Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv University is a public university located in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. With over 30,000 students, TAU is Israel's largest university.Located in Israel's cultural, financial and technological core, Tel Aviv University is a major center of teaching and research, comprising 9 faculties, 27 schools, 98 departments and nearly 130 research institutes and centers. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Tel Aviv University | Date: 2016-08-11

Composite structures composed of a fibril core and a polymeric coat and designed capable of encapsulating both hydrophobic and hydrophilic bioactive agents while retaining the activity of these agents are disclosed. Further disclosed are processes of preparing such composite structures, and medical devices and disposable articles made therefrom.


Methods for the prevention and treatment of ocular disorders, in particular glaucoma, through blocking the toxic effects of -amyloid (A) derivatives, and pharmaceutical compositions for effecting such prevention and treatment thereof.


The present invention relates to new molecular design that allows micelles to report their activation and disassembly by an enzymatic trigger. The molecular design is based on introduction of a labeling moiety selected from a fluorescent dye, a dark quencher, combinations of dyes or dyes/quenchers, and a fluorinated moiety (a ^(19)F-magenetic resonance (MR) probe for turn ON/OFF of a ^(19)F-MR signal) through covalent binding to the focal point of amphiphilic polymer-dendron hybrids with the labeling moiety. At the assembled micellar state, the dyes are closely packed and hence the probability for intermolecular interactions increases significantly, leading to alteration of the fluorescent properties (signal quench or shift) or the ^(19)F-MR signal (OFF state) of the micelles. Upon enzymatic cleavage of the hydrophobic end-groups from enzyme-responsive dendron, the polymers become hydrophilic and disassemble. This structural change is then translated into a spectral change as dye-dye interactions are halted and the dyes regain their intrinsic fluorescent properties, or alternatively by turn ON the ^(19)F-MR signal. The high modularity of the design allows the introduction of various types of dyes and thus enables rational adjustment of the spectral response. Two major types of responses are described: Turn-On/Off and spectral shift, depending on the type of labeling dye. The present invention further provides methods of use of the hybrid delivery system and to a kit comprising the same.


Patent
Tel Aviv University and Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd. | Date: 2016-08-15

Embodiments of the invention provide derivatives of Amphotericin B having increased solubility and reduced toxicity relative to AMB, while retaining antifungal activity against multiple clinical fungal isolates. Derivatives of AMB are provided comprising a polymer group having an amine group, the polymer linked to mycosamine via a relatively stable linker such as an amide linker. The derivatives may be of the general formula [I]: wherein R is H, C_(1-4 )alkyl or phenyl; R^(2 )is (CH_(2))_(m )wherein m is between 0 and 4; R^(3 )and R^(4 )are each independently H or C_(1-4 )alkyl, R^(5 )is H or OH, R^(6 )is selected from a group consisting of: amide and alkyl, and R^(7 )is a water-soluble polymer, and pharmaceutically acceptable salts, solvates, hydrates, diastereomers, and prodrugs of the compound of Formula [I].


Patent
Infrastructure, Services Ltd. and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2015-04-28

A method of providing an intraoperative magnetic resonance image of a target site of a patient body at which a medical procedure is performed, the method comprising: acquiring a high resolution preoperative magnetic resonance image (MRI), MRI0, of a first region of the patient comprising the target site, the MRI0 image comprising a plurality of slices MRI0 n having voxels; acquiring a preoperative, iMRI0 image of a second region of the patient comprising the target site, using an iMRI scanner having a field of view (FOV), the iMRI0 image comprising plurality of slices iMRI0 m having voxels; registering the MRI0 image to the iMRI0 image to provide a rigid body transform (RT0) that transforms the MRI0 to the iMRI0 image; acquiring an IMRI1 image of the target site during performance of the procedure; registering the image iMRI0 to the iMRIj image to obtain a non-rigid body transform (NRT); and applying RT0 and NRT to MRI0 to provide a high resolution (hiQ-iMRIj) image.


Patent
Tel Aviv University | Date: 2015-09-10

A method of fabricating a nanostructure, which comprises forming an elongated tubular nanostructure, and generating conditions for said tubular nanostructure to unwrap.


Driben R.,Tel Aviv University | Babushkin I.,Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis And Stochastics
Optics Letters | Year: 2012

Soliton fusion is a fascinating and delicate phenomenon that manifests itself in optical fibers in case of interaction between copropagating solitons with small temporal and wavelength separation. We show that the mechanism of acceleration of a trailing soliton by dispersive waves radiated from the preceding one provides necessary conditions for soliton fusion at the advanced stage of supercontinuum generation in photonic-crystal fibers. As a result of fusion, large-intensity robust light structures arise and propagate over significant distances. In the presence of small random noise the delicate condition for the effective fusion between solitons can easily be broken, making the fusion-induced giant waves a rare statistical event. Thus oblong-shaped giant accelerated waves become excellent candidates for optical rogue waves. © 2012 Optical Society of America.


Geiger T.,Tel Aviv University | Zaidel-Bar R.,National University of Singapore
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Cell biologists studying cell adhesion have already figured out that cell-extracellular matrix connections, mediated by integrin receptors, are diverse and extremely complex structures. Dozens of adaptors-linking integrins with the cytoskeleton, and numerous enzymes and signaling proteins-regulating adhesion site dynamics, collectively referred to as the integrin adhesome, cooperate in mediating adhesion and activating specific signaling networks. Recent proteomic studies indicate that the known adhesome complexity is just the tip of the iceberg. In each existing category of molecular function the number of candidate components more than double the known components and several new categories are suggested. Proteomic analysis of different integrin heterodimers points to integrin-specific variations in composition and analysis of adhesion complexes under varying tension regimes highlights the force-dependent recruitment of different components, most notably LIM domain proteins. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Luria R.,Tel Aviv University | Vogel E.K.,University of Oregon
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2014

The objects around us constantly move and interact, and the perceptual system needs to monitor on-line these interactions and to update the object's status accordingly. Gestalt grouping principles, such as proximity and common fate, play a fundamental role in how we perceive and group these objects. Here, we investigated situations in which the initial object representation as a separate item was updated by a subsequent Gestalt grouping cue (i.e., proximity or common fate). We used a version of the color change detection paradigm, in which the objects started to move separately, then met and stayed stationary, or moved separately, met, and then continued to move together. We monitored the object representations on-line using the contralateral delay activity (CDA; an ERP component indicative of the number of maintained objects), during their movement, and after the objects disappeared and became working memory representations. The results demonstrated that the objects' representations (as indicated by the CDA amplitude) persisted as being separate, even after a Gestalt proximity cue (when the objects "met" and remained stationary on the same position). Only a strong common fate Gestalt cue (when the objects not just met but also moved together) was able to override the objects' initial separate status, creating an integrated representation. These results challenge the view that Gestalt principles cause reflexive grouping. Instead, the object initial representation plays an important role that can override even powerful grouping cues. © 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Eric Gershwin M.,University of California at Davis | Shoenfeld Y.,Tel Aviv University
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

Immunology is a relatively new specialty. Ironically, the immune system impacts every physiological system in the body, but yet most textbooks of physiology do not include any functional aspects of the immune system. Indeed, with the exception of early descriptions of anaphylaxis and allergy, the majority of immune studies were focused on either the anatomy of lymph nodes and spleen, or of course on protection from microorganisms. The concept of autoimmunity is even newer and the first textbook on autoimmune disease was not published until 1963. For the past 50 years however, autoimmunity has virtually exploded from a field populated by a few, to recognition that autoimmune diseases can affect more than 10% of the population. There are many people that have contributed to this information explosion and the Journal of Autoimmunity devotes specific issues in recognition of the select few scientists that have contributed in a way that impacts not only their research peers, but also, and more importantly, the patients who suffer from autoimmune disease. Abul Abbas is one such individual. Abul is known not only for his outstanding research, but for his role in teaching and public service. His own scientific work is extraordinary and his impact is felt throughout the world. In this special issue a number of Abul's colleagues have specifically written papers to honor this unique individual. It is an extraordinary honor to be chosen for a special issue of a journal in recognition of one's career. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Nguyen J.H.V.,Rice University | Dyke P.,Swinburne University of Technology | Luo D.,Rice University | Malomed B.A.,Tel Aviv University | Hulet R.G.,Rice University
Nature Physics | Year: 2014

Solitons are localized wave disturbances that propagate without changing shape, a result of a nonlinear interaction that compensates for wave packet dispersion. Individual solitons may collide, but a defining feature is that they pass through one another and emerge from the collision unaltered in shape, amplitude, or velocity, but with a new trajectory reflecting a discontinuous jump. This remarkable property is mathematically a consequence of the underlying integrability of the one-dimensional (1D) equations, such as the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, that describe solitons in a variety of wave contexts, including matter waves. Here we explore the nature of soliton collisions using Bose-Einstein condensates of atoms with attractive interactions confined to a quasi-1D waveguide. Using real-time imaging, we show that a collision between solitons is a complex event that differs markedly depending on the relative phase between the solitons. By controlling the strength of the nonlinearity we shed light on these fundamental features of soliton collisional dynamics, and explore the implications of collisions in the proximity of the crossover between one and three dimensions where the loss of integrability may precipitate catastrophic collapse. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-29-2015 | Award Amount: 6.33M | Year: 2016

The HISENTS vision is to address the problem of the dearth of high-quality tools for nano-safety assessment by introducing an innovative multimodular high throughput screening (HTP) platform including a set of individual modules each representing a critical physiological function connected and integrated in a hierarchical vectorial manner by a microfluidic network. The increase of the capacity to perform nano-safety assessment will be realised by innovative instrumentation developments for HTP and high content analysis (HCA) approaches. Toxicogenomics on chip is also one embedded objective. Our interdisciplinary approach focuses on tools to maximise the read-across and to assess applicable endpoints for advanced risk assessment of nanomaterials (NM). The main goal is thus to establish individual chip-based microfluidic tools as devices for (nano)toxicity screening which can be combined as an on-line HTP platform. Seven different chip-based sensor elements will be developed and hierarchically combined via a flow system to characterise toxicity pathways of NM. The HISENTS platform allows the grouping and identifying of NM. Parallel to the screening, the pathway and interaction of NM in biological organisms will be simulated using the physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. Using the different sensor modules from the molecular to cell to organ level, HISENTS can input quantitative parameters into the PBPK model resulting in an effective pathway analysis for NM and other critical compounds. The developed platform is crucial for realistic nano-safety assessment and will also find extensive application in pharmaceutical screening due to the flexible modifications of the HTP platform. The specific objective is the development of a multimodular HTP platform as new a screening tool for enhancing the efficiency of hazard profiling. Currently, no such flexible, easy-to-use screening platform with flexibly combinable chip-based sensors is available on the market.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 3.16M | Year: 2010

High dimensional geometric data are ubiquitous in science and engineering, and thus processing and analyzing them is a core task in these disciplines. The Computational Geometric Learning project (CG Learning) aims at extending the success story of geometric algorithms with guarantees, as achieved in the CGAL library and the related EU funded research projects, to spaces of high dimensions. This is not a straightforward task. For many problems, no efficient algorithms exist that compute the exact solution in high dimensions. This behavior is commonly called the curse of dimensionality. We plan to address the curse of dimensionality by focusing on inherent structure in the data like sparsity or low intrinsic dimension, and by resorting to fast approximation algorithms. The following two kinds of approximation guarantee are particularly desirable: first, the solution approximates an objective better if more time and memory resources are employed (algorithmic guarantee), and second, the approximation gets better when the data become more dense and/or more accurate (learning theoretic guarantee). To lay the foundation of a new field---computational geometric learning---we will follow an approach integrating both theoretical and practical developments, the latter in the form of the construction of a high quality software library and application software.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.9 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2010

Actuators based on electroactive polymer (EAP) hydrogels constitute a very attractive yet poorly explored technology. EAP hydrogels can expand and contract by several times their original volume by application of a small voltage. They can be engineered to be either porous or non-porous and the pore density and distribution can also be controlled. Their inherent limitations of very low actuation speed and need to operate in an aqueous medium constitute no impediment and in fact make them particularly suitable to a host of medical applications, some of them with high economic and societal relevance.\n\nThe Heart-e-Gel project utilises a microsystem concept based on electrode activation to change the volume of EAP hydrogels designed for operation in the cardiovascular system. Given the soft and aqueous nature of these gels and considering the need to accommodate for large volume changes, integrating these materials into complete microsystems poses unique challenges in terms of heterogeneous integration.\n\nHeart-e-Gel proposes to target specific medical applications and will require modelling of the microsystem-medical interface as well as assessing the potential of different material, actuation, volume sensing, and system delivery options. Three types of systems of immediate interest in cardiovascular surgery have been selected: a generic occluder for vascular repair, a system for improving endografts/stents for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms, and an adaptable band around the pulmonary artery for patients with congenital heart diseases, or with arteriovenous fistulas.\n\nWhile carrying out the systematic study of EAP hydrogel integration into microsystems, substantial information on processing and characterisation will be gathered and will ultimately lead to a technology library that can enable microsystem designers to address an even wider range of applications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-17-2014 | Award Amount: 7.97M | Year: 2015

Lithium sulphur batteries (LSB) are viable candidate for commercialisation among all post Li-ion battery technologies due to their high theoretical energy density and cost effectiveness. Despites many efforts, there are remaining issues that need to be solved and this will provide final direction of LSB technological development. Some of technological aspects, like development of host matrices, interactions of host matrix with polysulphides and interactions between sulphur and electrolyte have been successfully developed within Eurolis project. Open porosity of the cathode, interactions between host matrices and polysulphides and proper solvatation of polysulphides turned to be important for complete utilisation of sulphur, however with this approach didnt result long term cycling. Additionally we showed that effective separation between electrodes enables stable cycling with excellent coulombic efficiency. The remaining issues are mainly connected with a stability of lithium anode during cycling, with engineering of complete cell and with questions about LSB cells implementation into commercial products (ageing, safety, recycling, battery packs). Instability of lithium metal in most of conventional electrolytes and formation of dendrites due to uneven distribution of lithium upon the deposition cause several difficulties. Safety problems connected with dendrites and low coulombic efficiency with a constant increase of inner resistance due to electrolyte degradation represent main technological challenges. From this point of view, stabilisation of lithium metal will have an impact on safety issues. Stabilised interface layer is important from view of engineering of cathode composite and separator porosity since this is important parameter for electrolyte accommodation and volume expansion adjustment. Finally the mechanism of LSB ageing can determine the practical applicability of LSB in different applications.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2012

Over the last decade, the creative industries have been revolutionised by the Internet and the digital economy. The UK, already punching above its weight in the global cultural market, stands at a pivotal moment where it is well placed to build a cultural, business and regulatory infrastructure in which first movers as significant as Google, Facebook, Amazon or iTunes may emerge and flourish, driving new jobs and industry. However, for some creators and rightsholders the transition from analogue to digital has been as problematic as it has been promising. Cultural heritage institutions are also struggling to capitalise upon new revenue streams that digitisation appears to offer, while maintaining their traditional roles. Policymakers are hampered by a lack of consensus across stakeholders and confused by partisan evidence lacking robust foundations. Research in conjunction with industry is needed to address these problems and provide support for legislators. CREATe will tackle this regulatory and business crisis, helping the UK creative industry and arts sectors survive, grow and become global innovation pioneers, with an ambitious programme of research delivered by an interdisciplinary team (law, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis) across 7 universities. CREATe aims to act as an honest broker, using open and transparent methods throughout to provide robust evidence for policymakers and legislators which can benefit all stakeholders. CREATe will do this by: - focussing on studying and collaborating with SMEs and individual creators as the incubators of innovation; - identifying good, bad and emergent business models: which business models can survive the transition to the digital?, which cannot?, and which new models can succeed and scale to drive growth and jobs in the creative economy, as well as supporting the public sector in times of recession?; - examining empirically how far copyright in its current form really does incentivise or reward creative work, especially at the SME/micro level, as well as how far innovation may come from open business models and the informal economy; - monitoring copyright reform initiatives in Europe, at WIPO and other international fora to assess how they impact on the UK and on our work; - using technology as a solution not a problem: by creating pioneering platforms and tools to aid creators and users, using open standards and released under open licences; - examining how to increase and derive revenues from the user contribution to the creative economy in an era of social media, mash-up, data mining and prosumers; - assessing the role of online intermediaries such as ISPs, social networks and mobile operators to see if they encourage or discourage the production and distribution of cultural goods, and what role they should play in enforcing copyright. Given the important governing role of these bodies should they be subject to regulation like public bodies, and if so, how?; - consider throughout this work how the public interest and human rights, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge for the socially or physically excluded, may be affected either positively or negatively by new business models and new ways to enforce copyright. To investigate these issues our work will be arranged into seven themes: SMEs and good, bad and emergent business models; Open business models; Regulation and enforcement; Creators and creative practice; Online intermediaries and physical and virtual platforms; User creation, behaviour and norms; and, Human rights and the public interest. Our deliverables across these themes will be drawn together to inform a Research Blueprint for the UK Creative Economy to be launched in October 2016.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.8.4 | Award Amount: 6.31M | Year: 2009

In recent years a huge flow of quantitative social, demographic and behavioural data is becoming available spurring the quest for innovative technologies that can improve the traditional disease-surveillance systems, providing faster and better localized detection capabilities and resulting in a broad practical impact. Improved ICT techniques and methodologies support the inter-linkage and integration of datasets causing a qualitative change in the ways we can model epidemic processes. Visualization and analysis tools able to cope with multiple levels of representation are being developed along with computer simulations that provide experiments not feasible in the real world. For the first time, ICT and computation enable the study of epidemic in a comprehensive fashion that addresses the complexity inherent to the biological, social and behavioural aspects of health related problems. The EPIWORK project proposes a multidisciplinary research effort aimed at developing the approriate framework of tools and knowledge needed for the design of epidemic forecast infrastructures. The research considers most of the much needed development of modeling, computational and ICT tools such as i) the foundation and development of the mathematical and computational methods needed to achieve prediction and predictability of disease spreading in complex social systems; ii) the development of large scale, data driven computational models endowed with a high level of realism and aimed at epidemic scenario forecast; iii) the design and implemention of original data-collection schemes motivated by identified modelling needs, such as the collection of real-time disease incidence, through innovative web and ICT applications. v) the set up of a computational platform for epidemic research and data sharing that will generate important synergies between research communities and countries.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: GC.NMP.2013-1 | Award Amount: 9.01M | Year: 2013

MARS-EV aims to overcome the ageing phenomenon in Li-ion cells by focusing on the development of high-energy electrode materials (250 Wh/kg at cell level) via sustainable scaled-up synthesis and safe electrolyte systems with improved cycle life (> 3000 cycles at 100%DOD). Through industrial prototype cell assembly and testing coupled with modelling MARS-EV will improve the understanding of the ageing behaviour at the electrode and system levels. Finally, it will address a full life cycle assessment of the developed technology. MARS-EV proposal has six objectives: (i) synthesis of novel nano-structured, high voltage cathodes (Mn, Co and Ni phosphates and low-cobalt, Li-rich NMC) and high capacity anodes (Silicon alloys and interconversion oxides); (ii) development of green and safe, electrolyte chemistries, including ionic liquids, with high performance even at ambient and sub-ambient temperature, as well as electrolyte additives for safe high voltage cathode operation; (iii) investigation of the peculiar electrolyte properties and their interactions with anode and cathode materials; (iv) understanding the ageing and degradation processes with the support of modelling, in order to improve the electrode and electrolyte properties and, thus, their reciprocal interactions and their effects on battery lifetime; (v) realization of up to B5 format pre-industrial pouch cells with optimized electrode and electrolyte components and eco-designed durable packaging; and (vi) boost EU cell and battery manufacturers via the development of economic viable and technologically feasible advanced materials and processes, realization of high-energy, ageing-resistant, easily recyclable cells. MARS-EV brings together partners with complementary skills and expertise, including industry covering the complete chain from active materials suppliers to cell and battery manufacturers, thus ensuring that developments in MARS-EV will directly improve European battery production capacities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2010-3.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2011

Systems provide value through their ability to fulfill stakeholders needs. Inevitably, these needs evolve over time and diverge from an original systems capabilities. Thus, the system must be disposed of or periodically upgraded at substantial cost. The objective of the AMISA project is to develop a generic, quantitative methodology for architecting manufacturing lines, product systems and customer services for optimal adaptability to unforeseen changes in stakeholder needs, technology development, and government regulations. The methodology will be validated in six real-life pilot projects to provide concrete evidence that it is: 1) Generic and tailorable, 2) Scalable, 3) Usable and 4) Cost effective. AMISA will deliver a step-change in the performance of European industry, characterized by a higher reactivity to needs and more economically compatible products and services. Manufacturing systems or products/services designed for adaptability will save 20% either in cost or cycle time and increase their valuable lifespan by 25%. During manufacturing these systems will consume less energy and natural resources and produce less pollution and waste. Adaptable systems will also be more amenable to adjustments in regulatory frameworks (i.e. environmental, health, safety, etc.). The AMISA consortium is composed of four large manufacturers and two SMEs representing the Food, Machinery, Aerospace, Automotive, Communication and Optronics sectors. The consortium also includes four research centers with experience in fusing engineering and economic theories with practical applications in industry and government. Since AMISA deals with systemic issues, its expected impact is vastly wider than just the industries that are directly involved in the project. Accordingly, the project will operate within an international framework, including U.S. scientists and collaboration with relevant Intelligent Manufacturing System (IMS) projects.


