Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem, Israel

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J. Safra Givat Ram campus.The first Board of Governors included Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and Chaim Weizmann. Four of Israel's prime ministers are alumni of the Hebrew University. In the last decade, seven researchers and alumni of the University received the Nobel Prize and one was awarded the Fields Medal.According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Hebrew University is the top university in Israel, overall the 59th-best university in the world, 16th in mathematics, 27th in computer science and 44th in business/economics.In 2013, the Center for World University Rankings ranked the Hebrew University 21st in the world and the top in Israel in its World University Rankings, while another survey ranked it as the 9th best university to work in, and the 2nd best outside of the United States. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2016-09-12

The present invention relates to a poly(lactic glycolic) acid (PLGA) nanoparticle associated with therapeutic agents for a variety of therapeutic applications.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2015-02-03

A method of treating cancer in a subject is disclosed. The method comprises administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of a Casein kinase I alpha (CKIalpha) inhibitor, wherein the cancer is not associated with an Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutation. Additional uses of CKI inhibitors are also disclosed.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2015-04-08

Provided are liposomes encapsulating mupirocin, with particular benefit for systemic therapeutically effective delivery. Also provided herein are pharmaceutical compositions including the liposomes and methods of using them. The liposomes include a lipid membrane and an intraliposomal compartment, the intraliposomal compartment encapsulating mupirocin, at least one cyclodextrin compound and a pH dependent ionizable anion, e.g. acetate.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hoffmann-La Roche | Date: 2016-09-08

Uses of a compound of any of Formulas I-VI as a cytotoxic inhibitor of undifferentiated cells are disclosed herein, as well as pharmaceutical compositions comprising a compound of any of Formulas I-VI, and methods for identifying a lead candidate for inhibiting undifferentiated cells. Further disclosed are uses of an SCD-1 inhibitor as a cytotoxic inhibitor of undifferentiated cells.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Nanyang Technological University | Date: 2015-03-10

Provided is a spectrally selective solar thermal coating, formed as a continuous uniform layer, combining a light-absorbing coating and an infrared (IR) reflecting layer positioned on top of the absorber coating. The coating is adapted for use in a plurality of applications, including amongst many control of stray light and absorptivity in thermosolar devices.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2015-04-30

Provided are Pt (IV) lipophilic derivatives for improved drug performance in cancer therapy, as well as nanocarriers including the same.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2016-10-13

The present invention is directed to phenyl substituted cyclohexenyl compounds, compositions comprising them and uses thereof for the preparation of medicaments for the treatment of obesity and any disease or disorder associated therewith, for reduction in food consumption, and for the treatment of inflammation and disorders associated therewith.


Patent
Hadasit Medical Research Services & Development Li Mited and Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2016-11-29

Provided is a device for iontophoretic delivery of a drug to or into a tissue, including an arrangement that prevents operation of the device at a current density that is higher than a predetermined value, the arrangement including first means responsive to a first data item, indicative of the surface area through which the current is to pass, as to set the maximal current allowed at the surface area indicated by the data item. Also provided is a method for iontophorectivally administering drug to or into a tissue, including determining a maximal allowed level of current density and preventing application of current density above the maximal allowed level.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2015-05-20

Provided are cementitious formulations including nano crystalline cellulose (NCC).


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2015-05-03

The invention provides a process for treating a soil contaminated with a pollutant selected from the group consisting of petroleum products and aromatic hydrocarbons, comprising bringing into contact with said soil an aqueous solution in which hydrogen peroxide and hydroxide source are combined.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2016-11-27

Articles-of-manufacturing comprising an object having a surface and at least a first layer of a first therapeutically active agent being deposited onto at least a continuous portion of the surface, wherein at least 50 weight percents of the first layer is the first therapeutically active agent in a crystalline form are disclosed. Methods utilizing such articles-of-manufacturing for treating medical conditions are also disclosed. Processes of preparing the articles-of-manufacturing by contacting a surface of the object with a solution containing the therapeutically active agent, without cooling the surface to a temperature below a temperature of the solution, are also disclosed.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and YEDA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Co. | Date: 2015-03-03

A method of and device for detecting and diagnosing Pseudomonal aeruginosa in a gaseous, liquid or solid sample, employing Lux-R-like receptor-driven reporter cells.


The present invention relates to kits, arrays, compositions and methods for predicting, assessing and evaluating responsiveness and success of interferon treatment as well as for monitoring disease progression and pathophysiology in a subject treated with interferon, using OAS2, HERC5, UPS18, UBE2L6 and optionally of ISG15 genes as biomarkers.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Qlight Nanotech Ltd. | Date: 2015-03-31

A polarized light source configured for use in display device and backlight unit is described. The polarized light source comprising: at least one optically active structure comprising a plurality of nanorods configured to emit light of one or more wavelengths in response to exciting pumping field, said plurality of nanorods comprising nanorods aligned with a predetermined alignment axis so as to produce a desired polarization direction of the emitted light; and a light directing assembly comprising one or more optical elements in optical path of light emitted from the light emitting structure, said light directing assembly being configured to enhance output of the emitted light from the emitting structure while substantially maintaining the polarization of the emitted light passing therethrough. Preferably, layers associated with the polarized light source are aligned with parallel principal axes.


The invention relates to methods and kits for determining and optimizing a personalized treatment regimen for a subject suffering from a pathologic disorder based on calculating the value of M, that indicates the ability of said subject to eliminate said disorder. The invention specifically relates to optimization of interferon treatment of viral disorders.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2016-08-03

A method and a system for identifying indication for activity in a topic or a sentiment associated to, of an entity in a textual document are provided herein. The method may include the following stages: obtaining a plurality of textual documents describing a plurality of entities; identifying a relationship between entities and verbs at least on a sentence level, based on a semantic analysis of the verbs; determining at least one of: a topic, and a sentiment associated to the verbs identified in textual documents; and using the identified relationship between entities and verbs and a respective determined topic or sentiment associated with the verbs to determine for each of the plurality of entities: a sentiment level associated thereto, and a level of activity at the at least one topic associated thereto.


Patent
Oneday Biotech And Pharma Ltd. and Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Date: 2017-01-25

The present invention relates to potent compounds having combined antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anti-radiation and metal chelating properties. Specifically, the present invention relates to short peptides having said properties, and to methods and uses of such short peptides in clinical and cosmetic applications.


Magen H.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Computers in Human Behavior | Year: 2017

Excessive media multitasking has been associated in a series of laboratory studies, with deficits in executive functions. Given that the levels of laboratory and everyday functioning do not always correspond, it is unclear whether media multitasking is associated with limitations in everyday executive functions as well. The current study examined the relationships between media multitasking and ecological self-report measures of executive functions, attention and a measure of individual preference for multitasking. The results demonstrated that participants who reported more deficits with different aspects of everyday executive functions and attention were engaged more frequently in media multitasking. Media multitasking was correlated most strongly with limitations in self-monitoring, emotional control, planning, task monitoring and inattention. Additionally, individuals who reported more deficits in executive functions and attention also reported a higher preference for multitasking over single-tasking. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that frequent media multitasking is associated with deficits in many aspects of everyday goal-directed behavior. The results generalize previous findings to self-report ecological measures of executive functions, and associate media multitasking with impairments in additional yet unexplored aspects of executive functions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Samorodnitsky A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Combinatorics Probability and Computing | Year: 2017

We prove an inequality for functions on the discrete cube {0, 1}n extending the edge-isoperimetric inequality for sets. This inequality turns out to be equivalent to the following claim about random walks on the cube: subcubes maximize 'mean first exit time' among all subsets of the cube of the same cardinality. © 2017 Cambridge University Press.


Kiat Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Sapir N.,Haifa University
American Naturalist | Year: 2017

Time constraints influence various ecological, lifehistory, and demographic properties of individuals and populations of many species throughout the annual cycle. Feather molt is a timely undertaking that is considered among the three most energydemanding processes in the life cycle of birds. To deal with time pressure, passerines may shorten their molt duration, using three non-mutually exclusive mechanisms: (1) replacing only part of the plumage, (2) increasing the speed of molt, and (3) postponing the renewal of some or all the plumage to a later season (i.e., from the summer to the overwintering period).We used a comparative approach by measuring 12,349 individuals from 134 passerine species to explore how feather molt of juvenile and adult passerines is evolutionarily modulated under time constraints. The results indicate that breeding at northern latitudes and long-distance migration limit the time available for molt and that the consequences of time constraints were age dependent. While the duration of adult summer molt decreased, the extent, rather than the duration, of juvenile molt declined under time constraints. This study highlights the importance of considering time constraints in order to enhance the understanding of selective forces that shape life-history processes and their consequences throughout the annual routine. © 2016 by The University of Chicago.


Ganz M.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Quantum Information Processing | Year: 2017

A group of n individuals A1, … An who do not trust each other and are located far away from each other, want to select a leader. This is the leader election problem, a natural extension of the coin flipping problem to n players. We want a protocol which will guarantee that an honest player will have at least 1n-ϵ chance of winning (∀ ϵ> 0), regardless of what the other players do (whether they are honest, cheating alone or in groups). It is known to be impossible classically. This work gives a simple algorithm that does it, based on the weak coin flipping protocol with arbitrarily small bias derived by Mochon (Quantum weak coin flipping with arbitrarily small bias, arXiv:0711.4114, 2000) in 2007, and recently published and simplified in Aharonov et al. (SIAM J Comput, 2016). A protocol with linear number of coin flipping rounds is quite simple to achieve; we further provide an improvement to logarithmic number of coin flipping rounds. This is a much improved journal version of a preprint posted in 2009; the first protocol with linear number of rounds was achieved independently also by Aharon and Silman (New J Phys 12:033027, 2010) around the same time. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Gnat O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series | Year: 2017

I explore the thermal evolution and ionization states in gas cooling from an initially hot state in the presence of external photoionizing radiation. I compute the equilibrium and nonequilibrium cooling efficiencies, heating rates, and ion fractions for low-density gas cooling while exposed to the ionizing metagalactic background radiation at various redshifts (z = 0 - 3), for a range of temperatures (108-104 K), densities (10-7-103cm-3), and metallicities (10-3-2 times solar). The results indicate the existence of a threshold ionization parameter, above which the cooling efficiencies are very close to those in photoionization equilibrium (so that departures from equilibrium may be neglected), and below which the cooling efficiencies resemble those in collisional time-dependent gas cooling with no external radiation (and are thus independent of density). © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Ceverino D.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Dekel A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Tweed D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Tweed D.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Primack J.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2015

We address the formation of massive stellar spheroids between redshifts z = 4 and 1 using a suite of adaptive mesh refinement hydrocosmological simulations. The spheroids form as bulges, and the spheroid mass growth is partly driven by violent disc instability (VDI) and partly by mergers.Akinematic decomposition to disc and spheroid yields that themass fraction in the spheroid is between 50 and 90 per cent and is roughly constant in time, consistent with a cosmological steady state of VDI discs that are continuously fed from the cosmic web. The density profile of the spheroid is typically 'classical', with a Sérsic index n = 4.5 ± 1, independent of whether it grew by mergers or VDI and independent of the feedback strength. The disc is characterized by n = 1.5 ± 0.5, and the whole galaxy by n = 3 ± 1. The highredshift spheroids are compact due to the dissipative inflow of gas and the high universal density. The stellar surface density within the effective radius of each galaxy as it evolves remains roughly constant in time after its first growth. For galaxies of a fixed stellar mass, the surface density is higher at higher redshifts. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Danovich M.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Dekel A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Hahn O.,ETH Zurich | Ceverino D.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Primack J.,University of California at Santa Cruz
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2015

We study the angular-momentum (AM) buildup in high-z massive galaxies using highresolution cosmological simulations. The AM originates in co-planar streams of cold gas and merging galaxies tracing cosmic-web filaments, and it undergoes four phases of evolution. (I) Outside the halo virial radius (Rv ~ 100 kpc), the elongated streams gain AM by tidal torques with a specific AM (sAM) ~1.7 times the dark matter (DM) spin due to the gas' higher quadrupole moment. This AM is expressed as stream impact parameters, from ~0.3Rv to counter rotation. (II) In the outer halo, while the incoming DM mixes with the existing halo of lower sAM to a spin λdm ~ 0.04, the cold streams transport the AM to the inner halo such that their spin in the halo is ~3λdm. (III) Near pericentre, the streams dissipate into an irregular rotating ring extending to ~0.3Rv and tilted relative to the inner disc. Torques exerted partly by the disc make the ring gas lose AM, spiral in, and settle into the disc within one orbit. The ring is observable with 30 per cent probability as a damped Lyman α absorber. (IV) Within the disc, < 0.1Rv, torques associated with violent disc instability drive AM out and baryons into a central bulge, while outflows remove low-spin gas, introducing certain sensitivity to feedback strength. Despite the different AM histories of gas and DM, the disc spin is comparable to the DM-halo spin. Counter rotation can strongly affect disc evolution. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Breska A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Deouell L.Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
PLoS Biology | Year: 2017

Predicting the timing of upcoming events enables efficient resource allocation and action preparation. Rhythmic streams, such as music, speech, and biological motion, constitute a pervasive source for temporal predictions. Widely accepted entrainment theories postulate that rhythm-based predictions are mediated by synchronizing low-frequency neural oscillations to the rhythm, as indicated by increased phase concentration (PC) of low-frequency neural activity for rhythmic compared to random streams. However, we show here that PC enhancement in scalp recordings is not specific to rhythms but is observed to the same extent in less periodic streams if they enable memory-based prediction. This is inconsistent with the predictions of a computational entrainment model of stronger PC for rhythmic streams. Anticipatory change in alpha activity and facilitation of electroencephalogram (EEG) manifestations of response selection are also comparable between rhythm- and memory-based predictions. However, rhythmic sequences uniquely result in obligatory depression of preparation-related premotor brain activity when an on-beat event is omitted, even when it is strategically beneficial to maintain preparation, leading to larger behavioral costs for violation of prediction. Thus, while our findings undermine the validity of PC as a sign of rhythmic entrainment, they constitute the first electrophysiological dissociation, to our knowledge, between mechanisms of rhythmic predictions and of memory-based predictions: the former obligatorily lead to resonance-like preparation patterns (that are in line with entrainment), while the latter allow flexible resource allocation in time regardless of periodicity in the input. Taken together, they delineate the neural mechanisms of three distinct modes of preparation: continuous vigilance, interval-timing-based prediction and rhythm-based prediction. © 2017 Breska, Deouell.


Signaling mediated by the Ras-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) pathway often leads to the phosphorylation of transcriptional regulators, thereby modulating their activity and causing concerted changes in gene expression. In Drosophila, the induction of multiple Ras–Erk pathway target genes depends on prior phosphorylation of the general co-repressor Groucho, a modification that downregulates its repressive function. Here, we show that TLE1, one of the four human Groucho orthologs, is similarly phosphorylated in response to Ras–Erk pathway activation, and that this modification attenuates its capacity to repress transcription. Specifically, unphosphorylated TLE1 dominantly suppresses the induction of Ras–Erk pathway target genes in cultured human cells, and the expression of an unphosphorylatable TLE1 derivative causes severe phenotypes in a transgenic Drosophila model system, whereas a phosphomimetic variant of TLE1 exerts only negligible effects. We present data indicating that TLE1 is rapidly excluded from the nucleus following epidermal growth factor receptor pathway activation, an effect that likely accounts for its inability to mediate effective repression under such conditions. Significantly, we find that unphosphorylated TLE1 blocks oncogenic phenotypes induced by mutated H-Ras in human mammary cells, both in vitro and following their implantation in mice. Collectively, our data strongly indicate that phosphorylation of TLE family members and the consequent downregulation of their repressor function is a key conserved step in the transcriptional responses to Ras–Erk signaling, and possibly a critical event in the tumorigenic effects caused by excessive Ras–Erk pathway activity.Oncogene advance online publication, 13 February 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2016.517. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.


Amil-Dias J.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: The incidence of Crohnʼs disease (CD) has been increasing and surgery needs to be contemplated in a substantial number of cases. The relevant advent of biological treatment has changed but not eliminated the need for surgery in many patients. Despite previous publications on the indications for surgery in CD there was a need for a comprehensive review of existing evidence on the role of elective surgery and options in pediatric patients affected with CD. We present an expert opinion and critical review of the literature to provide evidence-based guidance to manage these patients. Indications, surgical options, risk factors and medications in pre and peri-operative period are reviewed in the light of available evidence. Risks and benefits of surgical options are addressed. An algorithm is proposed for the management of post-surgery monitoring, timing for follow-up endoscopy and treatment options. © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,


Bouton E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Computers and Education | Year: 2017

The promise of social network technology for learning purposes has been heavily debated, with proponents highlighting its transformative and opponents its distracting potential. However, little is known about the actual, everyday use of ubiquitous social network sites for learning and study purposes in secondary schools. In the present work, we present findings from two survey studies on representative samples of Israeli, Hebrew-speaking teenagers (N1 = 206 and N2 = 515) which explored the scope, characteristics and reasons behind such activities. Study 1 shows that these can be described best as online knowledge sharing, that is: the up- and downloading of knowledge and knowledge sources to social network-based peer groups. Findings were replicated in study 2 to further support the claim that school-related knowledge sharing is common and widespread and entails different types of knowledge. Findings from study 2 furthermore show that sharing is mainly motivated by prosocial motives, as well as expectations for future reciprocation. Sharing is predicted by individual differences, such as gender, collectivist values, mastery goal orientations and academic self-efficacy. Relations between competitive-individualist values and sharing are more complex, and are, among others, moderated by expectations for future benefits. Implications for educational practices and for learning are discussed. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Dan O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2017

OBJECTIVE:: To evaluate whether full-term deliveries resulting in neonates diagnosed with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy are associated with a significant increase in the rate of subsequent unscheduled cesarean deliveries. METHODS:: We conducted a retrospective chart review study and examined all deliveries in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus campus, Jerusalem, Israel, during 2009–2014. We reviewed all cases of hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy in singleton, term, liveborn neonates and identified seven such cases, three of which were attributed to obstetric mismanagement and four that were not. We measured the rate of unscheduled cesarean deliveries before and after the events and their respective hazard ratio. RESULTS:: Before a mismanaged delivery resulting in hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy, the baseline rate of unscheduled cesarean deliveries was approximately 80 unscheduled cesarean deliveries for every 1,000 deliveries. In the first 4 weeks immediately after each of the three identified cases, there was a significant increase in the rate of unscheduled cesarean deliveries by an additional 48 unscheduled cesarean deliveries per 1,000 deliveries (95% confidence interval [CI] 27–70/1,000). This increase was transient and lasted approximately 4 weeks. We estimated that each case was associated with approximately 17 additional unscheduled cesarean deliveries (95% CI 8–27). There was no increase in the rate of unscheduled cesarean deliveries in cases of hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy that were not associated with mismanagement. CONCLUSION:: The increase in the rate of unscheduled cesarean deliveries after a catastrophic neonatal outcome may result in short-term changes in obstetriciansʼ risk evaluation. © 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Safriel U.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Silva Fennica | Year: 2017

The paper first reviews the desertification/land degradation syndrome, the shortcomings of attempts to control it and the consequences of this failure, including to climate change and biodiversity. It then examines the experience gained by carbon and biodiversity offsets that helped adapting the offsetting principle to the context of land degradation, by emphasizing the restoration of the many already degraded lands on earth, as major component of the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) mechanism. LDN is a new voluntary and aspirational target of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aimed at neutralizing the rate of lands coming under degrading use of their productivity. This by balancing the ongoing added degradation with similar rate of restoring equivalent lands whose productivity had been already degraded. If extensively implemented, LDN would stabilize the global amount of productive land by 2030. This would increase global food security and reduce poverty of land users, thus contributing to global sustainability. This review maintains that the failure of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to reduce desertification triggered the emergence of LDN as a mechanism for addressing land degradation globally, rather than just desertification in the drylands. LDN accepted as target of a Sustainable Development Goal also legitimized UNCCD to lead and oversee the aspired process of achieving land degradation neutral world. This paper reviews the development of the LDN concept expressed in scientific deliberations and political advocacy, throughout the five years from inception in 2011 at the UNCCD Secretariat, to early 2016. It notes the fast and increasing acceptance of LDN, expressed in the initiation of implementation already in April 2015 by an increasing number of countries, and in the growing interest and engagement of scientists and policy-makers. But the paper also express concern regarding potential misuse of the concept. © 2017, Finnish Society of Forest Science. All Rights Reserved.


Weiniger C.F.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The current review considers an array of recent applications for point-of-care ultrasound in clinical practice including diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that may be relevant for the obstetric anesthesiologist. The rapid advancement of technology and clinical applications for bedside ultrasound in obstetric anesthesiology requires an appraisal of the limitations and uses. RECENT FINDINGS: The review presents the most recent literature describing ultrasound-guided airway assessments, airway management, cricothyroidotomy, transthoracic echocardiography, gastric volume assessments, point-of-care lung ultrasound diagnoses, intracranial pressure assessments, vascular access, neuraxial blocks, and transversus abdominis plane blocks. Each ultrasound technique is presented along with the most recent advances in knowledge and some limitations to integration of these ultrasound skills in clinical practice. SUMMARY: Anesthesiologists have clearly embraced this facile versatile tool for bedside diagnostics and procedures. One limitation to widespread adoption is availability of suitable ultrasound skills and technology. Many of these ultrasound techniques have not yet established clear patient benefit, yet the sheer breadth of ultrasound techniques reported in the past few years demonstrate that our colleagues are becoming more proficient. It is important to follow the development of this emerging field to be aware of limitations to learning these skills and their potential clinical benefit. Proficiency in some of these point-of-care ultrasound techniques may become prerequisite for obstetric anesthesiologists to provide the best care. Copyright © 2017 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Einav S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Up to 50% of specific bacterial strains in healthcare admission facilities are multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). Involvement of anesthesiologists in management of patients carrying/at risk of carrying MDROs may decrease transmission in the Operating Room (OR). RECENT FINDINGS: Anesthesiologists, their work area and tools have all been implicated in MDRO outbreaks. Causes include contamination of external ventilation circuits and noncontribution of filters to prevention, inappropriate decontamination procedures for nondisposable equipment (e.g. laryngoscopes, bronchoscopes and stethoscopes) and the anesthesia workplace (e.g. external surfaces of cart and anesthesia machine, telephones and computer keyboards) during OR cleaning and lack of training in sterile drug management. SUMMARY: Discussions regarding the management of potential MDRO carriers must include anesthesia providers to optimize infection control interventions as well as the anesthesia method, the location of surgery and recovery and the details of patient transport. Anesthesia staff must learn to identify patients at risk for MDRO infection. Antibiotic prophylaxis, although not evidence based, should adhere to known best practices. Adjuvant therapies (e.g. intranasal Mupirocin and bathing with antiseptics) should be considered. Addition of nonmanual OR cleaning methods such as ultraviolet irradiation or gaseous decontamination is encouraged. Anesthesiologists must undergo formal training in sterile drug preparation and administration. Copyright © 2017 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Levin N.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2017

The VIIRS-DNB sensor launched in 2011 offers the remote sensing community improved capabilities for monitoring and quantifying nighttime brightness. So far, most studies of temporal changes in nighttime lights were focused on examining inter-annual trends or on sudden changes in light emission, related to demographic and economic reasons. Here, the recently released two year (2014–2015) set of monthly cloud-free VIIRS-DNB composites was used to explicitly examine seasonal changes in nighttime lights and their correspondence with seasonality of land cover in Northern and Central America. It was found that monthly changes in nighttime brightness were positively correlated with monthly changes in snow cover and in albedo, and negatively correlated with monthly changes in NDVI. These correlations were strongest in urban areas in the northeast of the USA, where high correlation coefficient values (> 0.8) were obtained. Seasonality in nighttime brightness is thus an important factor to consider both when quantifying trends in light emission from annual time series, and in studies examining the adverse consequences of artificial lights on human health and on the environment. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Sasson S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2016

Since the landmark discovery of α,β-unsaturated 4-hydroxyalkenals by Esterbauer and colleagues most studies have addressed the consequences of the tendency of these lipid peroxidation products to form covalent adducts with macromolecules and modify cellular functions. Many studies describe detrimental and cytotoxic effects of 4-hydroxy-2. E-nonenal (4-HNE) in myriad tissues and organs and many pathologies. Other studies similarly assigned unfavorable effects to 4-hydroxy-2E-hexenal (4-HHE) and 4-hydroxy-2E,6Z-dodecadienal (4-HDDE). Nutrient overload (e.g., hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia) modifies lipid metabolism in cells and promotes lipid peroxidation and the generation of α,β-unsaturated 4-hydroxyalkenals. Advances glycation- and lipoxidation end products (AGEs and ALEs) have been associated with the development of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and the etiology of type 2 diabetes and its peripheral complications. Less acknowledged are genuine signaling properties of 4-hydroxyalkenals in hormetic processes that provide defense against the consequences of nutrient overload. This review addresses recent findings on such lipohormetic mechanisms that are associated with lipid peroxidation in pancreatic beta cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: LIPID OXIDATION PRODUCTS, edited by Giuseppe Poli. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


