Problem: Dog dental disease — Periodontitis — is the #1 dog problem, painful and ultimately deadly.

Solution: Chulites, chew-toys, two parts. The inner, hardened part emits “Soret band” light, visible violet wavelengths that “inactivate” periodontal disease bacteria (triggering RoS production in porphyrins.) The outer cover is chew-safe material, replaceable. When dogs grip a Chulite in their mouth, pressure illuminates it, and in 1 to 3 minutes pathogen loads are reduced an order of magnitude.

Controlled trials come next. Some dogs get the device, some don’t, and the testing lab doesn’t know which result is from which. There are 8+ scientific studies demonstrating what Chulites can do. But Chulites will be marketed through veterinarians, who want and deserve tested products.

Manufacturing could be in Costa Rica, Mexico, or Oregon. Dogs come in vastly different sizes. Chulites will come in many different forms, designed for different sized dogs and forces. Chulites are as much about being unbreakable and safe, as they are photodynamic therapy

Football helmets absorb direct impacts inside a hard shell. Without them, players would suffer skull fractures, which can be life threatening. But fractures aren’t what threatens the very existence of US football today. Concussions are the bane of the game. Concussions are caused by head rotation, not linear impacts. Boxers have known this for 100 years: you don’t knock someone out by causing their head to snap back. They go down if their head spins. The contact sports biomedical community discovered this over the past 25 years

Current football helmets have changed incrementally since the first plastic one was patented by Riddell Co. in 1939. They’ve introduced better padding, face masks, and harder shells. Compared to advances in auto safety, helmets are still primitive. Helmet design is limited by testing and certification requirements.

Some bicycle helmets are designed to reduce rotational forces using a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS. They have shells with a liner that can detach and slide along the shell interior during an accident. Called “slip planes,” these diffuse rotatational energy, though providing no compensating force. Because the liner detaches and slides, bicycle helmets must be replaced after an accident. This system would not be appropriate for football, where impacts happen every game. If used in the detached condition, the helmet would slide around constantly, which is unacceptable. But MIPS demonstrates a general concept: damping rotational forces should be a goal helmets.

The Rotation Damping Helmet (RDH) exploits recent discoveries in material science to generate a counter force to the rotational energy of an impact. Components are similar to some that guide anti-tumor particles deep within the body. An exterior helmet is held over an internal shell that covers the head. Dipoles between the helmet and shell cause negative torque on the shell when the helmet rotates, damping the transmission of rotational forces.

Negative torque means the shell torques in a vector opposite to the rotational motion of the helmet. If a collision drives a helmet to twist down and left, the torque pushes up and right, actively dampening the rotational force.

A tiny sensor programmed with rotational acceleration thresholds detects motions. If they are excessive, it triggers an airbag to immobilize the base of the user’s neck. This kicks in when there’s a significant risk of severe concussion.

There are two monopolistic football helmet manufacturers in the US, both located in the same Chicago suburb. They are notorious for stealing each other’s IP, existing in a strange legal equilibrium that seems rather like a Mexican stand-off. It’s possible the RDH will be deployed by motorcycle riders, hockey goalies, or even military service members, before football players. Most likely it will be university players who use RDH helmets first. In any case, an “ip moat” is constructed, involving a variety of related patents that prevent companies from “engineering around” the core patent.

Siren Guide banner U.S. Patent 11,202,144

Emergency sirens are mounted on the top of, or in front of, ambulances, fire trucks, and other vehicles. They emit high decibel (db) sound to warn motorists and pedestrians, spherical soundwaves that spread up and and the side as well as forward. The volume on a 5th floor above the road is as loud as the next intersection. The #1 public complaint in big cities like New York.

Siren Guide is an wavefront shaping device. It flattens and narrows emergency siren soundwaves so they stay in the road. Siren Guide attaches to the siren horn. The siren soundwave is split into many wavelets. Each wavelet enters a different channel. In some channels wavelets travel a lot farther than in others. Wavelets at the bottom and center of the device travel farthest, in labyrinthine channels. Wavelets on the outside and top travel short distances, and exit Siren Guide first. They refract – bend down – to remain coherent with the center and bottom wavelets that exit after. This forms a flattened wavefront that expands near the surface of the road.

The technology is patented.

Siren Guide is bioinspired. Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) have ancestors who, over 80 million years, went back into the ocean. Lots of food there, but it’s hard to see. Cetaceans use echolocation, sound radar. They emit noise that passes through what whalers called a melon (in their skulls.) Melons comprise cubes of fat and wax. Fatty cubes slow sound more than waxy cubes. Fatty cubes cluster at the bottom of the melon. Like Siren Guide, their soundwave is divided into wavelets, and wavelets near the sides and top exit first. They refract, bend down, and form a flat, narrow soundwave. Cetaceans aim it where they think there’s prey, and if it bounces back, they attack.

Siren Guide doesn’t use fats and waxes, but labyrinthine passages. It also may incorporate channels with different temperature and metasurfaces.

