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News Article | October 2, 2017

Ben-Gurion University Announces Collaboration With Ram Group to Develop a New Diagnostic Sensor for Earlier Diagnosis of Diseases BEER-SHEVA, Israel, Oct. 2, 2017 -- BGN, the technology-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), is collaborating with Singapore-based Ram Group to develop a minimally invasive diagnostic sensor for earlier detection and treatment of cancer and other diseases than is possible today. The goal is to develop a sensor that will detect specific antibodies that are known to be signs of emerging diseases in the blood at very low and previously undetectable concentrations. The research project is being led by Prof. Gabby Sarousi in the BGU Unit of Electro-Optical Engineering and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. "We are adapting existing sensor technologies to be able to detect very small amounts of chemical and biological components in fluids and in gas, in concentrations that are much lower than PPB (parts-per-billion)," says Prof. Sarusi. "The results will render any potential treatment, including chemotherapy, much more effective than today, since it will be conducted on cancer at such an early stage that it has yet to manifest itself as a visible tumor." The sensor will be comprised of a miniature light waveguide ring with a diameter of a few hundred micrometers fabricated on a semiconductor chip and coated with chemical or biological receptors. When a tiny amount of liquid such as blood is placed on the ring, the receptors identify and attract the chemical component, i.e. antibodies, which are then identified using optical wavelength analysis. "The sensor we are developing for RAM Group can be used in two different ways: 100 percent optical sensing or one that combines optical sensing with an electronic sensor," Prof. Sarusi says. "We welcome the strong collaboration with RAM Group, which has R&D facilities in Israel," says Zafrir Levi, vice president of business development at BGN. "This technology is another example of the state-of-the-art applied science created here in BGU's labs." Founded in 2010, Ram Group aims to revolutionize sensors and analytics technology across the Internet-of-Things and healthcare industries. Headquartered in Singapore, the firm has R&D facilities in Germany and Israel. The company's research has been protected by a wide range of patents, and its staff has been published in over 60 respected medical and scientific journals worldwide. In 2016, RAM Group won the "High-Technology Innovation Competition" for 2016, awarded by the German Federal Ministry of Research for the validation of the company's non-invasive continuous hemodynamic and vital-signs monitoring healthcare platform. This prestigious award is annually sought by some 100 of the top biotech companies in Germany. Visit the company website at http://www. . BGN Technologies is the business and technology-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel. Located in the heart of the University's Advanced Technologies Park, BGN Technologies is the driving force behind industry-academia collaborations, and supports the University's mission of cultivating a high-tech eco-system within the Negev region. With a track record of over 100 startup companies, as well as partnerships in technology incubators and accelerators, BGN Technologies brings inventions from the labs to the market by fostering research collaborations and entrepreneurship among researchers and students. During the past decade, BGN Technologies focused on creating long-term partnerships with dozens of companies, including multinationals such as: Deutsche Telekom, Dell-EMC, Lockheed Martin, and PayPal, securing value and growth to a diverse ecosystem that surrounds BGU. For more information, visit the BGN Technologies website. About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit to learn more. AABGU, which is headquartered in Manhattan, has nine regional offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www. .

Cobano J.A.,University of Seville | Conde R.,University of Seville | Alejo D.,University of Seville | Ollero A.,Advanced Technologies Park
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation | Year: 2011

This paper presents a collision-free path planning method for an aerial vehicle sharing airspace with other aerial vehicles. It is based on grid models and genetic algorithms to find safe trajectories. Monte-Carlo method is used to evaluate the best predicted trajectories considering different sources of uncertainty such as the wind, the inaccuracies in the vehicle model and limitations of on-board sensors and control system. © 2011 IEEE.

Pokhilko A.,University of Edinburgh | Fernandez A.P.,University of Edinburgh | Edwards K.D.,University of Edinburgh | Edwards K.D.,Advanced Technologies Park | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Systems Biology | Year: 2012