News Article | March 11, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

The exciting discovery of ancient carvings deep inside a dolmen near Kibbutz Shamir, in upper Galilee, took the archaeological world by storm as the first documentation of rock art in the Middle East. This archaeological treasure lay hidden in a tomb of massive proportions, measuring 65 feet in diameter, deep beneath 400 tons of rock. The abstract engravings - of great value because of their singularity - were found engraved on the ceiling of the tomb's central burial chamber, and were described to be "mysterious" in nature. Dating back to the so-called "Dark Ages" - the Intermediate Bronze Age in the Southern Levant - the gigantic dolmen was uncovered by Israeli archaeologists from Tel Hai College, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. "What makes this dolmen so unique is its huge dimensions, the structure surrounding it and most importantly the artistic decorations engraved in its ceiling," said the archaeologists. The thrilling discovery, featured March 2 in the journal PLOS One, offers a rare glimpse into the lives of people who lived in that region more than 4,000 years ago. The megalithic burial mound (or tumulus) is one of the more than 400 tomb structures still remaining from the Intermediate Bronze Age but stands out through its imposing size and detail work. According to Gonen Sharon, professor of Galilee Studies at Tel-Hai College and also the archaeologist who discovered the ancient rock art, the findings near Kibbutz Shamir suggest the 4,000-year-old civilization that left them behind was more advanced than previously thought. The lack of monumental buildings and low number of settlements from this era initially led scientists to presume the people of that time were mostly nomadic. However, the scale of the newfound burial structure, as well as the attention to detail poured into its construction, point to a more elaborate type of social organization. "A complex governmental system was needed to recruit laborers for building such a monumental structure and for supplying their needs during the operation," explained Sharon. "It also needed to possess the architectural knowledge and dexterity for the complex stonemasonry involved." Upon entering the tumulus, archaeologists stumbled upon a series of burial chambers built at the corners of the structure, culminating with a central rectangular chamber, which seems to have served as a family tomb. Here they found the remains of two adults - male and female - along with a young child. Yet the central chamber had more to offer, as Sharon was elated to come upon 14 abstract engravings on the ceiling, under the massive capstone. The engraved shapes depict straight lines converging toward the center of an arc. Most of the engravings are clearly visible and seem to be abstract, but 3D scans revealed they resemble arrows or anchors. "No parallels exist for these shapes in the engraved rock drawings of the Middle East, and their significance remains a mystery," said IAA archaeologist Uri Berger. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

IT’S an absolute. Mathematics has put speed limits on cooling, finally proving a century-old law – that unless you have infinite time and resources, you can’t get to the absolute zero of temperature. In 1906, German chemist Walther Nernst formulated the heat theorem, which states that as a perfect crystal approaches the absolute zero point of 0 kelvin  (-273.15°C), the system’s entropy also goes to zero. This work earned him the 1920 Nobel prize in chemistry. The rule was controversial, with heavyweights like Albert Einstein and Max Planck debating it and introducing their own formulations. In 1912, Nernst defended his version by adding another clause, the unattainability principle, which states that absolute zero is physically unreachable. Taken together, these two rules make up the modern third law of thermodynamics. But because earlier arguments focused only on specific mechanisms or were crippled by questionable assumptions, some physicists have always remained unconvinced of its validity. Now Jonathan Oppenheim and Lluís Masanes at University College London have mathematically derived the unattainability principle and placed limits on how fast a system can cool, creating a general proof of the third law. “In computer science, people ask this question all the time: how long does it take to perform a computation?” says Oppenheim. “Just as a computing machine performs a computation, a cooling machine cools a system.” So, he and Masanes asked how long it takes to get cold. Cooling can be thought of as a series of steps: heat is removed from the system and dumped into the surrounding environment again and again, and each time the system gets colder. How cold depends on how much work can be done to remove the heat and the size of the reservoir for dumping it. By applying mathematical techniques from quantum information theory, they proved that no real system will ever reach 0 kelvin: it would take an infinite number of steps. Getting close to absolute zero is possible, though, and Masanes and Oppenheim quantified the steps of cooling, setting speed limits for how cold a given system can get in finite time. As quantum computing advances, the need to quantify cooling becomes more pressing. To store data, the particles in a quantum computer are put in particular energy states; extra energy and the warmth that it brings push particles out of those states, degrading or destroying the stored data. “It’s not just removing the energy of the system,” Masanes says. “It’s also about removing uncertainty.” The limits set by this research are far less stringent than the technological limitations for now: nobody has reached temperatures or cooling speeds near what Masanes and Oppenheim found are the bounds. As technology improves, they hope that these bounds will start to become practically relevant. “The work is important – the third law is one of the fundamental issues of contemporary physics,” says Ronnie Kosloff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “It relates thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, information theory – it’s a meeting point of many things.” This article appeared in print under the headline “We’ll never get to absolute zero”


News Article | April 6, 2017
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a new mechanism through which our genes express the oxygen-carrying molecule hemoglobin. The discovery shows that even at the cellular level, stress and the ability to mount a stress response are essential to our survival. Our ability to breathe oxygen is critical to our survival. This process is mediated by the hemoglobin in our blood, which carries oxygen. Since air contains less oxygen on high mountains, the body is under pressure to make hemoglobin rapidly a stressful time. But what role does cellular stress play in the production of hemoglobin? In a paper in the high-impact journal Cell Research, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem report the discovery of an entirely new mechanism through which globin genes are expressed. Discovery of this hitherto unknown property of the hemoglobin genes shows that stress is absolutely needed to allow for the production of hemoglobin. To produce a globin protein molecule, the DNA of the globin gene is first transcribed into a long RNA molecule from which internal segments must be excised, or spliced out, to generate the RNA template for protein synthesis in the red cell. Now, a team of molecular biologists led by Prof. Raymond Kaempfer in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine reports that for each of the adult and fetal globin genes, the splicing of its RNA is strictly controlled by an intracellular stress signal. The signal, which has been known for a long time, involves an enzyme present in every cell of the body, called PKR, which remains silent unless it is activated by a specific RNA structure thought to occur only in RNA made by viruses. What Kaempfer and collaborators have discovered is that the long RNAs transcribed from the globin genes each contain a short intrinsic RNA element that is capable of strongly activating PKR. Unless the PKR enzyme is activated in this manner, the long RNA cannot be spliced to form the mature RNA template for globin protein synthesis. "Surprisingly, we have revealed an entirely new mechanism through which hemoglobin gene expression is regulated by stress. An intracellular signal, essential for coping with stress, is absolutely necessary to allow for hemoglobin production. That stress signal is activated by the hemoglobin gene itself. Although we have long known that this signal strongly inhibits protein synthesis in general, during hemoglobin gene expression it first plays its indispensable, positive role before being turned off promptly to allow for massive hemoglobin formation needed for breathing," said Prof. Raymond Kaempfer, the Dr. Philip M. Marcus Professor of Molecular Biology and Cancer Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Once activated, PKR will place a phosphate (a process known as phosphorylation) onto a key initiation factor needed for the synthesis of all proteins, called eIF2-alpha. That in turn leads to inactivation of eIF2-alpha, resulting in a block in protein synthesis. This process is essential for coping with stress. Most unexpectedly, they discovered that once activated, PKR must phosphorylate eIF2-alpha, and that phosphorylated eIF2-alpha is essential to form the machinery needed to splice globin RNA. In the splicing process, removal of an internal RNA segment causes the mature RNA product to refold such that it no longer will activate PKR, now allowing for unimpeded synthesis on this RNA of the essential globin protein chains at maximal rates, allowing for effective oxygen breathing. In other words, the ability to activate PKR remains transient, serving solely to enable splicing. Thus, the team has demonstrated a novel, positive role for PKR activation and eIF2-alpha phosphorylation in human globin RNA splicing, in contrast to the long-standing negative role of this intracellular stress response in protein synthesis. The realization that stress is not only important but also essential may have important implications for how we understand hemoglobin expression. "What this boils down to is that even at the cellular level, stress and the ability to mount a stress response are essential to our survival. We have long known this in relation to other biological processes, and now we see that it is at play even for the tiny molecules that carry oxygen in our blood," said Prof. Kaempfer.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed an innovative new method for detecting buried land mines, and it combines two unconventional tools: lasers and fluorescent bacteria. Civilians around the world are continually impacted by live land mines left over from wartime. Detecting the land mines is difficult and removing them is obviously dangerous. And every year, between 15,000 and 20,000 people are hurt or killed by the devices. As many as 110 million buried land mines have been laid in more than 70 countries since the 1960s, according to the United Nations. Millions are still buried and unexploded. Over the past few years, a number of creative methods have emerged for detecting and detonating land mines, including Massoud Hassani’s windblown device and drone-based system called Mine Kafon. The new Hebrew University method is inspired by the fact that soils collect trace amounts of explosive vapors that leak out of land mines. Detecting the vapors helps detect the land mine. The researchers genetically engineered bacteria to give off a fluorescent signals when contacted by the explosive vapors. They then packed the bacteria into small beads and sprinkled them across the top layer of a test site that had land mines buried underneath. From a safe distance, they scanned the site with a laser and successfully detected the location of the land mines. A paper detailing the study was published last week in the journal Nature Biotechnology. “Our field data show that engineered biosensors may be useful in a land mine detection system,” said Shimshon Belkin, who was in charge of engineering the bacteria. However, he pointed out there were a few more obstacles ahead: “For this to be possible, several challenges need to be overcome, such as enhancing the sensitivity and stability of the sensor bacteria, improving scanning speeds to cover large areas, and making the scanning apparatus more compact so it can be used on board a light unmanned aircraft or drone.”


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

DANBURY, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In support of its continued drive to be the leading innovator in the global polymer additive market, Addivant™ announced today the promotion of Dr. Hayder Zahalka as Addivant’s first Research Fellow. This designation is recognized globally as an expert in a technology platform area as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications, patents and major contributions to an industry. In his announcement to the company, John Steitz, CEO stated, “Hayder is recognized globally and is our foremost technical expert on polyethylene and elastomer technologies. He is our primary technical contact with PE and elastomer customers demonstrating the value of WESTON® 705. We are very fortunate to have such a leading global expert on our team and continue to expect great innovations from Hayder and our entire R&D organization.” Dr. Zahalka holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry-Biochemistry, a Master of Science in Applied Chemistry, and a PhD in Catalysis and Process Development from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Additionally, he completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Organometallic Chemistry at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Zahalka is Addivant’s leading presenter at national and international conferences, with 39 papers delivered globally since 2008. He is an inventor or co-inventor on 6 granted patents and 2 pending applications. Addivant™ is an innovator in the field of polymer additives, developing customized solutions that provide customers enhanced application performance, safe handling, and reduction in cost of use. The company is recognized industry-wide for its extensive portfolio of specialty additives including antioxidants, light stabilizers, rubber additives, polymer modifiers, metal deactivators, polymerization inhibitors, and intermediates. Addivant is an international company with 11 plants on five continents, as well as research, manufacturing, and sales facilities around the globe. The company maintains its global headquarters in Connecticut, USA, with regional headquarters in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, Basel, Switzerland, and Shanghai, China. Addivant is an independent portfolio company of SK Capital. Visit www.addivant.com for more information. ADDIVANT™, WESTON®, ANOX®, POLYBOND®, LOWINOX®, ULTRANOX®, GENOX®, NAUGARD® and FLEXAMINE® are trademarks of Addivant.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Paris (AFP) - High-tech dating of mastodon remains found in southern California has shattered the timeline of human migration to America, pushing the presence of hominins back to 130,000 years ago rather than just 15,000 years, researchers said Wednesday. Teeth and bones of the elephant-like creature unmistakably modified by human hands, along with stone hammers and anvils, leave no doubt that some species of early human feasted on its carcass, they reported in the journal Nature. Discovered in 1992 during construction work to expand an expressway, the bone fragments "show clear signs of having been deliberately broken by humans with manual dexterity," said lead author Steve Holen, director of research at the Center for American Paleolithic Research. Up to now, the earliest confirmed passage of our ancestors into North America took place about 15,000 years ago. These were modern humans -- Homo sapiens -- that probably crossed from Siberia into what is today Alaska, by land or along the coast. There have been several other claims of an even earlier bipedal footprint on the continent, but none would take that timeline back further than 50,000 years, and all remain sharply contested. The absence of human remains at the California site throws wide open the question of who these mysterious hunters were, as well as when -- and how -- they arrived on American shores. One possibility that can be excluded with high confidence is that they were like us. Homo sapiens, experts say, did not exit Africa until about 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. But that still leaves a wide range of candidates, including several other hominin species that roamed Eurasia 130,000 years ago, the authors said. They include Homo erectus, whose earliest traces date back nearly two million years; Neanderthals, who fought and co-mingled with modern humans across Europe before dying out some 40,000 years ago; and an enigmatic species called Denisovans, whose DNA survives today in Australian aboriginals. In a companion analysis, Holen and his team argue that -- despite rising seas 130,000 years ago due to an inter-glacial period of warming -- the overseas distances to the Americas were within the capacity of human populations at the time. Intriguingly, in light of the new find, recent studies have also shown a genetic link between present-day Amazonian native Americans and some Asian and Australian peoples. The picture that emerges "indicates a diverse set of founding populations of the Americas," said Erella Hovers, an anthropologist at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who did not take part in the new study. As for the early humans who carved up the bones at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, named for the paleontologist who discovered it, they likely died out, leaving no genetic trace in modern North Americans, the authors conjectured. Previous attempts to accurately date artefacts at the site fell short. Then, in 2014, co-author James Paces, a researcher with the US Geological Survey, used state-of-the-art radiometric methods to measure traces of natural uranium and its decaying by-products in the mastodon bones, which were still fresh when broken by precise blows from stone hammers. The prehistoric butchery, he determined, took place 130,000 years ago, give or take 9,400 years, and was may have sought to extract nutritious marrow. "Since the original discovery, dating technology has advanced to enable us to confirm with further certainty that early humans were here signficantly earlier than commonly accepted," said co-author Thomas Demere, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum. To strengthen the case, researchers set up an experiment to reproduce the stone-age food prep tableau unearthed from "Bed E" of the excavation site. Using stone hammers and anvils similar to those found, they broke open large elephant bones much in the way pre-historic humans might have done. Certain blows yielded exactly the kind of strike marks, on both the hammers and the bones. The same patterns, further tests showed, could not have emerged from natural wear-and-tear, or from the deliberate crafting of the tools, called flaking. "This is a very old technology," said Holen. "We have people in Africa 1.5 million years ago breaking up elephant limb bones in this pattern, and as humans moved out of Africa and across the world they took this type of technology with them." There remain nonetheless big holes in the narrative of human migration to the Americas, Hovers said, commenting in Nature. "Time will tell whether this evidence will bring a paradigm change in our understanding of hominin dispersal and colonisation throughout the world, including in what now seems to be a not-so-new New World," she wrote.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Fossilised Mastodon bones could rewrite story of how humans colonised the world The discovery of the fossilised remains of an elephant-like animal on a construction site in San Diego appears to have entirely rewritten the story of humans’ colonisation of the world. For the 130,000-year-old mastodon bones had been smashed in a way that suggests people had used stones to break into the nutritious marrow inside – even though humans were not supposed to have arrived on the continent for another 115,000 years. Homo sapiens are thought to have still been in Africa at this time and the researchers said the type of human involved was “unidentified”. One expert suggested they could be Homo erectus, Neanderthals or Denisovans, but the newly discovered ‘hobbits’, Homo floresiensis, are not thought to be likely candidates. How they got there is another burning question. They might have crossed the land bridge that once linked east-Asia and Alaska, but it is also possible they sailed across an 80km stretch of ocean. The remains were found in 1992, but they could not be accurately dated until technological advances allowed this to happen in 2011. Now the researchers have published a paper about their work in the journal Nature as an exhibition about the findings opened at the San Diego Natural History Museum. In a video about the discovery, the museum said: “It took 22 years to piece the story of these fossils together. And the picture it reveals just might change everything.” When the remains were first found, experts from the museum thought they had simply discovered the remains of a dead mastodon. “But something was puzzling. Many of the bones were strangely fractures or missing entirely,” the museum said. “And there were several large stones that seemed out of place in the surrounding fine-grained sediments.” Ancestors of 'hobbits' may have been first humans to leave Africa Dr Steve Holen, of Denver Museum of Nature and Science, was brought in to examine the fractured fossils. “Using femur bones of recently deceased elephants, Holen had conducted two separate experiments in which he demonstrated that a stone used as a hammer causes fresh limb bones to fracture in a distinctive way,” the museum said. “No known geological process or animal scavenging produces the same fractures in bones.” Another expert was then asked to examine the stones found near the fossils. “The large stones showed the same abrasions, fractures and scars that only occur in stones used as hammer stones and anvils,” the museum added. It said the research raised fundamental questions about the human story. “Who were the humans at work at this site and how did they reach North America? Were they an early failed attempt to colonise a new part of the world?” the museum pondered in the video. In the Nature paper, the researchers said the dating technique suggested the remains were 130,000 years old, plus or minus about 9,400 years. “These findings confirm the presence of an unidentified species of Homo at the site during the last interglacial period, indicating that humans with manual dexterity and the experiential knowledge to use hammerstones and anvils processed mastodon limb bones for marrow extraction and/or raw material for tool production,” the paper said. “The site is, to our knowledge, the oldest in situ, well-documented archaeological site in North America and, as such, substantially revises the timing of arrival of Homo into the Americas.” An accompanying article by Professor Erella Hovers, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the “big surprise” was the site's age. “The finds … could place hominins in the New World more than 100,000 years earlier than previously thought,” she said. “The authors propose coastal entry, given claims that hominins reached Asian and Mediterranean islands more than 100,000 years ago. “They argue that, despite sea-level rise during the last interglacial, the distances to the Americas by water were within the capabilities of human populations at that time; the warm interglacial conditions would have facilitated adaptation to the newly discovered environment on land.” She suggested “late populations of Homo erectus”, Neanderthals or the “elusive” Denisovans may have butchered the mastodon. She noted that Dr Holen and colleagues “do not consider the insular Homo floresiensis as a probable early coloniser of America”. “What happened after these hominins reached the Americas? The archaeological record is silent until much more recent times,” Dr Hovers said. There have been other suggestions that humans were present in the Americas before 15,000 years ago, but the evidence has been inconclusive. But Dr Hovers said: “The evidence from the Cerutti Mastodon site has been rigorously researched and presented, and might be more difficult to refute, even though the proposed hominin narrative derived from these data has some gaping holes that need filling. “Time will tell whether this evidence will bring a paradigm change in our understanding of processes of hominin dispersal and colonisation throughout the world, including in what now seems to be a not-so-new New World.”


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Remote detection of buried landmines is a possible application of system to remotely detect buried landmines using a bacterial sensor and a laser-based scanning system. Credit: Hebrew University The need for safe and efficient technologies for detecting buried landmines and unexploded ordnance is a humanitarian issue of immense global proportions. About half a million people around the world are suffering from mine-inflicted injuries, and each year an additional 15 to 20 thousand more people are injured or killed by these devices. More than 100 million such devices are still buried in over 70 countries. The major technical challenge in clearing minefields is detecting the mines. The technologies used today are not much different from those used in World War II, requiring detection teams to risk life and limb by physically entering the minefields. Clearly, there is a critical need for an efficient solution for the remote detection of buried landmines and unexploded ordnance. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem now report a potential answer to this need. Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, they present a novel, functional system combining lasers and bacteria to remotely map the location of buried landmines and unexploded ordnance. The system is based on the observation that all landmines leak minute quantities of explosive vapors, which accumulate in the soil above them and serve as markers for their presence. The researchers molecularly engineered live bacteria that emit a fluorescent signal when they come into contact with these vapors. This signal can be recorded and quantified from a remote location. The bacteria were encapsulated in small polymeric beads, which were scattered across the surface of a test field in which real antipersonnel landmines were buried. Using a laser-based scanning system, the test field was remotely scanned and the location of the buried landmines was determined. This appear to be the first demonstration of a functional standoff landmine detection system. "Our field data show that engineered biosensors may be useful in a landmine detection system. For this to be possible, several challenges need to be overcome, such as enhancing the sensitivity and stability of the sensor bacteria, improving scanning speeds to cover large areas, and making the scanning apparatus more compact so it can be used on board a light unmanned aircraft or drone," said Prof. Shimshon Belkin, from the Hebrew University's Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, who was responsible for genetically engineering the bacterial sensors. Explore further: Simple test could offer cheap solution to detecting landmines


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. Denisovans, more closely related to Neanderthals than to us, are known from fossils found in a Siberian cave. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative story says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) This Jan. 25, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum shows a concentration of fossil bone and rock at an excavation site in San Diego, Calif. The positions of the femur heads, one up and one down, broken in the same manner next to each other is unusual. Mastodon molars are located in the lower right hand corner next to a large rock comprised of andesite which is in contact with a broken vertebra. At upper left is a rib angled upwards resting on a rock fragment. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) In this February 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists C. Paul Majors and Matt Colbert work at the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP) (AP) — A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of reactions. "If the results stand up to further scrutiny, this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London. Neanderthals and Denisovans are the most likely identities of the visitors, he said. But "many of us will want to see supporting evidence of this ancient occupation from other sites, before we abandon the conventional model of a first arrival by modern humans within the last 15,000 years," he wrote in an email. Erella Hovers of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in Tempe, who wrote a commentary accompanying the work, said in an email that the archaeological interpretation seemed convincing. Some other experts said the age estimate appears sound. But some were skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson said the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid." For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives. The lead author, Holen, told reporters Tuesday that he and co-authors were ready for such criticism. "We expected skepticism because of the extremely old age of this site," he said. "I think we made a very good case." Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Mittler R.,University of Nevada, Reno | Mittler R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Blumwald E.,University of California at Davis
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2010

Abiotic stress conditions such as drought, heat, or salinity cause extensive losses to agricultural production worldwide. Progress in generating transgenic crops with enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses has nevertheless been slow. The complex field environment with its heterogenic conditions, abiotic stress combinations, and global climatic changes are but a few of the challenges facing modern agriculture. A combination of approaches will likely be needed to significantly improve the abiotic stress tolerance of crops in the field. These will include mechanistic understanding and subsequent utilization of stress response and stress acclimation networks, with careful attention to field growth conditions, extensive testing in the laboratory, greenhouse, and the field; the use of innovative approaches that take into consideration the genetic background and physiology of different crops; the use of enzymes and proteins from other organisms; and the integration of QTL mapping and other genetic and breeding tools. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Schapiro I.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion | Ruhman S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2014

Light induced isomerization of the retinal chromophore activates biological function in all retinal protein (RP) driving processes such as ion-pumping, vertebrate vision and phototaxis in organisms as primitive as archea, or as complex as mammals. This process and its consecutive reactions have been the focus of experimental and theoretical research for decades. The aim of this review is to demonstrate how the experimental and theoretical research efforts can now be combined to reach a more comprehensive understanding of the excited state process on the molecular level. Using the Anabaena Sensory Rhodopsin as an example we will show how contemporary time-resolved spectroscopy and recently implemented excited state QM/MM methods consistently describe photochemistry in retinal proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Patent
MERCK PATENT GmbH, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Qlight Nanotech Ltd. | Date: 2012-05-09

A light emitting device is presented. The device comprises an array of pixels and an electrode arrangement, wherein said array of pixels comprises pixels of first and second groups comprising first and second pluralities of light emitting nanorods aligned along first and second predetermined axes respectively, the axes being substantially perpendicular to each other, and the pixels of said array are associated with a plurality of electrode elements of said electrode arrangement thereby enabling modulation of optical emission of one or more pixels separately from one or more other pixels of said pixel array by controllable application of an electric field, the device being therefore configured and operable as an active pixel emitter.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-4 | Award Amount: 5.24M | Year: 2012

