Press Releases

June 6, 2017

East Lansing company awarded its third US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan June 6, 2017

NamesforLife, LLC has been awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. 9,672,293 for Systems and Methods for Automatically Identifying and Linking Names in Digital Resources.

This expands the company’s IP portfolio to 5 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

US 9,672,293 B2. Systems and Methods for Automatically Identifying and Linking Names in Digital Resources

May 23, 2017

East Lansing company awarded its second US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan May 23, 2017

NamesforLife, LLC (East Lansing, Michigan) and NUtech Ventures (Lincoln, Nebraska), have been jointly awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. 9,659,145 for classification of nucleotide sequences by Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA).

This expands the NamesforLife’s IP portfolio to 4 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

US 9,659,145 B2. Classification of Nucleotide Sequences by Latent Semantic Analysis

December 2, 2014

East Lansing company awarded its first US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan December 2, 2014

NamesforLife, LLC has been awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. 8,903,825 for Semiotic Indexing of Digital Resources.

This expands the company’s IP portfolio to 3 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

US 8,903,825 B2. Semiotic Indexing of Digital Resources

April 8, 2014

NamesforLife, LLC awarded an STTR Phase IIb grant

NamesforLife has been awarded a $994,833 STTR Phase IIb grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Solicitation Number DE-FOA-0001019).

We have partnered with the Michigan State University to develop commercial applications of our semiotic technology to Information Extraction for Phenotypic and Genotypic data.

August 8, 2012

NamesforLife, LLC awarded an STTR Phase II grant

NamesforLife has been awarded a $990,000 STTR Phase II grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Solicitation Number DE-FOA-0000676).

We have partnered with the University of Nebraska to develop commercial applications of our semiotic technology to Information Extraction for Phenotypic and Genotypic data.

June 7, 2012

NamesforLife Licenses Semantic Enhancement Technology from Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan June 7, 2012

NamesforLife, LLC has completed an agreement with Michigan State University to exclusively license two key patents for terminology management and data classification, U.S. Patent Grant No. 7,925,444 and U.S. Patent Grant No. 8,036,997.

Michigan State University announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with NamesforLife, LLC for a novel, patented technology that enhances a reader’s ability to locate, retrieve, and understand complex technical information in a digital environment. Until now, when readers came across a technical term on the Web whose definition wasn’t exactly clear, they would have to look it up elsewhere, by visiting a search engine on another page. NamesforLife has changed that. The Company’s technology delivers expertly maintained information about the term and inserts it automatically into the page.

The technology was developed to solve an age-old problem. As a scientific field advances, technical terms, like the names of organisms and chemicals, change rapidly. In some cases, the vocabularies can change daily. This constant change creates uncertainty about the meaning of scientific papers and other electronic resources. Scientists, lawmakers, and businesspeople need to take that uncertainty into account when searching technical literature, or they risk making decisions based on incomplete or out-dated information. Failure to account for this uncertainty has consequences ranging from unnecessary duplication of effort and expense to situations that could endanger public health and safety.

Unlike any other service, NamesforLife secures the meaning of technical terms, wherever they occur, by binding them permanently to a monitoring service that records change in meaning. This technology brings the knowledge of subject experts to end-users, through their web browser, at their point of need. Once the binding is established using this technology, the reader need only click on the term to obtain information about current and prior usage, along with a wealth of related information, in an interface under their control. According to George Garrity, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University and Company co-founder, “NamesforLife utilizes the power of semantic web concepts to understand and analyze technical literature in the face of dynamically changing terminologies and complex subject matter in biology, chemistry and a host of other fields.”

NamesforLife co-founder Catherine Lyons explains, “This patented technology ensures that information about current usage can be found even when multiple terms are in parallel use. NamesforLife’s conceptual precision also supports highly targeted micromarketing. In the past online publishers have relied on overgeneralized advertising. But this new technology supports targeted matching of vendor communities to niche markets.