Circadian clocks synchronise biological processes with the day/night cycle, using molecular mechanisms that include interlocked, transcriptional feedback loops. Recent experiments identified the evening complex (EC) as a repressor that can be essential for gene expression rhythms in plants. Integrating the EC components in this role significantly alters our mechanistic, mathematical model of the clock gene circuit. Negative autoregulation of the EC genes constitutes the clock's evening loop, replacing the hypothetical component Y. The EC explains our earlier conjecture that the morning gene PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 9 was repressed by an evening gene, previously identified with TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1 (TOC1). Our computational analysis suggests that TOC1 is a repressor of the morning genes LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL and CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED1 rather than an activator as first conceived. This removes the necessity for the unknown component X (or TOC1mod) from previous clock models. As well as matching timeseries and phase-response data, the model provides a new conceptual framework for the plant clock that includes a three-component repressilator circuit in its complex structure. © 2012 EMBO and Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Taylor L.,University of Cambridge | Nunes-Nesi A.,Max Planck Insitut fur Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie | Parsley K.,University of Cambridge | Leiss A.,University of Cambridge | And 5 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2010

The protein content of seeds determines their nutritive value, downstream processing properties and market value. Up to 95% of seed protein is derived from amino acids that are exported to the seed after degradation of existing protein in leaves, but the pathways responsible for this nitrogen metabolism are poorly defined. The enzyme pyruvate,orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) interconverts pyruvate and phosphoenolpyruvate, and is found in both plastids and the cytosol in plants. PPDK plays a cardinal role in C 4 photosynthesis, but its role in the leaves of C 3 species has remained unclear. We demonstrate that both the cytosolic and chloroplastic isoforms of PPDK are up-regulated in naturally senescing leaves. Cytosolic PPDK accumulates preferentially in the veins, while chloroplastic PPDK also accumulates in mesophyll cells. Analysis of microarrays and labelling patterns after feeding 13C-labelled pyruvate indicated that PPDK functions in a pathway that generates the transport amino acid glutamine, which is then loaded into the phloem. In Arabidopsis thaliana, over-expression of PPDK during senescence can significantly accelerate nitrogen remobilization from leaves, and thereby increase rosette growth rate and the weight and nitrogen content of seeds. This indicates an important role for cytosolic PPDK in the leaves of C 3 plants, and allows us to propose a metabolic pathway that is responsible for production of transport amino acids during natural leaf senescence. Given that increased seed size and nitrogen content are desirable agronomic traits, and that efficient remobilization of nitrogen within the plant reduces the demand for fertiliser applications, PPDK and the pathway in which it operates are targets for crop improvement. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Edwards K.D.,Advanced Technologies Park | Bombarely A.,Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research | Story G.W.,Advanced Technologies Park | Story G.W.,University of Cambridge | And 4 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: Transcriptomics has resulted in the development of large data sets and tools for the progression of functional genomics and systems biology in many model organisms. Currently there is no commercially available microarray to allow such expression studies in Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco).Results: A custom designed Affymetrix tobacco expression microarray was generated from a set of over 40k unigenes and used to measure gene expression in 19 different tobacco samples to produce the Tobacco Expression Atlas (TobEA). TobEA provides a snap shot of the transcriptional activity for thousands of tobacco genes in different tissues throughout the lifecycle of the plant and enables the identification of the biological processes occurring in these different tissues. 772 of 2513 transcription factors previously identified in tobacco were mapped to the array, with 87% of them being expressed in at least one tissue in the atlas. Putative transcriptional networks were identified based on the co-expression of these transcription factors. Several interactions in a floral identity transcription factor network were consistent with previous results from other plant species. To broaden access and maximise the benefit of TobEA a set of tools were developed to provide researchers with expression information on their genes of interest via the Solanaceae Genomics Network (SGN) web site. The array has also been made available for public use via the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre microarray service.Conclusions: The generation of a tobacco expression microarray is an important development for research in this model plant. The data provided by TobEA represents a valuable resource for plant functional genomics and systems biology research and can be used to identify gene targets for both fundamental and applied scientific applications in tobacco. © 2010 Edwards et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Bombarely A.,Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research | Edwards K.D.,Advanced Technologies Park | Sanchez-Tamburrino J.,Advanced Technologies Park | Mueller L.A.,Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
BMC Genomics | Year: 2012