The main goal of this proposal is to bring novel technology of biocompatible, low bio-fouling, high electrochemical performance carbon nanomaterials to in-vivo preclinical applications and at the same time to use this materials to develop a highly advanced concept of intimate intracellular contact, based on bottom - up technology of, engulfing the micro-electrode by neural cells. Such bionic interfaces resemble true intrinsic physiological properties of neural somas and form a tight, extremely low-invasive bidirectional coupling for both motor and sensory functions. Advantage of our approach is unperfected fidelity of signals and resolution of single neuron fibers to be coupled to one protruding electrode. The research targets are devices ranging from cuff or lead electrodes to novel bidirectional interfaces for both sensory and motor functions for cybernetic mind-controlled prosthetics. Instead of re-targeting to an entire muscle, our research comes thus with a technique how to couple neurons by an intracellular way to form a single microelectrode-axon stimulating device and at the same time to provide sensory input , being on the front edge of research on bionic interfaces for novel neuroprosthetics. The proposed technology takes advantage of unique properties of well established nanodiamond thin films, with their unique and the simple carbon chemistry allowing integration with antibactericidal and anti-inflammatory surfaces. MERIDIAN will demonstrate devices in in-vivo studies and in preclinical tests on humans and benchmark fabricated devices with the current state of the art bionic system on the market.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 285.10K | Year: 2012

Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite spread between people by mosquitoes. In sub-Saharan Africa, it causes an estimated 800,000 deaths per year, most of whom are children under the age of five. The disease is proving very difficult to control in many parts of Africa using tools that are currently available. These include bed nets, insecticides and antimalarial drugs. It is thought that, even if these tools are widespread, elimination may not be possible in some areas. Consequently, new strategies are being considered that will complement existing ones. One such strategy is the use of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes. Strategies using GM mosquitoes can be grouped into two categories - those aiming to reduce mosquito population size, and those aiming to replace mosquito populations with varieties unable to transmit diseases. The former strategy has been tested in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil to control dengue fever. The latter strategy is being considered for malaria control because it is more promising on a wider scale. Here, mosquitoes would be engineered with a gene that prevents them from transmitting malaria. This would be linked to a gene that favors its inheritance across generations. Mosquitoes have a short generation time - just a few weeks - and so the antimalarial gene could quickly increase in frequency, spreading into one population and then into another. This is promising for wide-scale malaria control, but draws into question the ability to conduct a confined field trial. In this project, Dr John Marshall, a researcher in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, will develop a computer simulation to determine the optimal strategy for conducting a field trial of GM mosquitoes for malaria control. One major requirement for a field trial is that transgenes remain confined to their release site while also causing a significant reduction in local malaria transmission. Field trials are being considered on islands off the coast of Africa, including the Comoros Islands, Bioko Island, and Sao Tome and Principe. Dr Marshall will tailor his models to these locations using available mosquito and malaria prevalence data. He will then use his model to determine whether transgenes can be confined to these field sites, and under what release scenarios they will cause a maximal reduction in malaria transmission. If a confined field trial is eventually successful, this will provide an important mandate for more invasive GM mosquito strategies with the potential to control malaria on a much wider scale. The malaria modelling group at Imperial College London, led by Professor Azra Ghani, has developed a model of malaria transmission covering the African continent. Dr Marshall will use this model to explore the role that GM mosquitoes could play as part of a combined, Africa-wide malaria control program. GM mosquitoes hold great promise for malaria control because they can spread beyond their release site and reduce disease transmission without requiring human compliance. This modelling work will allow the public health impact of GM mosquitoes to be predicted and compared against other combinations of malaria interventions.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 12.40M | Year: 2009

Europe has a very long and distinguished history in Marine Biology and its coastal marine biological stations are the oldest in the world. For example, Stazione Zoologica in Naples (SZN), Station Biologique in Roscoff (SBR) and Kristineberg Marine Research Station in Fiskebckskil (KMRS) were all established in the late 19th Century. They began an enviable tradition as marine biological research stations that acted, even at that time, as international infrastructure sites to serve, enhance and develop collaborative marine research worldwide. Now, however, they have become a new breed of marine research station, developing and applying new technologies and facilities that allow a higher quality of service, not only to the marine biologist community but also to the increasing numbers of scientists that are turning to marine organisms as models with which to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Building upon this enviable tradition ASSEMBLE seeks to create a network of key marine biological research stations around the European coastline including the sub-tropical station at Eilat (IUI). Uniquely, we also include a Pacific site in Chile (PUC) that provides access to one of the most important upwelling sites in the world. We aim to develop an integrated infrastructure that will make possible for biologists in Europe to study a range of unique coastal ecosystems and a wide variety of marine organisms using the most advanced approaches in modern biology. It will be based on the existing hosting capacities, sea-going facilities and research background of these marine stations, which, as noted above, already have a long experience in hosting students and visiting scientists. This infrastructure will focus on key marine ecosystems and biological models, making possible both the enhancement of existing infrastructures and the introduction and development of new technologies. These include, for example, indoor and outdoor equipment for the cultivation/raising/study o


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2015

The IMPRESS European Training Network will provide a new generation of researchers with the multidisciplinary skills and competences needed to oversee new stocking strategies for Europes most important and threatened freshwater fish species (Atlantic salmon, European eel and sturgeons) thus enabling conservation and growth in a sector of significant economic and societal importance. Freshwater fish populations bring many benefits to Europes citizens through leisure activities, and enhance rural employment through fishing and tourism. The species included in IMPRESS are sentinel species of clean, healthy freshwater ecosystems and of major historical, cultural and economic importance. Over-exploitation and anthropogenic activities have critically endangered wild populations of these fish groups, especially sturgeons. As the main flaw of past stock enhancement is high post-release mortality, the researcher training in IMPRESS will build upon recent scientific advances, especially in fish genomics and enriched hatchery techniques, to develop innovative production regimes resulting in increased survival rates of released fish. This paradigm shift in stock enhancement strategies will require changes at every level of the production cycle, from broodstock management and gamete quality to hatchery design. New in vitro and -omics technologies will be developed to solve current bottlenecks in the production cycle of sturgeons. IMPRESS will also verse young researchers on the social dimensions of this complex issue, including the need to foster closer dialogue with the important stakeholders responsible for national and regional stocking programmes. Further, through dissemination and public engagement, all IMPRESS fellows will work actively to increase public awareness on the importance of these key fish species to freshwater biodiversity, and on the major societal benefits of healthy fish populations, both for recreational activities and for supporting rural employment.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2013

The FlowTrans Initial Training Network is a unique environment for career development, built on joint challenges of Industry and University partners in a newly emerging supra-disciplinary field, spanning from Physics to Earth Sciences and aiming to understand Flow in Transforming Porous Media. Training will be hosted by 8 Universities in synergy with 2 full and 4 associated industry partners with the objective of delivering highly-trained mobile researchers to the European market. The objective of FlowTrans is the creation of a unique research training environment and a new inter-sectoral supra-interdisciplinary field to de-fragment European knowledge and combine industry and universities to harness understanding of basic scientific questions for tackling future challenges in Exploration of Geological Resources. Our research training objectives focus on teaching ESRs and ERs the necessary interdisciplinary skills needed to study Flow in Transforming Porous Media. The characterization and the understanding of flow of fluids within rocks and granular media has become an ever-increasing problem in Earth Sciences, Physics, and in many industrial applications, including CO2 sequestration, hydrocarbon migration, ore deposit development, and radioactive waste disposal. One of the main problems is the understanding of flows in transforming porous media (PM), where the rocks and fluid pathways evolve spatially and temporally, for example due to chemical interactions with the flow, or due to compaction of the solid matrix. We propose to study the feedback mechanisms and their impact on the porous media through an interdisciplinary approach between Earth Scientists and Physicists. State of the art analytical and experimental methods will be used on natural systems and rock analogues, and will be complemented by multi-scale dynamical simulations, to develop new basic understanding and new methods that can be directly used in industrial applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.4-1 | Award Amount: 15.92M | Year: 2010

Type 1 diabetes is a serious chronic disease with major health risks and heavy burden on patients and society. It is caused by massive immune-mediated loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas that can so far not be locally corrected. A cellular allotransplant in the liver can install a new beta cell mass but the size is insufficient and the procedure faces limitations of donor shortage, inaccessibility of the implants, risks of associated immunosuppression. Our consortium of research, clinical and bioindustry teams is focused on overcoming these obstacles and implementing a roadmap for translation to preclinical models and clinical trials. We will pursue three interacting tracks. First, our ability to induce beta cell progenitors and stimulate beta cell proliferation in vivo should lead us to cells and compounds that activate this process in a diabetic pancreas, thus activating endogenous beta cell regeneration. Second, we will produce human beta (progenitor) cells in vitro by derivation from stem cells as well as from reprogrammed autologous cells; their therapeutic potential will be compared to that of primary human beta cells following implantation in rodents using a site that is accessible to modulation and monitoring. Third, we will design an antibody-based therapy for inducing immune tolerance to regenerated beta cells and to a beta cell implant. Efficacy, safety and regulatory criteria will be determined for clinical implementation. Clinical protocols will be prepared by adjusting associated therapy and by adopting an accessible and controlled implant site. Clinical trials will benefit from state-of-the art biologic markers for comparative analysis of the developed forms of beta cell therapy. This program should provide proof of principle for strategies that make beta cell transplantation and beta cell regeneration realistic for large numbers of type 1 diabetic patients, and probably also for some categories of type 2 diabetes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 4.61M | Year: 2009

Chromatin packages a few meters of DNA into a nucleus measuring a few microns. This tight folding occurs by assembling DNA with histones into so-called nucleosomes, thus ensuring the mechanical stability of our genome. On the flipside, this makes nucleosomes a formidable obstacle to the machines that read, copy or repair its DNA message. One of the fundamental questions in biology is to understand how nucleosome structure is established, maintained and manipulated. Our Marie Curie Initial Training Network will carry out multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects focused on deciphering nucleosome structure and function in space and time (Nucleosome4D). Our main objective is to provide our young researchers with world-class research & training in nucleosome biology. We will use cutting-edge, interdisciplinary methods and collaborative projects to determine how nucleosomes are remodeled during transcription, when genes are silenced, as cell divide, as stem cells differentiate, during organismal development and in human disease. We utilize state-of-the-art approaches in structural biology, biophysics, cell biology, live-cell imaging, biochemistry, genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. We will implement a comprehensive training plan for scientific and career development using the best local approaches to research & training, by promoting exchanges, using the advise of our industrial partners and three Visiting Scientists, by sharing reagents and expertise, as well as through a structured set of scientific workshops and complementary skills training courses. Together, our effort will ensure the multidisciplinary and intersectorial training of a new cohort of young European researchers. This will allow our trainees to take the opportunities and meet the challenges of a successful career in the life science sector through excellent training, effective communication, great teamwork and proven project management skills.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-5 | Award Amount: 15.72M | Year: 2008

The European Drug Initiative on Channels and Transporters, EDICT, allies for the first time, partners with world-class expertise in both the structural and functional characterisation of membrane channels and transporters. State-of-the-art facilities and personnel for X-ray crystallography, Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and the latest throughput technology, will provide infrastructure for scientists characterising channel and transport functions in man and pathogenic microorganisms. Our experts in the analyses of all the databases of these membrane proteins and molecular modelling will work with our industrial partners on specific targets chosen for their potential to improve the health of European citizens, increase the competitiveness of European health-related industries and businesses and address global health issues. EDICT will increase knowledge of biological processes and mechanisms involved in normal health and in specific disease situations, and transpose this knowledge into clinical applications. By combining computational and experimental analyses, existing detailed molecular models of channel and transporter proteins, and novel structures derived by our partners, will be analysed to identify the critical regions constituting drug targets. These basic discoveries will be translated via in silico and experimental strategies with our industrial partners into the design of novel drugs that modify activities of the membrane proteins for the benefit of the patients. The range of human proteins covered includes potassium channels, anion and cation transporters, neurotransmitter transporters, cation-transporting ATPases and mitochondrial transporters. Structures of bacterial homologues to the human proteins are exploited to inform the studies of their human counterparts


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.72M | Year: 2013

Cellulose, the primary structural component of plants, is the most ubiquitous and abundant organic compound on the planet. When cellulose fibrils are processed under carefully controlled conditions, it is possible to release highly crystalline nano-particles known as nano crystalline cellulose (NCC). Recently, NCC-FOAM partners have developed a unique technique for self-assembling NCC into highly ordered puff-pastry-like layered cellular structures, i.e. foams. This self-assembly process is controllable, and the final cell structure can be modified to produce open or closed cell geometries depending on the requirements of the end application. Furthermore, the constituent NCC nanofibres are sustainably sourced from paper mill or forestry waste. The controlled patterning of the nano-structure during the self-assembly process facilitates the infusion of resins for stiffening / strengthening and the production of foams with customised internal structures and directional strength. The inherent strength of the NCC skeleton means that only minimal quantities of reinforcing resin are needed, resulting in lightweight and cost-effective foams. Within NCC-FOAM, the overall objective is to develop an NCC foam/resin composite that enables the design, development and processing of sustainable structural foam materials. The use of infused resins has yet to be developed, the challenge being to produce foams that are simultaneously structural, durable and renewably-sourced. If successful, this would represent a true breakthrough for rigid foam technology. Furthermore, NCC-FOAM aims to bring the production techniques closer to industrialisation by developing the methods and equipment to produce foams with meaningful practical dimensions (at least 1 m x 0.5 m x 20 mm). Such samples will allow the feasibility of future industrialisation to be assessed, as well as permitting a full characterisation of the materials.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2016

In this ambitious and multi-disciplinary proposal, we aim to develop new technologies that will allow us to visualize in single cells, in parallel and at the systems level, DNA, mRNAs and proteins with nanoscale resolution. We will refer to these novel technologies as the CellViewer: a unique cutting-edge high-throughput super-resolution (SR) microscopy approach (including new hardware and software development) to collect at high-resolution a large amount of spatial and dynamic information in single cells. CellViewer will allow us to study the mechanisms of mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) self-renewal and differentiation upon application of specific stimuli, as a specific test case. We will analyse in single cells with high throughput, DNA remodelling at multiple specific gene loci and their corresponding production, distribution and kinetics of mRNA and protein products. We will collect a large amount of dynamic and nanoscale spatial information that will lead us to build predictive models of the phenotypic output from specific input stimuli. In turn, we will be able to develop a mechanistic understanding of how mESCs maintain their stemness or commit to differentiation. The partners of CellViewer are internationally recognized experts from academia and industry in the fields of stem cell and chromatin biology, super-resolution microscopy, quantitative modelling of biological systems, and hardware and software development. This team as a whole is uniquely suited to bring Systems Biology into the era of single cell analysis, which will be a paradigm shift in the way cellular systems will be studied.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-2-2015 | Award Amount: 975.52K | Year: 2015

EMBRC is a distributed infrastructure of marine biology and ecology, encompassing aquaculture and biotechnology, exploiting the latest omics, analytical and imaging technologies, and providing on site and remote scientific and technical services to the scientific community of the public and private sector. EMBRC successfully completed a preparatory phase in early in 2014 with the production of a business plan and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by 9 countries. A host for its headquarters has been chosen and and an ERIC application is in preparation. Since only institutions from 5 MoU signatory countries went through the preparatory phase, the present proposal has as objectives: 1) to harmonize the access mechanism to the operational EMBRC-ERIC across all the partners, putting all the practical tools in place, including host contracts and single point online access platform, to enable EMBRC-ERIC to commence its access program; 2) to put in place practical guidelines towards the full implementation of the new European and international legislation and commitments on access and fair benefit sharing of the use of marine biological resources, thus providing clarity to future users of EMBRC-ERIC about their legal rights over obtained biological resources, and positioning itself globally as a broker between users and the supplying countries ; 3) to focus the smart specialization of the regions onto the opportunities marine biological resources offer for blue-biotech development and innovation, thus demonstrating the member states that EMBRC is a tool towards economic development of their maritime regions, and enticing them to sign the EMBRC-ERIC, and prioritize its sustained support, particularly from regions which are now underrepresented in EMBRC (Black and Baltic Seas). These activities will ensure that the beneficiary research communities can exploit the results obtained at EMBRC-ERIC facility from the start with the highest efficiency.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Such an understanding can provide profound insights into our humanity, leading to fundamentally new computing technologies, and transforming the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders. Modern ICT brings this prospect within reach. The HBP Flagship Initiative (HBP) thus proposes a unique strategy that uses ICT to integrate neuroscience data from around the world, to develop a unified multi-level understanding of the brain and diseases, and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The goal is to catalyze a global collaborative effort. During the HBPs first Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1), the HBP Core Project will outline the basis for building and operating a tightly integrated Research Infrastructure, providing HBP researchers and the scientific Community with unique resources and capabilities. Partnering Projects will enable independent research groups to expand the capabilities of the HBP Platforms, in order to use them to address otherwise intractable problems in neuroscience, computing and medicine in the future. In addition, collaborations with other national, European and international initiatives will create synergies, maximizing returns on research investment. SGA1 covers the detailed steps that will be taken to move the HBP closer to achieving its ambitious Flagship Objectives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2017

TREATMENT is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network proposal directly addressing the need for high-level training and career paths in risk evaluation of drug induced metabolic dysfunctions, a relevant aspect, so far unexplored by traditional toxicology studies, but urgently needed to challenge current severe limitations of health care interventions in mental disorders. These patients require life-long medications that subsequently trigger metabolic diseases with a strong negative impact on their health and well-being. To achieve this, and improve adherence to treatments, we will evaluate how short-term antipsychotic drug responses impact long-term metabolic control to identify and validate biomarkers with clinically predictive value for targeting drug induced metabolic dysfunctions. This effort will have added commercial value by enabling the design of predictive marker kits for testing adverse secondary metabolic effects of drugs to be used in pharmacological and medical practice. TREATMENT will provide multidisciplinary knowledge, capabilities and tools to implement this ambitious strategy by the training of young scientists in a program that combines pharmacology, metabolism and mental health research with strategies for product and tool design and validation. Our ultimate goal is to empower the intersectorial and trans-national employability of young scientists across academic, public and private sectors to foster the development and implementation of personalized medicine tools that will provide effective treatment regimens for life long health-care interventions and decrease the risk for development of chronic metabolic diseases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2017

CircRTrain focuses on circular RNAs (circRNAs), a new large class of single-stranded RNAs with covalently closed ends. CircRNAs have only very recently attracted high general interest and become the focus of an increasing number of publications: recent discoveries through sequencing technology and computational analyses have revealed the widespread existence of circRNAs in animal cells. Particularly in neural tissues, circRNA expression is high, dynamic, and evolutionarily conserved. In aging animal brains the expression of certain circRNAs is strongly elevated, suggesting connections to age-related diseases. The study of circRNAs thus emerges as a novel topic with highest importance for the understanding of such diverse conditions as neurodegenerative diseases, aging, and cancer. Moreover, the highly stable expression and their presence in human blood and exosomes make circRNAs attractive biomarker candidates. The overall aims of circRTrain are to 1. Elucidate the biogenesis and function of circRNAs; 2. Define their role in diseases; 3. Exploit their potential as biomarkers and for medical applications; and 4. Combine cutting-edge technologies and disciplines. Understanding circRNAs and exploring their medical relevance requires to integrate various technologies (sequencing, single-molecule and whole-organism imaging, RNA knockdown/delivery, CRISPR/CAS9), disciplines (biochemistry, computational biology, genetics), model systems (worm, fly, mouse, human) and medical applications (biomarkers, new therapeutic strategies). CircRTrain will combine these diverse approaches and industrial technologies by training 15 early stage researchers (ESR) at two SMEs and seven academic partners, which are all leaders in their respective fields. Additionally, cooperation with four partner organizations, circRNA devoted conferences, winter- and summer schools will extend training for the ESRs, sustaining the critical number of young talented professionals in the field.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2016 | Award Amount: 870.02K | Year: 2016

Following previous TEN years of successful implementation of European Researchers Night in Israel we will have: o Venues covering the whole country. o Involvement of the academic community including Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST), all major research universities, leading collages and three science museums. o Awareness campaign at national level managed and funded by the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. o Groups of junior-high and high-school students (ages 12-18) will be invited by each partner to take part in each venue. We are ready and proud to implement European Researchers Night 2016 & 2017. All of the partners involved in the project have the experience of running successful European Researchers Nights events. With the successive increase in number of visitors along the years and the reputation of the event we are expecting more than 55,000 visitors each year. Same management as in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 successful events. Proposal covers both 2016 & 2017 European Researchers Night events.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SESAR-RIA | Phase: Sesar-05-2015 | Award Amount: 599.80K | Year: 2016

The provision of ATM services has for a long time been a national monopoly, with the important role attributed to the nation state (by ICAO) of managing air traffic safely in its national airspace. In addition, provision of air traffic services (ATS) has traditionally been considered a natural monopoly due to the large infrastructure investments. These elements are now both changing. The European Union is increasingly entering the air traffic management world, opposing the national character of the industry and increasing the scale at which air traffic services could be provided. In addition, technological changes are more and more reducing the need for large scale ground-based infrastructure and expensive equipment, putting into question the natural monopoly character of the industry. Therefore today is the right time to study the liberalization and introduction of competition in the ATM sector. However, competition can be introduced at various levels and in different ways. The overall goal of COMPAIR is to investigate how to introduce competitive incentives in the ATM sector so as to best contribute to the achievement of the European high-level policy objectives for aviation. The project will pursue the following objectives: 1. propose a set of new institutional market designs for the introduction of competition in the European ATM sector; 2. define a framework allowing a comprehensive assessment of the impact of different institutional market designs on ATM stakeholders and society at large; 3. develop a variety of economic and network simulation models allowing the evaluation of the proposed regulatory approaches along the dimensions identified as relevant in the assessment framework; 4. assess the feasibility and acceptability of proposed institutional changes for various market actors; 5. propose a vision and derive policy recommendations for the implementation of those new institutional structures identified as most beneficial for the European ATM system.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Rambam Health Corporation | Date: 2014-07-10

The invention generally provides implants comprising polymers and contrast agents for marking and monitoring medical conditions.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Qlight Nanotech Ltd | Date: 2014-07-01

This invention generally relates to metal chalcogenide nanostructures, methods for their preparation and methods of use. A method is disclosed that transforms zinc chalcogenide nanowires into nanorods or quadrilateral nanostructures in an anneal step. Particular embodiments comprise ZnO nanostructures.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Qlight Nanotech Ltd. | Date: 2016-04-04

Compositions of matter comprising a seeded semiconductor nanoparticle material and a non-quantum confined phosphor particle material for use in light conversion and light conversion layers comprising such compositions. In various embodiments, spherical core/shell seeded nanoparticles (SNPs) or nanorod seeded nanoparticles (RSNPs) are combined with a phosphor material to provide a composition of matter with small re-absorbance of the phosphor emission in both green and red wavelength regions and small re-absorbance of the SNP emission, In some embodiments, the SNPs or RSNPs are encapsulated in a first host material before being mixed with the phosphor particles. In various embodiments, a SNP/RSNP-phosphor mixture or encapsulated SNP/RSNP-phosphor mixture is incorporated in host matrix.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and QLight Nanotech Ltd. | Date: 2015-07-15

Optical conversion layers based on semiconductor nanoparticles for use in lighting devices, and lighting devices including same. In various embodiments, spherical core/shell seeded nanoparticles (SNPs) or nanorod seeded nanoparticles (RSNPs) are used to form conversion layers with superior combinations of high optical density (OD), low re-absorbance and small FRET. In some embodiments, the SNPs or RSNPs form conversion layers without a host matrix. In some embodiments, the SNPs or RSNPs are embedded in a host matrix such as polymers or silicone. The conversion layers can be made extremely thin, while exhibiting the superior combinations of optical properties. Lighting devices including SNP or RSNP-based conversion layers exhibit energetically efficient superior prescribed colour emission


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd. | Date: 2014-03-25

A system for detecting target elements such as bacteria in a host analyte, comprising a substrate with an ordered array of wells having diameters to fit the size of the targets. The substrate may be a periodic macro-PSi array structure (MPSiAS) illuminated with a broadband source. The reflected light spectrum diffracted from the substrate is optically analyzed to provide the effective optical depth of the wells. Fast Fourier Transform analysis may be used for the optical analysis. Entry of target elements into wells is detected by the change in the effective optical depths of the wells. Micro-organisms as large as bacteria and viruses having dimensions comparable with the wavelength of the illumination can thus be detected. Wells with an inner section impenetrable by the target cells enables compensation for environmental changes. The detection may be performed in real time, such that production line bacterial monitoring may be achieved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-9-2 | Award Amount: 9.40M | Year: 2011

