SciTech Northwest is the region’s first science and technology expo that highlights the latest innovations in cyber/data analytics, clean energy, and biotechnologyRegister here, or contact for more information. 

Over the past century, scientific discoveries have increased human lifespans and quality of life. However, as people continue to live longer, new health challenges arise and consumers are demanding more natural sources in products. Washington’s research institutions are developing biotechnologies that address these new challenges – from more effective diagnostic tests to treatments for chronic diseases to bio-based products. 


Bio-Based Products - Renewable Commercial Commodities from Biological Materials, PNNL

Companies are increasingly looking into transforming biomass—such as agricultural waste and even sewage-- into biofuel and other valuable products. PNNL is a leader in renewables research and technologies, including catalyst development, conversions of sugars to chemicals, thermochemical conversions, bio-oil upgrading, fermentation, and algal biotechnology. These fuels and products are significantly valuable to the airline and chemical industries for adding bio-based product lines and re-using waste from various sources. At SciTech Northwest you will see “before” and “after” samples of biomass to biofuel. You’ll also learn how to partner with PNNL to develop and use these capabilities.  See videos of algae to biofuel, aviation biofuel, and “green” propylene glycol.

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No More Rolling Stones, Innovations in Non-Invasive Kidney Stone Treatment, University of Washington

Each year, more than three million Americans see a physician for kidney stones and over 700,000 procedures are performed to break large kidney stones. A University of Washington research team developed ultrasound to reposition kidney stones in order to alleviate pain and facilitate passage of stones. Operated with a handheld probe that sends only sound waves through the skin, the machine images, accurately measures, fragments, and repositions kidney stones.  With patients awake, kidney stones can be managed in an office or clinic, while avoiding the radiation issues and cost of X-rays. One clinical trial has been conducted and additional human trials are planned. A new company, SonoMotion, Inc. has licensed the technology. At SciTech Northwest, participants will be able to image fragments and reposition stones inside a mannequin just as a doctor would, seeing the stones breaking and moving in real time. 

FoldIt Protein Structures, University of Washington

Foldit is a revolutionary computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research. We’re collecting data to find out if humans' pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. If this turns out to be true, we can then teach human strategies to computers and fold proteins faster than ever! Foldit attempts to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans' puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins. SciTech participants will be able to interact with a live demo of Foldit to experience tutorials used by real-world players.

Expanding Capabilities of Personal Glucose Monitors, Washington State University

Personal glucose meters are accurate, portable, affordable monitoring devices that have helped diabetic patients keep track of their blood glucose levels for over 30 years. WSU researchers Annie Du and Yuehe Lin, who has a joint-appointment with PNNL, developed a technology that could expand the capabilities of these devices to monitor a nearly infinite number of environmental and health factors. The device allows an antibody paired to a molecule of interest to become the indicator on a standard glucose test strip. Using this method, any molecule that can be attached to an antibody can be tested in the field or office without the use of expensive or complicated laboratory equipment. The technology can be applied to existing strips and meters.Attendees can see the device and prototype test strips. Drs. Du and Lin are looking for industrial partners to commercialize this technology. Their technology will be presented by Yang Song, a graduate student in Dr. Lin’s lab. 

Accelerating Vaccine Development with Software Tool, Washington State University  

A major challenge facing vaccine development for cattle worldwide is targeting the strains of bacteria that cause disease. Pathogens often have a large variety of strains that are dispersed globally. A quick way to track the presence of the pathogen and also look at strain distribution requires advanced capabilities for analysis of short DNA sequences called repeats. Researchers currently analyze and manually keep track of repeats – a time consuming and error-prone endeavor. Researchers Assefaw Gebremedhin and Kelly Brayton developed a software, RepeatAnalyzer, to improve that process. RepeatAnalyzer tracks, manages, analyzes and catalogues short, repeating sequences of bacterial DNA. The interdisciplinary team has developed a database that can analyze A. marginale, a tick-borne bacterium that affects cattle. The software can be extended to any other species with similar repeats. Attendees will be able to see demonstrations of the analysis and management capabilities offered by RepeatAnalyzer.