 8 Wisconsin beehives fitted with prototypes survived the winter of 2017-2018. Although a small sample size, this 25% hive loss rate suggested a marked improvement over the local average 50% loss for the previous 5-10 winters estimated by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Researchers have further optimized the device design and created new prototypes for testing on a larger scale in the winter of 2018-2019. If the larger study reinforces the preliminary outcomes seen in the previous winter, this new beehive wind shield will be a promising solution to minimize both condensation and cold winds, thereby improving winter beehive survival.

Genetic Testing for Acquired Peripheral Neuropathy in Dogs

UW–Madison researchers have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that is predictive of APN syndrome in dogs, based on a genome-wide association study. Using a population of Labrador retrievers (56 cases and 26 controls), the researchers have shown that a SNP on CFA1 tags the causal variant for APN in the Labrador retriever breed.

Lignin-Derived Aldehydes as Antifungal Agents

UW–Madison researchers have identified a set of compounds within the lignin biosynthesis pathway that exhibit pronounced antifungal activity against both plant and animal pathogens. The compounds are: p-hydroxycoumaryl aldehyde, coniferyl aldehyde and sinapyl aldehyde.

They show inhibition of the plant pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (‘white mold’), Alternaria solani (early blight), Alternaria alternata (leaf spot, etc.) as well as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the human pathogen Candida albicans, which is responsible for a host of infections prevalent in immunocompromised patients. Additionally, the compounds show strong inhibition of the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora, displaying complete inhibition of growth at 250 µg/mL.

Noninvasive Assay for Bovine Embryo Quality

UW–Madison researchers have identified 11 microRNAs (miRNAs) and 18 mRNAs as indicators of healthy IVF embryo development. They discovered that the miRNAs are differentially expressed between bovine blastocyst-stage embryos and those that fail to develop (‘degenerates’). This is the first report that miRNA levels in the culture medium differ among embryos of different developmental fate and can be used as indicators of embryo viability.

Most Recent Patents

Kit Predicts Twinning in Cattle

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a genetic test to determine the likelihood a cow or a bull’s female progeny will produce twin offspring. The test is based on the presence or absence of the ‘trio’ haplotype, which is a set of three genetic markers on bovine chromosome 10 (BTA10). In combination, these markers suggest a cow or bull has a higher propensity for twinning.

Optimizing Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Dairy Cattle

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a simple algorithm to optimize nitrogen use efficiency based on values already measured in most dairy herds: milk urea-nitrogen yield (MUNY) and protein yield (PY) in milk. Once an ideal MUNY/PY ratio is identified through careful measurement, the value can be constantly monitored to determine if feed practices need to be adjusted. This kind of feedback can be provided within a day, unlike any other method.

Preen Oil: The Nutritional Approach to Chronic Inflammation

UW–Madison researchers have developed methods of using preen oil as a food supplement to treat chronic inflammation in human and non-human animals, birds and fish.

Preen oil may be given orally as a pharmaceutical composition, added to human food products or included in animal, bird or fish food. The fatty acids in the oil accumulate in tissues where they inhibit the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-6 and reduce chronic inflammation, including chronic joint inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.