The goal of HeMiBio is to develop a hepatic microfluidic bioreactor from human iPSC-derived hepatocytes, hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (HSEC) and stellate cells (HSC), suitable for inclusion in a repeated dose toxicity testing strategy of pharmaceuticals/cosmetic ingredients. The successful creation of such a liver-device requires (a) homotypic and heterotypic interactions between the three cell types to induce and maintain their functional, differentiated state, and (b) optimisation of the matrix, oxygenation conditions, nutrient transport and physiological shear forces. The objectives are (1) to engineer the cellular components incorporated in the bioreactor to enable specific and spatially defined enrichment of the different cells from iPSC progeny, and, by gene editing, to allow non-invasive monitoring of the cellular state (differentiation and damage). (2) Aside from the molecular sensors, an array of electro-chemical sensors will be embedded in the reactors to assess liver-specific function and cellular health under repeated dose toxicity conditions, dynamically and in a high-throughput way. Cells and sensors will be built into (3) bioreactors that will be sequentially upgraded from 2D to 3D microfluidic reactors to ultimately allow full maintenance of mature functional hepatocytes, HSC and HSEC for >28 days. (4) As the ultimate goal is to use the device as a human-based alternative to rodent long-term hepatotoxicity studies, it will be of utmost importance to provide proof of concept that the 3D-devices reveal the hepatotoxicity of prototypical hepatotoxic compounds in vivo (5). -Omics and cell functionality studies will provide evidence that liver-like cells are present, exposed and affected by the selected toxic compounds. These ambitious objectives will be achieved by the excellent project team, composed of academic/industrial partners with unique and complementary biology, physiology, toxicology and technical skills from 7 EU Member States.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.29M | Year: 2013

Off flavour is the presence of undesired sensory properties in food items. Most common in aquaculture products are earthy-musty off flavours caused by the presence of geosmin and 2-methyl-iso-borneol (MIB) in fish tissues. Off flavour is associated to land-based aquaculture production systems with high nutrient loadings such as pond systems and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).Off flavour causes economic damage to the aquaculture industry through consumer rejection and low consumer appreciation of aquaculture products and through the additional costs of off flavour removal from fish crops prior to market entrance. Off flavour in farmed fish is an extensively studied and well documented problem. Despite this, satisfactory solutions for the problem are still lacking today. The overall objective of this project is to established a reduction of the incidence of off flavour in farmed fish produced in RAS. The project adopts three strategies to reach this objective: 1) Preventive strategy: reducing the microbial production of geosmin and MIB in aquaculture production systems; 2) Curative strategy: removing geosmin and MIB from the fish culture water; 3) Alternative strategy: optimizing the depuration process. The foreseen results of the project include: 1) Measures to reduce off flavour in RAS 2) Low off flavour RAS design 3) A bioreactor for geosmin and MIB removal from RAS 4) Measures to improve off flavour depuration processes 5) Design of optimal off flavour depuration facility 6) Trained sensory panels The consortium that will implement this project consists of four SMEs, one Other partner and three RTDs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 72.73M | Year: 2013

Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain diseases and build revolutionary new computing technologies. Today, for the first time, modern ICT has brought these goals within sight. The goal of the Human Brain Project, part of the FET Flagship Programme, is to translate this vision into reality, using ICT as a catalyst for a global collaborative effort to understand the human brain and its diseases and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The Human Brain Project will last ten years and will consist of a ramp-up phase (from month 1 to month 36) and subsequent operational phases.\nThis Grant Agreement covers the ramp-up phase. During this phase the strategic goals of the project will be to design, develop and deploy the first versions of six ICT platforms dedicated to Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics, and create a user community of research groups from within and outside the HBP, set up a European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience, complete a set of pilot projects providing a first demonstration of the scientific value of the platforms and the Institute, develop the scientific and technological capabilities required by future versions of the platforms, implement a policy of Responsible Innovation, and a programme of transdisciplinary education, and develop a framework for collaboration that links the partners under strong scientific leadership and professional project management, providing a coherent European approach and ensuring effective alignment of regional, national and European research and programmes. The project work plan is organized in the form of thirteen subprojects, each dedicated to a specific area of activity.\nA significant part of the budget will be used for competitive calls to complement the collective skills of the Consortium with additional expertise.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-10 | Award Amount: 8.06M | Year: 2012

European aquaculture production provides direct employment to 65.000 people with a turnover of 3 billion . However, the lack of authorised veterinary medicinal products and the consequent disease outbreaks in farmed fish species costs the sector 20% of the production value. The most appropriate method for disease control, both on economical and ethical grounds, is disease prevention by vaccination. TargetFish will advance the development of existing (but not sufficient) and new prototype vaccines against socio-economically important viral or bacterial pathogens of Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, sea bass, sea bream and turbot. The project will develop targeted vaccination strategies for currently sub-optimal and for novel vaccines. Improved vaccines will be brought closer to industrial application by addressing practical issues such as efficacy, safety and delivery route. TargetFish will also establish a knowledge- and technology-base for rational development of next generation fish vaccines. To achieve these challenging tasks, we brought together 29 partners from 11 EU member states, 2 associated countries and 1 International Cooperation Partner Country (ICPC). In this large multidisciplinary consortium an approximate equal number of RTD and SME partners will cooperate closely while keeping an intensive communication with the large vaccine and nutrition industries via an Industry Forum. Specifically, TargetFish will 1) generate knowledge by studying antigens and adjuvants for mucosal routes of administration while analyzing the underpinning protective immune mechanisms; 2) validate this knowledge with response assays for monitoring vaccine efficacy and study safety aspects, including those associated with DNA vaccines; 3) approach implementation of prototype vaccines by optimizing vaccination strategies thus 4) shortening the route to exploitation. Thereby, this project will greatly enhance targeted disease prophylaxis in European fish farming.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 486.75K | Year: 2012

We seek to bring together all major European and Israeli research centres in Optimal Control of Quantum Information Processing. This project will coordinate ongoing research activities, best practice dissemination, personnel training and public engagement as well as interaction with public stakeholders and policymakers for 17 established research groups from 15 universities in 6 countries a total of about 60 scientists and 30 PhD students, spanning a variety of nationalities, races, cultures, social backgrounds, genders and career stages.The proposed Consortium will join the forces of multiple EU and Israeli research groups to explore a radical alternative to the currently established information processing technologies quantum information processing, where bits are carried by atoms or elementary particles and dramatic acceleration is believed to be possible for several types of computational tasks. Our specific research area within Quantum Information Processing is optimal control of quantum bits a set of technologies that enable extremely accurate manipulation of quantum bits with minimal expenditure of energy.Within this Coordination Action, we aim to create a vibrant, productive and efficient European research community, to deliver value to the society and to grow a new generation of young European physicists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-4 | Award Amount: 15.50M | Year: 2008

Cell therapy can be defined as the transplantation of living cells for the treatment of medical disorders. Three different principles underlie the increasing interest in cell therapy. 1. Transplanted cells used as an active drug 2. Transplanted cells used to replace damaged and degenerated tissue. 3. Cells used as a drug delivery vehicle. Promising results have been obtained in pre-clinical and clinical studies, however, success rates have been variable and clinical benefits have been limited. A major issue is the fact that the mechanisms by which cell therapy works in the different disease areas, are still poorly understood. The ability to non-invasively monitor the fate and modes of action of transplanted cells over time is mandatory. The development of relevant imaging tools will lead to a better understanding of how cell therapy works, the possibility of response monitoring in patients, and sufficient safety of the treatment.. ENCITE will provide tools to allow this by developing; New imaging methods to improve the spatio-temporal tracking of labelled cells Dual- and multimodality imaging procedures to cross-validate each individual approach New contrast agents and procedures that will improve the sensitivity and specificity of cellular labelling Combining of molecular biology for the generation of molecular and cellular imaging reporters with multimodal imaging techniques Novel cell and animal reporter systems detecting the location and function of individual cells and small cell subsets within the target organ Cellular labelling that does not interfere with cellular functions and therapeutic efficacy Methods for quantitative assessment to generate reliable biomarkers of the cell fate and therapeutic effects Cell homing for therapeutic delivery to target organs The tools and methodologies developed will be validated in 5 key disease areas; Neurological, Cardiovascular, Musculoskeletal, Diabetes and Cancer.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.6 | Award Amount: 8.85M | Year: 2008

Experimentally driven research is key to success in todays Internet. Many test beds support research and development, and product prototyping in communication networks. However, they tend to specialise in particular access technologies or services, or explore near term product offerings, often with limited availability and openness. An open and sustainable large-scale shared experimental facility will allow European industry and academia to innovate today and to design the future Internet. The OneLab2 project will leverage the original OneLab projects PlanetLab Europe test bed and its international visibility to make this facility a reality.\n\nOneLab2 is built on three complementary pillars. The Platform Pillar will operate PlanetLab Europe, extending PlanetLab service across Europe, and federating with other PlanetLab infrastructures worldwide. It will integrate new features into the system. The Tools Pillar will enhance the test-bed-native network monitoring service that supports experiments. And the Customers Pillar will meet the needs of the facilitys customers by providing them with access to diverse facilities, achieved through federating different types of test bed. An experimental facility must know its customers. OneLab2 will do this by directly involving pilot customers who are testing novel ideas in networking research.\n\nOneLab2s coalition assembles some of the most highly respected networking research teams from university and industry labs in Europe. Each team has an active research agenda in new network technologies, network monitoring, or test bed management. OneLab2s success would mean that PlanetLab Europe is established as a competitive and federated facility with international visibility and a broad set of customers, implementing OneLab2s vision and research contributions. PlanetLab Europe will continue to function beyond the end of the project period, providing ongoing services to the research community at large.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-4-06 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2009

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) started, 20 years ago, a devastating health and food crisis throughout Europe. Classical BSE is now under control as a result of the meat and bone meal ban. However, tonsil analyses suggest that there may be an alarmingly high number of asymptomatic PrPSc positive cases. Transmission through blood transfusion is another important concern, as are recent atypical cases of BSE. Only a profound understanding of the molecular biology of prions will enable us to control them. Thus, to understand why BSE-contaminated food causes vCJD, we need to understand how prions get into food, what happens with them in the gut, how they reach the brain, and how they initiate the chain reaction rapidly leading to death. We have formulated 7 key questions: 1) How can we avoid a new BSE outbreak, or other possible future prion infection of livestock? 2) Why did decontamination of meat and bone meal fail; is there an effective way to decontaminate feedstuffs, soil etc? 3) What is the risk of humans being infected with each of the different prion strains known thus far? 4) Which are the best strategies to implement feasible prion eradication programs? 5) How can we develop a pre-clinical prion blood test? 6) How can we identify human cases with potential secondary transmission? And 7) What is the origin of atypical human CJD cases? We will search for decisive data on the structure of PrPSc, the molecular basis of strains and species barriers, the mechanism of prion conversion, the cell biology of PrPSc, the function of PrPC, and the mechanisms of PrP-associated pathology. This information will be translated into a better estimation of current exposure risk to humans from TSE, evaluation of current intervention strategies, and development of improved decontamination techniques and prion tests. With all this, we will be able to respond to the questions formulated and thus advise the EC on TSE policy for the protection of European consumers..


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 7.66M | Year: 2011

This proposal includes all tasks that are essential to maintain the European added value of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and to keep the 16 national surveys well integrated. It complements the national financing mode of data collection as result of the ESFRI process by keeping its centrifugal forces in bounds. It will keep up our excellence in service provision as well as in science by: 1. Fostering the culture of cooperation between designers and users of SHARE by organizing user conferences, offering specialized training courses for users and interviewers, expanding web services and developing standards and procedures within the network that will make more efficient use of the research infrastructure. 2. Improving the multinational services for users in EU member countries, associated countries and third countries by a more efficient centralized data base management that will provide detailed synopses and concordances across member countries. We will coordinate this work with our sister surveys in the UK, US, China, India, Japan, Korea and Thailand, thereby providing a platform for global access to ageing data. 3. Pushing the state-of-the-art in interdisciplinary panel construction further such that SHARE will maintain its status as a leading edge research infrastructure. The project will leverage our research on response behaviour to minimize attrition; it will develop a multi-mode interviweing facility tailored to the 50\ in order to reduce survey costs; it will develop innovative questionnaire modules on biomarkers, physical health, social networks, pension claims, time use and nutrition that will keep SHARE at the forefront of empirical science; and, with the help of EUROMOD, it will harmonizes income concepts across EU-surveys, notably EU-SILC in order to facilitate the measurement of material well-being in times of rapid demographic change with its complex implications for old-age income provision.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-2 | Award Amount: 11.46M | Year: 2013

Clouds are a very important, yet not well understood feedback factor in climate change and they contribute to the effective radiative forcing (ERF) from aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI). The uncertainty in ERFaci is larger than for any other forcing agent. Also, feedbacks between the terrestrial and marine biosphere and the atmosphere involving ACI are thought to play an important role in regulating climate change but their relevance remains poorly quantified. BACCHUS proposes to quantify key processes and feedbacks controlling ACI, by combining advanced measurements of cloud and aerosol properties with state-of-the-art numerical modelling. The analysis of contrasting environments will be the guiding strategy for BACCHUS. We will investigate the importance of biogenic versus anthropogenic emissions for ACI in regions that are key regulators of Earths climate (Amazonian rain forest) or are regarded as tipping elements in the climate system (Arctic). BACCHUS will generate a unique database linking long-term observations and field campaign data of aerosol, cloud condensation and ice nuclei and cloud microphysical properties; this will enable a better quantification of the natural aerosol concentrations and the anthropogenic aerosol effect. BACCHUS will advance the understanding of biosphere aerosol-cloud-climate feedbacks that occur via emission and transformation of biogenic volatile organic compounds, primary biological aerosols, secondary organic aerosols and dust. Integration of new fundamental understanding gained in BACCHUS in Earth Systems Models allows to reduce the uncertainty in future climate projections. This will have a direct impact on decision-making addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation. BACCHUS brings together a critical mass of experimentalists and modellers with the required scientific expertise to address these complex topics and a high commitment to communicate their findings in many ways in order to ensure a high-impact project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.6.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.53M | Year: 2012

PACT (PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF SECURITY AND PRIVACY: ASSESSING KNOWLEDGE, COLLECTING EVIDENCE, TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO ACTION) is a 36 month collaborative project, which aims 1) to assess existing knowledge about public perception of the tension between security and privacy and the role played by social trust and concern; 2) to collect empirical evidence about the way in which European citizens perceive and assess in real life novel surveillance technologies; 3) to analyze the main factors that affect public assessment of the security and privacy implications of given security technology. On the basis of such an investigation, the project will develop and validate a prototype Decision Support System, which may help end users to evaluate pros and cons of specific security investments also on the basis of the societal perception of privacy and liberty.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07a-2014 | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2015

Tomato is the second most consumed vegetable in the EU and a major dietary source of many nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Consumers complaints about the loss of flavour in modern tomatoes, provide an opportunity for the valorisation of traditional tomato varieties, in order to protect them from genetic erosion and the replacement by higher-yielding, pest resistant modern cultivars. Genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic variability and knowledge from farms and in public repositories, will be concentrated in a TRADITOM database and seed repository (O1). The available genetic and phenotypic variability present in TRADITOM varieties, and the genetic and epigenetic differences from modern cultivars will be assessed (O2). For varieties whose cultivation is not sustainable due to unacceptably low yield and/or pathogen resistance, novel F1 hybrids will be generated, retaining the quality characteristics of traditional varieties and incorporating yield and disease resistance traits (O3) Finally, traditional varieties and the impact of traditional cultivation methods will be valorised through a thorough characterization of their composition in term of flavour- and health-related compounds, the identification of consumer preferences, the evaluation of socio-economic factors limiting their market diffusion, and the protection of the most significant case studies through PDO or PGI denominations (O4). TRADITOM is a multidisciplinary translational, multi-actor research project bringing together scientists working in academia, local farmers communities, consumer experts and small seed companies that have preserved the local germplasm, in order to bring to fruition and apply to traditional tomato varieties the enormous knowledge generated on tomato genetics, genomics and metabolomics. This will help the conservation of traditional tomato varieties and enhance the competitive advantage of rural communities based on their production.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.1-2 | Award Amount: 16.69M | Year: 2008

Proteomics is a major new field in biomedical research, which deals with the large-scale identification and characterization of large groups of proteins, or proteomes. These can either be the components of a subcellular organelle or compartment, or even the entire protein complement of whole cells and tissues. Proteomics is essential in the functional annotation of the genome and in future attempts to build a quantitative, systems-based description of cell biology. However, current first generation proteomics approaches largely measure protein complexes and proteomes as homogeneous and static entities with little or no quantitative annotation. PROSPECTS (PROteomics SPECification in Time and Space) is a proposal by world leaders in this young discipline to make a major advance, both by developing much more powerful instrumentation and by applying novel proteomics methods that will allow us to annotate quantitatively the human proteome with respect to protein localization and dynamics. Complementary technologies, including mass spectrometry, cyro-electron microscopy and cell imaging will be applied in innovative ways to capture transient protein complexes and the spatial and temporal dimensions of entire proteomes. We will develop these new proteomics technologies in a generic fashion to maximize their utility to the wider biomedical community and we will generate comprehensive data sets that will foster many downstream functional studies. Our approaches will also generate unique insights into the molecular basis of multiple forms of human disease, specifically neurodegeneration and other diseases related to folding stress. The multidimensional data sets generated in PROSPECTS will be integrated using advanced data aggregation and machine learning, made available to the scientific community via annotated online public databases and used as a basis for a systems biological modelling of the human proteome, with spatial and temporal resolution within the cell.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.7.2-1 | Award Amount: 2.60M | Year: 2013

Crime-fighting is a significant concern of the European Union. The EU is committed to fighting all forms of serious, organised and transnational crime. This commitment has led to the decision in 1999 to create a network of national authorities responsible for crime prevention, and later to the establishment (in 2001) of the European Crime Prevention Network and specifically, in the support of forensic science. This project (MiSAFE Microbial Soil Analysis) fits as a part of this commitment to a safe Europe. It also reflects the EUs 2020 Flagship Initiative (SEC(2010) 1161) for increasing the output of innovative research to the entrepreneurial world. Soil intelligence can usually be re-assessed to provide direct evidence during the evidential phase of an investigation, where it is being assembled against a specific suspect. Such soil evidence is often comparative, but clearly it is necessary for the soil expert to assist the court as to the likelihood of the results being derived from some other, unrelated, location. The development of soil DNA tools within MiSAFE will improve on conventional approaches. The partnership comprises two SMEs, two police forces and three academic institutions. The overall aim of MiSAFE is to develop tools for crime-fighting and crime-prevention, providing opportunities for European SMEs to lead in this new field of environmental genetic forensics. The specific project objectives will be to: 1. Develop appropriate sample collection, storage, and processing tools for soil DNA as applied to forensic science. 2. Apply and delimit the use of DNA-based technologies in soil forensic science for search and evidence. 3. Develop and apply data analysis software and user interface for soil DNA tools. 4. Validate and legally consolidate the use of microbial soil forensic science across the range of EU legal systems. 5. Provide basic standards and procedures for creating a pan-EU soil microbial database.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.3-4 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2011

ANTIFLU is to develop innovative drugs against influenza virus infections based on a novel concept that precludes the development of viral resistance and ensures efficacy against upcoming pandemic influenza strains. Viral replication is known to depend on multiple host factors. Whilst traditional anti-influenza treatments usually target viral factors, ANTIFLU will aim at drugs interfering with host-response pathways. The concept of drugs targeting human factors, established in treatment of other diseases, has yet not been sufficiently explored for treatment of viral infections, although it bears compelling advantages over conventional antiviral therapies: (i) the avoidance of viral escape mutants and (ii) the broad coverage against unprecedented viral variants. ANTIFLU aims to fully exploit this potent approach to fill critical gaps in our current treatment and prevention options against seasonal and pandemic influenza virus infections. By building upon an existing panel of potent human targets and firm knowledge derived from FP6 project RIGHT, an interdisciplinary consortium will pursue the identification and validation of small molecule ligands and inhibitory RNA molecules effective against influenza infection. Promising modulators will form the basis to generate lead molecules that will be further refined to yield clinically applicable therapeutics. Initial preclinical studies will aim at providing proof of concept in animal models, safety and toxicology profiles. They will allow initiating complete clinical trials immediately after the phase of FP7 support, thanks to the commitment already taken by investors from the private sector. The consortium includes several SMEs, internationally renowned research groups and clinical institutions with extensive experience in anti-influenza treatment and clinical trials. An already agreed common exploitation model will provide a smooth route to market and optimal use of the project results.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.5.1-1 | Award Amount: 8.43M | Year: 2013

The European Court of Justice expects European citizenship to become the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States. It lies at the heart of the European integration process. The treaties, legislation, and case law have given Europeans an increasing number of rights. Yet the European Commission complains that these remain underused. Therefore, it has included in FP7 a call for a large-scale IP, identifying and analyzing barriers to exercising such European citizenship rights. Utrecht University is initiating a response to this call. In its project proposal it identifies research questions and several categories of potential hindrances as answers to some of them: contradictions between different rights, multilevel rights, and differences in priorities Member States accord these rights; differences in political, administrative, and legal institutions; financial restraints; lack of sufficient solidarity; administrative and bureaucratic hurdles; language problems; and other practical barriers to claiming and exercising rights - and related duties. Furthermore we distinguish citizenship rights by the types of rights - economic, social, political, and civil - and by the ascribed characteristics of the subjects of these rights: male and female, young and old, native and immigrant. We believe multidisciplinarity will help in identifying and analyzing barriers to the exercise of European citizenship. We can learn from other times and places; therefore we add a historical and comparative dimension to the analysis. And we aim to combine insights from the historical, legal, and social sciences. Overall we want to investigate the options for a multilayered citizenship true to the EUs motto In Varietate Concordia. The research questions and theoretically identified barriers will be investigated in 12 different work packages, each containing specific research objectives, tasks, roles of the participants, and deliverables


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.5.1 | Award Amount: 7.77M | Year: 2009

Urban settlements, following the economic crisis of the 70s, entered in a process of regional and urban restructuring to gain a new image at the international level. As a result of the renewed economic success new flows of permanent, semi-permanent, temporary and daily human mobility followed: (i) for consumption (leisure and tourism), (ii) for production (economic migration). The world competition among metropolitan areas highlighted the essential importance of natural and cultural resources. The proposal considers the effects of human mobility on urban settlement growth and restructuring in coastal areas where (i) environment is more fragile and space limited, (ii) every phenomenon is more concentrated and (iii) effects on natural and cultural environment are more acute. Problems are multiplied since the climate change affecting environmental parameters - as sea levels - augments risks of flooding, propagation of pollutants, dislocation of a great number of settlers. Controlling and reducing unwanted consequences is contributing to growing conflicts among stakeholders. An integrated ecosystem approach incorporating social, economic and natural disciplines is essential in understanding and dealing with the complex and dynamic problems facing the coastal city environments. The proposal intends to: (i) identify conflicts, (ii) analyze their quantitative and qualitative effects on the environment, (iii) create models to synthesize the complexity of the different social, economic and environmental systems, (iv) compare the priority of each typology through taxonomy. Outcomes include (i) elaboration of an analysis methodology, (ii) creating tools for appropriate policies, (iii) scenario building, (iv) disseminationexploitation of results for users needs. The project will analyse 8 metropolitan areas of global importance and 8 of local importance in European and Asian countries (Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom, Israel, India, and Vietnam)


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 6.90M | Year: 2014

WHEALBI will combine genomics, genetics and agronomy to improve European wheat and barley production in competitive and sustainable cropping systems. Germplasm representing the species diversity will be selected and characterised in unprecedented detail by next-generation-sequencing. Life history and adaptive traits will be evaluated in both transnational field experiments and a state-of-the-art precision phenotyping platform. Germplasm will be stored in a specialised and accessible bio-repository and associated data in knowledge bases that will represent a valuable legacy to the community. Whole genome association scans will be conducted for several traits, signatures of adaptive selection will be explored, and allele mining of candidate genes will reveal new variation associated with specific phenotypes. Pre-breeding tools and pipelines will be developed to optimize the efficiency of allele transfer from unadapted germplasm into elite breeding lines. New methodologies will explore how to optimally exploit the large amount of new genotypic and phenotypic data available. They will focus on the design of ideotypes with improved yield stability and tolerance to biotic and climatic stresses and provide proof of concept of the efficiency of genome and phenome assisted selection. Ideotypes and reference varieties will be evaluated in innovative cropping systems, particularly organic farming and no-till agriculture, and an economic evaluation of these approaches will be conducted. The results will be disseminated to a broad user community, highlighting the benefits and issues associated with the adoption of what is considered sustainable and environmentally friendly wheat and barley crop production in a European context. WHEALBI aims to help the EU remain a major actor in world small grain cereal production while addressing the pressing global priorities of increasing and stabilising primary production, improving food quality and safety, and reducing environmental impact.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.6 | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2012