GEO-CRADLE brings together key players representing the whole (Balkans, N. Africa and M. East) region and the complete EO value chain with the overarching objective of establishing a multi-regional coordination network that will (i) support the effective integration of existing EO capacities (space/air-borne/in-situ monitoring networks, modelling and data exploitation skills, and past project experience), (ii) provide the interface for the engagement of the complete ecosystem of EO stakeholders (scientists, service/data providers, end-users, governmental orgs, and decision makers), (iii) promote the concrete uptake of EO services and data in response to regional needs, relevant to the thematic priorities of the Call (adaptation to climate change, improved food security, access to raw materials and energy), and (iv) contribute to the improved implementation of and participation in GEO, GEOSS, and Copernicus in the region. In this context, GEO-CRADLE lays out an action plan that starts by inventorying the regional EO capacities and user needs, which in turn leads to a gap analysis, the definition of region specific (G)EO Maturity Indicators and common priority needs. Through showcasing pilots, it demonstrates how the priorities can be tackled by the GEO-CRADLE Network, and provides the roadmap for the future implementation of GEOSS and Copernicus in the region, building on the GEO-CRADLE Regional Data Hub, which abides by the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles. To maximise the impact of GEO-CRADLE activities, well-defined Communication, Dissemination and Stakeholder Engagement strategies are proposed. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used for the quantified assessment of the impact, identifying potential enabling or constraining factors, while pursuing realistic but also ambitious exploitation scenarios. For efficient project coordination, the project management is assisted by a regional coordination structure, and active liaison with EC, GEO and UN initiatives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.5. | Award Amount: 10.83M | Year: 2012

ECRIN is a distributed ESFRI-roadmap pan-European infrastructure designed to support multinational clinical research, making Europe a single area for clinical studies, taking advantage of its population size to access patients. Servicing multinational trials started during its preparatory phase, and it now applies for an ERIC status by 2011. The ERIC budget will be restricted to core activities required to enable provision of services, and the ECRIN-IA project is designed to expand ECRIN partnerships and impact beyond this core activity. Networking activities will promote pan-European expansion, capacity building, and partnership with other world regions, and address the funding issue (WP2). ECRIN-IA will develop e-services, education material to train professionals and patients associations, and communication with users, patients, citizens and policymakers (WP3). It will support the structuring and connection to ECRIN of disease-, technology-, or product-oriented investigation networks and hubs focusing on specific areas: rare diseases (WP4), medical device (WP5), nutrition (WP6). Transnational access activities will support the cost of multinational extension of clinical trials on rare diseases, medical device and nutrition selected by the ECRIN scientific board (WP7). Joint research activities are designed to improve the efficiency of ECRIN services, through the development of tools for risk-adapted monitoring (WP8), and the upgrade of the VISTA data management tool (WP9). This project will build a consistent organisation for clinical research in Europe, with ECRIN developing generic tools and providing generic services to multinational studies, and supporting the construction of pan-European disease-oriented networks, that will in turn act as ECRIN users and provide the scientific content. Such organisation will improve Europes attractiveness for industry trials, boost its scientific competitiveness, and result in better healthcare for European citizens.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-4-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 9.04M | Year: 2015

Marine (blue) biotechnology is the key to unlocking the huge economic potential of the unique biodiversity of marine organisms. This potential remains largely underexploited due to lack of connectivity between research services, practical and cultural difficulties in connecting science with industry, and high fragmentation of regional research, development and innovation (RDI) policies. To overcome these barriers, EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Resource Infrastructure Cluster) will link biological and social science research infrastructures (EMBRC, MIRRI, EU-OPENSCREEN, ELIXIR, AQUAEXCEL, RISIS) and will build inter-connectivity along three dimensions: science, industry and regions. The objectives of EMBRIC are to: (1) develop integrated workflows of high quality services for access to biological, analytical and data resources, and deploy common underpinning technologies and practices; (2) strengthen the connection of science with industry by engaging companies and by federating technology transfer (TT) services; (3) defragment RDI policies and involve maritime regions with the construction of EMBRIC. Acceleration of the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine bioresources will be achieved through: (i) establishment of multidisciplinary service-oriented technological workflows; (ii) joint development activities focusing on bioprospection for novel marine natural products, and marker-assisted selection in aquaculture; (iii) training and knowledge transfer; (iv) pilot transnational access to cluster facilities and services. EMBRIC will also connect TT officers from contrasted maritime regions to promote greater cohesion in TT practices. It will engage with policy-makers with the aim of consolidating a perennial pan-European virtual infrastructure cluster rooted in the maritime regions of Europe and underpinning the blue bioeconomy.


Patent
Fundacio Privada Ascamm and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2013-09-24

Method and device for solid structure formation by localized microwaves for additive fabrication of solid bodies by use of localized microwave radiation applied to a source material, in the form of a powder, wire or other solid form, so as to generate a hotspot in a thermal-runaway process or through plasma breakdown, and melt a small portion of it (with at least one dimension smaller than the microwave wavelength) thereby consolidating small pieces of the molten source material in a stepwise manner to construct the entire body.


Patent
Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2013-07-18

An isolated collagen fiber is disclosed, wherein a length of the fiber prior to stretching by about 15%, is identical to a length of the fiber following said stretching by about 15%. The fiber comprises a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopic profile as shown in FIG. 1. Uses thereof and method of isolating are also disclosed.


Patent
Kimron Veterinary Institute and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2015-02-11

The present invention relates to vaccine compositions comprising attenuated strain of Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) for protecting tilapia fish against infection by (TiLV). The invention also relates to methods for using the vaccines to protect tilapines from TiLV-induced disease.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-22-2016 | Award Amount: 5.15M | Year: 2017

The key objective of our project is to bridge the gap between secondary schools and higher education and research by better integrating formal and informal learning scenarios and adapting both the technology and the methodology that students will most likely be facing in universities. We are focusing on the context of secondary schools, often referred to as high schools, which provide secondary education between the ages of 11 and 19 depending on the country, after primary school and before higher education. The learning context from the perspective of the students is the intersection of formal and informal spaces, a dynamic hybrid learning environment where synchronous activities meet in both virtual and real dimensions. For this, we propose to develop an innovative Up to University (Up2U) ecosystem based on proven experiences in higher education and big research that facilitates open, more effective and efficient co-design, co-creation, and use of digital content, tools and services adapted for personalised learning and teaching of high school students preparing for university. We will address project based learning and peer-to-peer learning scenarios. We strongly believe that all the tools and services the project is going to use and/or make available (i.e. incorporate, design, develop and test) must be sustainable after the lifetime of the project. Therefore, the project is going to develop business plans and investigate appropriate business models using the expertise of the Small Medium Enterprise and National Research and Education Network partners and their contacts with third-party business actors. Our plan is to make it easy for new schools to join the Up2U infrastructure and ecosystem that will form a federated market-place for the learning community.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-2-2015 | Award Amount: 2.52M | Year: 2016

SIGN-HUB aims to provide the first comprehensive response to the societal and scientific challenge resulting from generalized neglect of the cultural and linguistic identity of signing Deaf communities in Europe. It will provide an innovative and inclusive resource hub for the linguistic, historical and cultural documentation of the Deaf communities heritage and for sign language assessment in clinical intervention and school settings. To this end, it will create an open state-of-the-art digital platform with customized accessible interfaces. The project will initially feed that platform with core content in the following domains, expandable in the future to other sign languages: (i) digital grammars of 6 sign languages, produced with a new online grammar writing tool; (ii) an interactive digital atlas of linguistic structures of the worlds sign languages; (iii) online sign language assessment instruments for education and clinical intervention, and (iv) the first digital archive of life narratives by elderly signers, subtitled and partially annotated for linguistic properties. These components, made available for the first time through a centralized platform to specialists and to the general public, will (a) help explore and value the identity and the cultural, historical and linguistic assets of Deaf signing communities, (b) advance linguistic knowledge on the natural languages of the Deaf and (c) impact on the diagnosis of language deficits within these minorities. SIGN-HUB will thus contribute to the dissemination and reuse of those assets in broader contexts, as part of European identity. The project is a critical attempt to rescue, showcase and boost that largely unknown part of our common heritage, as well as to ultimately enhance the full participation of Deaf citizens in all spheres of public life on an equal footing with hearing citizens.


Patent
University College Cork, Ghent University, Technical University of Delft, Tel Aviv University, Katholieke Unviversiteit Leuven Ku Leuven Research & Development and Interuniversitair Micro Electronica Centrum Vzw | Date: 2013-03-15

A hydrogel based occlusion system, a method for occluding vessels, appendages or aneurysms, and a method for hydrogel synthesis are disclosed. The hydrogel based occlusion system includes a hydrogel having a shrunken and a swollen state and a delivery tool configured to deliver the hydrogel to a target occlusion location. The hydrogel is configured to permanently occlude the target occlusion location in the swollen state. The hydrogel may be an electro-activated hydrogel (EAH) which could be electro-activated with a delivery system to control the degree of swelling/shrinking.


Conjugates of a polymer having attached thereto an angiogenesis targeting moiety and a therapeutically active agent such as an anti-cancer agent or anti-angiogenesis agent, and processes of preparing same are disclosed. Pharmaceutical compositions containing these conjugates and uses thereof in the treatment of angiogenesis-related medical conditions such as cancer and cancer metastases are also disclosed.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2011.4.4-3. | Award Amount: 50.74M | Year: 2011

The project proposal concerns the challenges posed by the physical integration of smart intelligent structural concepts. It addresses aircraft weight and operational cost reductions as well as an improvement in the flight profile specific aerodynamic performance. This concerns material concepts enabling a conformal, controlled distortion of aerodynamically important surfaces, material concepts enabling an active or passive status assessment of specific airframe areas with respect to shape and potential damages and material concepts enabling further functionalities which to date have been unrealizable. Past research has shown the economic feasibility and system maturity of aerodynamic morphing. However, few projects concerned themselves with the challenges arising from the structural integration on commercial aircraft. In particular the skin material and its bonding to the substructure is challenging. It is the aim of this project proposal to demonstrate the structural realizability of individual morphing concepts concerning the leading edge, the trailing edge and the winglet on a full-size external wing by aerodynamic and structural testing. Operational requirements on morphing surfaces necessitate the implementation of an independent, integrated shape sensing system to ensure not only an optimal control of the aerodynamic surface but also failure tolerance and robustness. Developments made for structural health monitoring will be adapted to this task. Similar systems optimized for rapid in-service damage assessment have progressed to a maturity which allows their inclusion in the next generation of aircraft. However, the time consuming application of these sensor systems has to be further improved by integration at the component manufacturing level. The additional benefit of a utilization of these adapted systems for part manufacture process and quality control shall be assessed in SARISTU. Addressing the Nanotechnology aspect of the call, benefits regarding significant damage tolerance and electrical conductivity improvements shall be realized at sub-assembly level.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.2.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 7.87M | Year: 2012

Compulsivity is characterized by a repetitive, irresistible urge to perform a behavior, the experience of loss of voluntary control over this intense urge, the diminished ability to delay or inhibit thoughts or behaviors, and the tendency to perform repetitive acts in a habitual or stereotyped manner. Compulsivity is a cross-disorder trait underlying phenotypically distinct psychiatric disorders that emerge in childhood (autism spectrum disorder, ASD; obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD) or adolescence (substance abuse). Our approach integrates clinical data sets for addictive (ADHD high risk for substance use), anxious (OCD) and stereotypical (ASD) compulsive behaviors with highly predictive animal models for new pharmacotherapy. In a series of proof-of-concept studies, the cohesion of structural neuroimaging studies (MRI/DTI), neurochemistry (MRS/microdialysis), behavior, genetics (GWAS), proteomics and (Bayesian) machine learning tools in both male and female paediatric clinical populations and behavioral animal models will seek to better understand underlying mechanisms related to glutamate dysfunction in frontostriatal circuits and its remediation / prevention by early intervention studies with glutamate-based (riluzole and memantine) clinically used drugs. The leading drug-based interventions will be tested in pilot Phase IIb-like studies for proof-of-principle efficacy in paediatric OCD and ASD populations. This approach will 1) establish predictive neural, genetic and molecular markers of compulsivity in pediatric populations; 2) provide evidence of disorder modifying pharmacologic strategies as a therapeutic approach; 3) develop a novel animal model for pharmaceutical screening and proof of concept studies, 4) build and valorize a translational biomarker compulsivity database and 5) provide pilot efficacy and safety data in paediatric clinical populations to support future large scale clinical trials according to these strategies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2013.1-4. | Award Amount: 37.06M | Year: 2013

AFLoNext is a four year EC L2 project with the objective of proving and maturing highly promising flow control technologies for novel aircraft configurations to achieve a quantum leap in improving aircrafts performance and thus reducing the environmental footprint. The project consortium is composed by forty European partners from fifteen countries. The work has been broken down into seven work packages. The AFLoNext concept is based on six Technology Streams: (1) Hybrid Laminar Flow technology applied on fin and wing for friction drag reduction. (2) Flow control technologies applied on outer wing for performance increase. (3) Technologies for local flow separation control applied in wing/pylon junction to improve the performance and loads situation mainly during take-off and landing. (4) Technologies to control the flow conditions on wing trailing edges thereby improving the performance and loads situation in the whole operational domain. (5) Technologies to mitigate airframe noise during landing generated on flap and undercarriage and through mutual interaction. (6) Technologies to mitigate/control vibrations in the undercarriage area during take-off and landing. AFLoNext aims to prove the engineering feasibility of the HLFC technology for drag reduction on fin in flight test and on wing by means of large scale testing as well as for vibrations mitigation technologies for reduced aircraft weight and for noise mitigation technologies. The peculiarity of the AFLoNext proposal in terms of holistic technical approach and efficient use of resources becomes obvious through the joint use of a flight test aircraft as common test platform for the above mentioned technologies. To improve aircraft performance locally applied active flow control technologies on wing and wing/pylon junction are qualified in wind tunnels or by means of lab-type demonstrators.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009.2.2.1.1 | Award Amount: 8.27M | Year: 2010

The overall aim of the ODEMM project is to develop a set of fully-costed ecosystem management options that would deliver the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, the European Commission Blue Book and the Guidelines for the Integrated Approach to Maritime Policy. This will be achieved by: (i) providing a comprehensive knowledge base to support policy for the development of sustainable and integrated management of European marine ecosystems; (ii) developing Operational Objectives to achieve the High-Level Policy Objectives set by the MSFD and the HD, and with reference to the proposed Maritime Policy; (iii) identifying Management Options (individual management tools and combinations of tools) to meet the Operational Objectives; (iv) providing a risk assessment framework for the evaluation of Management Options and to assess the risk associated with the different options; (v) conducting a cost-benefit analysis of a range of Management Options using appropriate techniques; (vi) identifying stakeholder opinions on the creation of governance structures directed towards implementation of the ecosystem approach, and to elaborate different scenarios for changing governance structures and legislation to facilitate a gradual transition from the current fragmented management approach towards fully integrated ecosystem management; (vii) documenting the steps necessary for the transition from the current fragmented management scheme to a mature and integrated approach, and providing a toolkit that could be used to evaluate options for delivering ecosystem-based management; and (viii) communicating and consulting on the outcomes of the project effectively with policy makers and other relevant user groups.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 4.38M | Year: 2010

The post-genomic era has been driven by the development of technologies that allow the function of cells and whole organisms to be explored at a molecular level. Metabolomics is concerned with the measurement of global sets of low-molecular-weight metabolites, which represent important indicators of physiological or pathological states of organisms. Such profiles provide a more comprehensive view of cellular control mechanisms in man and animals, and raise the possibility of identifying surrogate markers of disease. Metabolomic approaches use analytical different techniques to measure populations of low-molecular-weight metabolites in biological samples. To decipher large metabolic data sets advanced statistical and bioinformatic tools are commonly employed. Although metabolomics has only recently emerged, dynamic profiles generated in Metabolic Flux Analysis (MFA) are becoming increasingly important to analyse biological networks in a quantitative manner and as part of systems biology approaches. MFA allows us to probe hypotheses by incorporating a priori biological knowledge to provide practical descriptions of observed cell behaviours, and to characterise the outcome of network perturbations. Flux analysis is of particular value for the diagnosis, differentiation and elucidation of mechanisms in cancer. This was recognised as early as 1924 by the Nobel Prize winner Otto Warburg who attributed cancer to a change in cellular energy production. This theme has experienced a revival in recent years through research, which has established mitochondrial dysfunction as a major mechanism in cancer. This proposal seeks funding for a truly interdisciplinary European consortium to train researchers to exploit the gains of new technologies provided by metabolic flux analysis in the context of cancer with a mixed focus on new developments and applied end-points.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 13.00M | Year: 2015

Particle physics is at the forefront of the ERA, attracting a global community of more than 10,000 scientists. With the upgrade of the LHC and the preparation of new experiments, the community will have to overcome unprecedented challenges in order to answer fundamental questions concerning the Higgs boson, neutrinos, and physics beyond the Standard Model. Major developments in detector technology are required to ensure the success of these endeavours. The AIDA-2020 project brings together the leading European infrastructures in detector development and a number of academic institutes, thus assembling the necessary expertise for the ambitious programme of work. In total, 19 countries and CERN are involved in this programme, which follows closely the priorities of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. AIDA-2020 aims to advance detector technologies beyond current limits by offering well-equipped test beam and irradiation facilities for testing detector systems under its Transnational Access programme. Common software tools, micro-electronics and data acquisition systems are also provided. This shared high-quality infrastructure will ensure optimal use and coherent development, thus increasing knowledge exchange between European groups and maximising scientific progress. The project also exploits the innovation potential of detector research by engaging with European industry for large-scale production of detector systems and by developing applications outside of particle physics, e.g. for medical imaging. AIDA-2020 will lead to enhanced coordination within the European detector community, leveraging EU and national resources. The project will explore novel detector technologies and will provide the ERA with world-class infrastructure for detector development, benefiting thousands of researchers participating in future particle physics projects, and contributing to maintaining Europes leadership of the field.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-02 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2008

Major objective: It is our aim to develop a lipid based diet that is able to delay or prevent onset of Alzheimers disease and related diseases and has a stabilizing effect on cognitive performance in aging. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that there is a large overlap between risk factor of these three diseases. Importantly, there is equally strong evidence that prevention and treatment of these diseases can be efficiently addresses - especially in their first and their priclinical stages - by closely related or identical bio-molecules. Predominantly these molecules appear to belong to the class of lipids which are part of the human diet. However, very often they are consumed in far lesser than recommended amounts. Bearing in mind that all of these diseases have a long pre-clinical phase in which the disease remains undetected specifically designed nutrition may be requirred for effective prevention or for those who already progressed into the first clinical stage of the disease. Moreover, frequently the within the elderly population pathological changes by two or all of these diseases occur in combination thus targeting only one would be insufficient. Taking these aspects into consideration, dietary supplementation, composed to maximize benefit for all three of these in the elderly common diseases, appears to be the most suitable approach to provide a general health perspective improvement for this age group in the EU population.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-6-2015 | Award Amount: 2.60M | Year: 2016

The objectives of ArchAIDE are to support the classification and interpretation work of archaeologists with innovative computer-based tools, able to provide the user with features for the semi-automatic description and matching of potsherds over the huge existing ceramic catalogues. Pottery classification is of fundamental importance for the comprehension and dating of the archaeological contexts, and for understanding production, trade flows and social interactions, but it requires complex skills and it is a very time consuming activity, both for researchers and professionals. This tool would revolutionise archaeologists habits, behaviours and expectations, would meet real user needs and generate economic benefits, reducing time and costs, would create societal benefits from cultural heritage, improving access, re-use and exploitation of the digital cultural heritage in a sustainable way. These objectives will be achieved through the development of: - an as-automatic-as-possible procedure to transform the paper catalogues in a digital description, to be used as a data pool for search and retrieval process; - a tool (mainly designed for mobile devices) that will support archaeologists in recognising and classifying potsherds during excavation and post-excavation analysis, through an easy-to-use interface and efficient algorithms for characterization, search and retrieval of the visual/geometrical correspondences; - an automatic procedure to derive a complete potsherds identity card by transforming the data collected into a formatted electronic document, printable or visual; - a web-based real-time data visualization to improve access to archaeological heritage and generate new understanding; - an open archive to allow the archival and re-use of archaeological data, transforming them into common heritage and permitting economic sustainability. Those instruments will be tested and assessed on real-cases scenarios, paving the way to future exploitation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-2.6-1 | Award Amount: 4.09M | Year: 2010

More than 1.2 billion people, mostly in poor regions, suffer from water scarcity, due to a global shortfall of potable water caused by population growth, over-exploitation, and pollution. NATIOMEM proposes to alleviate this by developing novel technology for treating contaminated surface and waste water so that it will be potable. This technology will not require electrical power, chemicals or other logistical support, and hence will be suitable for poor areas lacking infrastructure. The technology uses membranes functionalized with a photocatalytic material, eg. N-doped TiO2 (TiON). Raw water will be directed through the membrane while it is exposed to solar radiation. The membrane will filter out particles and micro-organisms larger than the its pore size, and TiON photocatalysis will kill micro-organisms, decompose and mineralize organic pollutants, and oxidize dissolved metals, thus providing a one-step treatment against a broad spectrum of contaminants. In the NATIOMEM project, functionalized membranes will be developed with two approaches: (1) coating conventional membranes with TiON nanostructured films, using several candidate deposition methods, and (2) electrospinning TiON fibers, from which membranes will be fabricated. The functionalized membranes will be characterized for their morphological, physical, mechanical, chemical, and in particular, their photocatalytic properties, and the most effective will be extensively tested to determine their pollution abatement mechanisms and kinetics. A pilot plant incorporating these photocatalytic membranes will be designed, and field tested in the Middle East and in Africa. The results of these tests will be correlated with potential end-user requirements to set the stage for industrial exploitation. Achieving this result will be a breakthrough in water purification and reclamation technology, advancing far beyond the state of the art with a system which is simple, solar enabled, and chemical free.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SEC-2013.6.3-1 | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2014

FORCE will examine previous Security foresight studies and horizon-scanning activities in FP7 and elsewhere in Europe and produce, based on this work, a corresponding Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS), evolvable and scalable with future Foresight research activities conducted in Europe in order to assist policy makers and stakeholders in the Security domain determine expectations about short-term, mid-term and long-term social and technological trends using methodologies and information from past, current and future Foresight research activities. This will allow them to strategically plan for risks related to emerging technologies and social changes in society. FORCE activities will include: Examining outputs from Security projects funded in FP7 and other sources in Europe (Internet, studies, journals etc.) related to foresight and Horizon-scanning activities via: Workshops; interviews; collaboration with national and international foresight networks Producing a Foresight model, scalable and sustainable beyond the end of the project, based on best practice methods and recommendations for future application. This will include: o Mapping identified risks against foresight methodologies o Assessing used methods and results regarding strengths and weaknesses o Identification of appropriate methods with respect to mix of methods for future research o Identifying gaps between potential future risks and methods used so far Developing an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) as an end-user tool that will interface into the Foresight Model. The IDSS will be designed for utilisation by different types of users Integration of the IDSS with the Foresight model and testing the integrated system using futuristic scenarios Supporting the visibility and the take up of security research results at stakeholder level, especially focusing on the end users, via dissemination of the Foresight model and corresponding IDSS


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.3-2 | Award Amount: 3.01M | Year: 2012

The aim of SPREE project is to identify potential Servicizing Policies and simulate their effect on absolute decoupling of economic growth and resource use, while achieving societal benefits. Servicizing Systems facilitate the transition from selling products to providing services. Except for ICT, these are still quite rare. SPREE is dedicated to promote the implementation of Servicizing Systems in 3 different sectors: water, mobility and agri-food. We propose to use an advanced Agent Based Modelling (ABM) approach to structure and test options for Servicizing Systems and Policies. This provides a generic framework that allows exploring short and long term effects, and assessment of the 3 sectors in different countries. Based on the models results and complementary qualitative analysis we will construct Servicizing Policy Packages that take into account the environmental, economic and social dimensions and trade-offs between them. Thus, SPREE results will help to realize EU strategies particularly in the framework of EUROPE 2020. Based on conceptualization of Servicizing Systems, we use existing instruments and develop new tools that fit into the evaluation of emerging Servicizing Systems and policies effects. We define more suitable dynamic tools needed for ex-ante assessment of newly created supply chains that can emerge out of Servicizing activities. Using ABM, we demonstrate how Servicizing Systems develop and test outcomes of proposed policies on the creation of successful Servicizing opportunities leading to absolute decoupling. The SPREE consortium consists of 10 partners from 7 different countries, and includes public bodies and research institutes to provide a sound base for both Servicizing Systems and Policy. The key deliverable is Servicizing Policy Packages that exploit existing synergies to achieve a truly sustainable EU economy where economic growth is decoupled from environmental impact, society prospers and a global example is set.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INFRA-2010-3.2 | Award Amount: 555.68K | Year: 2011

