Seven innovative technologies from Berkeley Lab have been honored with a 2022 R&D 100 Award. Presented by R&D Magazine, each winner was selected by an independent panel of judges and recognizes the year’s 100 most innovative and disruptive technology products from industry, academia, and government-sponsored research.
One of the winning products, MirroRx, was developed by Cynthia McMurray and her team including Edward Barnard, Ben Brown, Dhruba Ghosh, Lila Lovergne, and Aris Polyzos. McMurray, a senior scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, and her team study the biological progression of neurodegenerative diseases as indicated by molecular and cellular factors. MirroRx is a biomarker technology that shows promising signs of helping to accurately predict disease status. Diseases such as Alzheimer Disease (AD) are difficult to diagnose before symptoms occur, while others like aggressive cancers need to be detected early for improved survival rates.
The disease phenotype is analyzed by measuring how the patient’s endogenous molecules vibrate upon exposure to infrared light. The difference in the vibrational profile of disease and control samples is so visible that the spectral process is like “cellular fingerprinting.” Early tests of a handful of samples from presymptomatic AD patients accurately predicted those who eventually developed the disease and future validation trials are expected.
Another product that was recognized was developed in part by Frances Houle, a senior scientist with the Chemical Sciences Division with a secondary appointment with the MBIB Division. This invention generates limitless quantities of green hydrogen, using only sunlight and water and producing only oxygen as a byproduct. Its standalone, modular nature promises to bring the benefits of clean hydrogen everywhere, even where there is no electrical grid or large scale manufacturing infrastructure as is required by current electrolyzer technology.
The winning teams will be celebrated at the R&D 100 gala banquet in San Diego on November 17. Read more about the other winning technology from Berkeley Lab in this press release.