The goal of the project is to give electronics and chemistry an equal autonomous say in programming complex chemical constructions, processes and analyses at the nano and microscales: the same scale where information processing in living systems occurs where to construct is to compute. To do this MICREAgents (MIcroscopic Chemically Reactive Electronic Agents) will develop novel electronically active microreactor components, called lablets, that self-assemble at a scale less than 100 m, approaching that of living cells. The project will integrate the necessary components to ensure autonomous action of millions of these very smart chemicals, including electronic logic, supercapacitors for power, pairwise coupling for communication, programmable chemical sensors and electronic actuation of chemical processing. Key examples of MICREAgent actuation are to reversibly switch their association, load or dose chemicals, modify surfaces, initiate reactions and control locomotion in complex chemical environments. MICREAgents lablets can join forces to communicate both chemicals and electronic information in order to solve complex tasks, acting as smart collective agents of chemical change. Like cells, they will be essentially genetically encoded, but with chemical and electronic memories, translating electronic signals into constructive chemical processing and recording the results of this processing. They will also reversibly employ DNA molecules as chemical information, for example to control surface-surface binding of lablets, or to program chemical sensors, not to synthesize proteins as in cells. The project builds on pioneering FET-funded work towards electronic chemical cells, taking a giant stride to cell-like microscopic autonomous chemical electronics with self-assembling electronic membranes controlling the entry and exit of chemicals.\n\nThese autonomous mobile smart reactors will provide a novel form of computation that microscopically links reaction processing and chemical construction with computation, providing a radical integration of autonomous chemical experimentation. The self-assembling smart micro reactors can be programmed for molecular amplification and other chemical processing pathways, that start from complex mixtures, concentrate and purify chemicals, perform reactions in programmed cascades, sense completion, and transport and release products to defined locations. The project defines a continuous achievable path towards this ambitious goal, making use of a novel pairwise local communication strategy to overcome the limitations of current smart dust and autonomous sensor network communication. It will provide a technical platform spawning research in new computing paradigms that integrate multilevel construction with electronic ICT. The 10 groups, from 8 countries including Israel and New Zealand, are all pioneers in the multidisciplinary areas required to achieve the project goals, with a common grounding in IT.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2009

Population ageing is among the most pressing challenges of the 21st century in Europe. Addressing this challenge scientifically demands an infrastructure of micro data of the changing health, economic and social living conditions of individuals as they go through the ageing process. SHARE, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, is an infrastructure of multidisciplinary, longitudinal, and cross-nationally harmonized micro data that has been created in response to these demands. Currently, SHARE contains two waves of data for about 32,000 respondents aged 50\ in 17 European countries. SHARE became a great success: More than 2300 researchers are working with the data, and SHARE has been elected to be one of the future ESFRI infrastructures. This project is the essential device to enhance the longitudinal stability of the SHARE panel and to improve access and consulting services to users in the years 2009 and 2010. It will: -enhance the longitudinal stability of the panel by keeping in touch with the panel members, monitoring moves, re-interviewing lost panel members, and ascertaining last year of life events of deceased panel members. The scientific value of SHARE critically depends on continuous panel care. -improve the research potential from the SHARE infrastructure by adding imputed values for missing variables, calibrated weights, geo-coded and environmental variables, and meta/para-statistics derived from IT-driven survey methods. -enhance the SHARE survey instrument in response to user feedback, to changes in the institutional environment, and to new survey technologies recently developed, making the interview more effective and less burdensome for the respondents. Such enhancements need to be implemented in 2009/early 2010 to be in time for the ESFRI-financed fourth wave of data collection. -improve and maintain the much applauded user-friendly access for SHARE data users through services provided by central and national support points.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2012

Flexible optical networking is widely proposed today by major vendors and operators as the solution that offers smooth system upgradability towards Tb/s capacities and optimized use of network resources. Latest research and development efforts proposed a variety of multi-carrier signal transmission methods with significantly increased spectral efficiency, (compared to legacy WDM), allowing the transport of ultra-high capacity channels and the adaptive filling of wavelength channels according to the demands and the required performance on a link distance basis. These developments enable the flexible bandwidth utilization of the optical links but are limited to the point-to-point transport of data. The key network element required to truly enable the realization of a flexible optical networking system is a flexible switching node capable to adaptively add, drop and switch tributaries with variable bandwidth characteristics from/to ultra-high capacity wavelength channels at the lowest switching granularity.The FOX-C project aims to design, develop and evaluate the first functional system prototype of flexible add-drop multiplexers and flexible optical cross-connects, with fine switching granularity at the optical subcarrier level with the purpose to enable the end-to-end network routing of any tributary channel with flexible bandwidth down to 10Gb/s carried over wavelength superchannels, each with an aggregated capacity beyond 1Tb/s. Moreover, the project will define and evaluate the flexible transmission solutions and their exact characteristics, thus providing a holistic flexible optical networking approach applicable in next generation networks.The FOX-C project consortium consists of industrial partners with leading position in the field of optical node design and development, as well as academic partners with worldwide recognised research on flexible transmission solutions, forming together a strong research team capable of meeting the project objectives.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.21M | Year: 2011

ALICE RAP is a Europe wide project of 43 partner research institutions involving 107 researchers from 25 European countries providing 1000 months of a plurality of scientific endeavour to analyse the place and challenges of addictions and lifestyles to the cohesion, organization and functioning of contemporary European society. Through integrated multidisciplinary research, a wide range of factors will be studied through a foresight approach to inform a redesign of effective addictions governance. Ownership will be described by an historical study of addiction through the ages, an analysis of public and private stakeholder views, and through image analyses, of professional and citizenship views. A study of how addictions are classified and defined will be followed by estimates of their health, social and economic impact. Determinants of addiction will be investigated through a coordinated and cohesive social, economic and biological analysis of initiation, transition into problem use and transition into and out of dependence. The business of addiction will be analyzed through studies of revenues, profits and participants in legal and illegal trade, the impact of suppliers on addictive substance use and behaviours, and analyses of webs of influence on policy responses. Addictions governance will be studied by describing the views and forces that determine the ways societies steer themselves and by stock taking of present governance practices to old and emerging addictions. Youth as customers will be analyzed through considering the impacts of new technologies on promoting and mitigating use, by studying the interrelations of culture and biology, and by determining features that promote resilience and nudge young people to reduce problematic use. The programme itself will be professionally managed from a partnership perspective to promote a coordinated and integrated approach to the high volume of research and its policy implications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.93M | Year: 2012

Chronic inflammatory diseases of joints are major causes of disability in the ageing population. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis and a major cause of pain and disability in older individuals. OA is expected to place a heavy burden on European healthcare systems, as European citizens grow older. Cartilage damage in OA is detected radiographically by decreases in joint space width (JSW). However, radiographic evidence is seen only after significant cartilage degradation has already taken place. The early stages of the disease may remain latent and asymptomatic for many years. Therefore, there is an acute need for reliable biomarkers and diagnostic tests that can facilitate earlier diagnosis of OA, and inform the prognosis, monitoring and therapeutic strategies for chronic and disabling forms of this disease. However, there is currently a lack of reliable, quantifiable and easily measured biomarkers that provide an earlier diagnosis of OA, inform on the prognostic of the disease and monitor and predict responses to therapeutic modalities. Biomarkers of tissue turnover in joints can reflect disease relevant biological activity and provide valuable information that may be useful diagnostically and therapeutically, potentially enabling a more rational and personalized approach to healthcare management. The proliferation of omic technologies has facilitated rapid progress in biomarker research. Combinations of omic technologies are dominating the biomarker research arena and are playing increasingly important roles in the identification, validation and qualification of new biomarkers. The aim of the D-BOARD consortium is to bring together leading academic institutions and European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to focus on the identification, validation and qualification of new combination biomarkers and the development of diagnostic tests capable of subclinical disease diagnosis for degenerative and inflammatory diseases of joints.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-1-04 | Award Amount: 8.18M | Year: 2009

QUANTOMICS will deliver a step-change in the availability of cutting edge technologies and tools for the economic exploitation of livestock genomes. We will provide the tools to identify rapidly the causative DNA variation underpinning sustainability in livestock and for industry to exploit high-density genomic information. Our adaptable quantitative and genomic tools each based on cutting-edge technologies and valuable in itself, will together form a powerful integrated pipeline with wide application. To deliver these outcomes we will; i) use comparative genomics to annotate putatively functional features of the genomes of the EUs key farmed animal livestock species; ii) enhance existing molecular genetic tools (to include copy number variation, CNV); iii) deliver computationally optimised tools for genome-wide selection (GWS) to include CNV; iv) apply these tools to important health and welfare traits in commercial populations of dairy cattle and broiler chickens, determining the benefits and constraints; v) use hyper-parallel resequencing of DNA within identified genomic features underlying loci of large effect in significant numbers of animals to catalogue variation; vi) develop new visualisation tools to make this variation publicly available via the Ensembl genome-browser; vii) develop tools to prioritise the likely functionality of identified polymorphisms; viii) validate the utility of the putative causative haplotypes within commercial populations; ix) test the potential advances from combined GWS and gene assisted selection in breeding programmes; x) explore new methods to manage molecular biodiversity; xi) assess the implications of these new tools for breeding programme design, and xii) disseminate results of the project achieving major competitive, animal health and welfare impacts across the EU livestock industry and ultimately consumers. QUANTOMICS will have wide application in all farmed species and leave a legacy of resources for future research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-06-2014 | Award Amount: 3.38M | Year: 2015

Despite the fact that iodine deficiency (ID) can easily be prevented by iodine fortification of table salt, industrial salt and cattle food, Europe belongs to the worst regions in terms of access to iodized salt and is seriously ID, resulting in the perpetuation of the single most important, preventable cause of brain damage. European ID is due to significant heterogeneity in prevention and monitoring programs, leading to inappropriate interventions, increased disease burden, health inequities and increased health care costs. Up to 360 Million European citizens are exposed to ID disorders. An effective European monitoring program is a crucial step towards eradication of ID disorders with significant benefits for European citizens and the sustainability of health care systems. The effects of ID in total cause tremendous, preventable costs in health care systems of affected regions. The overall aim of EUthyroid is to evaluate ID prevention and monitoring programs in 24 European countries, to initiate capacity building for harmonized European ID prevention and monitoring programs, and to disseminate project outcomes for supporting measures on national and EU level in order to eradicate ID disorders in Europe. The project will position itself as international hub of current national initiatives in the attempt to coordinate and support existing national activities. EUthyroid will generate the first harmonized data set of ID resulting in the first valid map of iodine status in Europe. With a dedicated dissemination program about the unfavorable health outcomes of ID, EUthyroid will pave the way for a harmonized EU-wide regulation of iodination, a common approach to iodine and outcome monitoring and establish recommendations for scientists on how to monitor IDD prevention programs. The project aims to make Europe a benchmark for ID disorder prevention worldwide.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

WASHINGTON - Clinical trials for genome editing of the human germline - adding, removing, or replacing DNA base pairs in gametes or early embryos - could be permitted in the future, but only for serious conditions under stringent oversight, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. The report outlines several criteria that should be met before allowing germline editing clinical trials to go forward. Genome editing has already entered clinical trials for non-heritable applications, but should be allowed only for treating or preventing diseases or disabilities at this time. Genome editing is not new. But new powerful, precise, and less costly genome editing tools, such as CRISPR/Cas9, have led to an explosion of new research opportunities and potential clinical applications, both heritable and non-heritable, to address a wide range of human health issues. Recognizing the promise and the concerns related to this technology, NAS and NAM appointed a study committee of international experts to examine the scientific, ethical, and governance issues surrounding human genome editing. Human genome editing is already widely used in basic research and is in the early stages of development and trials for clinical applications that involve non-heritable (somatic) cells. These therapies affect only the patient, not any offspring, and should continue for treatment and prevention of disease and disability, using the existing ethical norms and regulatory framework for development of gene therapy. Oversight authorities should evaluate safety and efficacy of proposed somatic applications in the context of the risks and benefits of intended use. However, there is significant public concern about the prospect of using these same techniques for so-called "enhancement" of human traits and capacities such as physical strength, or even for uses that are not possible, such as improving intelligence. The report recommends that genome editing for enhancement should not be allowed at this time, and that broad public input and discussion should be solicited before allowing clinical trials for somatic genome editing for any purpose other than treating or preventing disease or disability. "Human genome editing holds tremendous promise for understanding, treating, or preventing many devastating genetic diseases, and for improving treatment of many other illnesses," said Alta Charo, co-chair of the study committee and Sheldon B. Lubar Distinguished Chair and Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. "However, genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people." Germline genome editing, in contrast, is contentious because genetic changes would be inherited by the next generation. Many view germline editing as crossing an "ethically inviolable" line, the report says. Concerns raised include spiritual objections to interfering with human reproduction to speculation about effects on social attitudes toward people with disabilities to possible risks to the health and safety of future children. But germline genome editing could provide some parents who are carriers of genetic diseases with their best or most acceptable option for having genetically related children who are born free of these diseases. Heritable germline editing is not ready to be tried in humans. Much more research is needed before it could meet the appropriate risk and benefit standards for clinical trials. The technology is advancing very rapidly, though, making heritable genome editing of early embryos, eggs, sperm, or precursor cells in the foreseeable future "a realistic possibility that deserves serious consideration," the report says. Although heritable germline genome editing trials must be approached with caution, the committee said, caution does not mean prohibition. At present, heritable germline editing is not permissible in the United States, due to an ongoing prohibition on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ability to use federal funds to review "research in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include a heritable genetic modification." A number of other countries have signed an international convention that prohibits germline modification. If current restrictions are removed, and for countries where germline editing would already be permitted, the committee recommended stringent criteria that would need to be met before going forward with clinical trials. They include: (1) absence of reasonable alternatives; (2) restriction to editing genes that have been convincingly demonstrated to cause or strongly predispose to a serious disease or condition; (3) credible pre-clinical and/or clinical data on risks and potential health benefits; (4) ongoing, rigorous oversight during clinical trials; (5) comprehensive plans for long-term multigenerational follow-up; and (6) continued reassessment of both health and societal benefits and risks, with wide-ranging, ongoing input from the public. Policymaking surrounding human genome editing applications should incorporate public participation, and funding of genome editing research should include support to study the socio-political, ethical, and legal aspects and evaluate efforts to build public communication and engagement on these issues. "Genome editing research is very much an international endeavor, and all nations should ensure that any potential clinical applications reflect societal values and be subject to appropriate oversight and regulation," said committee co-chair Richard Hynes, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "These overarching principles and the responsibilities that flow from them should be reflected in each nation's scientific community and regulatory processes. Such international coordination would enhance consistency of regulation." The study was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Greenwall Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Wellcome Trust, with additional support from the National Academies' Presidents' Circle Fund and the National Academy of Sciences W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fund. The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that, along with the National Academy of Engineering, provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit http://www. . Copies of Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance are available at http://www. or by calling 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). R. Alta Charo1 (co-chair) Sheldon B. Lubar Distinguished Chair and Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics University of Wisconsin Madison Richard O. Hynes1,2 (co-chair) Investigator Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Ellen Wright Clayton1 Craig Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, and Professor of Law Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tenn. Barry S. Coller1,2 David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, Physician in Chief, and Head Allen and Frances Adler Laboratory of Blood and Vascular Biology Rockefeller University New York City Ephrat Levy-Lahad Director Fuld Family Department of Medical Genetics Shaare Zedek Medical Center Faculty of Medicine Hebrew University of Jerusalem Jerusalem Luigi Naldini Professor of Cell and Tissue Biology and of Gene and Cell Therapy San Raffaele University, and Director San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy Milan Duanqing Pei Professor and Director General Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou, China Janet Rossant2 Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Toronto Dietram A. Scheufele John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor University of Wisconsin Madison Jonathan Weissman2 Professor Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology University of California San Francisco Keith R. Yamamoto1,2 Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy University of California San Francisco


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.2.1 | Award Amount: 9.55M | Year: 2012

Summary: In Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), tools go through narrow openings and manipulate soft organs that can move, deform, or change stiffness. There are limitations on modern laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgical systems due to restricted access through Trocar ports, lack of haptic feedback, and difficulties with rigid robot tools operating inside a confined space filled with organs. Also, many control algorithms suffer from stability problems in the presence of unexpected conditions. Yet biological manipulators, like the octopus arm and the elephant trunk, can manipulate objects while controlling the stiffness of selected body parts and being inherently compliant when interacting with objects.\n\nContributions: We will design, build and operate an innovative soft robotic arm that can squeeze through a standard MIS port (e.g. 12 to 15 mm diameter Trocar port or 20 mm diameter umbilical single port), reconfigure itself and stiffen by hydrostatic actuation to perform compliant force control tasks while facing unexpected situations. We will address the complete system: the design and fabrication of the soft manipulator with a gripper at the tip, distributed sensing, biologically inspired actuation and control architectures, learning and developing cognition through interaction with a human instructor, and manipulating soft objects in complex and uncertain environments.\nWe will advance the state of the art of embodied cognition through real world experiments on manipulators that can selectively control their stiffness and degrees of freedom morphing from a complete soft state to an articulated one. This variable stiffness robot arm will have many applications in MIS including NOTES (Natural Orifices Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery). With the support of KARL STORZ ENDOSCOPES, the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) and three internationally-leading medical institutes (see support letters), we will test the soft arm in a minimally invasive robotic surgery application to demonstrate its feasibility.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 19.05M | Year: 2015

The life sciences are undergoing a transformation. Modern experimental tools study the molecules, reactions, and organisation of life in unprecedented detail. The precipitous drop in costs for high-throughput biology has enabled European research laboratories to produce an ever-increasing amount of data. Life scientists are rapidly generating the most complex and heterogeneous datasets that science can currently imagine, with unprecedented volumes of biological data to manage. Data will only generate long-term value if it is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR). This requires a scalable infrastructure that connects local, national and European efforts and provides standards, tools and training for data stewardship. Formally established as a legal entity in January 2014, ELIXIR - the European life science Infrastructure for Biological Information - is a distributed organisation comprising national bioinformatics research infrastructures and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). This coordinated infrastructure includes data standards, exchange, interoperability, storage, security and training. Recognising the importance of a data foundation for European life sciences, the ESFRI and European Council named ELIXIR as one of Europes priority Research Infrastructures. In response ELIXIR have developed ELIXIR-EXCELERATE. The project will fast-track ELIXIRs early implementation phase by i) coordinate and enhance existing resources into a world-leading data service for academia and industry, ii) grow bioinformatics capacity and competence across Europe, and iii) complete the management processes needed for a large distributed infrastructure. ELIXIR-EXCELERATE will deliver a step-change in the life sciences. It will enable cost-effective and sustainable management and re-use of data for millions of users across the globe and improve the competitiveness of European life science industries through accessible data and robust standards and tools.


Gal A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Millener D.J.,Brookhaven National Laboratory
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2011

It is shown how the recent shell-model determination of λN spin-dependent interaction terms in λ hypernuclei allows for a reliable deduction of ΛΛ separation energies in ΛΛ hypernuclei across the nuclear p shell. Comparison is made with the available data, highlighting BeΛΛ11 and BeΛΛ12 which have been suggested as possible candidates for the KEK-E373 HIDA event. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Frost R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Frost R.,Haskins Laboratories
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2012

In the last decade, reading research has seen a paradigmatic shift. A new wave of computational models of orthographic processing that offer various forms of noisy position or context-sensitive coding have revolutionized the field of visual word recognition. The influx of such models stems mainly from consistent findings, coming mostly from European languages, regarding an apparent insensitivity of skilled readers to letter order. Underlying the current revolution is the theoretical assumption that the insensitivity of readers to letter order reflects the special way in which the human brain encodes the position of letters in printed words. The present article discusses the theoretical shortcomings and misconceptions of this approach to visual word recognition. A systematic review of data obtained from a variety of languages demonstrates that letter-order insensitivity is neither a general property of the cognitive system nor a property of the brain in encoding letters. Rather, it is a variant and idiosyncratic characteristic of some languages, mostly European, reflecting a strategy of optimizing encoding resources, given the specific structure of words. Since the main goal of reading research is to develop theories that describe the fundamental and invariant phenomena of reading across orthographies, an alternative approach to model visual word recognition is offered. The dimensions of a possible universal model of reading, which outlines the common cognitive operations involved in orthographic processing in all writing systems, are discussed. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


London N.,University of California at San Francisco | Raveh B.,University of California at San Francisco | Schueler-Furman O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Current Opinion in Chemical Biology | Year: 2013

Protein Interactions (PPIs) mediate numerous biological functions. As such, the inhibition of specific PPIs has tremendous therapeutic value. The notion that these interactions are 'undruggable' has petered out with the emergence of more and more successful examples of PPI inhibitors, expanding considerably the scope of potential drug targets. The accumulated data on successes in the inhibition of PPIs allow us to analyze the features that are required for such inhibition. Whereas it has been suggested and shown that targeting hot spots at PPI interfaces is a good strategy to achieve inhibition, in this review we focus on the notion that the most amenable interactions for inhibition are those that are mediated by a 'hot segment', a continuous epitope that contributes the majority of the binding energy. This criterion is both useful in guiding future target selection efforts, and in suggesting immediate inhibitory candidates - the dominant peptidic segment that mediates the targeted interaction. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Gal A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Millener D.J.,Brookhaven National Laboratory
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

Recent experimental evidence presented by the FINUDA Collaboration for a particle-stable HΛ6 has stirred renewed interest in charting domains of particle-stable neutron-rich Λ hypernuclei, particularly for unbound nuclear cores. We have studied within a shell-model approach several neutron-rich Λ hypernuclei in the nuclear p shell that could be formed in (π-, K+) or in (K-, π+) reactions on stable nuclear targets. Hypernuclear shell-model input is taken from a theoretically inspired successful fit of γ-ray transitions in p-shell Λ hypernuclei which includes also ΛN↔σN coupling (Λσ coupling). The particle stability of HΛ6 is discussed and predictions are made for binding energies of HeΛ9, LiΛ10, BeΛ12, BΛ14. None of the large effects conjectured by some authors to arise from Λσ coupling is borne out, neither by these realistic p-shell calculations, nor by quantitative estimates outlined for heavier hypernuclei with substantial neutron excess. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


London N.,University of California at San Francisco | Raveh B.,University of California at San Francisco | Schueler-Furman O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Current Opinion in Structural Biology | Year: 2013

Peptide-mediated interactions are gaining increased attention due to their predominant roles in the many regulatory processes that involve dynamic interactions between proteins. The structures of such interactions provide an excellent starting point for their characterization and manipulation, and can provide leads for targeted inhibitor design. The relatively few experimentally determined structures of peptide-protein complexes can be complemented with an outburst of modeling approaches that have been introduced in recent years, with increasing accuracy and applicability to ever more systems. We review different methods to address the considerable challenges in modeling the binding of a short yet highly flexible peptide to its partner. These methods apply an array of sampling strategies and draw from a recent amassing of knowledge about the biophysical nature of peptide-protein interactions. We elaborate on applications of these structure-based approaches and in particular on the characterization of peptide binding specificity to different peptide-binding domains and enzymes. Such applications can identify new biological targets and thus complement our current view of protein-protein interactions in living organisms. Accurate peptide-protein docking is of particular importance in the light of increased appreciation of the crucial functional roles of disordered regions and the many linear binding motifs embedded within. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Gaspar-Maia A.,University of California at San Francisco | Gaspar-Maia A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Alajem A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Meshorer E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Ramalho-Santos M.,University of California at San Francisco
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2011

Pluripotent stem cells can be derived from embryos or induced from adult cells by reprogramming. They are unique among stem cells in that they can give rise to all cell types of the body. Recent findings indicate that a particularly 'open' chromatin state contributes to maintenance of pluripotency. Two principles are emerging: specific factors maintain a globally open chromatin state that is accessible for transcriptional activation; and other chromatin regulators contribute locally to the silencing of lineage-specific genes until differentiation is triggered. These same principles may apply during reacquisition of an open chromatin state upon reprogramming to pluripotency, and during de-differentiation in cancer. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.7 | Award Amount: 8.27M | Year: 2013