According to Richard Chylla, Executive Director of MSU Technologies, “We are extremely excited about the NamesforLife technology and the positive impact it will have on solving a difficult problem facing the scientific community and Internet users at large.”

The NamesforLife solution serves as the foundation for N4L Services, developed by the Company in partnership with the Society for General Microbiology (Reading, UK), Inera, Inc. (Belmont, MA), and the International DOI Foundation (Washington, DC, & Oxford, UK) to incorporate professionally edited and self-updating information directly into scientific papers, data feeds, and other documents. N4L Services locate scientific names or technical terms in a document and then use persistent identification to bind the names or terms permanently to the NamesforLife terminology monitoring service. Because of the unique way the patented technology works, even when a name or term has changed in meaning, NamesforLife ensures that it remains bound to up-to-date information. The Company has chosen the Digital Object Identifier System (DOI System) for its persistent identification technology, because it provides ISO-compliant, professional content management.

NamesforLife offers services for authors and editors, publishers, service providers, and readers. Its tools integrate seamlessly into users’ routine workflows and into existing software like word processors and web browsers. NamesforLife also offers expertly edited bacteriological data as well as custom indexing and abstracting services for large document collections and data curation services. Additional licensing opportunities are available. The company is also partnering with IFI CLAIMS Patent Services/Fairview Research (Madison, CT and Barcelona, Spain) to use a novel search method called Semiotic Fingerprinting for patent searching.

About the Company

NamesforLife, LLC is a Michigan based company, located in the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center. Development of the Company’s technology was underwritten by three STTR grants from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Office of Biological and Environmental Research and awards from the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative, and the Business Accelerator Fund and the Michigan Emerging Technology Fund which are administered by the Michigan Small Business Development Center. NamesforLife is a general member of the International Digital Object Identifier Foundation and employs ISO Standard DOIs in its products. For additional information about the company please visit namesforlife.com.

April 3, 2012

Inera News —Inera releases the eXtyles NamesforLife Linking module
Belmont, Massachusetts April 3, 2012

NamesforLife, LLC, in partnership with Massachusetts-based Inera, Inc., has launched a new subscription service for academic publishers: the N4L Linking module for eXtyles. This module is based on the N4L Scribe semantic annotation service, which recognizes named entities in text and links them to authoritative resources, providing additional information about technical terms to reviewers and editors.

This service is designed to save editorial time and improve peer review by adding context and performing automatic fact-checking on terminology use.

The module is available as a subscription-based add-on to Inera’s eXtyles editorial software.

The eXtyles NamesforLife (N4L) Linking module is now available. N4L Linking automatically identifies biological names in Word documents (currently, validly published names of Bacteria and Archaea at all ranks, from domain to subspecies, as well as names for which a published genome exists; other terminologies are in the works) and provides DOI-based links to the N4L service.

November 2, 2011

City of East Lansing Recognizes NamesforLife, LLC among Technology Innovation Center graduates
East Lansing, Michigan November 2, 2011

The East Lansing City Council held a special presentation on November 1st, marking the graduation of the inaugural tenants of the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center (TIC). Mayor Loomis highlighted the TIC which began three years ago to advance the culture of entrepreneurship throughout the East Lansing community. Jeff Smith, Project Manager for New Economic Initiatives, recognized graduating tenants of TIC and thanked the Downtown Development Association, Planning Department, city residents, and tenants of TIC for their efforts. Smith said the City has been nationally recognized for its support of entrepreneurship.

The council approved a resolution celebrating the graduation of the first East Lansing Technology Innovation Center tenants. As one of the inaugural tenants, Charles Parker of NamesforLife, LLC was asked to share a few words on his experiences with the center since its launch. He stated, “We sincerely appreciate all of the assistance provided by the TIC, and in particular I’d like to thank Jeff Smith and Amy Schusler-Owens, whose dedication since the launch in October 2008 really brought this center to life. Every time we needed anything, they were there for us without fail. The resources the TIC provided and the mix of companies they’ve brought together have been an enormous help to us over the past three years, and I’m not sure where we’d be now without that help. Although our lease is up at the TIC, we intend to stay right here in East Lansing. Since we’re a spinoff from Michigan State University, the proximity to campus makes downtown the perfect location for us.”

