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CTL eNewsletter: June 2009

Raspberry "Superfruit" at Affordable Prices

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Sweet, juicy raspberries are a luxury for most of us, costing $8 to $16 a pound. Not only are raspberries delicious, they’re considered a "superfood," rich in antioxidants like pomegranates or blueberries. Raspberry lines developed by Dr. Courtney Weber, Associate Professor of Horticultural Sciences at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, may bring consumers the local raspberries they crave at a price they can afford. Additionally, Dr. Weber is testing an innovative berry growing system that could change the way raspberries are grown and distributed, bringing fresh berries closer to their target local consumer markets.

Dr. Weber has developed hundreds of raspberry lines over the last ten years at Cornell. Three of his leading lines solve two major problems that plague upstate New York raspberry growers: a short growing season and a climate conducive to raspberry root rot. To test whether Cornell’s berry varieties can grow in climates beyond upstate New York, Dr. Weber is collaborating with growers in Mexico and Europe. If international growers find that Cornell raspberries thrive in their local climates, they will license the raspberry line from Cornell to produce and sell berries in their own regions and worldwide.


A high production tunnel at Cornell creates ideal growing conditions for raspberries.


Dr. Weber’s second major initiative is testing a growing system for raspberries called the "high tunnel berry production system". Widely used for berries in Europe and California, high tunnels were first brought to Cornell in a pilot project by Dr. Marvin Pritts, Chair of Cornell’s Department of Horticulture. The high tunnel system is engineered to create an ideal growing climate for raspberries. Each tunnel is scalable, ranging from 30 by 96 feet to larger tunnels which cover several acres. Last year, Dr. Weber established Cornell’s second high tunnel facility at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. By keeping the rain off the fruit and providing a calmer growing environment, raspberries thrive under the high tunnels, yielding more berries of superb quality. Additionally, the fall production season can be extended in upstate NY into early November in most years by closing up the tunnels to retain heat and protect from freezing temperatures.

One of the goals of the efficient high tunnel growing system is to increase regional economic development by enabling small growers to produce healthy, high value fruits for their local markets. Locally grown berries are less expensive to transport and package and fresher than raspberries imported from distant warmer, more acclimated climates.

For more information about Cornell raspberry varieties or the high tunnel berry production system, contact Jessica Lyga at

A Promising Test to Keep Track of Salt Intake

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY - SaltCheck, Inc, a Cornell startup, may be one step closer to developing and commercializing an on-the-spot test to monitor salt excretion (which closely mirrors salt intake) for patients with hypertension. Based on research by Drs. Samuel J. Mann and Linda Gerber of Weill Cornell Medical College, the test uses two dipsticks to conduct a spot check of sodium levels in the patient's urine (similar to an at-home pregnancy test). Results from the dipstick test are further refined using statistical adjustments derived from previous clinical studies.

A recent 100 subject study conducted at Weill Cornell Medical College and funded by Saltcheck, Inc., demonstrated that the test provides immediate feedback on urine sodium excretion. The test was able to correctly indicate whether a patient's sodium content was low or not with a high degree of accuracy when compared with the laboratory standard. The next phases will include final product design and clinical trials for FDA or equivalent approval. The test could eliminate the two biggest drawbacks of the current testing method which consists of the inconvience of collecting all urine during a 24 hour period (often leads to inaccurate results from incomplete collections), and the time associated with sending it to a laboratory.

SaltCheck's at-home test could eliminate the two biggest drawbacks of the current testing method: the inconvience of collecting all urine during a 24 hour period and the time associated with sending it to a laboratory.

For more information, contact Carol Dempster at


Upcoming Events

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: September 16, 2009
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Come and learn about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Jeevak Parpia, Professor, Department of Physics, will discuss Ubiquitous Micromechanics (MEMS).

Entrepreneurship Seminar Series - IP Horror Stories

Date: September 18, 2009
Time: 2:30PM - 4:30PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Learn about the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and the ways and means of staying out of IP trouble. Speakers include David Rickerby, Choate Hall & Stewart, and Jonathan Schaffer, Johnson Graduate School of Management.

IP & Pizza™, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Date: September 29, 2009
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Location: 400 Riley Robb

Want to know the difference between Authorship vs. Inventorship? Come and find out over free pizza!

Recent Events

Cornell University Reunion

Date: June 4 & 5, 2009

CCTEC participated in the Cornell Reunion Event to share information about Cornell's technology transfer efforts.

Boot Camp

Date: June 4, 2009

Attendees learned about the many issues and challenges involved in starting a company. Panelists of experts discussed the process of starting a company.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view photos from the event.

BIO International Convention

Date: May 19-21, 2009

CCTEC participated, along with Cornell University and Tompkins County Area Development, in the BIO International Convention held in Atlanta, GA. From May 19 - May 21, CCTEC met with attendees and shared information on technology transfer at Cornell.