The DIADEMS project aims at exploiting the unique physical properties of NV color centres in ultrapure single-crystal CVD-grown diamond to develop innovative devices with unprecedented performances for ICT applications. By exploiting the atom-like structure of the NV that exhibits spin dependent optical transitions, DIADEMS will make optics-based magnetometry possible.\nThe objectives of DIADEMS are to develop\n- Wide field magnetic imagers with 1 nT sensivities,\n- Scanning probe magnetometer with sensitivity 10 nT and spatial resolution 10 nm,\n- Sensor heads with resolution 1 pT.\n\nTo reach such performances, DIADEMS will:\n- Use new theoretical protocols for sensing,\n- Develop ultrahigh purity diamond material with controlled single nitrogen implantation with a precision better than 5 nm,\n- Process scanning probe tips with diametre in the 20 nm range,\n- Transfer them to AFM cantilever, improve the emission properties of NV by coupling them with photonic cavities and photonic waveguides.\n\nDIADEMS outputs will demonstrate new ICT functionalities that will boost applications with high impact on society:\n- Calibration and optimization of write/read magnetic heads for future high capacity (3 Tbit per square inch) storage disk required for intense computing,\n- Imaging of electron-spin in graphene and carbon nanotubes for next generation of electronic components based on spintronics,\n- Non-invasive investigation of living neuronal networks to understand brain function,\n- Demonstration of magnetic resonance imaging of single spins allowing single protein imaging for medical research.\n\nDIADEMS aims at integrating the efforts of the European Community on NV centres to push further the limits of this promising technology and to keep Europes prominent position.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.9.5 | Award Amount: 1.63M | Year: 2011

The human brain can be seen as an immensely powerful, energy efficient, self-learning, self-repairing computer. If we could understand and mimic the way the brain works, we could revolutionize information technology, medicine and society. But to do so we have to bring together everything we know and everything we can learn about the inner workings of the brains molecules, cells and circuits. The goal of the Human Brain Project (HBP) is to do this by integrating our knowledge in massive databases and in computer models of the brain. This will require breakthroughs in mathematics and software engineering and an international supercomputing facility more powerful than any before. This is all possible. Experimental and clinical data is accumulating exponentially. Computers powerful enough to meet the projects initial requirements are already here. An international team led by Europes best neuroscientists, doctors, physicists, mathematicians, computer engineers and ethicists have assembled to begin the mission. As technology progresses and the project discovers new principles of brain design it will build ever more realistic models to probe ever deeper principles. The benefits for society will be huge, even before the HBP achieves its final goals. Models of the brain will revolutionize information technology, allowing us to design computers, robots, sensors, prosthetics and other devices far more powerful, more intelligent and more energy efficient than today. They will help us understand the root causes of brain diseases, and to diagnose them early, when they can still be treated. They will reduce reliance on animal testing and make it easier to develop new cures for brain disease. They will help us understand how the brain ages, and how to slow these changes and nurture a healthy brain for our children. In summary, the HBP is poised to produce dramatic advances in technology, a new understanding of the way the brain works and a new ability to cure its diseases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-NIGHT | Award Amount: 389.09K | Year: 2013

With 7 years of experience, support (in time, efforts and funds) from Israel Ministry of Science and Technology, 36,500 visitors last year, one Guinness World Record, 14 venues all over Israel from Kiryat-Shmona in the very north to Eilat in the very south and a National TV, National Radio and major newspapers coverage our strong consortium is really committed to Researchers Night success. In 2013 our Researchers Night event will be even bigger while most of the partners will send researchers to meet the audience outside the campuses at local cafs of neighbor cities. This way we will increase the number of people enjoying the face to face meetings with researchers and will tighten the connection between the universities and the community for yearlong cooperation. All of the partners which will operate 2013 Researchers Night event already have the experience and took part in previous Researchers Nights events. Partners which will run the event in 2013 are ALL of the universities in Israel, two of the leading collages and 2 science museum which one of them is the National Museum of Science, Technology & Space which will also coordinate the project. The main theme for this year Researchers Night event will be Space and us in conjunction with marking 10 years for the Columbia tragedy and the preservation of Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, legacy of excellence and science. Management of 2013 will stay the same as in 2011 and 2012 successful events.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 7.23M | Year: 2011

Experimentally-driven research is key to success in exploring the possible futures of the Internet. An open, general-purpose, shared experimental facility, both large-scale and sustainable, is essential for European industry and academia to innovate today and assess the performance of their solutions. OpenLab brings together the essential ingredients for such a facility. We extend early prototypes of testbeds, middleware, and measurement tools so as to provide more efficient and flexible support for a diverse set of experimental applications and protocols. The prototypes include a set of demonstrably successful testbeds: PlanetLab Europe, with its 153 partner/user institutions across Europe; the NITOS and w-iLab.t wireless testbeds; two IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) telco testbeds for exploring merged media distribution; a green networking testbed; the ETOMIC high precision network measurement testbed; and the HEN emulation testbed. Associated with these testbeds are similarly successful control- and experimental-plane software. OpenLab advances these prototypes with key enhancements in the areas of mobility, wireless, monitoring, domain interconnections, and the integration of new technologies such as OpenFlow. These enhancements will be transparent to existing users of each testbed, while opening up a diversity of new experiments that users can perform, extending from wired and wireless media distribution to distributed and autonomous management of new social interactions and localized services, going far beyond what can be tested on the current Internet. OpenLab results will advance the goal of a unified Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) facility. In addition, OpenLab can provide models for the Future Internet Public Private Partnership (FI-PPP). Finally, OpenLab will issue open calls to users in industry and academia to submit proposals for innovative experiments using the OpenLabs technologies and testbeds, and will devote one million euros to funding the best of these proposals.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2010-2.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.27M | Year: 2011

The EU has experienced successive enlargements in recent years with the incorporation of new countries. These have changed the EU map, broadening frontiers and thus appearing new neighbouring countries. The integration of them offers new opportunities but also implies some risks. Even though the ENP has demonstrated to be an integration tool, which has provided an effective and clear framework to establish cooperation links within neighbouring countries, some are important areas with considerable potential for further progress. SEARCH will focus attention on some areas which so far have been neglected in the analysis of the impact of the ENP but which are of central interest in the economic literature on cohesion. Divided in 8 WPs. WP1 will obtain a background framework. From WP2 to WP5, scientific research will be carried out analyzing different aspects that ENP should strengthen in the future. WP6 will collect and analyse the policy implications from previous research. WP7 will communicate the research results and the policy recommendations through the correct communication channels to the potential users. WP8 will ensure the coordination of the SEARCH project consortium work with the previous experience of UB-AQR. It includes a remarkable well-balanced consortium with partners from 16 different countries, different backgrounds and expertise, giving an extensive vision to focus adequately to the projects objective of identifying policies that will strengthen the relationship between the EU and the NCs. Main impacts will be the advance on the research on ENP state of the art, obtaining relevant results for contributing to the formulation of future ENP, the involvement of relevant communities, stakeholders and practitioners in ENP research, the critical mass of resources involved and the establishment of a basis to develop new strategic partnership among EU and NCs. In short, SEARCH is a well defined project, relevant to the topic and with an experienced consortium


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2014

We propose a theory and a hardware implementation of probabilistic computation inspired by biochemical cell signaling. We will study probabilistic computation following three axes: algebra, biology, and hardware. In each case, we will develop a bottom-up hierarchical approach starting from the elementary components, and study how to combine them to build more complex systems. We propose Bayesian gates operating on probability distributions on binary variables as the building blocks of our probabilistic algebra. These Bayesian gates can be seen as a generalization of logical operators in Boolean algebra. We propose to interpret elementary cell signaling pathways as biological implementation of these probabilistic gates. In turn, the key features of biochemical processes give new insights for innovative probabilistic hardware implementation. We propose to associate conventional electronics and novel stochastic nano-devices to build the required hardware elements. Combining them will lead to new artificial information processing systems, which could, in the future, outperform classical computers in tasks involving a direct interaction with the physical world. For these purposes, the BAMBI project associates research in Bayesian probability theory, molecular biology, nanophysics, computer science and electronics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2014

Static and dynamic wetting of solid surfaces by liquids is a focus of numerous theoretical, computational and experimental investigations. Most of the research and training activities are focused on the wetting of simple solids by one-component liquids. However, a wide variety of industrial processes mostly include wetting/spreading of complex multiphase liquids over heterogeneous, structured or (nano)porous solids. The latter include deposition of active substances from foams and nanoemulsions on human hair and skin and deposition of functional nanoparticles on textile fibers and flexible polymer films. The mechanisms of those complex fluid-solid processes are to be understood. The development and optimization of the industrial processes and products is based on purely empirical trial and error methods. CoWet supra-disciplinary project is aimed at bridging the gap between the industrially relevant processes involving the complex fluid-solid processes, from one side, and the high resolution experiment, as well as physically sound modelling and direct computer simulations, from the other side. The high-resolution, high-speed experimental techniques, including confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy and fluorescent correlation spectroscopy, will be used to reveal the nano- and microscopic phenomena governing the complex fluid-solid interactions in the course of wetting/spreading processes of complex liquids over complex substrates. The modern computational and modelling techniques will help to reveal, predict and optimize the industry-relevant processes. The young researchers will be trained to study the systems of practical importance rather than focusing on model systems only. They learn the cutting edge scientific methodology and application technology from an industrial perspective. CoWet fellows will form a powerful network of experts which will eventually result in ground-breaking development of new complex fluid-solid technological processes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.62M | Year: 2011

Hernia operations are among the most common surgical procedures performed today with over 20 million cases annually worldwide. Hernia incidents are associated with pain and poor quality-of-life for the patient and lead to enormous healthcare costs, exceeding US $48 billion in the US annually. At present, hernia operations rely heavily on non-degradable polypropylene, polytetrafluoroethylene and nylon meshes. However, these polymers are often associated with foreign body reaction; implant failure; and hernia reoccurrence (over 42%). Moreover, leaking chemicals of these polymers are often deleterious to the surrounding cells and tissue and immobilise post-operative drug treatments. In addition, the process technologies are often associated with environmental risks. Herein, we propose a novel approach that employs recent advances in green nanotechnology and sustainable raw materials for scaffold fabrication that not only will eliminate toxic chemicals from the processes, but will also enhance functional repair due to superior biological properties. Specifically, we aim to fabricate a nano-fibrous mesh with well-defined nano-topography using cellulose; human recombinant collagen, derived from transgenic tobacco plants; and biodegradable polylactic/polyglycolic acid as raw materials. The green credentials of this innovative approach lie in the use of sustainable eco-friendly raw materials that will produce biodegradable waste products and therefore replacing hazardous chemicals currently in use. Thus, this proposal directly fits the call for the substitution of materials or components with green nano-technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.53M | Year: 2012

In the research part we will deal with the basic principles of the innate immune defense used to control tumors and viral infections with a focus on NK and NK/T cells, including analysis of NK receptor genomics/epigenetics, gene polymorphisms/disease linkage, differentiation of hitherto unrecognized NK cell subpopulations and novel ligands for NK receptors exposed by tumor and/or virally infected cells. We will investigate the mechanisms installed by tumors and viruses to avoid or subvert immune defenses. This will include the investigation of the role of NK/T cell subpopulations in the defense against tumors and infections by herpes virus family members, some being involved in tumor formation, in the development of inflammatory diseases and/or constituting a frequent complication during tumor therapy. The project will support anti-tumor and anti-viral therapies by developing novel technology for NK cell generation from cord blood stem cells for NK cell infusions in patients, by genetic engineering of NK cells and by using NK receptors and their ligands to develop novel reagents for amplifying anti-tumor and -viral activities of NK/T cells. It will further undertake basic studies on the potential of the newly emerging iPS cell technology for reconstituting immune systems including NK cells in patients with hematologic cancers. All students of this ITN will be trained in state-of-the-art immunotechnology including wider aspects of molecular medicine at the individual partner universities. An exchange of students between the different partners will be organized to ensure that every participant will be trained in several laboratories/universities with different expertise. It will further include network-wide training modules with cutting-edge lectures of internationally recognized research experts in the field, state-of-the-art seminars in the front-line technologies used in this project as well as courses in genome-wide bioinformatics, business and patent rights.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.73M | Year: 2012

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major health problem with severe co-morbidities, requiring life-long treatment. Oscillating processes, like biological clocks are well studied and modeled in a number of systems. Circadian rhythms are extremely important for optimal treatments of patients. Recently, the NfkB pathway has been shown to be oscillating. In this project, we will model NfkB oscillation in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases in animal models and patient cohorts with immunosuppressive treatments and controls. The aim is to build an experimentally validated model the NfkB oscillation in 4D within the gut tissue. Dynamic, experimental validation will be done for various types of cells in the gut by a combination of methods, including single-cell based transcriptomics, multi-photon microscopy and time-dependent, multi-component profiling. The validated model framework will enable searching for critical components of the NfB oscillation and to assess their relevance for the disease in patients. Interfering with the oscillation of biological pathways may provide new possibilities to influence biological processes like inflammation. Hence, we will search (assisted by the models and databases developed) for small molecules interfering with the NfkB oscillation in chemical databases and validate selected candidates in experimental systems. To this end, we will use cell lines with the correct indicator constructs using high content microscopy. To better translate the findings in animal models to patients, we will use a mouse model with transplanted human tissue so that we can verify the mathematical model in human tissue and verify functionality of small molecules in vivo. Owing to its systems, highly focused approach, the project will generate substantial insights into key mechanisms underlying IBD and will provide ways to modulate the oscillatory behavior of the NfB in IBD and IBD-dependent co-morbidities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-NIGHT | Award Amount: 298.46K | Year: 2010

Based on the success in previous years, IRN2010 was extended to additional institutes, and many additional sites at industries, and designed to attract Israelis of all ages, background and geographic location nationwide to meet researchers face-to-face. Number of sites was more than doubled and covers all of Israel (see map), with many places (science-caf and round tables) outside the Campuses where researchers will meet the public. The event will focus this year on How are researchers advancing Water technologies and Climate Change research?, with additional other scientific aspects. A broad range of compelling scientific activities, held nationwide and supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Employment, will contribute to altering public stereotypes of researchers, and to a greater understanding of the pivotal role of researchers in the economic development of Israel, and their contribution to the betterment of society and mankind as a whole. This event will comprise rich and imaginative programmes, featuring leading researchers from Israeli universities, research institutions, major science museums and industries, engaged in cutting edge scientific discovery and technological innovation. They will meet the public in their laboratories, in Science-Caf, at Round-Table Events, in the museums next to exhibitions and in lectures, where they will tell their personal stories. Events will include interactions with scientists who have received EU ERC and Marie Curie grants and a variety of hands-on activities for youngsters and others. Forums will take the shape of informal settings, where scientists and the public can get acquainted with each other in an unthreatening environment. We will emphasis the researchers passion for teaching the young generation on Water Technologies and Climate changes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.83M | Year: 2011

Allergy and autoimmunity cause increasing burden to societies worldwide. We study the effect of microbiome on the skin, the forefront barrier to environment, on autoimmunity and allergy, using atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis (PSO) as paradigmatic examples. We have detailed information about the genetic risk factors, as well as the molecular and cellular players in AD and PSO, but we know very little how microbe-host interaction triggers and regulate inflammatory cascade leading to allergic or autoimmune reaction. We propose that environmental and genetic factors, characteristic to particular disease, initiate a cascade of inflammatory events through the modulation of anti-microbial defence. The dysregulation of innate as well as adaptive immune responses leads to inappropriate responses to physical, microbial or allergen challenge, finally manifesting in the clinical symptoms of AD or PSO. We propose to use high-throughput whole microbiome and transcriptomics analysis with bioinformatics and systems biology to unravel the pathways during the host-pathogen interactions which may trigger an allergic or autoimmune reaction. We will identify key microbes and molecular targets to develop novel intervention strategies to decrease and prevent the burden of allergy and autoimmunity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-5 | Award Amount: 7.81M | Year: 2013

Neuro-immune alterations in the peripheral and central nervous system play a role in the pathophysiology of chronic pain, and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) regulate both immune and neuronal processes. Therefore, ncRNAPain proposes that ncRNAs are critically important master switches for chronic pain. ncRNAPain represents a multidisciplinary consortium of clinical partners, molecular and systems-level neuroscientists, bioinformatics and ncRNA experts. In order to gain knowledge on the mechanisms of chronic pain, ncRNAPain will investigate ncRNAs specifically in neurogenic and neuropathic pain, including headache. ncRNAPain will provide novel understanding of ncRNA regulation of processes modulating nociception and endogenous analgesia and of the importance of ncRNAs in circuitries and cognitive, emotional and behavioural components of pain. ncRNAPain will reveal insights into the concerted function of ncRNAs in the control of macromolecular complexes in neurons, glia and immune cells and signals used for neuroimmune communication in the pain pathway. Based on these findings, ncRNAPain will identify and validate specific ncRNAs as new druggable molecular targets for pain prevention and relief. ncRNAPain will identify pain predisposing ncRNA expression patterns and polymorphisms in ncRNAS and/or their binding sites as biomarkers for pain and inter-individual variations in the response to painful stimuli and analgesic drugs. ncRNA-based diagnostic tools will be developed and provided to enable better patient stratification, improved mechanism-based treatment and targeted prevention strategies for high risk individuals. ncRNAPain will provide novel understanding of the induction and maintenance of chronic pain and is committed to translate pre-clinical and clinical results and developments into clinical applications for the benefit of the patients, to improve the patients quality of life and reduce the societal burden of chronic pain across Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-11-2015 | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2016

Non-invasively imaging small numbers of molecular probes, to help image particular targets or pathways in vivo, is currently undergoing a technological revolution. Recent breakthroughs in molecular hyperpolarization proved > 10,000-fold increase in sensitivity on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, thus providing insight into previously unseen metabolic processes with enormous potential for socioeconomic relevant diseases. E.g. pyruvate-based hyperpolarized imaging was clinically demonstrated to be effective for prostate cancer diagnostics in human patients. However, the current state-of-the-art hyperpolarization methods are expensive and cumbersome, limiting the access to hyperpolarization technology, and require long hyperpolarization times of 60-90 minutes per dosage; hyperpolarization probes exhibit short hyperpolarization duration (1-5 minutes), limiting the usage of hyperpolarization to metabolic imaging. A quantum technological breakthrough, Nitrogen-Vacancy defects (NV centres) in diamonds, is set to revolutionize the field of hyperpolarization for both hyperpolarizer and probes. The primary objective of HYPERDIAMOND is the development and commercialization of two new molecular imaging technologies for sensitive diagnosis and treatment monitoring, based on NV centres: The Diamond Hyperpolarizer will offer a cost- and time-effective solution for hyperpolarization that easily fits current MRI layouts, hyperpolarizes within 5 minutes, and improves clinical viability. The Nano-diamond (ND) Probe will introduce the first targeted MRI probe capable of achieving comparable molecular sensitivity to positron emission tomography (PET) with MRI systems, exhibiting extremely long hyperpolarization duration (~1 hour), and enabling non-metabolic hyperpolarized imaging. HYPERDIAMOND will bridge the gap between novel quantum and nanotechnology and their applications in hyperpolarized imaging, producing innovation not feasible with current technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.6 | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2010

To understand what is required to support new innovative Internet applications, a solid understanding of Internet content characteristics (size, distribution, form, structure, evolution, dynamic) is necessary. The LAWA project (LAWA - Longitudinal Analytics of Web Archive data) will build an Internet-based experimental testbed for large-scale data analytics. Its emphasis is on developing a sustainable infrastructure, scalable methods, and easily usable software tools for aggregating, querying, and analyzing heterogeneous data at Internet scale. For decades, compute power and storage have become steadily cheaper, while network speeds, although increasing, has not kept up. The result is that data is becoming increasingly local and thus distributed in nature. It has become necessary to move more analysis to the data, not the reverse. The Internet is already, a long-scaled heterogeneous complex system.\nLAWA will federate distributed FIRE facilities with the rich centralized Web repository of the European Archive, to create a Virtual Web Observatory and use Web data analytics as a use case study to validate our design. The outcome of our work will enable Web-scale analysis of data, to unlock large-scale study of the content aspect of the Internet and bring this dimension on the roadmap of Future Internet Research. In four workpackages we will extend the open-source Hadoop parallel query management software by novel methods for data access and import, develop new methods of distributed storage with indexing, offer scalable aggregation, mine metadata and text along the time dimension, and advance the art of automatic classification of Web contents.\nLAWA adds value to the FIRE community by offering access to very large datasets across thousands of storage and processing nodes, with advanced methods and open-source tools for intelligently analysis at Internet scale enabling research for the Future Internet to take into account the challenge of content explosion.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2010

The importance of information asymmetry in financial markets has long been recognized in financial economics. Most existing models focus on the role of privately informed investors who influence prices through their trades. But in many cases the agents who have the biggest information advantage are insiders or the firms themselves; they are precluded from trading but can affect the information flow to the market. This endogenous information flow and its effect on financial market is the focus of the proposed project. By the term information flow we refer to a wide range of channels through which firms can communicate. The information can be part of a mandatory disclosure or a voluntary one. It can be verifiable or non-verifiable information. In addition there can be an implicit information transmission. A firm may choose certain actions to convey its private information (i.e. signaling) without any explicit announcements. The way firms convey this information may provide key insights into the behavior of financial markets and in particular the development of financial crises. The project combines theoretical and empirical work. In the theory part I plan to examine the channels mentioned above and develop testable implications. In the empirical part I plan to test these implications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-NIGHT | Award Amount: 258.67K | Year: 2011

With two governmental offices supporting, all universities and the main leading colleges in Israel taking part, Researchers Night 2011 event expected to be a great success and to fulfill its objectives. Read on... Israel`s Researchers Night (IRN) has been a highly successful national science project. Every year, many people attend the event and numerous institutions want to partner on an event that has become a sort of informal Researchers National Day. Moreover, the partnership on Researchers Night in Israel has turned the IRN consortium into a much larger and stronger community science education body, which has begun to take on additional joint actions in the field of science orientation. In 2011 we plan to expand emphasis on academic research and its implementation in industry, at the encounter with scientists as ordinary people like us. Four additional academic institutions will run activities in 2011. The Open University (OUI), Sami Shamoon Collage (SCE) and Haifa University (HAIFAU) which will join us for the first time and will also finance the activities using own funds, Bar-Ilan university which was responsible for WP3 but on 2011 will run activities during the night instead. Ort Braude College which hosted some successful activities last year will join us this year as well using own funds for 2011 activities. We believe that with almost no budget expand, these newly added institutions, yielding a greater number and range of participating scientists, will contribute to the attractiveness of the event and appeal to Israelis of all ages, backgrounds and geographic locations, who will come to meet researchers face-to-face. We will cover geographically the entire country, with many event locations (science-caf and round-tables) outside the campuses, where the public and researchers will have a chance to converse at eye level. The 2011 event will focus on Chemistry in line with UNESCOs International Year of Chemistry (2011)


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SEC-2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 4.11M | Year: 2011

The DESURBS project makes significant and novel advances with the following developments: 1) An urban space security event database that includes incidents or near misses that have (or might have) resulted in injury or loss of life, damage to urban spaces, the auxiliary infrastructures supporting those spaces, or the surrounding natural environment 2) An integrated security and resilience (ISR) design framework that engages local stakeholders for identifying vulnerabilities and improving urban spaces with respect to security threats. 3) Comprehensive and generic supporting tools and methodologies including urban resilient design guidelines and quantitative risk and vulnerability assessment models, tools and technologies to facilitate the qualitative ISR assessment process. 4) A web-based Decision Support System Portal integrating the projects outputs and including tailored visualization and mapping tools to help end users better understand the vulnerabilities and design possibilities. An objective rating scale for quantifying safety of different urban space designs is developed and used to show that DESURBS solutions result in urban spaces less prone for and less affected by security threats. Primary case studies with end users in Jerusalem in Israel, Nottingham in the UK and Barcelona in Spain inform the development process. The consortium consists of eight partners from five countries, and includes academic and research institutions as well as an SME for exploiting the projects outputs among end-users and stakeholders. The SME partner is committed to maintaining, updating and hosting the DESURBS Decision Support System Portal and associated databases and tools after the lifetime of the project. An Advisory Board with members from governmental and municipal urban planning and preparedness organizations ensures that the DESURBS advances are relevant, exploitable and will have the desired impact for end users.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2014 | Award Amount: 808.05K | Year: 2014