The Mediterranean and Middle East, with a combined total population of more than 400 million people, are characterized by strong environmental gradients, climate extremes and diverse economic, social and cultural identities. It is expected that throughout the 21st century the region will experience substantial adverse climate changes and face major challenges in energy demand and supply, as well as a decreasing availability of fresh water. It will be essential to address the undesirable economical and societal consequences and manage them cooperatively. Rethinking energy and water policies and adopting new concepts to respond to these challenges are increasingly recognized as a high priority, both regionally and internationally. The main objective of the project is to favor and prepare the creation of a regional data infrastructure devoted to climate, water, energy and related topics, by engaging relevant entities into a coordinated effort at the regional scale. To this end the project will set up a Task Force including internationally recognized experts and carry out studies of all relevant scientific, technical, legal and political issues. It will also carry out networking activities aimed at regional climate stakeholders (Research institutions, public authorities, relevant state agencies, NGOs, etc.), in order to raise their awareness and engage key actors into creating the appropriate conditions for the formation of a regional data infrastructure devoted to climate, energy and water related data, and into capacity building, prospective & incubation activities for future collaborative climate research.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-3.3.1. | Award Amount: 1.72M | Year: 2010

Tolerance has been increasingly invoked as the inspiring ideal of a number of social policies in European democracies. Appeals to tolerance have animated especially the political debates on those policies addressed to accommodate minorities requests. Among such requests those for the allocation of public spaces have recently acquired pride of place in the political agendas of many European and extra-European countries (e.g. the allocation of space for Roma sites; Muslims requests to build places of worship and housing policies for migrants). Despite such a generalized political and societal relevance of the notion of tolerance, some problems may occur when policies inspired by it are implemented. In particular, the implementation of tolerance-inspired spatial policies may result in the marginalisation of differences and thus risk undermining social cohesion. What conception of tolerance may be invoked to limit such a risk? To answer this question, we shall test the hypothesis that grounding tolerance on equal respect for persons may contribute to the development of spatial policies capable of resolving the tensions between tolerance and social cohesion in culturally diverse societies. In particular, the project pursues 4 objectives:1.to develop a conceptual taxonomy to clarify the liaisons between tolerance, respect and spatial issues;2.to study the ways in which appeals to tolerance have informed the development of spatial policies;3.to investigate the influence of cultural diversities on the interpretations of tolerance in different national contexts;4.to extrapolate from the above studies an overall view of the connections between tolerance and equal respect. Our findings will be of interests to national and international Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), policy makers at a European, national, regional and municipal level and international academics engaged in the study of urban integration in different social, religious, cultural, and political contexts.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-4 | Award Amount: 11.56M | Year: 2008

The breakthrough objective of NANOTHER is to develop & characterise a novel nanoparticle system that will be used as a therapeutic agent or diagnosis tool for breast cancer, colorectal cancer & bone metastasis. Theranostics, the development of nanoparticles with both functionalities, will also be carried out using the hyperthermic effect to kill tumour cells or to release the selected drug . The nanoparticles used in NANOTHER will be selected based on previous studies. Therefore, only polymeric micelles core-shell nanoparticles and magnetic nanoparticles will be included in the study. The nanoparticles will be functionalised by attaching targeting molecules, depending on the type of cancer to be treated or diagnosed. Labels for diagnosis will include fluorescent or contrast phase probes, which will later be imaged and analysed with the appropriate equipment optimised during the project. Therapeutic agents will be loaded on to the nanoparticle, including drugs like doxorubicin, and new marine pharmacological compounds already in clinical trials. One of the most innovative aspects of this proposal is the use of siRNA as the therapeutic agent. The use of magnetic nanoparticles as a theranostic mechanism is also an innovative aspect of the proposal, as these nanoparticles can be activated to kill tumour cells detected depending on a positive or negative diagnostic. The project has been structured in seven different sub-projects including aspects like toxicology, biocompatibility of the nanodevices, and also efficacy and biodistribution of the system. In vitro (cellular models) & in vivo assays (small animals; mice) will be used for the study of diagnosis & therapy. The latter will be kept to the minimum necessary to study the efficiency & biodistribution and always taking into account the three Rs & national / EU norms. The NANOTHER consortium includes 18 top-level partners from 8 EU countries as the critical mass required to achieve ambitious project objectives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-3-2-07;KBBE-2007-3-2-08 | Award Amount: 7.53M | Year: 2009

The exponential increase in microbial genome and metagenome sequencing throughput has widened the gap between sequence and functional understanding. A clear picture of metabolic processes across the spectrum of bacterial species is essential to enable the exploitation of microbial genomics for the purposes of environmental biotechnology. The Microme project endeavors to extend the scope of microbial genome annotation from functional assignment at the gene level to the systematic generation of pathway assemblies and genome-scale metabolic models. A few key ideas and design principles will enable the Microme reconstruction pipeline to achieve this ambitious goal.A clear definition of a metabolic pathway as a collection of reaction sets, each of which convert the same defined inputs into the same outputs, will allow species-specific pathway variants to be identified, assembled into networks, compared across species, and used for downstream computations. A unique pathways projection, curation and assembly cycle, feeding directly into the flow of newly sequenced genomes, will allow a qualitative increase in the speed and reliability of the pathway generation process. Pathways and models produced the pipeline will be accessible to the scientific community as an integrated resource via the Microme portal. Finally, taking advantage of the availability of pathway assemblies from a large sample of genomes, methods for comparative and phylogenetic analyses and novel metabolic engineering strategies for environmental biotechnology goals will be developed, applied to proof-of-concept studies, and integrated to the resource as an analytical tool layer. Microme will be supported by a robust bioinformatics infrastructure, developed by integrating a set of established European databases and tools, integrated with reference protein annotation, metabolites and reactions databases, and interfaced with the annotation pipelines of the two main European sequencing centers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.31 | Award Amount: 8.95M | Year: 2011

Nanoscale objects interact with living organisms in a fundamentally new manner, ensuring that a fruitful marriage of nanotechnology and biology will long outlast short term imperatives. Therefore, investment in an infrastructure to drive scientific knowledge of the highest quality will have both immediate benefits of supporting the safety assessment of legacy nanomaterials, as well as pointing towards future (safe) applications with the lasting benefits to society. There are immediate priorities, for few doubt that serious damage to confidence in nanotechnology, unless averted, could result in missed opportunities to benefit society for a generation, or more. QNano will materially affect the outcome, at this pivotal moment of nanotechnology implementation. The overall vision of QNano is the creation of a neutral scientific & technical space in which all stakeholder groups can engage, develop, and share scientific best practice in the field. Initially it will harness resources from across Europe and develop efficient, transparent and effective processes. Thereby it will enable provision of services to its Users, and the broader community, all in the context of a best-practice ethos. This will encourage evidence-based dialogue to prosper between all stakeholders. However, QNano will also pro-actively seek to drive, develop and promote the highest quality research and practices via its JRA, NA and TA functions, with a global perspective and mode of implementation. QNano will also look to the future, beyond the current issues, and promote the growth and development of the science of nanoscale interactions with living organisms. By working with new and emerging scientific research communities from medicine, biology, energy, materials and others, it will seek to forge new directions leading to new (safe, responsible, economically viable) technologies for the benefit of European society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ICT-SEC-2007-1.0-03 | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2009

The aim of the proposal is to design, assess and promote an ICT-based system, exploiting distributed and local sensors, for non-destructive electromagnetic monitoring in order to achieve the critical transport infrastructures more reliable and safe. This has the overall aim to developing a high situation awareness in order to provide real time and detailed information and images of the infrastructure status to improve decision support for emergency and disasters stakeholders. The system exploits an open network architecture that can accommodate a wide range of sensors, static and mobile, and can be easily scaled up to allow the integration of additional sensors and interfacing with other networks. It relies on heterogeneous state-of-the-art electromagnetic sensors, enabling a self-organizing, self-healing, ad-hoc networking of terrestrial sensors, supported by specific satellite measurements. The integration of electromagnetic technologies with new ICT information and telecommunications systems enables remotely controlled monitoring and surveillance and real time data imaging of the critical transport infrastructures. The proposal will be based on several independent non-invasive imaging technologies based on electromagnetic sensing. Sensor cross validation, synergy and new data fusion and correlation schemes will permit a multi-method, multi-resolution and multi-scale electromagnetic detection and monitoring of surface and subsurface changes of the infrastructure . The architecture will be based on web sensors and service-oriented-technologies that comply with specific end-user requirements, including economical convenience, exportability, efficiency and reliability. The system will adopt open architectures and will make efforts to achieve full interoperability. The system will be tested on very challenging test beds such as: a highway-bridge and a railway tunnel.


The AIDA project aims to answer the question of clinical effectiveness and optimal dosing of 5 off-patent antibiotics for infections caused by multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacteria in three randomized controlled clinical trials. In an era of increasing emergence of drug resistance (EDR) and lack of new antibiotics, old off- patent antibiotics are increasingly being prescribed to patients. However, many of these were developed in an age before the advent of a structured process for drug assessment and approval, and the establishment of clinical efficacy and effectiveness in randomized controlled trials in particular. In a multidisciplinary approach the exposure response relationships for each antibiotic will be elucidated by including pharmacokinetic (PK), pharmacodynamic (PD) and microbiological studies, including emergence of drug resistance (EDR). The project addresses the optimization of treatment of infections caused by MDR pathogens that impose a major burden of disease in Europe and the rest of the world by selecting 5 off-patent-antibiotics that are increasingly being used without clear evidence with respect to their effectiveness, duration of therapy and issues of EDR. In the first trial the efficacy of colistin alone is compared to colistin plus imipenem for severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant bacteria. The second trial compares fosfomycin vs. nitrofurantoin for the treatment of lower urinary tract infection in women at high risk of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In the third trial antimicrobial oral treatment with minocycline plus rifampicin is compared with oral treatment with linezolid for complicated skin and soft tissue infections (cSSTI) due to MRSA. Exposure response relationships, PK/PD and EDR issues will be addressed in a separate project component and is an essential element of the research project that will interrelate synergistically with the clinical studies. The results thereof will be used to refine exposure response relationships but also to study effects of exposure that are not readily observed in the trials. This will aid to delineate optimal exposures and drug dosing. This project addresses an urgent medical need that is critical both for individual patients and for society. An effective dissemination strategy is essential to effectively communicate project results to the target groups therefore supporting the project goal of preserving and strengthening the public health benefits of the studied off-patent antibiotics. The dissemination of project results to professional groups and the public in general, communication to policymakers, and implementation of results in national formularies is an important aspect.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2013

PIMIC is a cooperative effort by a team of western medievalists, Arabists and Byzantinists -eight partners from prestigious academic institutions and two private sector companies- in order to propose a four years ITN program. For this project, we will take advantage of the wide-ranging expertise and complementarities of all ITN partners, composed of some of the most relevant research in mediaeval history sharing a common scientific interest which they approach using different perspectives. PIMIC will coordinate scholarly works at pre and post doctoral level, which will address particular questions from different perspectives, but which will integrate a common and ambitious research programme on a vital historical question: why did certain sorts of institutionalisation and institutional continuity come to characterise government and society in Christendom by the later Middle Ages, but not the Islamic world, whereas the reverse might have been predicted on the basis of the early medieval situation? In addressing this question, the PIMIC-ITN aims to produce a number of interpretative answers stressing the fact that even though the whole Mediterranean basin shared a common classical legacy, institutions acquired distinctive configurations in different regions and periods. The training will allow not merely geographical, chronological, and cultural comparison, but also comparison of historiographical traditions. The novelty of this approach and the relevance of the topic have attracted the interest of private companies that will help the project in implementing ambitious schemes for the diffusion and transference of its conclusions. If successful, PIMIC-ITN will train a new generation of researchers who are professionally equipped to bridge this humanities social science divide and able to communicate a rigorously historical new medieval dimension to contemporary pan-European political and socio-cultural debates and actions.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

Artist impression of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB) reaching Earth. The colors represent the burst arriving at different radio wavelengths, with long wavelengths (red) arriving several seconds after short wavelengths (blue). This delay is called dispersion and occurs when radio waves travel through cosmic plasma. Credit: Jingchuan Yu, Beijing Planetarium / NRAO Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious. Fewer than two dozen have been identified in the past decade using giant radio telescopes such as the 1,000-foot dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Of those, only one has been pinpointed to originate from a galaxy about 3 billion light-years away. The other known FRBs seem to also come from distant galaxies, but there is no obvious reason that, every once in a while, an FRB wouldn't occur in our own Milky Way galaxy too. If it did, astronomers suggest that it would be "loud" enough that a global network of cell phones or small radio receivers could "hear" it. "The search for nearby fast radio bursts offers an opportunity for citizen scientists to help astronomers find and study one of the newest species in the galactic zoo," says theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Previous FRBs were detected at radio frequencies that match those used by cell phones, Wi-Fi, and similar devices. Consumers could potentially download a free smartphone app that would run in the background, monitoring appropriate frequencies and sending the data to a central processing facility. "An FRB in the Milky Way, essentially in our own back yard, would wash over the entire planet at once. If thousands of cell phones picked up a radio blip at nearly the same time, that would be a good sign that we've found a real event," explains lead author Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University. Finding a Milky Way FRB might require some patience. Based on the few, more distant ones, that have been spotted so far, Maoz and Loeb estimate that a new one might pop off in the Milky Way once every 30 to 1,500 years. However, given that some FRBs are known to burst repeatedly, perhaps for decades or even centuries, there might be one alive in the Milky Way today. If so, success could become a yearly or even weekly event. A dedicated network of specialized detectors could be even more helpful in the search for a nearby FRB. For as little as $10 each, off-the-shelf devices that plug into the USB port of a laptop or desktop computer can be purchased. If thousands of such detectors were deployed around the world, especially in areas relatively free from Earthly radio interference, then finding a close FRB might just be a matter of time. This work has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online. More information: "Searching for Giga-Jansky Fast Radio Bursts from the Milky Way with a Global Array of Low-Cost Radio Receivers," Dan Maoz & Abraham Loeb, 2017, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society arxiv.org/abs/1701.01475


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Artificial intelligence has a new job: setting a good example for your kids. It seems that children’s behaviour can be influenced by the personality of a robot companion – playing with an enthusiastic or attentive robot, for instance, made them engage more and work harder. Researchers ran a series of experiments with Tega, a companion robot that looks like a cross between a Furby and a Teletubby. To test how the robot’s personality could affect the children’s behaviour, they programmed the robot with different responses. “The goal is to have a companion that has all of the behaviours that we want to instil and promote in the child,” says team member Goren Gorden at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Forty children played a puzzle game against Tega. With half the children, the robot had a “neutral” personality, meaning that when it won it said something like “I solved the puzzle,” and when it lost it said something like “That was hard”. With the other half of the group, Tega had more of a can-do attitude. When it won, it might say “That was hard, but I tried hard and nailed it,” and when it lost it might say “You worked hard and succeeded!” The differences in the robot’s personality were subtle, but the effect it had on the children’s reactions was not. “We found that the children in the second group tried much harder, and when they lost they were far more determined to win – they had grit,” says Hae Won Park at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the research. These children made more attempts to solve the puzzles. The researchers also trialled Tega as a storytelling partner. From footage of 18 children telling stories in pairs, a machine learning algorithm identified the traits they displayed most often when being attentive. “We found that children really lean in and gaze at you when they’re engaged with a story. Adults don’t really do this, but for children it’s really important,” says Park. Children then told a story to two identical Tega robots placed next to each other. One was programmed to listen like a child – leaning forward, nodding and smiling, and reacting more when the storyteller was more energetic – while the other listened in a more reserved way. In surveys, the children said they thought the childlike Tega was more attentive and they preferred telling it stories. This was also evident in their behaviour. “When children sense attentiveness they tell longer stories with more complex narratives, and their vocabulary improves faster,” says Park. Storytelling is important for child development, so it is exciting if a robot can encourage that, says Liz Pellicano at the Institute for Education, London. “We need to be careful though,” she says. “Not every child is the same, so in the future it would be good if the robots could tailor their behaviours to each child as well.” We can’t know yet what impact a robot’s personality has on a child’s attitude to learning in the long term, says Park. The current findings could be partly down to a “novelty effect” from children first encountering this sort of robot. The team plans to explore longer-term effects in the future, and will present their work so far at a conference on Human-Robot Interaction in Vienna in March. Gordon says they hope the robot will be useful at home and in the classroom. “The goal is for the robot to be a companion that can learn with the child and behave in a way that positively influences the child,” he says. “It can express that effort pays off and it likes challenges. We’ve shown that the child is influenced by this behaviour and will actually try harder after interactions with the robot.”


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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives the thumbs-up as he is escorted to his car by President Donald Trump as he leaves the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) JERUSALEM (AP) — The United Nations and the Arab League on Thursday issued a joint statement in support of the establishment of a Palestinian state, exposing a rift with President Donald Trump, who says it's up to Israel and the Palestinians to agree on the form of a final settlement. The statement came a day after Trump and the visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to endorse the two-state solution as the preferred outcome of peace talks, abandoning what has been the cornerstone of U.S.-led peace efforts for two decades. After a meeting in Cairo, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said they agreed the two-state solution is "the only way to achieve comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian cause." The statement put them at odds with Trump, who said at a White House meeting with Netanyahu that Mideast peace does not necessarily have to include the establishment of a Palestinian state. Trump said he could accept a two-state solution or a single-state arrangement if it is agreed upon by all sides. Netanyahu also was cool to the idea of an independent Palestine, saying he did not want to deal with "labels." The Trump administration appeared to backpedal on Thursday, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley saying the United States absolutely supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that anyone who thinks it doesn't is in "error." The Palestinians and the international community have long favored the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as the preferred way to peace in the region. Last month, days before Trump took office, representatives from dozens of countries reiterated the need for a two-state solution. In New York, the U.N.'s Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, urged "leaders on both sides to carefully contemplate the future they envision for their people." He said they would need to choose between "perpetual conflict" or "mutual respect." If Israel continues to control the occupied West Bank, the thinking goes, it will eventually have to give millions of Palestinians citizenship and voting rights, endangering the country's status as a democracy with a Jewish majority. But Netanyahu's governing coalition is dominated by hard-liners opposed to Palestinian statehood, citing the West Bank's value as a security asset and its connection to Jewish history. A new poll released Thursday showed the number of Israelis and Palestinians who support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state has dropped in recent months. But far more people continue to prefer the two-state solution to an alternative single-state arrangement. The poll found that 55 percent of Israelis and 44 percent of Palestinians support a two-state arrangement. That was down from 59 percent and 51 percent support last June. Yet just 24 percent of Israelis and one-third of Palestinians prefer a single binational state, the poll found. The EU-funded poll was conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. It questioned over 1,200 people on each side in December and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Associated Press writer Maggie Michael in Cairo contributed to this report.


The search for fast radio burst could be bolstered by citizen scientists using their mobile phones. A team of researchers has said a global network of phones and small radio receivers could be used to detect these mystery signals emanating from an unknown source in space. In a report that has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) and Tel Aviv University say if such a network were in place, it could be used to detect a simultaneous radio blip. This blip would indicate a FRB has been recorded – coming from inside the Milky Way. FRBs are radio signals coming from unknown sources deep in space. Lasting just a few milliseconds, scientists have struggled to identify their origin – the few dozen that have been detected were identified from data after the event, meaning their origin could not be traced back. At present, only one FRB has been found to repeat. In total, scientists have recorded 16 bursts coming from FRB 121102 – meaning they could be tracked to a galaxy three billion light years away. But even though we now know the location, we still do not know what is causing these bursts. The search for more FRBs continues, with astronomers across the globe using huge radio telescopes to detect them. The team say this presents an opportunity to harness a global collective of citizen scientists to look out for FRBs from within our own galaxy. While other FRBs appear to be coming from deep space, there is no reason to think one could not emanate closer to home. "An FRB in the Milky Way, essentially in our own back yard, would wash over the entire planet at once. If thousands of cell phones picked up a radio blip at nearly the same time, that would be a good sign that we've found a real event," said lead author Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University. How it would work: We propose to search for Galactic FRBs using a global array of low-cost radio receivers. Participating phones would continuously listen for and record candidate FRBs and would periodically upload information to a central data processing website, which correlates the incoming data from all participants, to identify the signature of a real, globe-encompassing, FRB from an astronomical distance. Triangulation of the GPS-based pulse arrival times reported from different locations will provide the FRB sky position, potentially to arc-second accuracy. Pulse arrival times from phones operating at diverse frequencies, or from an on-device de-dispersion search, will yield the dispersion measure (DM) which will indicate the FRB source distance within the Galaxy. FRBs have been detected at frequencies that match those used by mobile phones and Wi-Fi. Potentially, people could download an app that would constantly be running in the background, monitoring frequencies. It could then send data to a central processing facility where any abnormalities could be identified. The researchers calculate there might be FRBs in the Milky Way once every 30 to 1,500 years. But if it is a repeating burst – like FRB 121102 – it may pop up every week. "If FRBs originate from galaxies at cosmological distances, then their all-sky rate implies that the Milky Way may host an FRB on average once every 30 to 1,500 years," they wrote. "If FRBs repeat for decades or centuries, a local FRB could be active now." Avi Loeb, from the CfA, said: "The search for nearby fast radio bursts offers an opportunity for citizen scientists to help astronomers find and study one of the newest species in the galactic zoo."