On November 2nd, the City of East Lansing hosted an event at the TIC, presenting signed copies of the resolution to NamesforLife and the other graduating companies.

October 11, 2011

A second US Patent issues for Michigan State University spinoff company
East Lansing, Michigan October 11, 2011

U.S. Patent Grant No. 8,036,997 has been awarded to Michigan State University, covering a method for data classification using self-organizing, self-correcting heatmaps. NamesforLife, LCC holds a worldwide exclusive license to the patent.

US 8,036,997 B2. Methods for data classification

September 10, 2011

NamesforLife founder is awarded the van Niel International Prize

The Senate of The University of Queensland, on the recommendation of a panel of experts of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes, is pleased to present the van Niel International Prize for Studies in Bacterial Systematics for the triennium 2009-2011 to Professor George M. Garrity in recognition of his contribution made to the field of bacterial systematics. The award, established in 1986 by Professor V. B. D. Skerman of The University of Queensland, honours the contribution of scholarship in the field of microbiology by Professor Cornelis Bernardus van Niel.

[George’s] work centres on the use of bioinformatics and computational biology in prokaryote systematics, the development of algorithms for the classification and identification of microorganisms and microbial products, nomenclature/annotation, data visualization and knowledge mining.

He was instrumental in developing the technology for the NamesforLife project, established to resolve the ambiguity between nomenclature and biological objects and concepts, providing a new approach to the retrieval of information from diverse sources, based upon the use of nomenclature to link content. NamesforLife models the evolution of changes in biological nomenclature and terminology, resolves instances of synonymy and homonymy, and provides mapping to the underlying concepts that can be viewed in a temporal context. Using Digital Object Identifiers, names or terms are linked to permanent unique identifiers, can provide a direct path through the literature, and link to a variety of databases and other contextually relevant services. The project has also developed a Firefox add-on that can identify taxonomic names in online articles and provide up-to-date nomenclatural and taxonomic information.

Busse, H.-J., Labeda, D.P., Oren, A. and Tindall, B.J. The van Niel International Prize for Studies in Bacterial Systematics, awarded by The University of Queensland Awarded in 2011 to George M. Garrity; 2011. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 61:2328-2329.

June 17, 2011

NamesforLife, LLC awarded an STTR Phase I grant

NamesforLife has been awarded a $100,000 STTR Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Solicitation Number DE-FOA-0000413).

Michigan State University will continue to be our research partner as we investigate applications of our semiotic technology to Information Extraction for Phenotypic and Genotypic data.

May 21, 2011

The NamesforLife Abstracts

The NamesforLife Abstracts are now available, replacing our earlier Monographs on Bacteria and Archaea. These are citable micropublications containing up-to-date information about all validly published names under the Prokaryotic Code of Nomenclature. Each abstract can be accessed via a Digital Object Identifier, which resolves to the NamesforLife Anchor for that object. If you are logged in with your NamesforLife account, you can view the full abstract. You can search for specific bacteria or archaea using the sidebar on this page, or you can start browsing the complete taxonomy using the links to the Archaea or Bacteria here. We will continue to refine the content in the coming months. Please let us know what you think.

Taxon Abstract for the ‘Universal Root’; 2011. NamesforLife, LLC.

The taxonomic abstract for Runella slithyformis Larkin and Williams 1978 (Approved Lists 1980).

April 12, 2011

Patent issues for Michigan State University spinoff company
East Lansing, Michigan April 12, 2011

U.S. Patent Grant No. 7,925,444 been awarded to Michigan State University, covering systems and methods for resolving ambiguity in Named Entities using a semiotic approach over persistent identifiers. NamesforLife, LCC holds a worldwide exclusive license to the patent.