Following previous eight years of successful implementation of European Researchers Night in Israel we will have: o Venues covering the whole country. o Involvement of the academic community including Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST), all major research universities, leading collages and three science museums. o Awareness campaign at national level managed and funded by the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. o Groups of junior-high and high-school students (ages 12-18) will be invited by each partner to take part in each venue. We are ready and proud to implement European Researchers Night 2014 & 2015. All of the partners involved in the project have the experience of running successful European Researchers Nights events. With the successive increase in number of visitors along the years and the reputation of the event we are expecting more than 50,000 visitors each year. Main theme for 2014 will be Water & Marine Sciences research. Main theme for 2015 will be Brain Research which is very attractive subject to the special 10th anniversary event. Same management as in 2011, 2012, 2013 successful events. Proposal covers both 2014 & 2015 European Researchers Night events.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.6.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2014

The PRIME project will support the design of technologies (counter-measures and communication measures) for the prevention, interdiction and mitigation of lone actor extremist events (LOEEs), which are hard to anticipate, yet can be highly damaging to local and national communities and therefore must be addressed. Given the difficulty in detecting LOEEs, prevention-based strategies must be complemented by interdiction- and mitigation-based measures, to minimize harm in the event of detection failure. These measures must be accompanied by communication strategies aimed at a range of audiences, including extremists and the general public. The PRIME project will deliver a knowledge-base to inform the design of measures to defend against LOEEs, by achieving the following objectives: 1): Characterising a) the risk posed by lone actor extremists, and b) the context in which measures to defend against LOEEs may be implemented; 2) Producing a cross-level risk analysis framework within which to articulate the key factors and processes implicated in LOEEs, across all stages of the event (radicalisation, attack preparation, attack). 3): Translating the risk analysis framework into a meta-script of lone actor extremist events, and developing methodologies and techniques to produce empirically-supported scripts of each stage. 4): Producing an integrated, cross-level script of LOEEs, and identifying categories of intervention points or pinch points. 5): Delivering a portfolio of requirements for the design of measures for the prevention, interdiction and mitigation of lone actor extremist events across levels of intervention, informed by the analysis of the event script and an understanding of the context in which these measures may be implemented. 6): Delivering a portfolio of requirements for communication measures directed at a diverse audience at each stage of the script, in coordination with the portfolio of counter-measures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.1 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2013

BRAAVOO aims to develop innovative solutions for real-time in-situ measurements of high impact and difficult to measure marine pollutants. The concept of BRAAVOO is based on a unique combination of three types of biosensors, which will enable both the detection of a number of specific marine priority pollutants as well as of general biological effects that can be used for early warning. First, innovative bimodal evanescent waveguide nanoimmuno-sensors will enable label-free antibody-based detection of organohalogens, antibiotics, or algal toxins. Secondly, bacterial bioreporters producing autofluorescent proteins in response to chemical exposure will enable direct detection of alkanes or PAHs from oil, heavy metals, or antibiotics, and can further assess the general toxicity of the water sample. Finally, the photosystem activity of marine algae is exploited to monitor changes induced by toxic compounds. BRAAVOO will construct and rigorously test the three biosensor systems for their analytical performance to the targeted pollutants. To enable low-cost real-time measurements, the three biosensors will be miniaturized, multiplexed and integrated into innovative modules, which allow simultaneous multianalyte detection. The modules will include all optical elements for biosensor signal generation and readout, the microelectronics for data storage, and specific microfluidics to embed the biosensors or cells, and expose them to aqueous samples from dedicated autosamplers. The modules can be used either as stand-alone instruments for specific marine applications or can operate autonomously and in real-time in an integrated form. Hereto, they will be embedded in a marine buoy and an unmanned surveying vessel. Vessels and stand-alone biosensor modules will be tested extensively and in comparative fashion on real marine samples and in mesocosms. If successful, the flexible and innovative BRAAVOO solutions will democratize and revolutionize marine environmental monitoring.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-3-6-03 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2010

BIOMONAR develops multiplexed nanoarray biosensors for environmental targets, i.e. pollutants and pathogens. The innovative approach engineers three sensor platforms (surface, liposomal, living cell) which exploit a panel of periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) as the common selective element. The nanoarrays are integrated into a microfluidics system for in-situ monitoring. The strategy allows for selective and sensitive detection of target compounds in complex environmental mixtures. The sensor platforms probe different aspects in the exposure to effect chain of processes: each responds to a certain proportion of the total target concentration and has a characteristic dynamic window. The sensor signals are quantitatively interpreted and represented in terms of the spectra of reactivities and fluxes of the target compounds. This level of sophistication, coupled with the common PBP selective component, allows a coherent elucidation of the link between dynamic target speciation and predicted ecotoxicological impact. The optimisation and dedication of the sensors for environmental monitoring inherently involves physicochemical characterisation of the various bio/nonbio and bio/bio interfacial processes at nanoscale. The ensuing knowledge on the interaction of nanostructured surfaces with biological systems facilitates design of sensors for new targets, thus providing technical opportunities for the biosensor industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.22M | Year: 2014

INFOCORE focuses on the conditions that bring about different media roles in the cycle of conflict and peace building. It generates knowledge on (1) the social processes underlying the production of conflict news, and (2) the inherent dynamics of conflict news contents, (3) in a systematically comparative fashion. Based on this perspective, we identify the conditions under which media play specific constructive or destructive roles in preventing, managing, and resolving violent conflict, and building sustainable peace. The project will provide detailed knowledge on the process of conflict news production. Specifically, INFOCORE focuses on interactions between (1) professional journalists (in various media), (2) political actors (including public authorities, military), (3) experts/NGOs (in intelligence, peacekeeping, conflict prevention/resolution, and media assistance), and (4) lay publics (individuals and groups, including economic actors). INFOCORE analyzes these actors different roles (as sources/advocates, mediators, and users/audiences) in the production of (1) professional news media, (2) social media, (3) and semi-public intelligence/expert analysis. To assess the roles of media for shaping lay publics and political actors conflict perceptions and responses to ongoing conflicts, we analyze the dynamics of conflict news content over time. We identify recurrent patterns of information diffusion and the polarization/consolidation of specific frames and determine the main contextual factors that influence the roles media play in conflict and peace building. Specifically, we assess the roles of individual agendas and resources, professional norms, media organizations and systems, political systems, and characteristics of the conflict situation. INFOCORE implements a gender-sensitive perspective throughout the project, contributing to the ECs efforts to enable and strengthen the participation of women in peace and security matters.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.28M | Year: 2009

6.1 million people currently live with a form of dementia in the European Union with an addition of 1.4 million new cases every year. Combination of psychological testing, brain-imaging and exclusion of other neurological disorders makes the diagnosis of Alzheimers disease complicated and time consuming (taking up to 20 months). A rapid, sensitive and specific immunoassay for protein markers inside blood would largely improve early diagnosis and lead to a better treatment of dementia. Homogeneous assays based on FRET from one dye labeled specific antibody (AB1) to another (AB2) within an AB1-biomarker-AB2 immune complex are an ideal basis to meet these diagnostic requirements. As the detection of several protein markers is obligatory for a highly sensitive and specific diagnosis an optical multiplexing approach with dyes of different colors is a smart solution. Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are the ideal candidates due to their size-dependent absorption and emission wavelengths. Moreover, they possess unique photophysical properties that overcome conventional fluorescence dyes. In combination with lanthanide complexes (LCs), that display long luminescence lifetimes and well separated emission bands, QDs render a powerful multiplexing tool for highly sensitive diagnostics even for large immune complexes. FRET applications using QDs are to date restricted to academic research and a profound understanding of QD-based FRET is not available. For a comprehensive analysis the use of LCs is mandatory, because they are the only known donors for efficient FRET to QD acceptors. NANOGNOSTICS strives for a profound understanding of QD-based FRET, the synthetic creation of highly efficient QD immune sensors for detection of several Alzheimer-specific protein markers and the development of a modular high-throughput-screening immuno analyzer for the integration of QD-based multiplexing immunoassays into early diagnosis for improved patient outcome in dementia therapy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2010

Current pedagogy increasingly fails to engage young people with the study of Science and Math (S&M) in a way that threatens the future of Europe. Without basic S&M knowledge it is not possible to understand many of the important issues that confront us, such as global warming or genetic modification. A general lack of S&M literacy makes the ideal of Europe as a participatory democracy an unattainable goal, and means that the new products required for thriving in a global knowledge economy will not be developed. To address this problem, this project proposes to explore the potential of social learning for S&M by providing a visual language to support online groups in designing their own learning together. To gain deep knowledge of any specific domain learners need to integrate learning experiences with shared reflection through dialogue, in a way that builds conceptual understanding cumulatively. To this end, the objectives of the proposed project are: to further our understanding of meta-learning within collaborative communities engaged in S&M learning; to design a visual language to support students reflection on their individual and collaborative learning; to implement a platform integrating state-of-the-art argumentation tools with exploratory environments; to develop an adaptive diagnostic system utilizing AI techniques to support students and teachers during the collaboration and learning to learn process; to develop appropriate pedagogies to inform the design of the technical system; and to design new forms of assessment of the individual and collaborating learning exploiting the diagnostic system. Seven partners from 5 countries compose the consortium. Besides the technical development of the system, in its 3-year life the project will address the underlying pedagogical theory and extensive experimentation in classroom (ages 12-16) in the partners countries. Extensive dissemination and exploitation-planning actions are foreseen as well.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-SH1 | Award Amount: 1.52M | Year: 2013

The vast majority of published research on the impact of school interventions has examined their effects on short-run outcomes, primarily test scores. While important, a possibly deeper question of interest to society is the impact of such interventions on long-run life outcomes. This is a critical question because the ultimate goal of education is to improve lifetime well-being. Recent research has begun to look at this issue but much work remains to be done, particularly with regard to the long-term effects of interventions explicitly targeting improvement in general quality and students educational attainment. This proposal examines the impact of seven different schooling interventions teachers quality, school quality, remedial education, school choice, teacher incentive payments, students conditional cash transfers and an experiment with an increase in the return to schooling on long-run life outcomes, including educational attainment, employment, income, marriage and fertility, crime and welfare dependency. To address this important question I will exploit unique data from seven experimental programs and natural experiments implemented simultaneously at different schools in Israel. All programs were successful in achieving their short-term objectives, though the cost of the programs varied. This undertaking presents a unique context with unusual data and very compelling empirical settings. I will examine whether these programs also achieved a longer-term measure of success by improving students life outcomes. Another unique feature of the proposed study is that the interventions vary widely and touch on some emergent educational trends. The body of empirical evidence from this study will provide a more complete picture of the individual and social returns from these educational interventions, and will allow policymakers to make more informed decisions when deciding which educational programs lead to the most beneficial use of limited school resources.


ELASTISLET aims to create a breakthrough development in encapsulation technology and its use in cell and tissue therapies for the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes. ELASTISLET will combine leading technologies in biomaterial design, production and processing, cross-linking/grafting technology and cell therapy, to synergistically integrate them into a new immune-isolation and biomimetic scaffolding approach for islet and cell transplantation in diabetes treatment. ELASTISLETs starting point is a highly innovative and versatile family of superior biomaterials, the Elastin-like Recombinamers (ELRs). Those innovative materials will be combined with the most cutting-edge encapsulation technologies, such as reactive LbL. ELASTISLET relies on the most innovative ideas taken from synthetic biology, nanobiotechnology and molecular and cellular biology to build the ideal niche for islet/cell encapsulation and transplantation. ELASTISLET main objective is to achieve a functional coating that fulfils, first, the basic requirements of optimal biocompatibility and physical properties (permselectivity) but, second, generate a capsule that can promote an intense and directed cross talk through all cell-material interfaces involved: the implant-surrounding tissue (outer) interface and cargo cells-capsule (inner) interface. At the end, a capsule that is able not only to cloak its content and isolate it from the immune rejection but that it is able to biologically interact with the surrounding tissues and its cargo simultaneously in a way that the implanted capsule will immediately interact and fuse with the surrounding tissues creating a real continuity of the extracellular matrix from the core of the capsule to the surrounding hosts tissues and procuring adequate nutrient supply. That will provide a physiologically ideal biomimetic environment for the implanted islets/cells to survive and function in the long term without perceiving a foreign, unusual or hostile environment.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FCT-16-2015 | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2016

PROTON aims at improving existing knowledge on the processes of recruitment to organised crime and terrorist networks (OCTN) through an innovative integration between social and computational sciences. Moving beyond the state of the art, this integration will support evidence-based policies at the international, national and local level. To achieve its aim, PROTON will complete three specific objectives: 1. Investigate the social, psychological and economic factors leading to OCTN (WP1 and 2), including their connection with cybercrime and the cyberspace (WP3). The factors will be transformed into input (WP4) for PROTONs final outputs, PROTON-S and PROTON Wizard (WP5), designed for helping policy makers to act more effectively against OCTN. 2. Develop PROTON-S, agent-based modelling (ABM) simulations of the effects of different societal and environmental changes on OCTN. PROTON-S will generate virtual societies in a computer laboratory, enabling to test the impact of different scenarios on the evolution of, and particularly individuals recruitment to, OCTN. 3. Develop PROTON Wizard, a user-friendly software tool embedding the results of the ABM simulations. PROTONs impact will improve the quality of prevention policies on OCTN, providing at the same time significant innovations in the social, technological and computational sciences. PROTON-S, based on simulations, will bear no ethical and societal risks, and will create a breakthrough in the understanding of OCTN, enabling better policies and stimulating further innovation. PROTON Wizard will provide the first support tool for policy makers at the international, national and local level, giving easy access to the most advanced scientific research. The participation of different policy makers and potential end-users throughout the whole project will make sure that the final results specifically meet their needs and expectations.


LOS ANGELES & JERUSALEM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Phytecs Inc., a biotechnology company exploring innovative research into and potential treatments targeting the endocannabinoid system (ECS), together with Yissum Research Development Company, the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced a new partnership with two aims: to synthesize novel compounds that show increased efficacy over existing phytocannabinoids in targeting specific elements of the ECS, a key homeostatic regulator of the human body; and to continue testing semi-synthetic, patented fluorinated cannabidiol (F-CBD) compounds developed under a previous licensing agreement, which was signed with Yissum, University of São Paulo (USP) and Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul (UFRGS). Work conducted under the new partnership will complement Phytecs’ existing research into therapeutic applications for various phytocannabinoids and terpenoids sourced from cannabis, and combinations thereof. A Hebrew University research team led by Professor Raphael Mechoulam, MS, PhD, working closely with Tamás Bíró, MD, PhD, DSc, director of applied research for Phytecs, and other members of the Phytecs Scientific Advisory Board, will explore new therapeutic opportunities offered by these compounds for certain health conditions, with an initial focus on mental and immune disorders. The new Phytecs-Yissum partnership will also build on previous licenses between the two organizations that led to compounds currently under investigation as treatments for central nervous system (CNS) and skin disorders. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. Professor Mechoulam, whose pioneering work during the past half-century has supported a global expansion of research into phytocannabinoids from cannabis and other plants, said: “I am gratified to see the growing understanding among physicians and researchers of the body’s native ECS and its role in homeostatic regulation. Since ECS dysregulation is implicated in multiple pathological conditions, data suggests that modulating the ECS may have benefits across a huge range of human diseases. “My team at Hebrew University shares confidence with Yissum and Phytecs that our work will identify compounds with even greater therapeutic promise than the naturally occurring cannabis compounds (e.g. THC or CBD) my lab identified decades ago. We are particularly excited to extend our already productive partnership with testing on the patented F-CBD compounds licensed exclusively by Phytecs.” Dr. Bíró said: “Data from preclinical work previously conducted by Phytecs in partnership with Yissum is already encouraging in assays for epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression, among other areas. For example, we are hopeful that F-CBD compounds, which exhibit greater efficacies and potencies than CBD, will one day deliver the same or greater benefits to patients with CNS disorders as may be possible with CBD, at lower therapeutic doses. We are thrilled to be able to build upon this in close collaboration with Professor Mechoulam as we apply his and his team’s deep expertise.” Gary Hiller, president and COO of Phytecs, said: “We are excited to be building upon the data generated from our work with F-CBD by expanding our research slate, creating a pipeline of semi-synthetics and identifying new and more effective compounds – as well as putting together a world-leading team to translate ECS knowledge into value for patients. This pipeline correlates perfectly with our continued work on phytocannabinoids and reflects our focus on developing effective, efficient, accessible ECS therapeutic agents, regardless of their source.” Dr. Shoshi Keynan, vice president of healthcare business development at Yissum, said: “New cannabinoid research under the Phytecs-Yissum partnership promises to yield significant commercial opportunities and solutions for patients in the coming decade, not just in well-known areas such as treatment-resistant childhood epilepsy and pain relief, but in other disorders across a wide range of health areas including dermatology and mental health.” About Phytecs Phytecs is a biotechnology company developing interventions that address the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The Phytecs team pioneered the modern understanding of how the ECS regulates aspects of physiology including immunity, pain, inflammation, mood, emotion, learning, memory, metabolism, appetite, weight, sleep, embryo development, neuroprotection and stress response; and how dysregulation of the system affects human health and disease. The unique Phytecs R&D and product development platform includes not only compounds isolated from the Cannabis plant but also novel, highly effective synthetic and semi-synthetic cannabinoid agents. Phytecs is currently conducting research in the United States, Hungary, Israel and Switzerland. www.phytecs.com The Phytecs logo is a registered trademark of Phytecs, Inc. About Yissum Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $2 billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered over 9,325 patents covering 2,600 inventions; has licensed out 880 technologies and has spun out 110 companies including Mobileye, Briefcam, Orcam, Avraham Pharmaceuticals, Betalin Therapeutics, CollPlant and Qlight Nanotech. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche, Merck, Teva, Syngenta, Monsanto and many more. For further information please visit www.yissum.co.il.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

We're told not to judge a book by its cover, but we make instant judgments about people's intelligence, trustworthiness or dominance based on their facial appearance. Now, researchers have investigated the reverse possibility: can the way people judge us influence how we look? To answer this question, researchers led by Dr. Ruth Mayo and PhD candidate Yonat Zwebner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined whether a person's appearance can be influenced by their given name. To do this, they recruited independent observers and showed them color headshot photographs of complete strangers. Then they presented a list of names to the observers and asked them to choose the stranger's real name based on his or her facial appearance. In a series of studies (now reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), the observers repeatedly beat the odds of correctly identifying a person's name based on their facial appearance alone. For example, upon looking at the face and considering four possible names - Jacob, Dan, Josef or Nathaniel - observers correctly chose "Dan" 38% of the time, significantly above the 25% chance level of a random guess. This effect held true even when the researchers controlled for age and ethnicity, implying that something more than simple socioeconomic cues is at work. "Our research demonstrates that indeed people do look like their name," said Dr. Ruth Mayo, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Furthermore, we suggest this happens because of a process of self-fulfilling prophecy, as we become what other people expect us to become." Supporting the notion of a self-fulfilling prophecy, the researchers found that observers beat the odds of correctly guessing a person's name even when they were only allowed to see their hairstyle. This suggests that people may choose the hairstyle that fits a stereotype associated with their name. The researchers confirmed that observers in a second country and culture were also able to beat the odds. However while observers were good at matching faces to names in their own culture, they were not good at doing so in a foreign culture. This supports the idea that name stereotypes are important when matching faces with names. The researchers also found that observers are less good at guessing the given name of people who use a nickname exclusively. This indicates that a person's appearance is affected by their name only if they use it, and not if it simply appears on a birth certificate. In one study, the researchers completely removed the human factor from the matching process. Using a computerized paradigm, they found that computers were able to beat the odds when asked to choose the correct name for 94,000 different faces. This further supports the idea that our faces contain relevant information related to our names. The researchers suggest the "Dorian Gray effect," cited in previous research on how internal factors like personality can influence facial appearance, may apply here as well. Dorian Gray was the protagonist of an Oscar Wilde novel whose actions affected his portrait. "We are familiar with similar processes from other stereotypes like race and gender, where many times the stereotypical expectations of others affect who we become. We hypothesize that there are similar stereotypes about names, including how someone with a specific name looks, and these expectations really do affect our facial appearance," said Dr. Mayo from the Hebrew University. According to the researchers, the possibility that our name can influence our look, even to a small extent, suggests the important role of social structuring in the complex interaction between the self and society. The research suggests that we are subject to social structuring from the minute we are born, not only by our gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, but also by the simple choice that others make in giving us our name. "A name is an external social factor, different from other social factors such as gender or ethnicity, therefore representing an ultimate social tag. The demonstration of our name being manifested in our facial appearance illustrates the great power that a social factor can have on our identity, potentially influencing even the way we look," added Dr. Mayo. Future research could examine the precise nature of the mechanism leading to the emergence of this face-name matching effect, for example how a person's name matches his or her face at different stages of life. Another question worth exploring is why some people have a very high face-name match while others have a low match. Dr. Mayo's collaborators in this research include Yonat Zwebner, School of Business Administration, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Anne-Laure Sellier, Department of Marketing, HEC Paris; Nir Rosenfeld, the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Jacob Goldenberg, Arison School of Business, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), and Columbia Business School, Columbia University.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

'One of the most exciting archaeological discoveries -- and the most important in the last 60 years -- in the caves of Qumran' Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that Dead Sea scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12. The surprising discovery, representing a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research, was made by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology, with the collaboration of Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia, USA. The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it. The excavation was supported by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and is a part of the new "Operation Scroll" launched at the IAA by its Director-General, Mr. Israel Hasson, to undertake systematic surveys and to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert. Excavation of the cave revealed that at one time it contained Dead Sea scrolls. Numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found hidden in niches along the walls of the cave and deep inside a long tunnel at its rear. The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery towards the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickaxe heads from the 1950s (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves the cave was looted. Until now, it was believed that only 11 caves had contained scrolls. With the discovery of this cave, scholars have now suggested that it would be numbered as Cave 12. Like Cave 8, in which scroll jars but no scrolls were found, this cave will receive the designation Q12 (the Q=Qumran standing in front of the number to indicate no scrolls were found). "This exciting excavation is the closest we've come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave," said Dr. Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology and director of the excavation. "Finding this additional scroll cave means we can no longer be certain that the original locations (Caves 1 through 11) assigned to the Dead Sea scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins are accurate." Dr. Gutfeld added: "Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we 'only' found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen. The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more." The finds from the excavation include not only the storage jars, which held the scrolls, but also fragments of scroll wrappings, a string that tied the scrolls, and a piece of worked leather that was a part of a scroll. The finding of pottery and of numerous flint blades, arrowheads, and a decorated stamp seal made of carnelian, a semi-precious stone, also revealed that this cave was used in the Chalcolithic and the Neolithic periods. This first excavation to take place in the northern part of the Judean Desert as part of "Operation Scroll" will open the door to further understanding the function of the caves with respect to the scrolls, with the potential of finding new scroll material. The material, when published, will provide important new evidence for scholars of the archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea caves. "The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Desert and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered," said Israel Hasson, Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority. "We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain. The State of Israel needs to mobilize and allocate the necessary resources in order to launch a historic operation, together with the public, to carry out a systematic excavation of all the caves of the Judean Desert."


