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April 16, 2008

Media Contacts:

Michael Buckley
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
240-228-7536 or 443-778-7536

Kristi Marren
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
240-228-6268 or 443-778-6268

Johns Hopkins APL Names Inventions of the Year

A system to scope out suspicious computer use, an epidemic-identification program, and super-thin batteries based on nanotubes are The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's Inventions of the Year.

The winners, announced April 16 at a ceremony on the APL campus in Laurel, Md., were selected from the 125 inventions reported by 177 APL staffers in 2007. An independent panel of 25 representatives from industry and patent law selected the top inventions based on their benefit to society, improvement over existing technology, and commercial potential.

APL Technology Transfer Director Kristin Gray presented plaques and cash awards to the winning inventors, listed with their inventions below. (Click on the invention name for a longer technical description.)

  • The Passive Forensic Identification of Networked TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) Communication Endpoints, crafted by Russell Fink, can "fingerprint" a networked computer and allow investigators to monitor changes in its profile for security violations or malicious use, without having to remove the hard drive or tip off a user that they're under investigation. The prototype system addresses one of the top challenges in computer security today, that a company's computer network is more likely to be compromised by people inside the organization rather than outside hackers, worms, or viruses.
  • The Bayesian Information Fusion Network technique, developed by Zaruhi Mnatsakanyan, is designed to reduce false alarms in networked disease-surveillance systems, specifically the APL-developed Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) deployed throughout the United States. The technique fuses information from multiple sources to determine whether certain statistical anomalies actually indicate an epidemic, automating how an epidemiologist would rule out certain results and conclusions.
  • Paul Biermann, Craig Leese, Jeffrey Maranchi, Gary Peck, and Rengaswamy Srinivasan are developing a high-capacity, long-lasting nanotube battery thinner than a human hair. Made primarily from metal or metal oxide and still in early testing, the batteries could find uses in structures, sensors, sensor networks, remote-controlled toys and vehicles, microprocessors, and controllers.

APL's Office of Technology Transfer
APL opened its Office of Technology Transfer in late 1999 to facilitate the transfer of technology developed at the Laboratory to the private sector. It ranks among the top research universities in its number of inventions, licenses, patent applications, patents issued, start-up companies, and associated research and development income. Other accomplishments include:

  • 1,054 inventions disclosed
  • 229 U.S. patents issued
  • 1,223 U.S. patent applications filed
  • 193 license agreements executed
  • 17 start-up companies; more than 50 jobs created
  • More than $29.2 million in licensing and related research and development income
  • 52 products based on licensed APL technologies

For more information on APL's Technology Transfer programs, visit www.jhuapl.edu/ott.


The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.