US 7,925,444 B2. Systems and methods for resolving ambiguity between names and entities

March 20, 2011

Standards in Genomic Sciences adopts NamesforLife Services

The journal Standards in Genomic Sciences is now enhanced with N4L::Guide content, which provides on-demand taxonomic and nomenclatural data for prokaryotic taxa.

February 8, 2011

Microbial Earth

The first version of Microbial Earth is now available.

Semantic enablement of the Microbial Earth Project tree by the N4L::Guide.

December 28, 2009

Introducing N4L::Guide

This NamesforLife Firefox Add-on brings expertise from the database into the browser.

At present, the list of validly published names of Bacteria and Archaea changes roughly fifteen times each week. Invalid and trivial names appear in the literature and public databases at a rate that if more than three fold higher. While a small number of experts diligently work to keep pace with these changes the rest of the scientific, medical, and allied communities are left on their own to make sense of a never-ending onslaught of names. While all agree that using the correct name is essential for accurate communication, but what name is it? What was it? If a name changed, why did it change? What does this mean to you as you read the literature? Do you interrupt your reading to check on the taxonomic state of play. Do you break what you are doing and look up related information or do it later? Are you sure that your knowledge is current? Keeping up with this could be a full-time job.

There is a solution to this problem. NamesforLife, in partnership with the SGM and the International Committee on the Systematics of Prokaryotes, has been working to extract all of the relevant information from the taxonomic literature for Bacteria and Archaea. This information is then served up, along with rich annotation, for any text that is readable in a web browser (starting with Firefox, but expanding to other browsers in the near future), on-demand. Never again will a reader have to feel ill-informed about the status or meaning of a name.

The NamesforLife philosophy is that online annotation services must be sufficiently authoritative and persistent that other systems can rely on them rather than attempting to duplicate them. Those services must work not only for the ad hoc human user, who after all has fail-safe alternatives, but also when incorporated in third-party applications. NamesforLife identifies these objects using now familiar digital object identifiers (DOIs) and makes them reliably citeable. The objects then become formally structured micropublications. How is it done? NamesforLife employs a team of expert curators to index the taxonomic literature as a sequence of interrelated taxonomic, nomenclatural and organismal events that are tied to all previously recorded events and the underlying literature.

N4L::Guide moves expertise from the database into the browser. The events that NamesforLife captures are presented via a menu that collocates with the occurrence of a name on a web page. The menu provides links out to other resources and to NamesforLife Abstracts, which aggregate names and key biological information with our Name, Taxon, and Exemplar objects.

October 5, 2008

NamesforLife, LLC becomes the first tenant of the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center
East Lansing, Michigan October 5, 2008

NamesforLife, LLC has opened a commercial office at the new Technology Innovation Center (TIC) in downtown East Lansing, Michigan. They are an Inaugural Tenant and the first company to move into the newly renovated space. The recently-launched tech startup is a spin-off from Michigan State University, founded to commercialize patent-pending research on terminology management and classification.

Said George Garrity, co-founder and managing member of the company, “We’ve been looking at office space in downtown East Lansing for several months, and the timing of the launch of this center was perfect. Michigan State University is our research partner in this endeavor, so the location is ideal - they are, quite literally, right across the street. Additionally, the University’s tech-transfer office, MSU Technologies, is in the planning stages of moving into this space as well, which will be very convenient since we are already working with them on technology licensing. There is no question, this is where we need to be.”

The company has recently made its first permanent hires, Charles Parker and Sarah Wigley, both graduates from Michigan State University. Charles, a software architect who left a position at Hewlett-Packard to join the company, said, “I’m really impressed with what the city was able to do with this space - just a few months ago, there was nothing here, but now, even though there’s still some construction going on, we’re up and running as a business. Right now, companies like Hewlett-Packard are scaling back operations in mid-Michigan, but East Lansing has really stepped up to create a great environment for the surplus of local tech talent. The creation of the TIC was a great move by the city and the timing couldn’t be better for us.”

NamesforLife, LLC commercial office at the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center.

July 21, 2008

NamesforLife, LLC awarded an STTR Phase II grant

NamesforLife has been awarded a $750,000 STTR Phase II grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Solicitation Number DE-PS02-08ER08-17).