Koch J.,Paul Ehrlich Institute | Steinle A.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Watzl C.,Leibniz Research Center for Working Environment and Human Factors o | Mandelboim O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2013

Natural killer (NK) cells are central players in the vertebrate immune system that rapidly eliminate malignantly transformed or infected cells. The natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) NKp30, NKp44, and NKp46 are important mediators of NK cell cytotoxicity, which trigger an immune response on recognition of cognate cellular and viral ligands. Tumour and viral immune escape strategies targeting these receptor-ligand systems impair NK cell cytotoxicity and promote disease. Therefore, a molecular understanding of the function of the NCRs in immunosurveillance is instrumental to discovering novel access points to combat infections and cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Fridlender Z.G.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Fridlender Z.G.,University of Pennsylvania | Albelda S.M.,University of Pennsylvania
Carcinogenesis | Year: 2012

Neutrophils play an established role in host defense and in killing invading microorganisms. Although neutrophils are traditionally considered in the context of their antibacterial functions, it is becoming increasingly clear that tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) play a major role in cancer biology. Neutrophils make up a significant portion of the inflammatory cell infiltrate in many models of cancer. Like all other leukocytes, they move into tissues under the influence of specific chemokines, cytokines and cell adhesion molecules. The tumor microenvironment has been shown to be responsible for their recruitment in cancer. We have found that TAN are a distinct population of neutrophils, differing markedly in their transcriptomic profile from both naive neutrophils and the granulocytic fraction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Studies have demonstrated specific examples of tumor-mediated signals (such as transforming growth factor-β) that induce the formation of a pro-tumorigenic (N2) phenotype capable of supporting tumor growth and suppressing the antitumor immune response. However, there are also studies showing that TAN can also have an antitumorigenic (N1) phenotype. Herein, we explore the literature on the different mechanisms of TAN recruitment to tumors, the unique characteristics of TAN and what shapes their pro- and/or antitumor effects. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Dengjel J.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Abeliovich H.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Autophagy | Year: 2014

Mitophagy, or the autophagic degradation of mitochondria, is thought to be important in mitochondrial quality control, and hence in cellular physiology. Defects in mitophagy correlate with late onset pathologies and aging. Here, we discuss recent results that shed light on the interrelationship between mitophagy and mitochondrial dynamics, based on proteomic analyses of protein dynamics in wild-type and mutant cells. These studies show that different mitochondrial matrix proteins undergo mitophagy at different rates, and that the rate differences are affected by mitochondrial dynamics. These results are consistent with models in which phase separation within the mitochondrial matrix leads to unequal segregation of proteins during mitochondrial fission. Repeated fusion and fission cycles may thus lead to "distillation" of components that are destined for degradation. © 2014 Landes Bioscience.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Colibri Photonics GmbH | Date: 2015-03-24

Systems, kits and methods for non-invasive, long-term, real-time monitoring of one or more physiological parameters of a cell, including but not limited to oxygen uptake, are provided.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Medical Research Fund At The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center | Date: 2010-09-24

The present invention describes the use of an AChE-R-derived peptide, also known as ARP, as an inducer of hemopoietic cell differentiation and expansion, specifically for the granulocytic population. In addition, the use of ARP as an inducer of thrombopoietin and pro-inflammatory cytokines is also presented. ARP may further be used in the pre-transplant priming of hematopoietic stem cells. Other uses and methods utilizing ARP are also described herein.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.1 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2013

Among complex systems with emergent behaviours, frustrated quantum magnets are predicted to exhibit novel, highly nontrivial phases of matter that may play a major role in future and emerging quantum technologies such as the synthesis of innovative materials for energy harnessing and storage, entanglement-enhanced metrology, and topological quantum computing.Unfortunately, due to the intrinsic levels of noise in natural compounds, the controlled realization, characterization, and manipulation of frustrated quantum magnets appear exceedingly demanding. On the other hand, we are now entering an advanced stage of development of quantum emulators, engineered quantum systems that realize model Hamiltonians of increasing complexity in a controlled fashion. Cutting-edge technologies for quantum emulation science include cold atoms in optical lattices, trapped ultracold ions (Coulomb crystals), NV centres in diamond, and photonic circuits. By developing, comparing, and integrating these four different atom-optical platforms, project EQuaMs breakthrough is the controlled experimental emulation of fundamental model Hamiltonians for frustrated quantum magnetism, both in nontrivial lattice geometries and for competing long-range interactions, and the characterization of their phase diagrams, targeting fundamental features such as spin liquid phases, global topological order, and fractional excitations. By achieving this objective, EQuaMs groundbreaking contribution to the long-term vision in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is the efficient quantum emulation, not admitting efficient classical computational counterparts, of many-body quantum systems with essential elements of complexity. Besides providing crucial insights in the physics of complex many-body systems, it will be a foundational step in the realization of large-scale architectures for topologically protected quantum computation and information.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.8 | Award Amount: 3.11M | Year: 2011

The brain circuits of the central nervous system are formed by neurons and synapses endowed with complex dynamical properties. However, the traditional architectures of computational systems, like artificial neuronal networks, are based on connectivity rules while making use of very simplified neurons. Moreover while brain circuits operate through discontinuous signal called spikes organized in complex sequences, theoretical analysis usually deals with continuous signals. To understand circuit computations a different approach is needed: to elaborate realistic spiking networks and use them, together with experimental recordings of network activity, to investigate the theoretical basis of central network computation. As a benchmark we will use the cerebellar circuit. The cerebellum is supposed to compare expected and actual activity patterns and to reveal their congruence with respect to stored memories. By these means, the cerebellum takes part to control loops regulating movement and cognition. Experimental evidence has revealed that cerebellar circuits can dynamically regulate their activity on the millisecond time scale and operate complex spatio-temporal transformation of signals through non-linear neuronal responses. Moreover, synaptic connections can be fine-tuned by distributed forms of synaptic plasticity, the correlate of memory in neural circuits. In this project, we will develop specific chips and imaging techniques to perform neurophysiological recordings from multiple neurons in the cerebellar network. Based on the data, we will develop the first realistic real-time model of the cerebellum and connect it to robotic systems to evaluate circuit functioning under closed-loop conditions. The data deriving from recordings, large-scale simulations and robots will be used to explain circuit functioning through the adaptable filter theory. REALNET will thus provide a radically new view on computation in central brain circuits laying the basis for new technological applications in sensori-motor control and cognitive systems.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Colibri Photonics GmbH | Date: 2015-09-30

Systems, kits and methods for non-invasive, long-term, real-time monitoring of one or more physiological parameters of a cell, including but not limited to oxygen uptake, are provided.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 2.91M | Year: 2011

We identify Neuroelectronics as a novel mature discipline, at the boundaries between neurobiology, electrophysiology, computational neurosciences, microelectronics, materials sciences, and nanotechnologies. In the proposed Marie-Curie consortium, each of these components, as well as the specific application contexts (i.e. basic research, neuroprosthetics, and pharmaceutical applications), are represented and combined in a concerted effort, towards the training of a new generation of researchers and professionals. We target both technological priorities, such as the development of novel multi-electrode arrays and advanced interfaces that functionally interact with neurons and networks; and scientific priorities, considering and studying neuro-electronic hybrids as devices able to undergo a functional and anatomical reconfiguration, on the basis of the activity-dependent plasticity and rewiring properties of neurons, under some control of the experimenter. Our ultimate aim is to lay the foundation of a virtual institute for the multi-disciplinary study of neuroengineering and network-neurosciences that will train a new generation of scientists and professionals and that will contribute to Europes leading role in scientific innovation. We strongly believe in the unique training potential of our consortium: neuroelectronics to analyze and synthesize neuronal networks, using artificial devices able to co-operate with neurons, thereby crossing the barriers between artificial devices and neurons. Knocking down the barriers between natural and artificial is, in the words of Edoardo Boncinelli (founding figure in developmental biology and 2005 EMBO Awardee for Communication in the Life Sciences), a fantastic crossing between biological evolution and cultural evolution, a shortcut between culture and nature.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 1.62M | Year: 2013

The objective of the AmpliFIRE Support Action is to prepare FIRE for year 2020, in strengthening the exploitation and impact creation capacities of Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) facilities. It brings the concept of open innovation into the world of FIRE, involving beneficiaries across the range from infrastructure technologies to new modes of interaction, collaboration and empowerment. AmpliFIRE enhances the awareness for FIRE-enabled research and innovation opportunities in the business community, in societal domains and in the existing FIRE community.\nAmpliFIRE develops a sustainable vision for 2020 of Future Internet research and experimentation including the role of FIRE facilities, and sets out a transition path from the current situation towards 2020. It conducts an assessment of todays FIRE capabilities, identifying the gaps relative to the 2020 demands and identifying how capabilities must evolve. FIRE capabilities include research and engineering experiment facilities, new user- and innovation-oriented instruments, platforms to attract business interest to FIRE, and collaboration and business models for partnering. By 2020, FIRE facilities shall be the backbone of European research and innovation ecosystems. AmpliFIRE proposes the capabilities, collaboration models and service offering portfolios to achieve that goal.\nEnhancing earlier actions and ensuring FIRE community support continuity, AmpliFIRE supports the FIRE community to identify exploitation opportunities, enhance impact creation approaches and strengthen effectiveness of the FIRE facility. Based on Key Performance Indicators, AmpliFIRE monitors the technical, operational and organizational conditions necessary to realise benefits, impact and sustainability of the Europe-wide Future Internet experiment facility.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-1 | Award Amount: 7.24M | Year: 2009

Currently the world of polymeric composite materials is almost exclusively based on fossil derived components. This fact represents a strong issue, as the non-renewable global oil resources are being exploited year after year, also as a consequence of the ever growing demand for plastics engineering materials. WOODY Project goal is to develop new composite panels and laminates from wood derived renewable materials, providing performances competitive with respect to traditional composites. WOODY Project is aimed at introducing a fully innovative paradigm in the composite industry, thanks to development of materials derived from natural resources, enabling to cover the whole necessities of components: fibre, matrix and core. Enzymatic processing is developed in parallel to chemo-thermo-mechanical treatments, for achieving the maximum throughput and eco-sustainability. The breakthrough innovation in materials is backed by an innovative approach in design of composite products, the so called Composite Thinking, starting from the phase of conception, to the production and installation, enabling to rethink products and fully exploiting the potentialities of composites. Quality of the approach is based on multidisciplinary research and on the target oriented to the redefinition of the whole processing value-chain for wood derived cellulose nano fibrils and resins deriving from natural raw materials, and the related manufacturing processes for advanced composite components. The Project is aimed to set the basis for the development of a new class of products optimising the use of the natural resources. Such approach is therefore expected to increase the tendency for wild forest areas recovery, and to promote the culture of wooden species dedicated to the extraction of compounds finalized to the production of renewable composite materials.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2013-6 | Award Amount: 9.39M | Year: 2013

Skin alterations within ageing are significant and visible, and therefore disturbing feature in the quality of life of aged people. Economic importance of this population is dramatically growing in Europe in the last decade. Regular skin care preparations are capable to cope with ageing symptoms to some extends, i.e. wrinkles, age spots and skin dryness, but limited in protecting skin from microbial contaminations, inflammation, irritation and other ageing related manifestations. A novel flexible customized skin care approach for better skin treatment is proposed by SuperFlex, combined with cost reduction of 30%, significant reduced environmental impact and a 50% reduction in time to market. SuperFlex low cost and environmentally friendly concept will be a result of: 1). Low energy manufacturing of water/oil emulsions; 2) Green packaging; 3).Centralized management serving the on-site mini-factories; 4) Flexible units for on-site and by-demand production diminishing inventory needs; 5) LCA and LCC studies for platform optimization. SuperFlex manufacturing concept of central factory and mini-factories extensions raises a mechanism for sophisticated options analysis of products to be designed and produced at operational level. An advanced cloud based ICT platform will include: 1). Integration of the manufacturing IT system for distributed control and monitoring of the production network [Enterprise Resource Planning; Secure Information Systems; Manufacturing Execution Systems; Standard for the Exchange of Product model data]; 2). A new Cyber physical system-enabled infrastructure approach for equipment integration; 3). A decision support system for cosmetic formulations according to biomarkers profile, expert evaluation and client requirements; 4).Mobile device supported customer feedback system. SuperFlex achievement will be demonstrated within project period by design manufacturing and treating elderly population with personalized skincare products


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-3-1-01 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2009

In the METAPRO project we aim to optimise the production of several useful isoprenoid derived secondary metabolites to demonstrate the tools and strategies developed for the generic production of useful secondary metabolites in plants. Astaxanthin (ketocarotenoids) and the apocarotenoid crocin have been selected to demonstrate the application of the technologies adopted and developed. These compounds are of high-value and used in the industrial and health sectors. Both are classical secondary plant metabolites being formed in slow growing species that are not readily amenable to agricultural production. They are non-essential to the plant, synthesised at a defined developmental stage, in specialised tissues, cells and/or cellular compartments. In order to generate cheap renewable bio-resources of these compounds with improved economic and environmental potential, natural variation will be exploited and genetic engineering approaches implemented. Astaxanthin and crocin will be engineered into Solanaceae host platforms. Tomato fruit and potato tuber are ideal cell factories for this class of molecules, as at defined developmental stages their tissues and specialised cellular compartments are pre-disposed to high level isoprenoid formation. To optimise production in these hosts the METAPRO project aims to use modern and emerging technologies to (i) elucidate regulatory mechanisms involved in synthesis, (ii) optimise storage by increasing, altering and transport from, the cellular compartment responsible for synthesis and accumulation, (iii) improve stability of the products in the cell and during bioprocessing and (iv) implement improved transformation, transcription and translation tools for more efficient engineering and improved yields and quality. To achieve these objectives and deliver scientific excellence with impact a multidisciplinary pan-European team with complementary expertise, industrial (SME) participation and global interaction has been constructed.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Shenkar College | Date: 2010-10-11

A photovoltaic device is presented including one or more cell units. The photovoltaic device comprises a semiconductor substrate having a patterned light collecting surface defining an array of spaced-apart substantially parallel first grooves. Each of these first grooves has a bottom portion, comprising a bottom surface and side walls extending from the bottom portion and being substantially perpendicular to the surface of the device. A heavily doped semiconductor layer in the form of spaced-apart regions is located at the bottom surfaces of the first grooves respectively. Further improvement of performance is obtained by deposition of thin metal lines on top of the heavily doped spaced apart lines.


Patent
Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hoffmann-La Roche | Date: 2013-05-22

Uses of a compound of any of Formulas I-VI as a cytotoxic inhibitor of undifferentiated cells are disclosed herein, as well as pharmaceutical compositions comprising a compound of any of Formulas I-VI, and methods for identifying a lead candidate for inhibiting undifferentiated cells. Further disclosed are uses of an SCD-1 inhibitor as a cytotoxic inhibitor of undifferentiated cells.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Jars from between the eighth and second centuries B.C., found in Judea, show the magnetic field has been fluctuating regularly, not diminishing over time. Earth’s core is the source of the very important but poorly understood magnetic field that surrounds the planet and extends outward. One of physics’ great mysteries, it was first recorded about 180 years ago and when it was noticed to be weakening, the potential consequences, such as its effects on the biosphere, set alarm bells ringing. However, new evidence shows that instead of diminishing, Earth’s magnetic field is perhaps merely fluctuating, as it has done over millennia. Using a set of 67 jars, all of them from between the eighth and second centuries B.C. from the region that was known as Judea at the time, scientists have gathered information about changes in the planet’s geomagnetic field in the course of those 600 years. A study by researchers from Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California, San Diego, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said: “The reconstruction of geomagnetic field behavior in periods predating direct observations with modern instrumentation is based on geological and archaeological materials and has the twin challenges of (i) the accuracy of ancient paleomagnetic estimates and (ii) the dating of the archaeological material. Here we address the latter by using a set of storage jar handles (fired clay) stamped by royal seals as part of the ancient administrative system in Judah (Jerusalem and its vicinity).” The data they found showed the magnetic field was relatively stable and declined gradually between the sixth and second centuries B.C. but a short 30-year period in the eighth century B.C. saw a spike, in which about 27 percent of the field’s strength was lost. “The field strength of the 8th century B.C. corroborates previous observations of our group, first published in 2009, of an unusually strong field in the early Iron Age. We call it the 'Iron Age Spike,' and it is the strongest field recorded in the last 100,000 years. This new finding puts the recent decline in the field's strength into context. Apparently, this is not a unique phenomenon — the field has often weakened and recovered over the last millennia,” Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU's Institute of Archaeology and the study’s lead investigator, said in a statement Tuesday. Findings of the study could help us better understand not just the enigmatic magnetic field, but also the inner structure of our planet.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IAPP | Award Amount: 2.26M | Year: 2010

This industry-academia proposal addresses the development of technology which will enable understanding of regeneration of injured or degenerated tendons. Biomimetic fibrous composites will be designed and developed that will mimic the structure of native tendons. The project objectives are to fabricate an optimally stabilised and effectively functionalised three-dimensional collagen-resilin composite scaffold to match the properties of native tendons. Evaluation of the optimally stabilised and effectively functionalised biomimetic constructs will be conducted in vitro (cell studies, structural and mechanical properties) and in vivo (small and large animal studies). Using textile technologies, we aim to fabricate fibre extrusions that will allow future commercialisation of the three-dimensional biomimetic construct. In meeting the scientific and technological objectives of the IAPP Programme, an inter-sectorial academic industry multidisciplinary approach will be taken which maximises the potential offered by contemporary technologies This IAPP Programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between academics, industry and clinicians. One of the key benefits will be the transfer of key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions enabling the consortium to widen the scope of their work, beyond what is available within their own institution and merge the available technologies. This programme will provide training of both seconded and recruited staff, both in the host and parent institutions. This training will include experimental, communication and project management skills. Platform technologies developed during the lifetime of this project will result in future joint applications by partners in the consortium to the FP7 Health and FP7 NMP programmes.


Archaeologists from Hebrew University have made an important discovery. Excavations in a cave located along the cliffs near the Dead Sea, in Israel, have revealed the possible presence of yet another Dead Sea Scroll. The scroll has not been located but evidence found by the team suggests that it was likely present in the cave, but may have been looted by Bedouins sometime during the last century. With this discovery the total tally of Dead Sea Scrolls now stands at 12 and it comes more than 60 years after the last scroll was discovered. The Scrolls were first discovered during the 1940's in the hills of Wadi Qumran in the Judean desert. Following this, 10 more such scrolls have been discovered till date. These scrolls are said to be more than 2000 years old and provide better insight into the biblical texts and are known to be the second oldest known manuscripts which have survived. Most of the text in the Dead Sea Scrolls is in Hebrew and some even have Greek writing. The discovery of these manuscripts is of historical and religious importance. It was reported by Liberty University that the scrolls are so valuable that even a fragment as small as a fingernail would be priced at around $1 million, which offers insight into its importance. The excavation was headed by Dr Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology. Liberty University in Georgia, USA also collaborated with them. Excavations into the cave revealed that it may have housed another part of the Dead Sea Scrolls but it was likely looted. The findings include the empty jars in which the scroll is believed to have been preserved along with leather binding straps, a cloth used to wrap the scroll and pieces of skin. "Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we 'only' found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen," said Gutfeld post the excavation. This indicates that the archaeologists consider the excavation a success even if the actual scroll was not discovered. The team discovered pickaxe remains inside the cave which indicates that the theft of the scroll was relatively recent. Israel Hasson, who is the Director General of Israel Antiquities Authority, believes that this recent excavation just goes to show that a lot of secrets are still "waiting to be discovered." He has requested more funding to conduct similar operations in other caves of the Judean desert. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Albert Einstein considered the origin of the Earth's magnetic field one of the five most important unsolved problems in physics. The weakening of the geomagnetic field, which extends from the planet's core into outer space and was first recorded 180 years ago, has raised concern by some for the welfare of the biosphere. But a new study published in PNAS from Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and University of California San Diego researchers finds there is no reason for alarm: The Earth's geomagnetic field has been undulating for thousands of years. Data obtained from the analysis of well-dated Judean jar handles provide information on changes in the strength of the geomagnetic field between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, indicating a fluctuating field that peaked during the 8th century BCE. "The field strength of the 8th century BCE corroborates previous observations of our group, first published in 2009, of an unusually strong field in the early Iron Age. We call it the 'Iron Age Spike,' and it is the strongest field recorded in the last 100,000 years," says Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU's Institute of Archaeology, the study's lead investigator. "This new finding puts the recent decline in the field's strength into context. Apparently, this is not a unique phenomenon -- the field has often weakened and recovered over the last millennia." Additional researchers included Prof. Oded Lipschits and Michael Millman of TAU, Dr. Ron Shaar of Hebrew University, and Prof. Lisa Tauxe of UC San Diego. "We can gain a clearer picture of the planet and its inner structure by better understanding proxies like the magnetic field, which reaches more than 1,800 miles deep into the liquid part of the Earth's outer core," Dr. Ben-Yosef observes. The new research is based on a set of 67 ancient, heat-impacted Judean ceramic storage jar handles, which bear royal stamp impressions from the 8th to 2nd century BCE, providing accurate age estimates. "The period spanned by the jars allowed us to procure data on the Earth's magnetic field during that time -- the Iron Age through the Hellenistic Period in Judea," says Dr. Ben-Yosef. "The typology of the stamp impressions, which correspond to changes in the political entities ruling this area, provides excellent age estimates for the firing of these artifacts." To accurately measure the geomagnetic intensity, the researchers conducted experiments at the Paleomagnetic Laboratory of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of California San Diego, using laboratory-built paleomagnetic ovens and a superconducting magnetometer. "Ceramics, baked clay, burned mud bricks, copper slag -- almost anything that was heated and then cooled can become a recorder of the components of the magnetic field at the time of the event," said Dr. Ben-Yosef. "Ceramics have tiny minerals -- magnetic 'recorders' -- that save information about the magnetic field of the time the clay was in the kiln. The behavior of the magnetic field in the past can be studied by examining archaeological artifacts or geological material that were heated then cooled, such as lava." Observed changes in the geomagnetic field can, in turn, be used as an advanced dating method complementary to the radiocarbon dating, according to Dr. Ben-Yosef. "The improved Levantine archaeomagnetic record can be used to date pottery and other heat-impacted archaeological materials whose date is unknown. "Both archaeologists and Earth scientists benefit from this. The new data can improve geophysical models -- core-mantle interactions, cosmogenic processes and more -- as well as provide an excellent, accurate dating reference for archaeological artefacts," says Dr. Ben-Yosef. The researchers are currently working on enhancing the archaeomagnetic database for the Levant, one of the most archaeologically-rich regions on the planet, to better understand the geomagnetic field and establish a robust dating reference. Tel Aviv University (TAU) is inherently linked to the cultural, scientific and entrepreneurial mecca it represents. It is one of the world's most dynamic research centers and Israel's most distinguished learning environment. Its unique-in-Israel multidisciplinary environment is highly coveted by young researchers and scholars returning to Israel from post-docs and junior faculty positions in the US. American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) enthusiastically and industriously pursues the advancement of TAU in the US, raising money, awareness and influence through international alliances that are vital to the future of this already impressive institution.


Weiss I.D.,Hadassah University Hospital | Jacobson O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Theranostics | Year: 2013

CXCR4 was found to be expressed by many different types of human cancers and its expression has been correlated with tumor aggressiveness, poor prognosis and resistance to chemotherapy. CXCR4 was also shown to contribute to metastatic seeding of organs that express its ligand CXCL12 and support the survival of these cells. These findings suggest that CXCR4 is a potentially attractive therapeutic target, and several antagonists and antibodies for this receptor were developed and are under clinical evaluation. Quantifying CXCR4 expression non-invasively might aid in prognostication as a mean for personalized therapy and post treatment monitoring. Multiple attempts were done over the recent years to develop imaging agents for CXCR4 using different technologies including PET, SPECT, fluorescent and bioluminescence, and will be reviewed in this paper. © Ivyspring International Publisher.


Shaik S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Rzepa H.S.,Imperial College London | Hoffmann R.,Cornell University
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013

What could be simpler than C2, a diatomic molecule that has the second strongest homonuclear bond? This molecule turns out to be a microcosm of the bonding issues that bother chemists, as is shown in this trialogue. Join the three authors in their lively debate, light a candle, as Faraday did, and see the excited states of C2! Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Baer R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Livshits E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Salzner U.,Bilkent University
Annual Review of Physical Chemistry | Year: 2010

We review density functional theory (DFT) within the Kohn-Sham (KS) and the generalized KS (GKS) frameworks from a theoretical perspective for both time-independent and time-dependent problems. We focus on the use of range-separated hybrids within a GKS approach as a practical remedy for dealing with the deleterious long-range self-repulsion plaguing many approximate implementations of DFT. This technique enables DFT to be widely relevant in new realms such as charge transfer, radical cation dimers, and Rydberg excitations. Emphasis is put on a new concept of system-specific range-parameter tuning, which introduces predictive power in applications considered until recently too difficult for DFT. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Mechoulam R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Hanus L.O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Pertwee R.,University of Aberdeen | Howlett A.C.,Wake forest University
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Isolation and structure elucidation of most of the major cannabinoid constituents-including Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 -THC), which is the principal psychoactive molecule in Cannabis sativa-was achieved in the 1960s and 1970s. It was followed by the identification of two cannabinoid receptors in the 1980s and the early 1990s and by the identification of the endocannabinoids shortly thereafter. There have since been considerable advances in our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and its function in the brain, which reveal potential therapeutic targets for a wide range of brain disorders. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Ziv O.,TheHebrew University Hadassah Medical School | Glaser B.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Dor Y.,TheHebrew University Hadassah Medical School
Developmental Cell | Year: 2013

Pancreas homeostasis is based on replication of differentiated cells in order to maintain proper organ size and function under changing physiological demand. Recent studies suggest that acinar cells, the most abundant cell type in the pancreas, are facultative progenitors capable of reverting to embryonic-like multipotent progenitor cells under injury conditions associated with inflammation. In parallel, it is becoming apparent that within the endocrine pancreas, hormone-producing cells can lose or switch their identity under metabolic stress or in response to single gene mutations. This new view of pancreas dynamics suggests interesting links between pancreas regeneration and pathologies including diabetes and pancreatic cancer. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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