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

A new Tel Aviv University study finds outdoor challenge-based interventions may be effective in reducing the overall severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms. The research found significant improvements in the social cognition, social motivation, and autistic mannerisms of the young subjects after outdoor adventure activities and describes a new path for enhancing the social and communication skills of children with ASD. The study was published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology and led by Prof. Ditza Antebi-Zachor of the Pediatric Department at TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Director of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center's Autism Center, together with Prof. Esther Ben Itzchak of Ariel University. One in 68 children in the US is diagnosed each year with ASD, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socio-communicative impairments and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests. The developmental disorder takes a deep social, emotional and economic toll on the child and his/her family. But research has also shown that the early diagnosis and early treatment of ASD can lead to vast improvements in the cognitive functioning and socio-communicative skills of children on the spectrum. Getting out of the classroom Fifty-one children from seven special-education kindergartens in Tel Aviv participated in the study, which was conducted in collaboration with ALUT, the National Israeli Association for Children with Autism, and ETGARIM, a nonprofit that sponsors outdoor activities for disabled people. The children, aged 3-7, all followed the same educational protocols, but the intervention group, comprising 30 students, also participated in an outdoor adventure program (OAP). The intervention group underwent 13 weekly sessions of challenge-based activities with instructors. Each 30-minute session took place in urban parks near the participants' kindergartens and kicked off with a song. Afterward, the children used the outdoor fitness equipment, moving from one to another throughout the session. The activities required the children to communicate with the instructors and with their peers, to ask for assistance or be noticed, for example. Prior to the adventure program, the children's cognitive and adaptive skills were assessed by the kindergarten instructors using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a questionnaire that assesses autism severity in different domains, and the Teachers' Perceived Future Capabilities questionnaire. The information was obtained prior to and after completing the program. "Outdoor adventure programs are designed to improve intrapersonal skills and interpersonal relationships by using adventurous activities to provide individual and group problem-solving and challenge tasks," says Prof. Zachor. "The necessary tools for a successful OAP include establishing individual and group goals, building trust among participants, and providing activities that challenge and evoke stress but are nevertheless enjoyable. "Our study shows that outdoor adventure activities benefit children with autism and improve their social communication skills. We suggest including these fun activities in special education kindergartens and in communication classrooms at school in addition to traditional treatments. Parents of children with ASD can also enroll their kids in afterschool activities based on the principles of our research. It will allow the children to have fun during their leisure time while improving their communication skills." According to Prof. Zachor, future studies should examine the contribution of this type of intervention over longer periods of time and encourage other researchers to explore new treatments that improve social communication skills in an entertaining, engaging way. "We're interested in studying the long-term effect of this intervention, not just on ASD symptoms but on functioning in different domains, including behavioral problems, language skills, and attention span," she says. 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.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 49.02M | Year: 2008

A globally distributed computing Grid now plays an essential role for large-scale, data intensive science in many fields of research. The concept has been proven viable through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE and EGEE-II, 2004-2008) and its related projects. EGEE-II is consolidating the operations and middleware of this Grid for use by a wide range of scientific communities, such as astrophysics, computational chemistry, earth and life sciences, fusion and particle physics. Strong quality assurance, training and outreach programmes contribute to the success of this production Grid infrastructure. \nBuilt on the pan-European network GANT2, EGEE has become a unique and powerful resource for European science, allowing researchers in all regions to collaborate on common challenges. Worldwide collaborations have extended its reach to the benefit of European science.\nThe proposed EGEE-III project has two clear objectives that are essential for European research infrastructures: to expand, optimize and simplify the use of Europes largest production Grid by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources; to prepare the migration of the existing Grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives. \nBy strengthening interoperable, open source middleware, EGEE-III will actively contribute to Grid standards, and work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake of the Grid, which is a key to sustainability. \nFederating its partners on a national or regional basis, EGEE-III will have a structuring effect on the European Research Area. In particular, EGEE-III will ensure that the European Grid does not fragment into incompatible infrastructures of varying maturity. EGEE-III will provide a world class, coherent and reliable European Grid, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of scientific excellence.


Falkowski A.,University Paris - Sud | Slone O.,Tel Aviv University | Volansky T.,Tel Aviv University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2016

Abstract: We study the recently reported excess in the diphoton resonance search by ATLAS and CMS. We investigate the available parameter space in the combined run-1 and run-2 diphoton data and study its interpretation in terms of a singlet scalar field which possibly mixes with the Standard Model Higgs boson. We show that the mixing angle is already strongly constrained by high-mass Higgs searches in the diboson channel, and by Higgs coupling measurements. While a broad resonance is slightly favored, we argue that the signal is consistent with a narrow-width singlet which couples to colored and electromagnetically-charged vector-like fermions. Dijet signals are predicted and may be visible in upcoming analyses. Allowing for additional decay modes could explain a broader resonance, however, we show that monojet searches disfavor a large invisible width. Finally, we comment on the possible relation of this scenario to the naturalness problem. © 2016, The Author(s).


Lichtenberg D.,Tel Aviv University | Ahyayauch H.,University of the Basque Country | Alonso A.,University of the Basque Country | Goni F.M.,University of the Basque Country
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2013

Although detergents are routine tools in biomembrane research, their use remains empirical. We propose that solubilization is the result of a balance between two parameters: (i) the energy associated with bending of phospholipid monolayers into a curved micellar surface, and (ii) the energy associated with filling the void in the center of the resultant mixed micelle. In this review, we show that reliable data on the phase boundaries, and their dependence on various conditions, are consistent with this hypothesis, even if the data might have been interpreted differently. Although most of the experimental data discussed here were obtained with the non-ionic detergent Triton X-100, the conclusions should be applicable to a wide variety of detergents. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Eliazar I.,Holon Institute of Technology | Klafter J.,Tel Aviv University
Physics Reports | Year: 2012

We establish a path leading from Pareto's law to anomalous diffusion, and present along the way a panoramic overview of power-law statistics. Pareto's law is shown to universally emerge from "Central Limit Theorems" for rank distributions and exceedances, and is further shown to be a finite-dimensional projection of an infinite-dimensional underlying object - Pareto's Poisson process. The fundamental importance and centrality of Pareto's Poisson process is described, and we demonstrate how this process universally generates an array of anomalous diffusion statistics characterized by intrinsic power-law structures: sub-diffusion and super-diffusion, Lévy laws and the "Noah effect", long-range dependence and the "Joseph effect", 1 / f noises, and anomalous relaxation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Efrat S.,Tel Aviv University | Russ H.A.,University of California at San Francisco
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

β-Cell replacement represents an attractive prospect for diabetes therapy. Although much hope has been placed on derivation of insulin-producing cells from human pluripotent stem cells, this approach continues to face considerable challenges. Cells from adult human tissues, with both stem/progenitor and mature phenotypes, offer a possible alternative. This review summarizes recent progress in two major strategies based on this cell source, . ex vivo expansion of human islet β cells and conversion of non-β cells into insulin-producing cells by nuclear reprogramming, and examines the obstacles that remain to be overcome for bringing these strategies closer to clinical application in diabetes therapy. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Kartashov Y.V.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Malomed B.A.,Tel Aviv University | Torner L.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2011

This article offers a comprehensive survey of results obtained for solitons and complex nonlinear wave patterns supported by nonlinear lattices (NLs), which represent a spatially periodic modulation of the local strength and sign of the nonlinearity, and their combinations with linear lattices. A majority of the results obtained, thus far, in this field and reviewed in this article are theoretical. Nevertheless, relevant experimental settings are also surveyed, with emphasis on perspectives for implementation of the theoretical predictions in the experiment. Physical systems discussed in the review belong to the realms of nonlinear optics (including artificial optical media, such as photonic crystals, and plasmonics) and Bose-Einstein condensation. The solitons are considered in one, two, and three dimensions. Basic properties of the solitons presented in the review are their existence, stability, and mobility. Although the field is still far from completion, general conclusions can be drawn. In particular, a novel fundamental property of one-dimensional solitons, which does not occur in the absence of NLs, is a finite threshold value of the soliton norm, necessary for their existence. In multidimensional settings, the stability of solitons supported by the spatial modulation of the nonlinearity is a truly challenging problem, for theoretical and experimental studies alike. In both the one-dimensional and two-dimensional cases, the mechanism that creates solitons in NLs in principle is different from its counterpart in linear lattices, as the solitons are created directly, rather than bifurcating from Bloch modes of linear lattices. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Grossman Z.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Grossman Z.,Tel Aviv University | Paul W.E.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Annual Review of Immunology | Year: 2015

Dynamic tuning of cellular responsiveness as a result of repeated stimuli improves the ability of cells to distinguish physiologically meaningful signals from each other and from noise. In particular, lymphocyte activation thresholds are subject to tuning, which contributes to maintaining tolerance to self-antigens and persisting foreign antigens, averting autoimmunity and immune pathogenesis, but allowing responses to strong, structured perturbations that are typically associated with acute infection. Such tuning is also implicated in conferring flexibility to positive selection in the thymus, in controlling the magnitude of the immune response, and in generating memory cells. Additional functional properties are dynamically and differentially tuned in parallel via subthreshold contact interactions between developing or mature lymphocytes and self-antigen-presenting cells. These interactions facilitate and regulate lymphocyte viability, maintain their functional integrity, and influence their responses to foreign antigens and accessory signals, qualitatively and quantitatively. Bidirectional tuning of T cells and antigen-presenting cells leads to the definition of homeostatic set points, thus maximizing clonal diversity. © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Erez N.,Tel Aviv University | Coussens L.M.,University of California at San Francisco
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

It is now well recognized that tumor cell-host interactions regulate all aspects of cancer development. Amongst the various host response programs that facilitate primary cancer development, an emerging body of literature points to a critical role for leukocytes and their soluble mediators as regulating discrete events during primary tumor development and metastasis. This review focuses on the multiple aspects of leukocytes and their effector molecules as regulators of the metastatic process. © 2011 UICC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 2.53M | Year: 2010

Algorithms in signal and image processing have reached an impressive level of sophistication and computing power still increases at an exponential rate. However, high-tech applications have an ever-increasing demand for even more efficient algorithms, even more powerful computers and new concepts for advancing applications.\nStarting from a recently discovered gap in the theory of uncertainty principles, this project aims at developing a framework for constructing problem adapted, ultra-efficient algorithms concerning (de-)coding and analyzing/synthesizing signals/images. We expect, that this will allow us to tackle complex applications in life sciences and ultra precise audio signal processing which presently cannot be solved appropriately with existing algorithms on existing computers.\nThe key for developing these algorithms is a representation of signals and images by function systems, which satisfy the following requirements:\n1.\tOptimal localization,\n2.\tEfficient discretization.\nThe theoretical foundation of this approach is based on the definition of suitable localization measures in generalized phase spaces and the construction of minimizing waveforms. These waveforms are then the basic building blocks in discretization schemes.\nWe expect that this approach allows us to shift the limits of the efficiency vs. precision paradigm considerably. The efficiency of an abstract algorithm has to be evaluated in connection with the computer hardware (parallelization, data exchange, storage) used. Accordingly, our proof of principle includes implementations of baseline algorithms as well as of advanced GPU implementations.\nAs final proof of principle we apply these methods for two challenging applications in audio signal design and life sciences (proteomics). The evaluation will be done by our industrial consortium partners together with our advisory board consisting of one SME, one world market leader and two internationally highly recognized scientific experts.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2013

The overall goal with INFECT is to advance our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms, prognosis, and diagnosis of the multifactorial highly lethal NSTIs. The fulminant course of NSTIs (in the order of hours) demands immediate diagnosis and adequate interventions in order to salvage lives and limbs. However, diagnosis and management are difficult due to heterogeneity in clinical presentation, in co-morbidities and in microbiological aetiology. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in order to improve outcome of NSTIs. To achieve this, a comprehensive and integrated knowledge of diagnostic features, causative microbial agent, treatment strategies, and pathogenic mechanisms (host and bacterial disease traits and their underlying interaction network) is required. INFECT is designed to obtain such insights through an integrated systems biology approach in patients and different clinically relevant experimental models. Specific objectives of INFECT are to: 1. Unravel specific mechanisms underlying diseases signatures though a bottom-up systems approach applied to clinically relevant experimental settings 2. Apply a top-down systems biology approach to NSTI patient samples to pin-point key host and pathogen factors involved in the onset and development of infection 3. Identify and quantify disease signatures and underlying networks that contribute to disease outcome 4. Exploit identified disease traits for the innovation of optimized diagnostic tools 5. Translate the advanced knowledge generated into evidence-based guidelines for classification and management, and novel therapeutic strategies We have gathered a team of multidisciplinary researchers, clinicians, SMEs and a patient organization, each with a unique expertise, technical platform and/or model systems that together provide the means to successfully conduct the multifaceted research proposed and efficiently disseminate/exploit the knowledge obtained.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 16.04M | Year: 2010

To contribute to the development of vaccines against Shigella and ETEC for children of the developing world, STOPENTERICS will provide novel solutions by imposing a two-fold paradigm switch: (i) to break the dogma of serotype-specificity by inducing a cross-protective immunity (ii) to improve the immunogenicity of Shigella glycoconjugates by using synthetic oligosacharides mimicking the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen. The possibilities offered by genomics/proteomics and bacterial outer membrane blebs (OMB) will be exploited to identify virulence proteins conserved throughout Shigella or ETEC isolates. For ETEC, the development of a safe, immunogenic ST (heat stable) toxoid is a priority. State-of-the-art glycochemistry and sugar-protein carrier conjugation will allow engineering optimal Shigella glycoconjugates with focus on the five most prevalent serotypes. The ultimate aim is to optimize chances for the best coverage by combining cross-protective and serotype-specific antigens, thus ensuring the development of efficient multivalent vaccines that will help reduce the burden of diarrheal diseases. At all stages of the R & D process, candidate antigens will be considered in light of immunomonitoring data obtained in naturally-infected individuals, and volunteers undergoing vaccine trials. Regarding the latter, Phase-1 clinical trials with two vaccine candidates are planned as proofsof-concept of (i) a synthetic oligosaccharides approach mimicking Shigella O-antigens, and (ii) a Shigella OMB-based vaccines to be tested after validation of preclinical studies. STOPENTERICS is a unique combination of laboratories, platforms, vaccinology centres from academia and industry in the North and the South, integrated to successfully develop new vaccines, from R&D toward clinical trials. By promoting high-standard training capacity for young investigators, it will foster a new generation of researchers in neglected infectious diseases.


Patent
Tel HaShomer Medical Research Infrasture, Services Ltd. and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2014-04-24

Apparatus for operating MRI is disclosed. The apparatus comprises: a control for operating an MRI scanner to carry out an MRI scan; an input for receiving first and second MRI scans respectively at the beginning and end of a predetermined time interval post contrast administration; a subtraction map former for forming a subtraction map from the first and the second MRI scans by analyzing the scans to distinguish between a population in which contrast clearance from the tissue is slower than contrast accumulation, and a population in which clearance is faster than accumulation; and an output to provide an indication of distribution of the populations. The control is configured to carry out the first scan at least five minutes and no more than twenty minutes post contrast administration and to carry out the second scan such that the predetermined time period is at least twenty minutes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2011

EpoCan aims to develop and implement a comprehensive interdisciplinary strategy to assess the long-term risks of erythropoietin (EPO) and its derivatives (epoetins) on tumour growth progression and thromboembolic events in cancer patients, cardiovascular events, and the development of cancer in chronic kidney disease. Approximately 400,000 patients across Europe receive epoetins treatment each year. Recent meta-analysis data have raised concerns over increased mortality in some patient groups. Hence the urgent need to evaluate the risk-benefit ratio of epoetin treatment and its potential long-term effects. EpoCan brings together a multidisciplinary consortium of 12 world leading academic, industrial and medical partners, with long-standing, complementary expertise in haemostasis, oncology and EPO biology. EpoCan aims to (1) Identify, detect and measure possible long-term hazards of epoetin treatment; (2) Develop novel prognostic tools and new complementary therapeutic reagents: (3) Evaluate the risk-benefit ratio to pave the way for new safety and efficacy criteria. EpoCan will: (a) Utilize a wide array of cellular models to thoroughly analyze EPO/EPO receptor(EPO-R)interaction and signalling, to define the relationship between EPO-R expression in tumour samples and the clinical outcome in cancer patients; (b) Establish and test new, personalized, predictive tools (EPO-R peptide antagonists, novel specific anti-EPO-R monoclonal antibodies, thromboembolic tests); (c) Create new murine models as hosts for tumour implantation subjected to EPO and derivatives established above; (d) Screen and analyze clinical databases; (e) Define models to predict hazardous versus safe/beneficial roles of epoetins in the treatment of cancer and kidney failure associated anaemia. Data obtained will be integrated into coherent models using novel computational algorithms developed for EpoCan. Results are expected to have broad ramifications, with special relevance for clinical oncology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-03-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2017

The INFRAFRONTIER RI integrates European Mouse Clinics and the European Mouse Mutant Archive with the common goal to ensure access to mouse models for basic research of human health and disease, and to translate this knowledge into therapeutic approaches for the benefit of the European society. The expanded INFRAFRONTIER2020 network, coordinated by the INFRAFRONTIER GmbH, includes 3 SMEs and is strategically responding to the INFRADEV3 call with aligned objectives to advance the long-term sustainability which are 1) development of business models and a stable legal framework; 2) raise awareness of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 3) provide bespoke services aligned with user demands; 4) promote best practices in mouse phenogenomics; 5) enhance robustness of the INFRAFRONTIER IT infrastructure and use of the EMMA strain resource; and 6) improve business processes. Towards achieving these objectives key INFRAFRONTIER2020 project deliverables are: INFRAFRONTIER Business Plan2.0, and business models for all services Stable legal framework built on the INFRAFRONTIER legal entity INFRAFRONTIER annual stakeholder conferences Customised mouse model and secondary phenotyping pilot services INFRAFRONTIER advanced training schools in mouse phenogenomics Reengineered EMMA Database2.0 system Annotated mouse models of human diseases Quality management system for the legal entity INFRAFRONTIER2020 will 1) enhance the sustainable operation of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 2) continue to structure the ERA, 3) foster innovation, and 4) address major societal challenges in human health by customised service pilots supporting research into common and rare diseases. A sustainable INFRAFRONTIER RI will ensure the quality of deposited mice and support the reproducibility of biological results. Outreach efforts will raise awareness of resources and services and facilitate sustainable engagement with industry and global consortia such as the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 7.95M | Year: 2013

TRANSLINK is a project devoted to assessing the mid-to long-term risk factors and improve the outcome of animal (bovine/porcine)-derived Bioprosthetic Heart Valve (BHV) implants. 300,000 patients/year benefit from BHV, a major healthcare problem (second most frequent cardiac surgery). BHV clinical outcome suffers from late dysfunctions restricting their application to older recipients. Based on a retrospective (already computerised) and prospective cohort of approximately 3,000 BHV recipients and control patients from 3 large EU cardiac surgery groups, TRANSLINK aims primarily to establish the possible role of recipients immune response (IR) against BHV as a major cause to mid- to-long term clinical dysfunction. Precise molecular analysis of preimplantation BVH sugar moieties will be performed. Possible indirect side-effects on BHV endocarditis and host vessels inflammation are secondary end points. Serial and trans-sectional blood samples will be dispatched to a battery of highly specialised partner groups for testing anti-Gal, -Neu5Gc and -hyaluronic acid antibodies (Ig) using both validated and newly designed screening tools, glycan array patterns, and macrophages/NK responses. Data will be crossed with clinical outcome scores. Project design aims at delivering comprehensive recommendations in the time-frame of the grant. Fundamental basic science progress in the field of carbohydrate antigens is also expected. Furthermore, prevention (BHV from engineered animal source lacking major antigens) and treatment (bioabsorbants of deleterious Ig) oriented remedies as well as prospective biomarkers of longterm BHV deterioration will be set up by three first-class SMEs. TRANSLINK may strongly impact the treatment of heart valve diseases by improving morbid-mortality in patients with heart valves diseases and increasing the indication of BHV to younger patients.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.41M | Year: 2011

The LCAOS project will develop and test a new diagnostic tool, able to detect: (i) the presence of lung cancer (LC), and (ii) an increased risk of a patient developing LC in the future. Diagnostic tests currently available are unsuitable for widespread screening because they are costly, occasionally miss tumours, are not time-efficient, nor free of complications. LCAOS will overcome these problems by using an approach based on volatile biomarkers emitted from cell membranes. A multidisciplinary effort, incorporating nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, medical oncology, and computation strategies, will develop a highly-sensitive, inexpensive, and fast-response, non-invasive, artificial nose (known as, NaNose), building on the coordinators earlier success in this area. The NaNose will be able to detect pre-neoplastic volatile biomarkers that indicate an increased genetic risk of LC, and the presence of LC. It has already been established that these biomarkers can be detected either directly from the headspace of the cancer cells or via exhaled breath. LCAOS will: (i) develop arrays of chemically-sensitive field effect transistors (FETs) of non-oxidized, molecule-terminated silicon nanowires (Si NWs); (ii) test the ability of these devices to sense volatile LC biomarkers from in-vitro tissue, and exhaled human breath; (iii) study the signal transduction mechanism of the volatile biomarkers, using pattern recognition; (iv) improve systems to enable the NaNose to distinguish the targeted biomarkers from environmental clutter, using methylation, expression profiling, and genome-wide sequencing; and (v) perform clinical-related studies to assess LC conditions in actual patients & tissues, and in the presence of real-world confounding signals. Validation will be carried out by clinician partners and professional mathematicians and computer scientists. Resources will also be allocated to ensure the commercial potential of the sensor device layout.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 222.00K | Year: 2013

The Fregean-inspired Principle of Compositionality of Meaning (PoC), for formal languages, may be construed as asserting that the meaning of a compound expression is deterministically (and often recursively) analysable in terms of the meaning of its constituents, taking into account the mode in which these constituents are combined so as to form the compound expression. From a logical point of view, this amounts to prescribing a constraint --that may or may not be respected-- on the internal mechanisms that build and give meaning to a given formal system. Within the domain of formal semantics and of the structure of logical derivations, PoC is often directly reflected by metaproperties such as truth-functionality and analyticity, characteristic of computationally well-behaved logical systems. The project GeTFun aims at being a coordinated exchange programme for the investigation of compositional meaning in logic and applications. The consortium will study various well-motivated ways in which the attractive properties and metaproperties of truth-functional logics may be stretched so as to cover more extensive logical grounds. The ubiquity of non-classical logics in the formalization of practical reasoning demands the formulation of more flexible theories of meaning and compositionality that allow for the establishment of coherent and inclusive bases for their understanding. Such investigations presuppose not only the development of adequate frameworks from the perspectives of Model Theory, Proof Theory and Universal Logic, but also the construction of solid bridges between the related approaches based on various generalizations of truth-functionality. Applications of broadly truth-functional logics, in their various guises, are envisaged in several areas of computer science, mathematics, philosophy and linguistics, where the ever increasing complexity of systems continuously raise new and difficult challenges to compositionality.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.4. | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013

The mouse shows great similarities in development, physiology and biochemistry to humans, which makes it a key model for research into human disease. The major challenges for mouse functional genomics in the 21st century are to: Develop a series of mutant alleles for every gene in the mouse genome Determine the phenotypic consequences of each mutation Identify mouse models for the complete disease spectrum in humans To further develop and exploit the emerging mouse mutant resource, mouse models must be preserved and made available to the European biomedical research community. To this effect, the Infrafrontier-I3 project brings together the leading European centers for systemic phenotyping of mouse mutants and the European Mouse Mutant Archive network. The Infafrontier-I3 partners aim to meet the future challenges presented by phenotyping, archiving and disseminating mouse models in the ERA as follows: Contribute to resource development by archiving of 1215 new mouse mutant lines Provide free of charge Transnational Access to mouse production and 1st line phenotyping capacities Offer a specialized axenic service to produce, maintain and to distribute germ-free mice Provide user friendly accession of Infrafrontier services, extensive manual data curation and cross referencing with other mouse database Improve user services by developing novel phenotyping and cryopreservation SOPs and by refining innovative research instrumentation Engage with the user community using a wide range of PR activities, a dedicated user meeting and an industry liaison workshop Offer state of the art cryopreservation and phenotyping training courses Benchmark Infrafrontier services with other major repositories The comprehensive physical and data resources that will be generated by Infrafrontier-I3 will contribute to link basic biomedical research to medical applications and thereby drive innovation and support the Europe 2020 Strategy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.2.5.1 | Award Amount: 2.70M | Year: 2010