Background: Polyploidization is an important mechanism in plant evolution. By analyzing the leaf transcriptomes taken from the allotetraploid Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) and parental genome donors, N. sylvesteris (S-Genome) and N. tomentosiformis (T-Genome), a phylogenomic approach was taken to map the fate of homeologous gene pairs in this plant.Results: A comparison between the genes present in the leaf transcriptomes of N. tabacum and modern day representatives of its progenitor species demonstrated that only 33% of assembled transcripts could be distinguished based on their sequences. A large majority of the genes (83.6% of the non parent distinguishable and 87.2% of the phylogenetic topology analyzed clusters) expressed above background level (more than 5 reads) showed similar overall expression levels. Homeologous sequences could be identified for 968 gene clusters, and 90% (6% of all genes) of the set maintained expression of only one of the tobacco homeologs. When both homeologs were expressed, only 15% (0.5% of the total) showed evidence of differential expression, providing limited evidence of subfunctionalization. Comparing the rate of synonymous nucleotide substitution (Ks) and non-synonymous nucleotide substitution (Kn) provided limited evidence for positive selection during the evolution of tobacco since the polyploidization event took place.Conclusions: Polyploidization is a powerful mechanism for plant speciation that can occur during one generation; however millions of generations may be necessary for duplicate genes to acquire a new function. Analysis of the tobacco leaf transcriptome reveals that polyploidization, even in a young tetraploid such as tobacco, can lead to complex changes in gene expression. Gene loss and gene silencing, or subfunctionalization may explain why both homeologs are not expressed by the associated genes. With Whole Genome Duplication (WGD) events, polyploid genomes usually maintain a high percentage of gene duplicates. The data provided little evidence of preferential maintenance of gene expression from either the T- or S-genome. Additionally there was little evidence of neofunctionalization in Nicotiana tabacum suggesting it occurs at a low frequency in young polyploidy. © 2012 Bombarely et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Massey E.D.,British American Tobacco | Hinchliffe S.,Advanced Technologies Park
Mutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis | Year: 2010

Reference genotoxic compounds 2-aminoanthracene, diethylstilboesterol and vinblastine were tested in the in vitro micronucleus assay using Chinese hamster V79 derived cells in the laboratories of British American Tobacco in the UK. The work was conducted in support of the cytotoxicity measures recommended in the 2007 version of the OECD Test Guideline 487. The three compounds were positive in the assay in the presence and absence of the cytokinesis blocking agent cytochalasin B at concentrations that did not exceed the recommended cytotoxic limits determined by relative population doubling, relative increase in cell counts, relative cell counts and cytokinesis block proliferation index. Consequently, this work supports the hypothesis that relative population doubling, relative increase in cell counts and relative cell counts are appropriate measures of cytotoxicity for the non-cytokinesis blocked in vitro micronucleus assay. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Eswaran S.,Advanced Technologies Park | Misra A.,Singapore Management University | Bergamaschi F.,IBM | La Porta T.,Pennsylvania State University
ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks | Year: 2012

This article develops a utility-based optimization framework for resource sharing by multiple competing missions in a mission-oriented wireless sensor network (WSN) environment. Prior work on network utility maximization (NUM) based optimization has focused on unicast flows with sender-based utilities in either wireline or wireless networks. In this work, we develop a generalized NUM model to consider three key new features observed in mission-centric WSN environments: i) the definition of the utility of an individual mission (receiver) as a joint function of data from multiple sensor sources; ii) the consumption of each sender's (sensor) data by multiple missions; and iii) the multicast-tree-based dissemination of each sensor's data flow, using link-layer broadcasts to exploit the "wireless broadcast advantage" in data forwarding. We show how a price-based, distributed protocol (WSN-NUM) can ensure optimal and proportionally fair rate allocation across multiple missions, without requiring any coordination among missions or sensors. We also discuss techniques to improve the speed of convergence of the protocol, which is essential in an environment as dynamic as the WSN. Further, we analyze the impact of various network and protocol parameters on the bandwidth utilization of the network, using a discrete-event simulation of a stationary wireless network. Finally, we corroborate our simulation-based performance results of the WSN-NUM protocol with an implementation of an 802.11b network. © 2012 ACM 1550-4859/2012/03-ART17 $10.00.

Wilson D.B.,University of Sydney | Soto M.A.T.,Advanced Technologies Park | Goktogan A.H.,University of Sydney | Sukkarieh S.,University of Sydney
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation | Year: 2013

Fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) rendezvous is necessary for reduced fuel consumption during leader-follower formation flight. We propose a heuristic direct search algorithm that plans a time-optimal path for a follower UAV to rendezvous with a leader whose future path is known and unchanging. The kinematic constraints of the UAV are considered and discontinuities inherent to the minimum-length paths are dealt with. Experiments using quadrotors to emulate fixed-wings, demonstrate the algorithm planning and replanning optimal paths to rendezvous in real-time. © 2013 IEEE.

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