  • City locations near hospitals, on ambulance routes, have reduced value, due to siren noise.
  • In US suburbs, people often request EMS services turn off sirens before arriving. Sirens spread sound across neighborhoods.
  • Vehicle drivers are often confused by siren sounds, which reflect off buildings to mask the emergency vehicle location. Problems like these exist in Japan, the UK, the US, and Australia.
  • Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, he used it to further American diplomacy in France during the War of Independence. Big, dense cities with siren noise problems exist in many countries, in Asia, South & Central America, Africa, and Europe, as well as North America. Siren Guide can also be used diplomatically, improving urban quality of life around the world.

The Archaea Busting Capsule (ABC) is the size and weight of a cow magnet. Many farmers shoot magnets into the cow rumen (cow stomachs) to prevent hardware disease. ABC contains a large battery and emits 420 nm light. This wavelength specifically kills methanogens, the single-cell microbes that generate ‘enteric’ methane – methane cows produce and belch up during digestion. Enteric methane contributes up to 5% of Greenhouse gasses.

Like cow magnets, ABC settles in the dense, anaerobic fraction of the largest cow stomach, where methanogens reside. It will reduce their population and methane production. Cows don’t need methane – they belch it up.

Prior to ~2 billion years ago, cells metabolized the primary gases then available, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. In the ocean light is weak and blue. Methanogens exploit that to reduce hydrogen and generate energy. Stronger light over excites them.

Methanogens are archaea, one of the three great domains of life shown in introductory biology textbooks. The other two are the bacteria, and the eukaryotes, the latter being the large-celled organisms that make up everything we can see without a high-powered microscope.

In 1991 Ralph Wolfe, methanogen pioneer at University of Illinois (UI), published research that showed 420 nm light eliminated only the methanogens from a petri dish they shared with bacteria. The experiment was exceptionally successful, but global warming wasn’t on the radar. The research was ignored.

Wolfe introduced methanogens to his UI colleague Carl Woese, who used the era’s cumbersome DNA testing to sequence short bits of ribosome DNA, enough to sort every organism into taxonomic categories. Wolfe told Woese his microbes would blow away anything he’d seen before. When Woese tested them, they were so different, he realized they were a new life form, archaea.

Woese was a prickly character at a university in the middle of corn fields. No Nobel prize for him or Wolfe. In 50 years his discovery will be considered a pinnacle achievement of 20th century biology, along with the double helix and the endosymbiotic origin of eukaryotes.

People tell me that I should avoid explaining science, and just announce how great my inventions will be. But ABC is rooted in Wolfe and Woese discoveries.

ABC has a large enough battery for prolonged operation. A ‘duty cycle’ oscillates each LED on and off, to extend battery life. Miniature triboelectric generators can draw energy from the remarkably forceful contractions in cow stomachs.

ABC can be provided in countries with large cattle populations, such as Brazil, China, India, and of course USA.

Remember the Covid-19 pandemic? Early, before shut-downs, researchers in China (and Hong Kong) published unvarnished preprints on bioRxiv. These showed a virus transmitted via aerosols, not droplets. Hospital workers got sick at high rates. Research showed N95s worked, but when they ‘intercepted’ virus, virions collected on the mask’s outer surface. When people took these masks off, virus shed. The more N95s had to be reused, the greater the risk. In the U.S., meanwhile, there was already concern that N95s were too precious for the public, their stocks too low even for healthcare workers. That suggested they’d inevitably be reused.

In March 2020 I filed a patent for an N95 mask cover, called “Butterfly Covers”. Although at this time people had not started using surgical masks to cover their N95s (that would take >6 more months to even get considered), Butterfly Cover’s innovation was its topology, which permitted it to fold off, instead of being snapped off like an ordinary mask. Snapping shakes virions off; folding does not.

Today this problem has receded. Maybe never to return in some of our lifetimes. Some people in some places will face local pandemics, Ebola, Marburg, new Coronaviridae, influenza. They may again face N95 shortages. Careful protocols can limit virus shedding from masks. But these require training, facilities, and workers not too exhausted. Butterfly Covers may help.

A pandemic lesson was that during crisis people can’t absorb new innovations. In 2020 and 2021 I contacted hundreds of hospital administrators with the Butterfly Cover idea, offering it at cost. Only a few responded, and they explained the fraught conditions in their workplaces left nurses, doctors, and themselves traumatized. Some administrators were working on hospital floors to alleviate staff shortages. They used all their energies to keep operations afloat, and had none to spare to recommend or adopt a new mask product.

This teaches us that pandemic-related products should be presented during ordinary times, to familiarize staff. But a desire to forget the recent trauma is profound. Efforts to ‘stockpile’ solutions tend towards the high-tech; it’s assumed the problem of mask reuse, and virus shedding, may have a high-tech solution. It may or may not. The solution may be affordable, or not. It may be adoptable, or not.

The explanation why institutions, and perhaps the public, dismiss a ‘mid-tech’ solution is, as the saying goes, ‘above my pay grade’. Also inexplicable is why some ‘mid-tech’ solutions suddenly get embraced. If New Trick Pony inventions raise enough attention, Butterfly Covers may get a life.