Concentrating solar systems are matter of relevant and constantly increasing interest of the energy market owing to the compact size, reduced request for components, capability to be multi-generative, potential high-efficiency and low-cost. This project aims to design and realize innovative and scalable components for solar concentrating systems that generate both electricity and heat and work efficiently at high temperatures (800-1000C). The proposed concept includes the design, realization and testing of several new component technologies. A high-temperature receiver will be developed to provide the heat input to the converter unit. A new-concept conversion module will be developed for electrical and thermal energy production based on thermionic and thermoelectric direct converters, thermally combined in series to increase the efficiency (thermal-to-electrical efficiency estimated to 35%). A heat recovery system will be designed to collect waste heat (standard efficiency of 65%) and provide it as an additional energy product (co-generation). Innovative wirings for fluid and electricity transport will be designed, realized and tested. The benefit associated to a single hybrid cable, able to carry both relatively high-temperature fluids and electricity, will be characterized and demonstrated. A small-scale prototype solar system will be realized to test and evaluate the real impact of the new components.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-4.0-1 | Award Amount: 13.81M | Year: 2011

SaveMe project will address current urgent needs for pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment by exploiting partners expertise and most recent research achievements for the design and development of novel modular nanosystems platform integrating new functionalized nano-core particles and active agents. The modular platform will enable the design of diverse active nanosystems per diagnostic or therapeutic application as defined by their active agent compositions. For diagnostics, superior tracers will be developed for molecular MR/PET and gamma camera imaging, enabling efficient diagnosis and guided surgery respectively. Novel functionalized nano-core systems will be conjugated with semi-confluent active shell layer. Three types of shell layers will be design: (1) novel iron oxide nanoparticles as advanced MRI contrast agents and/or (2) DOTA complexes for MRI (with Gd3\), or PET (with Ga-68), or gamma camera (with Ga-69); (3) Integrating within one tracer both iron oxide nanoparticles and DOTA-Ga-68 complexes for a sequential or simultaneous MR/PET imaging. For therapeutics, active nanosystems will be developed to deliver (1) therapeutic siRNAs or (2) anti-MP-inhibitory-scFVs. These non-classic anti-tumor drugs will be designed based on an extensive tumor degradome analysis for combining blockage of selective matrix MPs, thus preventing basic invasive and metastasis steps, with siRNA based neutralization of secondary molecular effects induced by the specific protease inhibition. Individualized degradome analysis will be developed for potential profiling of anti-MP and siRNAs based therapy per patient. To facilitate the above diagnostics and therapeutic effects, advanced tumor targeting and penetration active agents will be linked to nano-core functionalized groups, including a biocompatible PEG layer linked to tumor selective MMP substrate molecules and highly safe and potent novel somatostatin analogue peptides targeting SSTR overexpression.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 7.78M | Year: 2013

Our proposal is based on the idea that real-time functional neuroimaging can be used to train patients to regulate their own brain activity via neurofeedback training and thus modulate the brain networks of mental disorder, restore function, improve symptoms and promote resilience. We have brought together the core groups that have been instrumental in the development of methods for real-time functional imaging and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance)-based neurofeedback and have led the initial clinical applications in neuropsychiatric disorders. Our proposal has three main components, the development and refinement of methods for the real-time analysis and feedback of fMRI data and combination with other imaging modalities (WP2), the adaptation of fMRI mapping techniques to localise disease-relevant networks and development of protocols for their self-regulation through neurofeedback (WP3) and the assessment of feasibility and clinical effects in several mental disorders that are characterised by dysfunctional brain systems for motivation, emotion regulation and social communication and by important therapeutic gaps (autism spectrum disorders, alcohol addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood anxiety disorders, binge-eating disorder) (WP4). We will also explore the potential transfer of (laboratory-based) imaging feedback training into everyday settings through ambulatory and assistive technologies such as electroencephalography (EEG) and gaming (WP5). We will engage with potential users of these technologies (healthcare professionals and providers, medical instrument and software manufacturers, patient and carer associations) through several workshops, liaise with regulatory authorities and disseminate findings to the academic and user communities in WP6.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 9.66M | Year: 2008

EUFAR is the Integrating Activity for airborne research in Geo-science. It will integrate the airborne community, to ensure that researchers may have access to the most suited infrastructure they need, irrespective of the location of the infrastructure. The EUFAR consortium comprises 32 legal entities. 14 operators of airborne facilities, and 18 experts in airborne research. They contribute to 9 Networking Activities, Trans-national Access to 26 installations, and 3 Joint Research Activities. A Scientific Advisory Committee, constituted of eminent scientists, contributes to a better integration of the users with the operators to tackle new user driven developments. Transnational Access coordination aims at providing a wider and more efficient access to the infrastructures. The working group for the Future of the Fleet fosters the joint development of airborne infrastructures in terms of capacity and performance. The Expert Working Groups facilitate a wider sharing of knowledge and technologies across fields. The activity for Education and Training provides training courses to new users. The working group on Standards and Protocols contributes to better structure the way research infrastructures operate. The development of a distributed data base for airborne activities improves the access to the data collected by the aircraft. All these activities rely on an unique web portal to airborne research in Europe. The working group on the Sustainable Structure aims at promoting solutions for the long term sustainability of EUFAR. Among the JRA, one will develop and characterize airborne hygrometers, the second one will develop and implement quality layers in the processing chains of hyperspectral imagery, and the third one will develop an airborne drop spectrometer based on a new principle.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2010

The SPECIAL project aims at delivering breakthrough technologies for the biotechnological production of cellular metabolites and extracellular biomaterials from marine sponges. These include a platform technology to produce secondary metabolites from a wide range of sponge species, a novel in vitro method for the production of biosilica and recombinant technology for the production of marine collagen. Research on cellular metabolites will be based upon our recent finding that non-growing sponges continuously release large amounts of cellular material. Production of biosilica will be realized through biosintering, a novel enzymatic process that was recently discovered in siliceous sponges. Research on sponge collagen will focus on finding the optimal conditions for expression of the related genes. Alongside this research, the project will identify and develop new products from sponges, thus fully realizing the promises of marine biotechnology. Specifically, the project will focus on potential anticancer drugs and novel biomedical/industrial applications of biosilica and collagen, hereby taking advantage of the unique physico-chemical properties of these extracellular sponge products. The consortium unites seven world-class research institutions covering a wide range of marine biotechnology-related disciplines and four knowledge-intensive SMEs that are active in the field of sponge culture, drug development and nanobiotechnology. The project is clearly reflecting the strategic objectives outlined in the position paper European Marine Strategy (2008); it will enhance marine biotechnology at a multi-disciplinary, European level and provide new opportunities for the European industry to exploit natural marine resources in a sustainable way. In particular the biotechnological potential of marine sponges, which has for a long time been considered as an eternal promise, will be realized through the SPECIAL project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.33 | Award Amount: 26.09M | Year: 2011

AIDA (http://cern.ch/aida) addresses the upgrade, improvement and integration of key research infrastructures in Europe, developing advanced detector technologies for future particle accelerators, as well as transnational access to facilities that provide these research infrastructures. In line with the European Strategy for Particle Physics, AIDA targets the infrastructures needed for R&D, prototyping and qualification of detector systems for the major particle physics experiments currently being planned at future accelerators. By focusing on common development and use of such infrastructure, the project integrates the entire detector development community, encouraging cross-fertilization of ideas and results, and providing a coherent framework for the main technical developments of detector R&D. This project includes a large consortium of 37 beneficiaries, covering much of the detector R&D for particle physics in Europe. This collaboration allows Europe to remain at the forefront of particle physics research and take advantage of the world-class infrastructures existing in Europe for the advancement of research into detectors for future accelerator facilities. The infrastructures covered by the AIDA project are key facilities required for an efficient development of future particle physics experiments, such as: test beam infrastructures (at CERN, DESY and LNF), specialised equipment, irradiation facilities (in several European countries), common software tools, common microelectronics and system integration tools and establishment of technology development roadmaps with a wide range of industrial partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 3.03M | Year: 2010

In the quest for the realization of quantum information processors, trapped ions occupy a prominent position. The challenge of realizing large-scale processors and quantum simulators based on ions will, however, require that one deals with more complex structures, which may include mesoscopic ordered ion ensembles, i.e., ion Coulomb crystals. In this regime, it is expected that the effect of noise will grow in importance and the control techniques, which have been so successfully applied to small numbers of ions, will be inefficient. This raises the timely issue of identifying novel and efficient strategies for controlling the quantum dynamics and manipulating the quantum state of ion Coulomb crystals.\n\nThe PICC proposal represents a joint theoretical and experimental effort whose aims are (i) to identify tools for controlling ion crystals as their size is scaled up, (ii) to develop strategies for implementing controlled quantum dynamics of mesoscopic ion Coulomb crystals in a noisy environment and (iii) to explore the capability of ion Coulomb crystals as quantum simulators. The long-term vision underlying this proposal is to engineer quantum correlations and entanglement in ion Coulomb crystals in order to exploit them for technological purposes of different kinds.\n\nIt is expected that this effort will pave the way for what could be the realization of the first specific-purpose, large scale quantum processors, complementing existing efforts with the alternative system of neutral atoms in optical lattices.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 1.29M | Year: 2013

The production of many consumer products based on manufactured NanoParticles (NPs) has led to a growing public and regulatory concern about the safety of nanomaterials. Since experimental toxicological testing of NPs, especially in vivo animal studies is costly and time-consuming, it is necessary to develop a novel research field and associated methods and tools to reach the goal of predictive nanotoxicology. The PreNanoTox consortium addresses three currently missing critical elements needed to develop a platform for predictive nanotoxicology and our suggested approach of providing them: (1) There is a current lack of unified large database We suggest to form this database by applying cutting edge information extraction tools on large repository of scientific articles; (2) There is a need for better understanding the underlying mechanisms of the primary interaction of NP with the cell membrane We suggest to apply appropriate theory and simulation assuming that the surface chemistry of a NP (affecting NPs surface reactivity, hydrophobicity, or surface electrostatics) as well as its other physical properties (e.g. size and shape) determine the strength of the non-specific adsorption of NPs to a cell surface, leading beyond a certain adhesion-strength threshold, to efficient uptake of the NPs; (3) There is a need to extend the traditional QSAR paradigm to the field of nanotoxicology This will be carried out by linking appropriate NP descriptors, with emphasis on those which determine the strength of adsorption of NPs to cells, with biological responses. The PreNanoTox consortium is made up of four research groups (from three scientific organizations), which lead in information technology, soft matter modeling, computational chemistry and in-vitro toxicology, yielding a synergetic output. This project will assist in safe designing of new engineered NPs as well as reducing tha extent needed for empirical testing of toxicity.


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

Cell migration (cell motility) is a fundamental biological process that is pivotal in (i) tissue formation and repair (health) and (ii) tissue invasion during carcinogenesis (disease). Understanding and controlling cell migration will have major clinical impact. Clarifying mechanisms driving cell motility has been challenging due to the complex underlying cellular mechanisms; these involve multiple components coordinated by structural, chemical and physical signals in terms of time and space. To accomplish breakthroughs in this field, researchers are needed who (i) master cutting-edge experimental techniques for monitoring the different cellular processes at high resolution and (ii) have competencies in theoretical science for integrating the resulting data sets into mechanistic mathematical models for predicting motile cell behaviour. The Research Training Network on Integrated Component Cycling in Epithelial Cell Motility (InCeM) aims to endow up-and-coming researchers with exactly these competencies. They will be able to develop and apply innovative devices for microscopic recording, image processing techniques, data analysis tools and modelling procedures for mechanistic understanding of cell migration. InCeM will focus on epithelial cells, since inducing motility in this cell type is clinically relevant for wound healing and cancer invasion. The ultimate goal is to control and manipulate cell migration for clinical applications. A dedicated multidisciplinary team of 11 beneficiaries from universities (4), research institutions (4) and industry (3), based in 5 European countries and Israel, together with 17 associated partners from the public and private sector, will train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to use the relevant technologies and sciences and will offer business training to prepare them for successful careers in both academic and non-academic environments.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2016

The unprecedented properties of optical fibres make them ideal to be implemented as artificial nervous systems, enabling any tool or structure to become a sensitive and smart object. Conventional optical fibres are small, low-cost and can be seamlessly integrated in materials, in engineering structures and in the environment. By exploiting the most advanced light-matter interactions, these tiny luminous wires can realize distributed sensing, which means that each point along an optical fibre can separately and selectively sense quantities such as temperature, strain, acoustic waves and pressure, in perfect similarity to a real organic nerve. These remarkable features have attracted the interest of different end-users covering application domains as diverse as pipeline protection, oil and gas well exploitation, electricity transport, perimeter, fire alarm, etc., leading to a sustained market growth in the last years. However, the full potential of state-of-the-art distributed fibre sensing is exploited in a fairly narrow range of applications only. This is mainly due to the lack of trained scientific personnel capable of creating the link between the sensors and possible applications. The ambition of FINESSE is therefore to educate and to train researchers in the development of a set of disruptive new optical artificial nervous systems with improved sensitivity, precision and new sensing abilities, and to boost the industrial uptake of these sensors by training these researchers to valorise their work. The ultimate vision empowering the project is the widespread implementation of fibre-optic nervous systems dedicated to: (i) contributing to a safer society by returning early warnings for danger and (ii) ensuring sustainable development through the efficient exploitation of natural resources. The full set of specialists, who can turn this ambitious concept into a reality, is present in Europe and have teamed up to propose FINESSE training network.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.3 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2010

This project proposes the development of a high performance computing eco-system in the Eastern Mediterranean region by interlinking and coordinating regional compute, data and visualisation resources to form an integrated e-platform. It will provide training activities and user support, and engage the regional communities through networking activities such as workshops, exchange of visitors and organization of joint events. Its focus will be on virtual research communities in three fields that are clearly relevant to the region and of global importance, namely Climate Modelling, Digital Cultural Heritage and Synchrotron applications. Regional HPC centres will be contributing resources to support user communities in the region with the Computation-based Science and Technology Research Centre of the Cyprus Institute, the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (Egypt) and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt) being initially the major contributors. SESAME, (Jordan/UNESCO), a major experimental facility with a broad user community, will be promoting networking in the region. An upgraded connection between Cyprus and Jordan will provide the needed bandwidth for the transfer of SESAME data. The Julich Supercomputing Center and the National Center of Supercomputing Applications of the University of Illinois will provide know-how at the highest level for running and integrating such facilities, whereas international leaders in the three thematic areas will ensure transfer of state-of-the-art techniques to the regional user communities, thereby linking the Eastern Mediterranean with the European and international computational science activities.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

Making the Desert Bloom – How Israel's Water Expertise is a Model for California and the World -- Congregation Emanu-El will host a special in-house conversation about Israel's world-renowned water expertise, and its relevance for California and the World. The event, being held in partnership with the Environmental Working Group of Congregation Emanu-El's Tzedek Council and co-sponsored by the American Technion Society, will feature, New York Times best-selling author of, and, co-founder and CEO of Epic CleanTec, and co-founder of the Israel-California Greentech Partnership: Thursday, March 23, 7:00 pm: Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118: http://www.emanuelsf.org/"Depending primarily on the weather for our water is dangerous, and the California drought made this painfully clear," said Tartakovsky. "I'm looking forward to my discussion with Seth and sharing how Israel itself overcame its own water scarcity, and how the Golden Gate and the Jewish State can work together on this important issue."Israel offers a story of inspiration for the climate challenges posing California. Facing a similar situation, Israeli leaders took the courageous decision to create a system immune to drought. "What we learn from Israel is that every country and region can have a secure water future," said Siegel. "California's drought and floods are two sides of the same coin of inadequate planning and vision. What is needed is an engaged, informed citizenry which can demand of its leaders forward-looking water policies and practices. I hope the dialogue with Aaron helps give the tools and impetus to the Emanu-El and Golden Gate community.""Follow the conversation on social media via #LetThereBeWater and #TechnionWater"Seth is the author of the New York Times bestseller. His essays on water and other issues have appeared in, the, and in leading publications in Europe and Asia.Seth is the Daniel M. Soref Senior Water Policy Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences. He is a Senior Advisor to Start-Up Nation Central, an Israeli non-profit that connects government, NGO and business leaders to the relevant people, companies and technologies in Israel. Seth is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.Aaron Tartakovsky is co-founder and CEO of Epic CleanTec, a green technology start-up that has introduced a revolutionary new technology into the on-site wastewater treatment market. Aaron previously served as director of business development and marketing for CB Engineers, a sustainability-focused mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design firm, where he ran its R&D division. Aaron is a graduate of Tufts University, magna cum laude, and received a master's degree in political science (security and diplomacy) from Tel Aviv University.Based in New York City and with a local office in Sunnyvale, CA, the American Technion Society (ATS) provides critical support to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, ranked among the world's leading science and technology universities. ATS Donors have provided more than $2 billion since its inception in 1940. The ATS and its network of supporters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more. Its mission is to enable the Technion to be among the world's leading institutions improving the well-being of Israel and all humanity through leadership in science and technology. Learn more at www.ats.org.Rob Freedman/Byron Gordon Congregation Emanu-El 415-751-2535bgordon@emanuelsf.orgrfreedman@emanuelsf.org


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Some big ideas seem to appear out of nowhere, but in 2008 Chuan He deliberately went looking for one. The US National Institutes of Health had just launched grants to support high-risk, high-impact projects, and He, a chemist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, wanted to apply. But he needed a good pitch. He had been studying a family of proteins that repair damaged DNA, and he began to suspect that these enzymes might also act on RNA. By a stroke of luck, he ran into molecular biologist Tao Pan, who had been investigating specific chemical marks, called methyl groups, that are present on RNAs. The pair worked in the same building at the University of Chicago, and began meeting regularly. From those conversations, their big idea took shape. At the time, biologists were getting excited about the epigenome — the broad array of chemical marks that decorate DNA and its protein scaffold. These marks act like a chemical notation, telling the cell which genes to express and which to keep silent. As such, the epigenome helps to explain how cells with identical DNA can develop into the multitude of specialized types that make up different tissues. The marks help cells in the heart, for example, maintain their identity and not turn into neurons or fat cells. Misplaced epigenetic marks are often found in cancerous cells. When He and Pan began working together, most epigenetic research focused on the tags associated with DNA and the histone proteins that it wraps around. But more than 100 different types of chemical mark had been identified on RNA, and nobody knew what they did. Some of the enzymes He was studying could strip off methyl groups, and He and Pan wondered whether one of them might work on RNA. If the marks could be reversed, they might constitute an entirely new way of controlling gene expression. In 2009, they got funding to hunt for reversible marks on RNA and the proteins that erase them. Nine years later, such research has given birth to an 'ome of its own, the epitranscriptome. He and others have shown that a methyl group attached to adenine, one of the four bases in RNA, has crucial roles in cell differentiation, and may contribute to cancer, obesity and more1, 2. In 2015, He's lab and two other teams uncovered the same chemical mark on adenine bases in DNA (methyl marks had previously been found only on cytosine), suggesting that the epigenome may be even richer than previously imagined3. Research has taken off. “I think we're approaching a golden age of epigenomics and epitranscriptomics,” says Christopher Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “We can actually start to see all these modifications that we knew have been there for decades.” The governing rule of molecular biology — the central dogma — holds that information flows from DNA to messenger RNA to protein. Many scientists therefore viewed mRNA as little more than a courier, carrying the genetic information encoded in a cell's nucleus to the protein factories in the cytoplasm. That's one reason why few researchers paid much attention to the modifications made to mRNA. They weren't a secret, though. The mark that pushed He to the forefront of epitranscriptomics was first discovered on mRNA in 1974 (ref. 4). Fritz Rottman, an organic chemist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, was trying to understand the role of RNA in regulating gene expression when he stumbled across a methyl group on adenine. The modified base is called N6-methyladenosine, a mouthful that's commonly shortened to m6A. Rottman and his colleagues wrote that RNA methylation could be a way to select certain transcripts for translation into protein. “But that was all speculation,” says Karen Friderici, an author of the 1974 paper and a geneticist at Michigan State University. The team didn't have a good way to investigate the mark's true function. “It was the beginning of molecular biology. We didn't have many of the tools that are available now,” she says. More than three decades later, He and Pan found the tools still lacking. “It's very difficult to actually study these modifications,” Pan says. It requires powerful mass spectrometry and high-throughput sequencing techniques. Two members of He's lab at the time, Ye Fu and Guifang Jia, pushed forward anyway, focusing on a protein called FTO, part of the family of methyl-stripping enzymes that He's group had been studying. Fu and Jia thought that it might remove methyl groups from RNA, but they struggled to identify its target. Fu and his colleagues began to synthesize snippets of RNA that contained different modifications, to determine whether FTO could remove them. It was slow going. Over the course of three years, the team faced a string of failures, “I almost thought I would never find the function,” Fu says. Finally, in 2010 the team decided to test FTO's activity on m6A — the methylated adenine. The mark disappeared. The team had shown for the first time that RNA methylation was reversible5, just like the marks found on DNA and histones. To He, it seemed like proof of an RNA-based system of gene regulation. He's group wasn't the only one thinking about m6A. In 2012, two teams of researchers independently published the first maps of where m6A appears6, 7. The studies revealed more than 12,000 methylated sites on mRNAs originating from about 7,000 genes. “After years in the dark, we were instantly facing a wide vista,” wrote Dan Dominissini, an author of one of the studies, in an essay in Science8. The maps showed that the distribution of m6A is not random. Its location suggested that the mark might have a role in alternative splicing of RNA transcripts, a mechanism that allows cells to produce multiple versions of a protein from a single gene. Over the past few years, researchers have identified some of the machinery involved in regulating these marks. Each requires a writer to place it, an eraser to remove it and a reader to interpret it (see ‘Reading, writing and regulation'). As the identities of these proteins emerged, scientists have come to understand that m6A affects not only RNA splicing, but also translation and RNA stability. One m6A reader, for example, makes mRNA degrade faster by shuttling it to decay sites in the cell. Another m6A reader promotes protein production by shepherding methylated RNA to the ribosome. Whether m6A directs a cell to produce a protein or destroy a transcript depends on the location of the mark and on the reader that binds to it. But understanding how this selection works has been a major challenge, says Gideon Rechavi, a geneticist at Tel Aviv University in Israel who was involved in the mapping of m6A. What is clear is that m6A has fundamental roles in cell differentiation. Cells that lack the mark get stuck in a stem- or progenitor-like state. That can be lethal: when He and his colleagues disabled the m6A writer in mice, many embryos died in utero. He has a possible explanation for the role of m6A. Each time a cell changes from one state to another — such as during differentiation — the mRNAs in it must change too. This change in mRNA content, which He calls a transcriptome switch, requires precision and careful timing. He thinks that the methyl marks might be a way for cells to synchronize the activity of thousands of transcripts. Self-described 'RNA geek' Wendy Gilbert, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, says that He's explanation is plausible. “One of the things that I really like about Chuan's presentations over the last couple of years is his effort to try to speak to what is the most important aspect of the mark,” she says. But she points out that there are other ways to coordinate the expression of large groups of genes, such as microRNAs, small bits of RNA that do not code for proteins and that help to silence genes. “I don't know that m6A is the only way that you could do that,” she says. Although scientists have long known that RNA carries a host of modifications that decorate all four of its bases, mammalian DNA seemed to have only a few marks, all on cytosine. The most common modification in mammals, 5-methylcytosine or 5mC, is so important that it's often referred to as the 'fifth base', after A, C, T and G. But He wondered whether there might be other marks hiding in the genome. Bacteria carry the DNA equivalent of m6A — called N6-methyladenine or 6mA. “They use the methylation to distinguish between their own DNA or foreign DNA,” says Eric Greer, a biochemist at the Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts. But researchers struggled to confirm its presence in more complex organisms. In 2013, He's postdoc Fu had found an intriguing paper from the 1970s, which showed that algal DNA contains methylated adenine9. “Nobody ever knew the function, and nobody ever followed up,” Fu says. Fu and another postdoc, Guan-Zheng Luo, decided to take the investigation further and map the distribution of 6mA in the DNA of the alga Chlamydomonas. They found it in more than 14,000 genes. And the distribution wasn't random: 6mA clustered around the places where transcription begins. “We saw some periodic pattern of the peaks. It's like one peak after another,” Fu says. It might be promoting gene activation, they reasoned. Nearly 2,000 kilometres away in Boston, Greer and his colleagues had found 6mA in the genome of a worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. Greer, a postdoc at the time, had been studying epigenetic inheritance using a C. elegans mutant that becomes less fertile with each successive generation. He wanted to understand how this infertility is transmitted from one generation to the next. Caenorhabditis elegans had long been thought to lack methyl marks, but Greer decided to double-check using antibodies that can bind specific methylated bases. He and his colleagues didn't find any 5mC, but they did detect 6mA. What's more, the levels seemed to be higher in the less-fertile generations, “raising the possibility that it could indeed be a carrier of this non-genetic information”, he says. The result came as a surprise. Researchers had looked for 6mA in multicellular organisms before, but they weren't able to find it because it is present at such low levels. Greer's lab head, Yang Shi, knew that He had uncovered 6mA in algae, and asked him for help. When He heard what Shi had found, he was excited. “We decided we're going to do this together,” He says. A couple of months later, He met a researcher in China who had found 6mA in the fruit fly Drosophila. “I almost fell to the floor,” He says. In April 2015, the three papers came out simultaneously in Cell10, 11, 12. Andrew Xiao, who studies epigenetics at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, read the articles with interest. Xiao and his colleagues had identified 6mA in mammalian cells, but they hadn't published their results. “Literally we thought nobody will take interest in this field,” Xiao says. The Cell articles proved him wrong. “We realized we should hurry up.” A year later, Xiao and his colleagues showed that 6mA can be found at exceedingly low levels in mouse embryonic stem cells. When the researchers looked at the distribution of the mark, they found the strongest peaks on the X chromosome. Here, the mark seemed to be involved in silencing gene expression. The researchers also identified an enzyme that seems to be a 6mA eraser13. Xiao is still unravelling the function of 6mA. He says that it seems to be crucial at certain developmental stages, acting like a molecular switch — barely present one moment, then there's a surge, and then it disappears. “His paper was absolutely a bombshell,” says Samie Jaffrey, a researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College. “It really showed functional roles for 6mA.” Both He and Shi say they have also found 6mA in mammalian cells, but haven't yet published their results. However, the significance of 6mA isn't yet clear, Shi says. He points out that even with the latest technology, the modification is only borderline detectable and its precise location cannot be mapped. And the pattern of 6mA will probably vary from tissue to tissue. There are still big questions to untangle. Mamta Tahiliani, a geneticist at New York University School of Medicine in New York City calls the 6mA work “incredibly exciting”, but points out that researchers haven't yet shown that the mark passes from one generation of cells to its progeny, a hallmark of epigenetic modifications. As some researchers dive deep to try to understand the function of m6A and 6mA, others are looking for new modifications. Last year, He, Rechavi and their colleagues reported14 the discovery of another methyl mark on adenine in RNA called N1-methyladenosine (m1A). This mark also seems to promote translation, although the underlying mechanism is different from that of 6mA. He says it might also have a role in synchronizing transcripts for the transcriptome switch. Then, in January, Jaffrey and his colleagues reported on yet another kind of modification that occurs near the caps of mRNAs. The researchers found that mRNAs with this mark — called m6Am — are more stable because their caps are harder to remove15. “It's exciting to people that the landscape of potentially regulated messenger RNA modifications that might influence gene expression could be an order of magnitude more complex than we thought before,” Gilbert says. Along with these new discoveries also come scientific squabbles. Jaffrey's work15 suggests that FTO, which He identified as an m6A eraser, actually targets m6Am. And in October, He's group reported16 that the enzyme Xiao flagged as a 6mA eraser on DNA actually does a better job of stripping m1A off a particular type of RNA. But such ambiguities are to be expected in a field that's experiencing a scientific gold rush. “We are only in the beginning of the story,” Rechavi says. And as the techniques improve, scientists will be able to see these marks more clearly. The wealth of research possibilities makes Mason feel “euphoric”, he says. “It's like the most exciting time to be working in the field.”