Michigan State University will continue to be our research partner as we develop commercial applications for the N4L-SRS.

February 18, 2008

NamesforLife founder named AAAS Fellow

The founder of NamesforLife, George M. Garrity, Sc.D. has been elected among the 2007 Biological Sciences Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

AAAS Fellows are elected annually by the AAAS Council for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Fellows have made significant contributions in areas such as research, teaching, technology, services to professional societies, and the communication of science to the public. AAAS congratulates them and thanks them for their service to science and technology.

February 8, 2008

NamesforLife releases plugin for the oXygen XML Editor

NamesforLife now has a plugin available for the oXygen XML Editor (tentatively named the Scribe). This plugin provides named-entity recognition and annotation over controlled terminologies. When used with the NamesforLife prokaryote nomenclature, the annotation links to Digital Object Identifiers that resolve to monographs representing the complete history of a bacterial or archaeal taxon.

The NamesforLife processor automatically embeds NameDOIs into XML instances of manuscripts without disrupting the editorial or production workflow. When coupled with an XSL/CSS style sheet, strings that are identified as names can be highlighted for editorial review.

May 27, 2007

NamesforLife, LLC awarded an STTR Phase I grant

NamesforLife has been awarded a $99,904 STTR Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (Solicitation Number DE-PS02-06ER06-30).

The NamesforLife Semantic Resolution Services for the Life Sciences (N4L-SRS) will support the Genomes-to-Life (GtL) roadmap to provide standardized semantics for tracking knowledge over time.

Michigan State University will be our research partner during this project.

NamesforLife, funded by grants from the Department of Energy and the state of Michigan, was founded to resolve the ambiguity between nomenclature and biological objects and concepts. NamesforLife technology, N4L, makes names actionable.

March 29, 2005

NamesforLife prototype funded

The NamesforLife project, “Semantic Resolution Services for the Life Sciences”, has received a $50,000 fast-track grant from the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative (MUCI) to develop a working proof-of-concept information portal for semiotic terminology management and resolution for Prokaryotic nomenclature and taxonomy. The project is backed by Intellectual Property of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

This web site will serve as a primary means of communicating with end users about the project background, current developments, and information on registration of Names, Taxa, and Nomoi. We expect to provide some services (e.g. look-up and reverse lookup functions and distribution of lookup tables and dictionaries for programmatic embedding of DOIs in text by authors and publishers, and batch insertion into databases. We will also use the website to distribute PDF versions of the new releases of the Outline of Prokaryotic Taxa.

November 16, 2004

Michigan State University spins off a new technology company
Okemos, Michigan November 16, 2004

A new tech startup, NamesforLife, LLC (N4L) has been founded in Okemos, Michigan to commercialize research conducted at Michigan State University. The new company is funded by founder equity and targets terminology management and document classification in the Life Science Publishing space.

NamesforLife is a project, a novel technology, and a University sponsored start-up business (NamesforLife, LLC) that arises from a long-term electronic publishing collaboration between George M. Garrity, ScD. and Catherine Lyons (Explicatrix, LLC, Edinburgh, United Kingdom). NamesforLife models the evolution of biological nomenclature and terminology, resolves instances of synonymy and homonymy, and provides a mapping to the underlying concepts that can be viewed in a temporal context. Through the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), our technology can make names or terms actionable, can provide a direct path through the literature, and link to a variety of databases and other contextually relevant services. NamesforLife can provide publishers and data providers with a unique opportunity to provide their end-users with a direct path to related content, based on a name or term, even if the name or term has changed over time. Equally important, NamesforLife technology can provide publishers and data providers with opportunities to further exploit the long-tail phenomenon associated with Internet distribution of content and identify new business opportunities outside their normal markets.

November 15, 2004

NamesforLife, LLC opens office in Okemos, Michigan
Okemos, Michigan November 15, 2004

NamesforLife, LLC has opened an office in Okemos, Michigan.

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