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.technologyreview.com

The most fascinating and important news in technology and innovation delivered straight to your inbox, every day. The 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2017 We’ve chosen the ten most important technologies that are emerging this year. They will shape the world—by affecting the economy and our politics, improving medicine, and influencing culture. Some, such as 360-degree selfies and facial recognition payments, are available right now. Others, like hot solar cells and brain implants to reverse paralysis, will make their impact over the coming years. And one—the botnet of things—isn’t even a positive force. But they are all, in their own way, vitally important. Check them out. Do you need The Download? Sign up here to get it for free in your inbox Life Gets Longer, For Some More Than Others Life expectancy is increasing—unequally. New research published in the Lancet shows that  the global population will all live longer by 2030, with the gap between men and women narrowing. But breaking the findings down by nation is fascinating: South Korean women will be first to hit a 90-year average, while the U.S. will have the lowest life expectancy of all the rich countries. Still, there’s hope for those who can pay: a recent study suggested that there may be no theoretical limit to life extension, and there's no shortage of researchers toiling to find the fountain of youth. Robots Win Friends Then Influence People Your next role model may be robotic. As artificial intelligence systems become increasingly human, their abilities to influence people also improve. And it’s working: researchers from Tel Aviv University show that children who play with a robotic companion acquire its unremitting can-do attitude, a new study in Australia is using humanoid robots to coach people to eat more healthily, and our own Will Knight has found that chatbots with social skills can make particularly compelling suggestions. China is about to get its first maximum-security biolab to study the world’s most dangerous pathogens—but not everyone's happy about it. What are cities doing to humans? Analysis of old bones sheds a little light on the impact of urbanization on our species. In the future, we might all need to get by with a little less H2O. This is what happens when you try to live a post-water life for a week. Having sucked the advertising revenue out of local media, should Facebook now help support it? There’s a surprising new source for therapeutic proteins: animal slobber. A new breed of headphones doesn’t just wirelessly inject sound into your ears—it also gives you selective hearing. How do you make a data center more efficient? Build it underwater. It sounds unlikely, but a new combination of drugs can regenerate hair cells in the inner ear to fight hearing loss. Lab-grown meat is still a little ways off. So if you can’t deny yourself a burger, but want to eat sustainably, how about a crowdfunded cow. Increasingly, progress bars are unnecessary. Here’s why some software still uses fake ones anyway. — Frank Volpe, a lead attorney for several U.S. fossil fuel companies on a climate change lawsuit, couldn’t answer a judge when asked if atmospheric carbon dioxide levels had reached 400 parts per million. (They have.)


Junge W.,University of Osnabrück | Nelson N.,Tel Aviv University
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Oxygenic photosynthesis is the principal converter of sunlight into chemical energy. Cyanobacteria and plants provide aerobic life with oxygen, food, fuel, fibers, and platform chemicals. Four multisubunit membrane proteins are involved: photosystem I (PSI), photosystem II (PSII), cytochrome b6f (cyt b6f), and ATP synthase (FOF1). ATP synthase is likewise a key enzyme of cell respiration. Over three billion years, the basic machinery of oxygenic photosynthesis and respiration has been perfected to minimize wasteful reactions. The proton-driven ATP synthase is embedded in a proton tight-coupling membrane. It is composed of two rotary motors/generators, FO and F1, which do not slip against each other. The proton-driven FO and the ATP-synthesizing F1 are coupled via elastic torque transmission. Elastic transmission decouples the two motors in kinetic detail but keeps them perfectly coupled in thermodynamic equilibrium and (time-averaged) under steady turnover. Elastic transmission enables operation with different gear ratios in different organisms. Copyright © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Nelson N.,Tel Aviv University | Junge W.,University of Osnabrück
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Oxygenic photosynthesis is the principal converter of sunlight into chemical energy on Earth. Cyanobacteria and plants provide the oxygen, food, fuel, fibers, and platform chemicals for life on Earth. The conversion of solar energy into chemical energy is catalyzed by two multisubunit membrane protein complexes, photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII). Light is absorbed by the pigment cofactors, and excitation energy is transferred among the antennae pigments and converted into chemical energy at very high efficiency. Oxygenic photosynthesis has existed for more than three billion years, during which its molecular machinery was perfected to minimize wasteful reactions. Light excitation transfer and singlet trapping won over fluorescence, radiation-less decay, and triplet formation. Photosynthetic reaction centers operate in organisms ranging from bacteria to higher plants. They are all evolutionarily linked. The crystal structure determination of photosynthetic protein complexes sheds light on the various partial reactions and explains how they are protected against wasteful pathways and why their function is robust. This review discusses the efficiency of photosynthetic solar energy conversion. Copyright © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Nussinov R.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Nussinov R.,Tel Aviv University | Tsai C.-J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology | Year: 2015

A key issue in drug discovery is how to reduce drug dosage and increase specificity while retaining or increasing efficacy, as high dosage is often linked to toxicity. There are two types of drugs on the market: orthosteric and allosteric. Orthosteric drugs can be noncovalent or covalent. The latter are advantageous because they may be prescribed in lower doses, but their potential off-target toxicity is a primary concern. The chief advantages of allosteric drugs are their higher specificity and their consequently lower chance of toxic side effects. Covalent allosteric drugs combine the pharmacological merits of covalent drugs with the additional benefit of the higher specificity of allosteric drugs. In a recent promising step in therapeutic drug development, allosteric, disulfide-tethered fragments successfully modulated the activity of a protein kinase and K-Ras. ©2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Tsai C.-J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Nussinov R.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Nussinov R.,Tel Aviv University
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2014

The question of how allostery works was posed almost 50 years ago. Since then it has been the focus of much effort. This is for two reasons: first, the intellectual curiosity of basic science and the desire to understand fundamental phenomena, and second, its vast practical importance. Allostery is at play in all processes in the living cell, and increasingly in drug discovery. Many models have been successfully formulated, and are able to describe allostery even in the absence of a detailed structural mechanism. However, conceptual schemes designed to qualitatively explain allosteric mechanisms usually lack a quantitative mathematical model, and are unable to link its thermodynamic and structural foundations. This hampers insight into oncogenic mutations in cancer progression and biased agonists' actions. Here, we describe how allostery works from three different standpoints: thermodynamics, free energy landscape of population shift, and structure; all with exactly the same allosteric descriptors. This results in a unified view which not only clarifies the elusive allosteric mechanism but also provides structural grasp of agonist-mediated signaling pathways, and guides allosteric drug discovery. Of note, the unified view reasons that allosteric coupling (or communication) does not determine the allosteric efficacy; however, a communication channel is what makes potential binding sites allosteric.


Nussinov R.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Nussinov R.,Tel Aviv University | Tsai C.-J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Ma B.,U.S. National Cancer Institute
Annual Review of Biophysics | Year: 2013

Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a robust technique for the comprehensive structural characterizations of biological macromolecular complexes in solution. Here, we present a coherent synthesis of SAXS theory and experiment with a focus on analytical tools for accurate, objective, and high-throughput investigations. Perceived SAXS limitations are considered in light of its origins, and we present current methods that extend SAXS data analysis to the er-resolution regime. In particular, we discuss hybrid structural methods, illustrating the role of SAXS in structure refinement with NMR and ensemble refinement with single-molecule FRET. High-throughput genomics and proteomics are far outpacing macromolecular structure determinations, creating ormation gaps between the plethora of newly identified genes, known structures, and the structure-function relationship in the underlying biological networks. SAXS can bridge these ormation gaps by providing a reliable, high-throughput structural characterization of macromolecular complexes under physiological conditions. Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews.


Patent
Tel Aviv University, Bar - Ilan University, Tel HaShomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Serives Ltd. | Date: 2011-06-28

A method of generating a category model for classifying medical images. The method comprises providing a plurality of medical images each categorized as one of a plurality of categorized groups, generating an index of a plurality of visual words according to a distribution of a plurality of local descriptors in each the image, modeling a category model mapping a relation between each visual word and at least one of the categorized groups according to the index, and outputting the category model for facilitating the categorization of an image based on local descriptors thereof.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2015

It has been robustly demonstrated that variations in the circulation of the middle atmosphere influence weather and climate throughout the troposphere all the way to the Earths surface. A key part of the coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere occurs through the propagation and breaking of planetary-scale Rossby waves and gravity waves. Limited observation of the middle atmosphere and these waves in particular limits the ability to faithfully reproduce the dynamics of the middle atmosphere in numerical weather prediction and climate models. ARISE2 capitalizes upon the work of the EU-funded first ARISE project combining for the first time international networks with complementary technologies such as infrasound, lidar and airglow. This joint network provided advanced data products that started to be used as benchmarks for weather forecast models. The ARISE network also allows enhanced and detailed monitoring of other extreme events in the Earth system such as erupting volcanoes, magnetic storms, tornadoes and tropical thunderstorms. In order to improve the ability of the network to monitor atmospheric dynamics, ARISE2 proposes to extend i) the existing network coverage in Africa and the high latitudes, ii) the altitude range in the stratosphere and mesosphere, iii) the observation duration using routine observation modes, and to use complementary existing infrastructures and innovative instrumentations. Data will be collected over the long term to improve weather forecasting to monthly or seasonal timescales, to monitor atmospheric extreme events and climate change. Compared to the first ARISE project, ARISE2 focuses on the link between models and observations for future assimilation of data by operational weather forecasting models. Among the applications, ARISE2 proposes infrasound remote volcano monitoring to provide notifications to civil aviation. The data portal will provide high-quality data and advanced data products to a wide scientific community.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.78M | Year: 2012

The aim of the project is to enhance the potential and output of vibrating machines and decrease their ecological footprint by implementation of parametric resonance (PR). Compared with the regular resonance, the PR is characterized by a much higher intensity within a wide range of frequencies. The advantage of a PR-based machine was demonstrated with a prototype PR screener (PRS) developed and produced by the project partners. The PRS demonstrated large amplitudes of high-frequency lateral oscillations and self-vibro-insulation and could process a naturally wet fine granular material. However, the PR is instable, and its use as an effective operating mode assumes, among others, creation of a stabilized instability regime. This is an inspiring and challenging high-tech task for combined efforts of applied mathematicians and engineers. The extraordinary PR features together with open nontrivial theoretical and engineering problems provide a motivation to undertake this interdisciplinary research. The main objectives are: to develop a technically sound control of PR amplitude; to develop mathematical models for the process of material separation with a PRS; to design PRS-related screens with given stiffness and minimal bending stresses, and to design other types of PR-based separators and crushers. The enhancement of vibro-cutting/drilling tools via the development of the underpinning theory and application of the PR principle will also be an objective. An exchange of fundamentals and technical concepts between the large-scale research and the micro/nano PR studies is assumed. The project activities will be based on close cooperation and targeted secondments between academia and industry. As a result, a large number of ESRs will have a unique opportunity to be trained through research, working on all interdisciplinary aspects, starting from the conceptual design and modelling and finishing with prototypes/demonstrators of new PR-based machines and tools.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMBP-18-2016 | Award Amount: 9.03M | Year: 2017

Sustainability of energy systems goes through high penetration of renewable energy with huge volumes of electricity to transmit over long distances. The most advanced solution is the HVDC Supergrid. But fault currents remain an issue even if DC circuit breakers have emerged. These are not satisfying, whereas Superconducting Fault Current Limiters (SCFCLs) using REBCO tapes bring an attractive solution. SCFCLs have already proved their outstanding performances in MVAC systems, with a few commercial devices in service. However, present REBCO conductors cannot be readily used at very high voltages: the electrical field under current limitation is too low and leads to too long tapes and high cost. FASTGRID aims to improve and modify the REBCO conductor, in particular its shunt, in order to significantly enhance (2 to 3 times) the electric field and so the economical SCFCL attractiveness. A commercial tape will be upgraded to reach a higher critical current and enhanced homogeneity as compared to todays standards. For safer and better operation, the tapes normal zone propagation velocity will be increased by at least a factor of 10 using the patented current flow diverter concept. The shunt surface will also be functionalized to boost the thermal exchanges with coolant. This advanced conductor will be used in a smart DC SCFCL module (1 kA 50 kV). This one will include new functionalities and will be designed as sub-element of a real HVDC device. In parallel to this main line of work, developments will be carried out on a promising breakthrough path: ultra high electric field tapes based on sapphire substrates. FASTGRID will bring this to the next levels of technology readiness. In conclusion, FASTGRID project aims at improving significantly existing REBCO conductor architecture to make SCFCLs economically attractive for HVDC Supergrids. However, availability of such an advanced conductor will have an impact on virtually all other applications of HTS tapes.


Patent
Tel Aviv University and Mor Research Applications Ltd. | Date: 2013-03-14

A method of analysis is disclosed. The method comprises: registering a target image to define a plurality of keypoints arranged in sets corresponding to polygons or linear segments in the target image; accessing a database of registered and annotated images, and employing a polygon-wise comparison between the target image and each database image; and using the comparison for projecting annotated locations from the database images into the target image.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.13. | Award Amount: 7.04M | Year: 2014

EUFAR aims at providing researchers with Open Access to the airborne facilities the most suited to their needs. EUFAR thus allocates Transnational Access to 21 installations, develops a culture of co-operation between scientists and operators, and organizes training courses to attract young scientists to airborne research. To improve the quality of the service, EUFAR supports the experts on airborne measurements, constitutes a central data base and develops standards and protocols for this data base to be fully interoperable with Earth observation data bases. EUFAR supports two Joint Research Activities dedicated to (i) the development of methodologies and tools for the integrated use of airborne hyperspectral imaging data and airborne laser scanning data and (ii) the development of robust calibration systems for the core gas-phase chemical measurements currently made on-board research aircraft. To optimise the use and development of airborne research infrastructure, the EUFAR Strategy and European Integration will (i) constitute a Strategic Advisory Committee in which representatives of research institutions will define scientific priorities, jointly support Open Access with in kind contributions to the operation and the harmonized development of the European fleet and (ii) constitute the EUFAR sustainable legal structure. Following the Innovation Union objectives, EUFAR will invite representatives of end user industries to participate in the SAC and constitute a Technology Transfer Office to support both market pull and technology push driven innovation. Workshops will be organized like Innovation Conventions where EUFAR experts and SMEs will closely interact and develop partnerships to transfer airborne research instruments, methodologies and software into new products.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.3 | Award Amount: 9.97M | Year: 2013

The BYEFOULING project will address high volume production of low toxic and environmentally friendly antifouling coatings for mobile and stationary maritime applications. The technology will fulfil the coating requirements as a result of the incorporation of novel antifouling agents and a new set of binders into coating formulations for maritime transportation and fishing vessels, floating devices and aquaculture. The main vision of BYEFOULING is to provide the means for industrial, cost-effective and robust manufacturing of antifouling coatings in Europe, where SMEs are both coating components developers and production technology providers. A set of procedures, guidelines and fabrication tools will be developed, enabling short time to market for new coating concepts. The main goal of BYEFOULING is to design, develop and upscale antifouling coatings with enhanced performance compared to current available products. The approach in BYEFOULING is to tackle the different stages of the biofouling process using innovative antifouling agents, covering surface-structured materials, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, natural biocides and microorganisms with antifouling properties. Encapsulation of the innovative compounds in smart nanostructured materials will be implemented to optimize coating performance and cost all along their life cycle. A proof-of-concept for the most promising candidates will be developed and demonstrators will be produced and tested on fields. BYEFOULING will combine a multidisciplinary leading research team from 11 European countries, which are already acting worldwide in the scientific community, with highly relevant and skilled technological partners, to build a consortium able to develop a full production line for antifouling coatings in Europe. Readily available low toxic and cost-effective antifouling coatings will increase the efficiency of maritime industry and be the enabling technology to realize new products.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.22M | Year: 2013

In spite of valuable approaches applied to get a broad understanding of genetic, epidemiologic and molecular and system-level biological principles of human aging, cognitive decline remains as one of the greatest health challenges of the old age, with nearly 50% of adults over 85 afflicted of Alzheimers disease. Furthermore, drug development has not performed as expected in clinical trials, at least in part because of an insufficient mechanistic understanding at the systemic level in human. AgedBrainSYSBIO is a timely and straightforward project based on the integration of available transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics data, addition of relevant novel sets of data, their modeling and experimental testing in both human, mouse and drosophila. The concept is to identify subsets of pathways with two unique druggable hallmarks: (i) the validation of interactions occurring locally in subregions of neurons and (ii) a human and/or primate accelerated evolutionary signature, using six interacting approaches: (1) the identification of interacting protein networks from recent Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease- Genome Wide Association Studies (LOAD-GWAS) data, (2) the experimental validation of interconnected networks working in subregion of a neuron (such as dendrites and dendritic spines), (3) the inclusion of these experimentally validated networks in larger networks obtained from available databases to extend possible protein interactions, (4) the identification of human and/or primate positive selection either in coding or in regulatory gene sequences,(5) the manipulation of these human and/or primate accelerated evolutionary interacting proteins in human neurons derived from induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) and modeling prediction challenged in drosophila and novel mouse transgenic models. This work will finally allow (6) the validation of new druggable targets and markers as a proof-of-concept towards the prevention and cure of aging cognitive defects.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 174.80K | Year: 2013

MEDCHANGe focuses on the analysis of the relationships between global networks (Internet), flows (virtual and spatial mobilities of individuals, information i.e. migration also in light of gender issues such those of Moroccon female migrants; climate change migrants; tourism and heritage valorisation flows) and geographical localities in terms of local development and marginalisation/segregation. MEDCHANGe will shed lights on changing relationships at the spatial scales of some Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain) due to the dialectics of global flows, borders crossing and local structural changes. Our network of scholars will work in synergy and complementarities thru joint field research, workshops and seminars by investigating both the spatial and behavioural origins and development of our topics and their contemporary changing dynamics in selected territorial cases (Tel Aviv, Algier, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Naples-Caserta, Zaragoza, Genoa). In order to achieve this goal, MEDCHANGe activities are structured into three main levels: 1) a theoretical-methodological level; 2) an empirical analysis of case studies in different countries; 3) an operational level. Theoretically we will contribute to the redefinition of the concepts that denote the field of investigation,Mediterranean changing relationships namely mobility, connectivity, gender, heritage,spatial justice, entrepreneurship, inclusion, climate migration, and the idea of the Mediterranean integration in a frame of uneven development. Empirically, we aims to exchange skills, knowledge, expertise, mobilities to document the different ways in which transformations of the Mediterranean cities and villages take place, and grasp the implications of the so-called virtual spatial mobilities in terms of inclusion, citizenship, security, intercultural dialogue. At the operational level we look forward for studying successful stories and practices of cooperation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS-2009-1.1.2.1 | Award Amount: 1.27M | Year: 2010

The vision that motivates PRACTIS is of a society that is aware of the evolving challenges to privacy posed by emerging technologies and is equipped to respond to them. PRACTIS will assess the potential impacts on privacy from emerging technologies and new scientific knowledge. It will propose ethical frameworks and legal procedures for coping with potential risks to privacy. It will explore novel policy options for addressing individuals changing privacy needs in the light of new technologies, as well as exploring new ethical frameworks in law and implementing guidelines for new technology or product development. Specifically, long-range horizon scanning focused on technologies that might impact on privacy will be conducted. Technologies such as nano, bio, info and cognition (NBIC) will be explored and new threats to privacy will be evaluated. In addition, trends in changing perceptions of privacy will be surveyed (including among high school students). These empirical studies will provide the basis for future scenarios of the privacy-technology interface which in turn will lead to the formulation of new ethical frameworks and legal considerations. Research methods will include interviews, expert surveys, focus groups, and brainstorming. PRACTIS will generate deeper knowledge and higher awareness among scholars and relevant stakeholders regarding the early identification of changes in privacy perceptions due to new technologies. An innovative idea to be explored in PRACTIS is the embedding of privacy issues in the development process of new technologies. By bringing leading experts in technology foresight and assessment together with specialists in ethical and legal aspects of privacy, PRACTIS offers a unique combination of disciplines that will produce new knowledge on the relationship between technology, privacy and ethics. Implications of the findings will be derived for policymakers, scholars, standardisation bodies and other stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-5 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2009

The TRIREME project aims at developing and implementing a multidisciplinary strategy for a systems-level analysis of a cornerstone of cellular homeostasis the DNA damage response (DDR). The DDR is a complex signaling network that is responsible for maintaining the stability and integrity of the cellular genome in the face of DNA damage. DDR defects underlie acute and chronic forms of human ailments that involve tissue degeneration, premature ageing, sensitivity to environmental agents and cancer predisposition. Importantly, many cancer treatment regimens are based on DNA damaging agents. Therefore, gaining systems-level understanding of the DDR is of paramount importance for human health. TRIREME brings together a multidisciplinary consortium of six world-leading researchers with long-standing expertise in the DDR, cell cycle control, functional genomics, proteomics and computational biology. It will focus on a prototypic DNA damage inducer ionizing radiation (IR), used extensively in cancer radiotherapy. The critical IR-induced DNA lesion is the double strand break, which vigorously activates the DDR. We will systematically analyze the IR-induced network in all its major layers: gene expression, microRNA expression, the proteome, and key protein post-translational modifications. The analysis is aimed at obtaining a global view of the DDR, and identifying new players in the network. The data obtained by these different approaches will be integrated into coherent models using novel computational algorithms developed for TRIREME. To the best of our knowledge, such an analysis has not been applied before to mammalian systems. The results are expected to have far-reaching ramifications in various biomedical fields, with special importance for clinical oncology.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.4.1.3.2 | Award Amount: 4.14M | Year: 2010

European Commission Vice President Gnter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy declared European industries need predictability in the flow of raw materials and stable prices to remain competitive. We are committed to improve the conditions of access to raw materials, be it within Europe or by creating a level playing field in accessing such materials from abroad. The global dimension of access to raw materials was on the agenda of the G8 Summit on June 2007. On that occasion a Declaration on Responsibility for raw materials: transparency and sustainable growth was adopted. Several national and international initiatives, both from the private or the institutional sectors, arised to address the sustainable development of the extractive industry and the reduction of its environmental footprint. Meanwhile, the extractive industry is facing increasing environmental and societal pressures, being regulatory or not, during all phases of a project, from exploration to exploitation and closure. The social acceptability of a project is among the major key issues to be dealt with. EO-MINERS scientific and technical objectives are to: - assess policy requirements at macro (public) and micro (mining companies) levels and define environmental, socio-economic, societal and sustainable development criteria and indicators to be possibly dealt using EO - use existing EO knowledge and carry out new developments on demonstration sites to further demonstrate the capabilities of integrated EO-based methods and tools in monitoring, managing and contributing reducing the environmental and societal footprints of the extractive industry during all phases of a mining project, from the exploration to the exploitation and closure stages - contribute making available reliable and objective information about affected ecosystems, populations and societies, to serve as a basis for a sound trialogue between industrialists, governmental organisations and stakeholder


Patent
Tel Aviv University and Mor Research Applications Ltd. | Date: 2015-10-05

In a method of analysis, a target image is registered to define a plurality of keypoints arranged in sets corresponding to polygons or linear segments in the target image. A database of registered and annotated images is accessed and a polygon-wise comparison between the target image and each database image is employed. The comparison is used for projecting annotated locations from the database images into the target image.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 109.20K | Year: 2012

The theory of asymptotic behaviour of operator semigroups is a comparatively new field serving as a common denominator for many other areas of mathematics, such as for instance the theory of partial differential equations, complex analysis, harmonic analysis and topology. The primary interest in the study of asymptotic properties of strongly continuous operator semi-groups comes from the fact that such semigroups solve abstract Cauchy problems which are often models for various phenomena arising in natural sciences, engineering and economics. Knowledge of the asymptotics of semigroups allows one to determine the character of long-time evolution of these phenomena. Despite an obvious importance, the asymptotic theory of one-parameter strongly continuous operator semigroups was for a very long time a collection of scattered facts rather than an organized area of research. The interest increased in the 1980s and the theory has witnessed a dramatic development over the past thirty years. Still there is a number of notorious open problems that have been left open. These missing blocks prevent the theory from being complete, slow down the development of the theory and discourage specialists from related fields to engage into the theory. The goal of the project is to give new impetus to the theory of asymptotic behavior of operator semigroups. To this aim we plan to extend and unify various aspects of the asymptotic theory of operator semigroups: stability, hyperbolicity, rigidity, boundedness, relations to Fredholm property, to work out new methods and to solve several long-standing open problems thus giving the theory its final shape. We intend to create an international forum that enables and promotes a multi- and cross- disciplinary exchange of ideas, methods and tools under the common umbrella of asymptotic theory of operator semigroups. Thus we expect that, moreover, a wide range of modern analysis will benefit from the project.


A Europe-wide consortium of experimental biologists, biomathematicians, biostatisticians, computer scientists and clinical scientists will team up to approach cell death pathways in health and disease, placing particular emphasis on cancer and AIDS. The consortium will create a unique database integrating existing and accumulating knowledge on lethal signal transduction pathways leading to apoptosis or non-apoptotic (necrotic, autophagic, mitotic) cell death, perform data mining to integrate system-wide analyses on cell death (genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, lipidome data), and use high-throughput methods (omics, CHiP-chip and genome-wide siRNA screens) for the experimental exploration of death pathways in human cell lines in vitro and in relevant disease models (in vitro in human cells and in vivo in mice and Drosophila). In addition, the consortium will establish mathematical models of lethal pathways to devise algorithms that predict apoptosis susceptibility and resistance, obtain data (genome, transcriptome, proteome, lipidome) on clinical samples (cancer cell lines, cancer tissues, serum, and blood samples) and perform biostatistical analyses on them in order to demonstrate the contribution of apoptotic process in human cancers and AIDS. Then, the consortium will integrate the knowledge into mathematical models for the optimal interpretation of clinical data, aiming at optimal diagnostic and prognostic performance as well as at the identification of possible therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer and AIDS.


Patent
Corebone Ltd. and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2011-09-22

This invention provides a method for producing bioactive coral bone graft substitutes and to products obtained thereby.


Patent
Tel Aviv University and Mor Research Applications Ltd. | Date: 2011-07-11

The present: invention reveals a strong correlation between FGL-2 prothrombinase activity levels and the presence of a malignant proliferative disorder in a subject. Thus, the present invention provides FGL-2 prothrombinase activity as a diagnostic tool for malignancy.


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

Arsenic is the leading freshwater contaminant on the planet, affecting millions of people worldwide and causing an untold number of deaths every year. Removing arsenic from groundwater and freshwater is a major challenge still facing scientists and policymakers. Now a new Tel Aviv University study published in Nature Communications sheds light on a unique biological model of arsenic detoxification. According to the new research, the Entotheonella bacterium that inhabits the Theonella swinhoei sponge is one of the only known cases of a bacterium protecting its host from metal poisoning. Entotheonella safeguards these sponges against the dangers of arsenic and another common toxin, barium. "This particular sponge species, which is among the most ancient animals inhabiting the earth today, is home to a very diverse, very crowded number of microorganisms," said Prof. Micha Ilan of the Department of Zoology at TAU's Faculty of Life Sciences, who led the study. "These sedentary animals evolved to contain an in-house arsenal of chemicals and associated microbiota to deal with predators and pathologies." While studying the biology of the sponge, which dwells in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific Ocean, Prof. Ilan and his colleague Dr. Boaz Mayzel discovered the curious ability of these sponges to accumulate and concentrate a million times more arsenic than that found in seawater. The results of that study were published in PLOS One in 2014. Dr. Ray Keren, also of TAU's Department of Zoology and co-author of the new research with Dr. Mayzel, suspected a bacterium was involved in the detoxification. Indeed, after extensive testing, a single bacterial species was found to drive the accumulation of both arsenic and barium. "We have not only discovered that a single bacterial species was the accumulator of both arsenic and barium. We have also found that this bacterium mineralizes the toxic elements, transforming them into inert products within its cells in a controlled manner," said Dr. Keren. "Sponges are eaten by turtles and worms, and even though they are exploding with arsenic, the bacteria renders them non-toxic. They become biologically inert. It is a very unique biological model." The TAU scientists, in collaboration with Prof. Boaz Pokroy of the Technion Institute of Science and Dr. Sirine Fakra of the Advanced Light Source in the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, harnessed cutting-edge technology to validate their initial findings, which were procured using the backscatter mode of a scanning electron microscope. "Prof. Pokroy took a sample of Entotheonella to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility within a week of seeing that first image," said Dr. Keren. "There, he saw that barium is mineralized as barite and arsenic formed smaller peaks of an unknown mineral." Subsequent diffraction analysis revealed that the mineral, crystalline arsenic, was in fact calcium arsenate. Dr. Fakra then validated the presence of these minerals under subfreezing cryogenic conditions. "To render this unique detox method applicable to other situations, we need to somehow get rid of the sponge," said Prof. Ilan. "In other words, there is a lot more work to be done before we, human beings, can capitalize on this." The researchers are currently researching the mechanism the bacterium uses to control the mineralization of the elements. "Once we identify the enzymes involved in the process, we can either look for them in bacteria in polluted water or find a way to grow Entotheonella in polluted areas," said Dr. Keren. 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.


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.


News Article | February 14, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

—If anyone in the Near East had owned smartphones 2,700 years ago, they might have noticed something very weird. Though compasses seem pretty steady, the orientation and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field vary sharply over time, sometimes shifting in the geological blink of an eye. A new study took advantage of conveniently time-stamped clay pots to create the most detailed reconstruction of the historical magnetic field yet, revealing some mysterious behaviors. Direct measurements of this vital planetary shield date back almost two centuries, during which time we’ve seen the field weaken by about 10 percent, prompting some scientists to wonder if we’re at the beginning of a periodic flip, where north becomes south and south becomes north. Other recent reminders of the field’s dynamic nature include the magnetic north pole wandering over 900 miles since 1990, and at least four “geomagnetic jerks” within the last fifty years, where the field’s rate of change jumped suddenly before returning to normal. At the opposite time extreme from these very-short-term jerks are the multi-million year trends recorded in the ocean floor. Scientists can study fossilized remnants of the magnetic field at the bottom of the sea, thanks to iron-laden minerals that line up with the field when molten, and get locked into that orientation upon cooling. Those deep-underwater records show evidence of pole-flips going back about 175 million years. But intermediate trends are harder to observe. Fortunately, the kings of ancient Judah have come to the rescue. In their efforts to keep accurate records for tax collection, they inadvertently left us magnetic records – baked into ceramics. Fired clay pots, like seafloor lava vents, preserve a record of the magnetic field as they cool. While most ancient pottery pieces are hard to date, a number of jugs found near Jerusalem bear administrative stamps on their handles that can be referenced against the historical record from the 8th to 2nd century BC. "This was the system of the king in Jerusalem to be able to collect tax efficiently," study author Erez Ben-Yosef, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University, told Live Science. "We are actually benefiting from a good bureaucratic system, the ancient IRS.” Thanks to this historical accident, the team assembled what they call an “unparalleled record of the geomagnetic field intensity.” (Intensity, but not direction, since no one knows which way the pots were facing when fired.) "Our research shows that the field is very fluctuating," Dr. Ben-Yosef told Live Science. They identified a 50 percent spike in the late 8th century BC bringing the field to almost twice what it is today, after which it rapidly lost almost a third of its strength in just over three decades. The ancient Judeans probably didn’t bat an eye, but such a fluctuation would wreak havoc on our modern satellites and electronics. However, Ben-Yosef sees good news in this new understanding of our unexpectedly active magnetosphere. "It fluctuates quite rapidly, so there is nothing to worry about," he explained to Live Science. With jumps and falls in the 30 to 50 percent range, our recent 10 percent decline may not necessarily indicate an imminent pole reversal, and the danger that would entail. So what is the magnetic field, anyway? The Earth’s magnetic field has helped sailors navigate for centuries, and protected life from harsh cosmic radiation for billions of years, but key mysteries still surround it. Scientific consensus says that liquid iron currents turn the planet’s outer core into a kind of electromagnet, generating a field that starts from the center of the Earth and extends hundreds of thousands of miles into space. But much is unknown about the precise fluid dynamics that create the field, and the results of this study pose new questions. If correct, the intensity of the Judean spike pushes the boundaries of what some geophysical models predict the Earth should be capable of, suggesting those models may need an update. In fact, most science disciplines would benefit from a better understanding of this literally global phenomenon, and any capacity to predict future field fluctuations could help scientists and engineers protect our intricate communications infrastructure. "This is related to various different phenomena, from biology, Earth sciences, geophysics, atmospheric sciences and archaeology," Ben-Yosef told Live Science.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: spaceref.com

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious. Fewer than two dozen have been identified in the past decade using giant radio telescopes such as the 1,000-foot dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Of those, only one has been pinpointed to originate from a galaxy about 3 billion light-years away. The other known FRBs seem to also come from distant galaxies, but there is no obvious reason that, every once in a while, an FRB wouldn't occur in our own Milky Way galaxy too. If it did, astronomers suggest that it would be "loud" enough that a global network of cell phones or small radio receivers could "hear" it. "The search for nearby fast radio bursts offers an opportunity for citizen scientists to help astronomers find and study one of the newest species in the galactic zoo," says theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Previous FRBs were detected at radio frequencies that match those used by cell phones, Wi-Fi, and similar devices. Consumers could potentially download a free smartphone app that would run in the background, monitoring appropriate frequencies and sending the data to a central processing facility. "An FRB in the Milky Way, essentially in our own back yard, would wash over the entire planet at once. If thousands of cell phones picked up a radio blip at nearly the same time, that would be a good sign that we've found a real event," explains lead author Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University. Finding a Milky Way FRB might require some patience. Based on the few, more distant ones, that have been spotted so far, Maoz and Loeb estimate that a new one might pop off in the Milky Way once every 30 to 1,500 years. However, given that some FRBs are known to burst repeatedly, perhaps for decades or even centuries, there might be one alive in the Milky Way today. If so, success could become a yearly or even weekly event. A dedicated network of specialized detectors could be even more helpful in the search for a nearby FRB. For as little as $10 each, off-the-shelf devices that plug into the USB port of a laptop or desktop computer can be purchased. If thousands of such detectors were deployed around the world, especially in areas relatively free from Earthly radio interference, then finding a close FRB might just be a matter of time. This work has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In both groups, recreational sun exposure, black hair-dye use, a history of hospitalization for infection, and having a first-degree relative with a blood cancer were associated with B-NHL. Each group had unique risk factors too. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), tumors which may originate from B or T lymphocytes, account for approximately 3% of the worldwide cancer burden. Most epidemiological studies of NHL have been carried out in North American and European populations, with a few focusing on East Asian populations. Very few epidemiological studies have been conducted on B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) in Middle Eastern populations. Since Israelis and Palestinians represent genetically and culturally diverse populations living in geographic proximity, research analyzing their risk factors can enrich our understanding of genes and environment in the causation of lymphoma. Despite sharing the same ecosystem, the populations differ in terms of lifestyle, health behaviors and medical systems. Yet both populations report high incidences of NHL, which represents the fifth most common malignancy in Israel and the eighth most common malignancy among West Bank Palestinians. (As of 2012, Israel also ranked first in the world in NHL incidence rates.) Now, Israeli and Palestinian researchers have conducted a large scale epidemiological study examining risk factors for B-NHL and its subtypes in these two populations. The team was led by Prof. Ora Paltiel, Director of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, in the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, and a Senior Physician in Hadassah's Hematology Department. Recruiting from both the Palestinian Arab and Israeli Jewish populations, the researchers looked at medical history, environmental and lifestyle factors among 823 people with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and 808 healthy controls. Using data from questionnaires, pathology review, serology and genotyping, they uncovered some risk factors common to both populations and other factors unique to each population. The data, reported in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, showed that in both populations, overall B-NHL was associated with recreational sun exposure, black hair-dye use, a history of hospitalization for infection, and having a first-degree relative with a blood cancer. An inverse association was noted with alcohol use. Some exposures, including smoking and greater-than-monthly indoor pesticide use, were associated with specific subtypes of B-NHL. The data also pointed to differences between the populations. Among Palestinian Arabs only, risk factors included gardening and a history of herpes, mononucleosis, rubella, or blood transfusion, while these factors were not identified in the Israeli Jewish population. In contrast, risk factors that applied to Israeli Jews only included growing fruits and vegetables, and self-reported autoimmune diseases. The researchers concluded that differences in the observed risk factors by ethnicity could reflect differences in lifestyle, medical systems, and reporting patterns, while variations by lymphoma subtypes infer specific causal factors for different types of the disease. These findings require further investigation as to their mechanisms. The fact that risk factors operate differently in different ethnic groups raises the possibility of gene-environment interactions, that is, that environmental exposures act differently in individuals of different genetic backgrounds. But this divergence may reflect differences in diet, cultural habits, socioeconomic, environmental and housing conditions, medical services, exposure to infections in early life or other factors. This study reflects a unique joint scientific effort involving Israeli and Palestinian investigators, and demonstrates the importance of cooperative research even in politically uncertain climates. Cancer epidemiology will be enriched through the broadening of analytic research to include under-studied populations from a variety of ethnicities and geographic regions. "Apart from the scientific contribution that this research provides in terms of understanding risk factors for NHL, the study entails an important research cooperation among many institutions. The study provided opportunities for training Palestinian and Israeli researchers, and will provide for intellectual interaction for years to come. The data collected will also provide a research platform for the future study of lymphoma. Epidemiologic research has the potential to improve and preserve human health, and it can also serve as a bridge to dialogue among nations," said Prof. Ora Paltiel, Director of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and a Senior Physician in Hadassah's Hematology Department. Participating institutions in this research included: Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and Depts. of Hematology and Pathology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center; Dept. of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Dept. of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al Quds University; Cancer Care Center, Augusta Victoria Hospital; Beit Jalla Hospital; Department of Statistics, Hebrew University; Department of Primary Health Care, Palestinian Ministry of Health; Tisch Cancer Institute and Institute for Translational Epidemiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Rambam Medical Center and Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion; Chaim Sheba Medical Center and Meir Medical Center and Tel Aviv University.


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.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MALVERN, Pa., Feb. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., (NYSE:VSH), one of the world's largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components, announced the appointment, effective February 23, 2017, of a new independent member to its Board of Directors, Mr. Raanan Zilberman. Marc Zandman, Executive Chairman and Chief Business Development Officer, said of the appointment, “We are thrilled to have Raanan join the Board. He will offer significant business experience to our Board, particularly in light of his leadership experience as CEO of several organizations with international operations and reach. Raanan also brings to the Board familiarity with the Vishay organization from his tenure, through 2004, as President of Vishay Transducers business following Vishay’s acquisition of Tedea Huntleigh. We look forward to the benefits his expertise and insights will provide.” Mr. Zilberman recently joined Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ:CSTE), manufacturer of high quality engineered quartz surfaces, as its Chief Executive Officer; prior to that, and in addition to his experience at Vishay from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Zilberman served as CEO of Eden Springs, a Swiss-based leading provider of water & coffee services to European workplaces; CEO of Danone Springs, a joint venture between Danone, a global food company, and Eden Springs, with a European-wide water production and distribution footprint; CEO of Tedea Huntleigh, a company listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange engaged in the production and marketing of electromechanical sensors; and COO of Tadiran Appliances, a former subsidiary of Carrier and United Technologies, which manufactures air conditioners and refrigerators. Mr. Zilberman holds a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Ben Gurion University, Israel and an executive M.B.A. from the Recanati Business School at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., a Fortune 1000 Company listed on the NYSE (VSH), is one of the world's largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors (diodes, MOSFETs, and infrared optoelectronics) and passive electronic components (resistors, inductors, and capacitors). These components are used in virtually all types of electronic devices and equipment, in the industrial, computing, automotive, consumer, telecommunications, military, aerospace, power supplies, and medical markets. Vishay's product innovations, successful acquisition strategy, and “one-stop shop” service have made it a global industry leader. Vishay can be found on the Internet at http://www.vishay.com. Statements contained herein that relate to the Company’s future performance, including statements with respect to the impact of the Company's organizational structure, are forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on current expectations only, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, many of which are beyond our control. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results, performance, or achievements may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include: general business and economic conditions; delays or difficulties in implementing our cost reduction strategies; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; changes in applicable domestic and foreign tax regulations; and other factors affecting our operations that are set forth in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual reports on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


News Article | February 14, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

—If anyone in the Near East had owned smartphones 2,700 years ago, they might have noticed something very weird. Though compasses seem pretty steady, the orientation and strength of the Earth’s magnetic field vary sharply over time, sometimes shifting in the geological blink of an eye. A new study took advantage of conveniently time-stamped clay pots to create the most detailed reconstruction of the historical magnetic field yet, revealing some mysterious behaviors. Direct measurements of this vital planetary shield date back almost two centuries, during which time we’ve seen the field weaken by about 10 percent, prompting some scientists to wonder if we’re at the beginning of a periodic flip, where north becomes south and south becomes north. Other recent reminders of the field’s dynamic nature include the magnetic north pole wandering over 900 miles since 1990, and at least four “geomagnetic jerks” within the last fifty years, where the field’s rate of change jumped suddenly before returning to normal. At the opposite time extreme from these very-short-term jerks are the multi-million year trends recorded in the ocean floor. Scientists can study fossilized remnants of the magnetic field at the bottom of the sea, thanks to iron-laden minerals that line up with the field when molten, and get locked into that orientation upon cooling. Those deep-underwater records show evidence of pole-flips going back about 175 million years. But intermediate trends are harder to observe. Fortunately, the kings of ancient Judah have come to the rescue. In their efforts to keep accurate records for tax collection, they inadvertently left us magnetic records – baked into ceramics. Fired clay pots, like seafloor lava vents, preserve a record of the magnetic field as they cool. While most ancient pottery pieces are hard to date, a number of jugs found near Jerusalem bear administrative stamps on their handles that can be referenced against the historical record from the 8th to 2nd century BC. "This was the system of the king in Jerusalem to be able to collect tax efficiently," study author Erez Ben-Yosef, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University, told Live Science. "We are actually benefiting from a good bureaucratic system, the ancient IRS.” Thanks to this historical accident, the team assembled what they call an “unparalleled record of the geomagnetic field intensity.” (Intensity, but not direction, since no one knows which way the pots were facing when fired.) "Our research shows that the field is very fluctuating," Dr. Ben-Yosef told Live Science. They identified a 50 percent spike in the late 8th century BC bringing the field to almost twice what it is today, after which it rapidly lost almost a third of its strength in just over three decades. The ancient Judeans probably didn’t bat an eye, but such a fluctuation would wreak havoc on our modern satellites and electronics. However, Ben-Yosef sees good news in this new understanding of our unexpectedly active magnetosphere. "It fluctuates quite rapidly, so there is nothing to worry about," he explained to Live Science. With jumps and falls in the 30 to 50 percent range, our recent 10 percent decline may not necessarily indicate an imminent pole reversal, and the danger that would entail. So what is the magnetic field, anyway? The Earth’s magnetic field has helped sailors navigate for centuries, and protected life from harsh cosmic radiation for billions of years, but key mysteries still surround it. Scientific consensus says that liquid iron currents turn the planet’s outer core into a kind of electromagnet, generating a field that starts from the center of the Earth and extends hundreds of thousands of miles into space. But much is unknown about the precise fluid dynamics that create the field, and the results of this study pose new questions. If correct, the intensity of the Judean spike pushes the boundaries of what some geophysical models predict the Earth should be capable of, suggesting those models may need an update. In fact, most science disciplines would benefit from a better understanding of this literally global phenomenon, and any capacity to predict future field fluctuations could help scientists and engineers protect our intricate communications infrastructure. "This is related to various different phenomena, from biology, Earth sciences, geophysics, atmospheric sciences and archaeology," Ben-Yosef told Live Science.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists and engineers must communicate with colleagues, public and governmental agencies, the business community, and the public. They often lack training for this task, and find it challenging. Communicating Science: a practical guide for engineers and physical scientists fills this gap, and helps scientists and engineers present their work effectively and efficiently. Communicating Science is a textbook and reference on scientific writing oriented primarily at researchers in the physical sciences and engineering. Written from the perspective of an experienced researcher, author, and editor, it emphasizes the connection between good scientific thinking, good organization, and good writing. This book draws on the authors' collective experience teaching both native and non-native English writers. The anchor chapter of this text provides guidance on writing research reports, including theses, journal papers, and internal reports. The research report is the most important writing task for graduate students and early stage researchers. Communicating Science explains the structural elements of a research report and provides extensive examples for constructing key sentences. Chapters on further forms of communication among scientific colleagues--including peer reviews, lectures, posters, and research proposals--present analogies relative to a research report and provide additional examples. Researchers also need to communicate with businesses, governments, and the public, often with the aid of specialists such as business analysts, patent attorneys and publicists. Additional chapters introduce the researcher to business plans, patents, and the popular media, with the aim of facilitating efficient collaboration with these specialists. The book also includes a chapter on preparing curricula vitae and job hunting for early stage researchers. Finally, an extensive chapter, "Writing Well", offers advice on writing strategies and guidance on scientific English usage for the benefit of both native English scientific writers and those whose first language is not English. Communicating Science is the book for graduate students to read before they write their thesis or first journal paper, and can be purchased from Amazon, major academic booksellers, or directly from the World Scientific Publishing. This book retails for US$68 / £56 (hardback) and US$32 / £27 (paperback) at major bookstores. To know more about the book, or to request for an inspection copy, visit http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10145. Raymond L. Boxman received his SB, SM and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, USA. His research specialty is plasma engineering and he has extensively investigated the vacuum arc for thin film deposition and submerged discharges for nano-particle generation and water treatment. After two years at the General Electric Company in Philadelphia, USA, Ray researched and taught in the Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University, Israel, for 40 years. Ray was a department head and vice dean at Tel Aviv University. For 16 years, he taught a course required for all engineering PhD students on Technical Writing in English. Ray has presented 490 scientific papers at conferences or in journals, edited the Handbook of Vacuum Arc Science and Technology, and has 11 patents. He chaired several international conferences, and served on the editorial board of several plasma journals. He founded the Israel Plasma Science and Technology Association and Clear Wave Ltd. Ray is a Fellow of IEEE and a recipient of the Joffee Foundation Award and the Walter Dyke Award. Edith Boxman received a BA in Economics and English Literature from Tufts University, USA, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her work and volunteer activities have included extensive translating and editing. Ray and Edith together present short courses, tutorials, and workshops on scientific writing. World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 130 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation, US National Academies Press, as well as its subsidiary, the Imperial College Press, amongst others, to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www. . For more information, contact Amanda Yun at heyun@wspc.com


Lotem A.,Tel Aviv University | Halpern J.Y.,Cornell University
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

A fundamental and frequently overlooked aspect of animal learning is its reliance on compatibility between the learning rules used and the attentional and motivational mechanisms directing them to process the relevant data (called here data-acquisition mechanisms). We propose that this coordinated action, which may first appear fragile and error prone, is in fact extremely powerful, and critical for understanding cognitive evolution. Using basic examples from imprinting and associative learning, we argue that by coevolving to handle the natural distribution of data in the animal's environment, learning and data-acquisition mechanisms are tuned jointly so as to facilitate effective learning using relatively little memory and computation. We then suggest that this coevolutionary process offers a feasible path for the incremental evolution of complex cognitive systems, because it can greatly simplify learning. This is illustrated by considering how animals and humans can use these simple mechanisms to learn complex patterns and represent them in the brain. We conclude with some predictions and suggested directions for experimental and theoretical work. © 2012 The Royal Society.


Yang W.-Y.,University of California at Los Angeles | Novembre J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Eskin E.,University of California at Los Angeles | Halperin E.,International Computer Science Institute | Halperin E.,Tel Aviv University
Nature Genetics | Year: 2012

Characterizing genetic diversity within and between populations has broad applications in studies of human disease and evolution. We propose a new approach, spatial ancestry analysis, for the modeling of genotypes in two-or three-dimensional space. In spatial ancestry analysis (SPA), we explicitly model the spatial distribution of each SNP by assigning an allele frequency as a continuous function in geographic space. We show that the explicit modeling of the allele frequency allows individuals to be localized on the map on the basis of their genetic information alone. We apply our SPA method to a European and a worldwide population genetic variation data set and identify SNPs showing large gradients in allele frequency, and we suggest these as candidate regions under selection. These regions include SNPs in the well-characterized LCT region, as well as at loci including FOXP2, OCA2 and LRP1B. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Zohar E.,Tel Aviv University | Cirac J.I.,Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | Reznik B.,Tel Aviv University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We suggest a method to simulate compact quantum electrodynamics using ultracold atoms in optical lattices, which includes dynamical Dirac fermions in 2+1 dimensions. This allows us to test the dynamical effects of confinement as well as the deformations and breaking of two-dimensional flux loops, and to observe the Wilson-loop area law. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Zohar E.,Tel Aviv University | Cirac J.I.,Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | Reznik B.,Tel Aviv University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Non-Abelian gauge theories play an important role in the standard model of particle physics, and unfold a partially unexplored world of exciting physical phenomena. In this Letter, we suggest a realization of a non-Abelian lattice gauge theory - SU(2) Yang-Mills in (1+1) dimensions, using ultracold atoms. Remarkably, and in contrast to previous proposals, in our model gauge invariance is a direct consequence of angular momentum conservation and thus is fundamental and robust. Our proposal may serve as well as a starting point for higher-dimensional realizations. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Csaki C.,Cornell University | Kuflik E.,Tel Aviv University | Volansky T.,Tel Aviv University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We present a new paradigm for supersymmetric theories with R-parity violation (RPV). At high scale, R parity is conserved in the visible sector but spontaneously broken in the supersymmetry-breaking sector. The breaking is then dynamically mediated to the visible sector and is manifested via nonrenormalizable operators at low energy. Consequently, RPV operators originate from the Kähler potential rather than the superpotential, and are naturally suppressed by the supersymmetry-breaking scale, explaining their small magnitudes. A new set of nonholomorphic RPV operators is identified and found to often dominate over the standard RPV ones. We study the relevant low-energy constraints arising from baryon-number violating processes, proton decay, and flavor changing neutral currents, which may all be satisfied if a solution to the standard model flavor puzzle is incorporated. The chiral structure of the RPV operators implies new and distinct collider signatures, indicating the need to alter current techniques in searching for RPV at the LHC. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Barone V.,Central Michigan University | Hod O.,Tel Aviv University | Peralta J.E.,Central Michigan University | Scuseria G.E.,Rice University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2011

Over the last several years, low-dimensional graphene derivatives, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons, have played a central role in the pursuit of a plausible carbon-based nanotechnology. Their electronic properties can be either metallic or semiconducting depending purely on morphology, but predicting their electronic behavior has proven challenging. The combination of experimental efforts with modeling of these nanometer-scale structures has been instrumental in gaining insight into their physical and chemical properties and the processes involved at these scales. Particularly, approximations based on density functional theory have emerged as a successful computational tool for predicting the electronic structure of these materials. In this Account, we review our efforts in modeling graphitic nanostructures from first principles with hybrid density functionals, namely the Heyd-Scuseria-Ernzerhof (HSE) screened exchange hybrid and the hybrid meta-generalized functional of Tao, Perdew, Staroverov, and Scuseria (TPSSh).These functionals provide a powerful tool for quantitatively studying structure-property relations and the effects of external perturbations such as chemical substitutions, electric and magnetic fields, and mechanical deformations on the electronic and magnetic properties of these low-dimensional carbon materials. We show how HSE and TPSSh successfully predict the electronic properties of these materials, providing a good description of their band structure and density of states, their work function, and their magnetic ordering in the cases in which magnetism arises. Moreover, these approximations are capable of successfully predicting optical transitions (first and higher order) in both metallic and semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes of various chiralities and diameters with impressive accuracy. This versatility includes the correct prediction of the trigonal warping splitting in metallic nanotubes.The results predicted by HSE and TPSSh provide excellent agreement with existing photoluminescence and Rayleigh scattering spectroscopy experiments and Green's function-based methods for carbon nanotubes. This same methodology was utilized to predict the properties of other carbon nanomaterials, such as graphene nanoribbons. Graphene nanoribbons may be viewed as unrolled (and passivated) carbon nanotubes. However, the emergence of edges has a crucial impact on the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons. Our calculations have shown that armchair nanoribbons are predicted to be nonmagnetic semiconductors with a band gap that oscillates with their width. In contrast, zigzag graphene nanoribbons are semiconducting with an electronic ground state that exhibits spin polarization localized at the edges of the carbon nanoribbon. The spatial symmetry of these magnetic states in graphene nanoribbons can give rise to a half-metallic behavior when a transverse external electric field is applied. Our work shows that these properties are enhanced upon different types of oxidation of the edges. We also discuss the properties of rectangular graphene flakes, which present spin polarization localized at the zigzag edges. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Peer D.,Laboratory of NanoMedicine | Peer D.,Tel Aviv University
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2013

RNA interference (RNAi) has advanced into clinical trials. In spite of the progress made in systemic RNAi delivery to the liver and solid tumors, delivery of RNAi to leukocytes remains challenging and less advanced. Manipulating leukocyte function with RNAi holds great promise for streamlining the drug discovery process by facilitating in vivo drug target validation and for facilitating the development of RNAi-based therapy platforms for leukocyte-implicated diseases, such as blood cancer, inflammation, and leukocyte-tropic viral infections. In this review, progress in delivery strategies of RNAi payloads to leukocytes, which are notoriously difficult cells to transduce with RNAi, is discussed with special emphasis on the challenges and potential opportunities for manipulating leukocyte function with RNAi. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Zohar E.,Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | Cirac J.I.,Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | Reznik B.,Tel Aviv University
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2015

Can high-energy physics be simulated by low-energy, non-relativistic, many-body systems such as ultracold atoms? Such ultracold atomic systems lack the type of symmetries and dynamical properties of high energy physics models: in particular, they manifest neither local gauge invariance nor Lorentz invariance, which are crucial properties of the quantum field theories which are the building blocks of the standard model of elementary particles. However, it turns out, surprisingly, that there are ways to configure an atomic system to manifest both local gauge invariance and Lorentz invariance. In particular, local gauge invariance can arise either as an effective low-energy symmetry, or as an exact symmetry, following from the conservation laws in atomic interactions. Hence, one could hope that such quantum simulators may lead to a new type of (table-top) experiments which will be used to study various QCD (quantum chromodynamics) phenomena, such as the confinement of dynamical quarks, phase transitions and other effects, which are inaccessible using the currently known computational methods. In this report, we review the Hamiltonian formulation of lattice gauge theories, and then describe our recent progress in constructing the quantum simulation of Abelian and non-Abelian lattice gauge theories in 1 + 1 and 2 + 1 dimensions using ultracold atoms in optical lattices. © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


White B.A.,Urbana University | Lamed R.,Tel Aviv University | Bayer E.A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Flint H.J.,University of Aberdeen
Annual Review of Microbiology | Year: 2014

Mammals rely entirely on symbiotic microorganisms within their digestive tract to gain energy from plant biomass that is resistant to mammalian digestive enzymes. Especially in herbivorous animals, specialized organs (the rumen, cecum, and colon) have evolved that allow highly efficient fermentation of ingested plant biomass by complex anaerobic microbial communities. We consider here the two most intensively studied, representative gut microbial communities involved in degradation of plant fiber: those of the rumen and the human large intestine. These communities are dominated by bacteria belonging to the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla. In Firmicutes, degradative capacity is largely restricted to the cell surface and involves elaborate cellulosome complexes in specialized cellulolytic species. By contrast, in the Bacteroidetes, utilization of soluble polysaccharides, encoded by gene clusters (PULs), entails outer membrane binding proteins, and degradation is largely periplasmic or intracellular. Biomass degradation involves complex interplay between these distinct groups of bacteria as well as (in the rumen) eukaryotic microorganisms. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Katz B.-Z.,Hematology Institute | Katz B.-Z.,Tel Aviv University
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2010

Multiple myeloma is an incurable hematological malignancy of terminally differentiated immunoglobulin-producing plasma cells. As a common presentation of the disease, the malignant plasma cells accumulate and proliferate in the bone marrow, where they disrupt normal hematopoiesis and bone physiology. Multiple myeloma cells and the bone marrow microenvironment are linked by a composite network of interactions mediated by soluble factors and adhesion molecules. Integrins and syndecan-1/CD138 are the principal multiple myeloma receptor systems of extracellular matrix components, as well as of surface molecules of stromal cells. CD44 and RHAMM are the major hyaluronan receptors of multiple myeloma cells. The SDF-1/CXCR4 axis is a key factor in the homing of multiple myeloma cells to the bone marrow. The levels of expression and activity of these adhesion molecules are controlled by cytoplasmic operating mechanisms, as well as by extracellular factors including enzymes, growth factors and microenvironmental conditions. Several signaling responses are activated by adhesive interactions of multiple myeloma cells, and their outcomes affect the survival, proliferation and migration of these cells, and in many cases generate a drug-resistant phenotype. Hence, the adhesion systems of multiple myeloma cells are attractive potential therapeutic targets. Several approaches are being developed to disrupt the activities of adhesion molecules in multiple myeloma cells, including small antagonist molecules, direct targeting by immunoconjugates, stimulation of immune responses against these molecules, and signal transduction inhibitors. These potential novel therapeutics may be incorporated into current treatment schemes, or directed against minimal residual malignant cells during remission. © 2010.


Zohar E.,Tel Aviv University | Cirac J.I.,Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | Reznik B.,Tel Aviv University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Recently, there has been much interest in simulating quantum field theory effects of matter and gauge fields. In a recent work, a method for simulating compact quantum electrodynamics (CQED) using Bose-Einstein condensates has been suggested. We suggest an alternative approach, which relies on single atoms in an optical lattice, carrying 2l+1 internal levels, which converges rapidly to CQED as l increases. That enables the simulation of CQED in 2+1 dimensions in both the weak and the strong coupling regimes, hence, allowing us to probe confinement as well as other nonperturbative effects of the theory. We provide an explicit construction for the case l=1 which is sufficient for simulating the effect of confinement between two external static charges. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.20. | Award Amount: 8.53M | Year: 2013

Advances in key economical and societal issues facing Europe, like transport, energy generation, climate change, or industrial, environmental and geophysical mixing processes are obstructed by the lack of understanding of turbulence. To date, models fail to explain many fundamental features of turbulence, from boundary layers and particle transport, to heat transport and turbulence in complex and quantum fluids. This has led several European countries to fund new large-scale turbulence facilities, unsurpassed in flow properties and measurement technologies. Currently these are not easily accessible to the larger EU scientific community. This inhibits the rapid advancement of research across Europe and hinders the optimal use of the resources, and their impact on the development of new advanced technologies and solutions. Recognizing this deficiency, the leading groups in turbulence research with members from 9 countries propose to form the European High-performance Infrastructures in Turbulence (EuHIT) within the Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3). 14 Top-notch European infrastructures agreed to provide the research community with transnational access to their facilities. Joint research activities of the consortium will innovate and explore new fundamental technologies that will ensure efficient and joint use of these research infrastructures by creating harmonised and enhanced interfaces, improving data processing methods, and optimizing the quality and increasing the quantity of the services provided to researchers from academia and industry alike. A networking and educational program will be established to foster cooperation among research infrastructures and the scientific community, to train the next generation researchers in using the most modern equipment and data analysis techniques, and thus to develop a more efficient and attractive European Research Area.


Patent
B. G. Negev Technologies And Applications Ltd. and Tel Aviv University | Date: 2014-02-05

A complex includes RNA and a positively charged modified polysaccharide selected from starch, amylose, amylopectin, galactan, chitosan, or dextrin. The complex can be formed into a pharmaceutical composition. The complex can be used in methods for RNA transfection, gene therapy and treatment of a disease, disorder or condition. The positively charged modified polysaccharide can be used in connection with RNA transfection into cells.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-LS2 | Award Amount: 2.37M | Year: 2014

Fungi are particularly challenging pathogens; because they and their human hosts are eukaryotes. We will study how new traits such as drugR arise rapidly using Candida albicans, the most prevalent fungal pathogen of humans. The work explores the ground-breaking concept that alterations in genome ploidy are prevalent in drugR isolates because these genome states promote persistence and drug resistance. We recently found that C. albicans, thought to be an obligate diploid, can form haploids. This represents a major paradigm shift both technologically and conceptually. We are poised to exploit this unique opportunity to reinvent genomic approaches for C. albicans by leveraging next generation sequencing, high throughput analyses and more traditional genetics. Because haploids are much less fit than heterozygous diploids, our working hypothesis is that changes in ploidy, including whole genome ploidy and aneuploidy, occur frequently under drug stress and that they make major contributions to the rapid appearance of genotypic and phenotypic diversity, in part by promoting persistence. The objectives of this proposal are to develop next-generation technologies that leverage haploids; to characterize the conditions and genes that promote ploidy transitions, especially in the presence of drug, in vitro and in vivo and to analyze their fitness consequences. This multi-disciplinary research program will integrate = approaches at the genetic, genomic, molecular, cellular and population levels and includes computational approaches to model evolutionary processes. The project will lead to unparalleled advances in tools for the research community, and important insights concerning how diversity arises rapidly. It will assist in efforts to design diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating fungal diseases, prividing insights into the rapid appearance of drug resistance in eukaryotic pathogens, and chemotherapy resistance in cancer cells.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: GC.NMP.2010-1 | Award Amount: 4.49M | Year: 2011

LABOHR aims to develop Ultra High-Energy battery systems for automotive applications making use of lithium or novel alloy anodes, innovative O2 cathode operating in the liquid phase and a novel system for harvesting O2 from air, which can be regenerated during their operative life without need of disassembling. LABOHR has 5 key objectives: (i) development of a green and safe electrolyte chemistry based on non-volatile, non-flammable ionic liquids (ILs); (ii) use of novel nanostructured high capacity anodes in combination with ionic liquid-based electrolytes; (iii) use of novel 3-D nanostructured O2 cathodes making use of IL-based O2 carriers/electrolytes with the goal to understand and improve the electrode and electrolyte properties and thus their interactions; (iv) development of an innovative device capable of harvesting dry O2 from air; and (v) construction of fully integrated rechargeable lithium-Air cells with optimized electrodes, electrolytes, O2-harvesting system and other ancillaries. Accordingly, LABOHR aims to overcome the energy limitation for the application of the present Li-ion technology in electric vehicles with the goal to: 1- perform frontier research and breakthrough work to position Europe as a leader in the developing field of high energy, environmentally benign and safe batteries and to maintain the leadership in the field of ILs; 2- develop appropriate electrolytes and nanostructured electrodes which combination allows to realize ultra-high energy batteries; 3- develop a battery system concept as well as prototypes of the key components (cell and O2-harvesting device) to verify the feasibility of automotive systems with: A) specific energy and power higher than 500 Wh/kg and 200 W/kg; B) coulombic efficiency higher than 99% during cycling; C) cycle life of 1,000 cycles with 40% maximum loss of capacity, cycling between 90% and 10% SOC; and D) evaluate their integration in electric cars and renewable energy systems.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-11-2015 | Award Amount: 6.45M | Year: 2016

Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases the world is currently facing, accounting for 7.6 million deaths in 2008 (WHO). Cancer is usually detected through advanced medical imaging. Early detection is very important as it increases the chances of survival and the potential for full recovery. Further, The high level of sophistication in treating cancer has led to a new unsolved problem, the differentiation between treatment effect, regrowth or pseudo-progression of the tumour. Here, we aim to develop and bring to the clinic a potentially disruptive new technology to characterize and image glucose delivery, uptake and metabolism in cancer. Recently we managed to demonstrate the sensitivity of a technique, named glucose-based Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (glucoCEST), to detect native (-D-glucose) glucose uptake in tumours. In addition, recent developments have shown glucose analogues, such as 3-oxy-methyl-D-glucose (3OMG) can be used as potential non-metabolisable tracers using the same technique. In this proposal, we aim to bring the combination of native D-glucose and 3-oxy-methyl-D-glucose as a combined examination to the clinic to assess cancer glucose uptake and metabolism, thereby providing a cheap, widely available, more comprehensive, non-invasive alternative to nuclear medicine techniques currently used for cancer assessment within Europe.

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