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Category
Technology Name
Briefcase
Scientist
1712
  • Prof. Yechiel Shai
1799
A new computer graphics tool for the efficient and robust deformation of 2D images was developed by the group of Prof. Lipman. Space deformation is an important tool in graphics and image processing, with applications ranging from image warping and character animation, to non-rigid registration and...

A new computer graphics tool for the efficient and robust deformation of 2D images was developed by the group of Prof. Lipman.

Space deformation is an important tool in graphics and image processing, with applications ranging from image warping and character animation, to non-rigid registration and shape analysis. Virtually all methods attempt to find maps that possess three key properties: smoothness, injectivity and shape preservation. Furthermore, for the purpose of warping and posing characters, the method should have interactive performance. However, there is no known method that possesses all of these properties.

Previous deformation models can be roughly divided into meshbased and meshless models. Mesh-based maps are predominantly constructed using linear finite elements, and are inherently not smooth, but can be made to look smooth by using highly dense elements. Although the methods for creating maps with controlled distortion exist, they are time-consuming, and dense meshes prohibit their use in an interactive manner. On the other hand, meshless maps are usually defined using smooth bases and hence are smooth themselves. Yet we are unaware of any known technique that ensures their injectivity and/or bounds on their distortion.

The new method presented here bridges the gap between mesh and meshless methods, by providing a generic framework for making any smooth function basis suitable for deformation.

Applications


  • Computer graphics and animation
  • Image registration for medical imaging, satellite imaging and military applications

Advantages


  • Robust, fast, efficient and scalable

  • Generic, can be applied to various scenarios

  • Possesses smoothness, injectivity and shape preservation with interactive performance


Technology's Essence


Deformation od 2D images is accomplished by enabling direct control over the distortion of the Jacobian during optimization, including preservation of orientation (to avoid flips). The method generates maps by constraining the Jacobian on a dense set of ”collocation” points, using an active-set approach. Only a sparse subset of the collocation points needs to be active at every given moment, resulting in fast performance, while retaining the distortion and injectivity guarantees. Furthermore, a precise mathematical relationship between the density of the collocation points, the maximal distortion achieved on them, and the maximal distortion achieved everywhere in the domain of interest is derived.

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  • Prof. Ronen Ezra Basri
1673
CF is the most common autosomal recessive disorder in western countries, affecting approximately 30,000 people in the US alone. A major risk in CF arises from chronic bacterial lung infections, affecting 80% of CF patients by the age of 25. Bacterial lung infections are also of major clinical...

CF is the most common autosomal recessive disorder in western countries, affecting approximately 30,000 people in the US alone. A major risk in CF arises from chronic bacterial lung infections, affecting 80% of CF patients by the age of 25. Bacterial lung infections are also of major clinical importance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), trauma, burn wounds, sepsis, or in patients requiring ventilation. The infections are currently treated with antibiotics, which rapidly become inefficient as resistant bacteria strains arise. The present technology suggests a novel therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of bacterial lung infection in susceptible populations, especially CF patients

Applications


  • Alternative treatment for bacterial lung infections.
  • A prophylaxis for patients susceptible to bacterial lung infections

Advantages


  • A novel therapeutic approach to prevent or cure bacterial lung infection.
  • The new therapy is based on reinforcement of the physiological innate immunity rather than on antibiotics.
  • The new therapy can be easily administered, via inhalation.
  • FTY720, a SPH analog, is already in clinical use for treating multiple sclerosis.

Technology's Essence


Sphingosine (SPH), a natural bactericidal agent which acts as a part of the human innate immune system in the skin, was found to be an effective treatment and prophylaxis for bacterial lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) mice. The new technology is based on the discovery that both CF human patients and CF mice display reduced rates of SPH in the airways. Moreover, normalizing SPH levels by inhalation prevents or cures the infections in CF mice, thus rendering SPH and its analogs a potent therapeutic agent for CF patients, an alternative to antibiotics.

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  • Prof. Anthony H. Futerman
1752
Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the western world. Existing treatments fail to compensate the irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CM), thus presenting a major medical unmet need. Inducing native CM replacement is one approach being tested as regenerative treatment, with the...

Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the western world.
Existing treatments fail to compensate the irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CM), thus presenting a major medical unmet need. Inducing native CM replacement is one approach being tested as regenerative treatment, with the advantage of a more straightforward methodology over cell transplantation approaches. 
In a multidisciplinary study, headed by Prof. Eldad Tzahor from the Weizmann institute of Science, the tyrosine kinase ERBB2 was shown to be both necessary for CM proliferation and sufficient to reactivate postnatal CM proliferative and regenerative potentials.
Thus, potentiation of ERBB2 signalling in adult CMs might represent a promising therapeutic approach for CM replacement in heart failure.

Applications


  • Induction of cardiomyocytes replacement therapy following heart injury.

Advantages


  • Straightforward methodology – Avoids complications associated with the requirement for cell transplantation.
  • Include several optional targets - both ERRB2 and its downstream effectors serve as potential targets for therapeutic agents, which may be administrated in combination, to increase chances for successes. 

Technology's Essence


The ligand-receptor network consisting of NRG1, and its tyrosine kinase receptors ERBB4, ERBB3 and ERBB2, plays critical roles during heart development.
In a multidisciplinary study, headed by prof. Eldad Tzahor from the Weizmann institute of Science, ERBB2 was shown to be necessary and limiting for NRG1-induced CM proliferation in the neonate.
Inspired by this finding, the team examined the possibility to use ERBB2 as a target for induced cell proliferation and regeneration in adult hearts. Using loss- and gain-of-function genetic experiments in mice, they reveal that NRG1/ERBB2 signalling is both essential for CM proliferation and heart integrity in the neonatal period, and sufficient to prolong the postnatal proliferative and regenerative windows.
Regeneration was shown to be a result of increased CM dedifferentiation and proliferation accompanied by neovascularization and followed by redifferentiation, tissue replacement with reduced scar formation and restoration of function.
Thus, these finding highlight ERBB2 as a strong target for heart regeneration treatments as well as its downstream effectors.

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  • Prof. Eldad Tzahor
1717
Converting two low-energy photons into a single higher-energy photon is of significant importance in many fields. In medical imaging, photon up-conversion is used for imaging scattered specimens, while in photovoltaic devices it could be used to harvest photons with energies lower than the bandgap of...

Converting two low-energy photons into a single higher-energy photon is of significant importance in many fields. In medical imaging, photon up-conversion is used for imaging scattered specimens, while in photovoltaic devices it could be used to harvest photons with energies lower than the bandgap of the absorber.
Currently available systems, based on rare-earth-doped dielectrics, and organic materials are limited in both tunability and absorption cross-section. In fact, no known up-conversion systems operate on photons in the 1000-1500 nm range.
Stable inorganic nanocrystalline up-conversion systems designed at the Weizmann Institute of Science provide broad tunability of both the absorption edge and the luminescence color. These materials have the potential to be utilized in applications such as high-energy photon sources, photovoltaics and IR detection.

Applications


  • Easy to manufacture

  • Robust systems

  • Operation at room temperature


Advantages


  • Photon sources

  • Photovoltaics

  • IR detectors


Technology's Essence


The new up-conversion systems are based on a novel design comprising a compound semiconductor nanocrystal, which incorporates two quantum dots with different bandgaps separated by a tunneling barrier. The expected up-conversion mechanism occurs by the sequential absorption of two photons. The first photon excites an electron–hole pair by interband absorption in the lower-energy core, resulting in a confined hole and a relatively delocalized electron. The second absorbed photon leads to further excitation of the hole, allowing it to cross the barrier layer. This, in turn, is followed by radiative recombination with the delocalized electron.

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  • Prof. Dan Oron
1577
A novel desulfurization system achieves removal of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from industrial exhaust streams at efficiencies that can greatly supersede technologies currently in use. The chemical process is highly selective to SO2, and consumes much less reagents, therefore reducing the cost of...

A novel desulfurization system achieves removal of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from industrial exhaust streams at efficiencies that can greatly supersede technologies currently in use. The chemical process is highly selective to SO2, and consumes much less reagents, therefore reducing the cost of desulfurization.Techniques to capture SO2 from coal-burning plants have not changed in nearly 40 years. Once implemented, the technology presented here can become significantly more efficient and environmentally friendly than existing techniques, since no slurry waste is created from the wet sorbents typically used to capture SO2.The novel system can selectively recycle SO2 into useful sulfur-based compounds which can be resold; utilizing a carbonate eutectic melt this procedure can also be aimed to generate elemental sulfur, an inert and non-toxic compound which can be stored long-term until required for further use.In a world anxious over climate change, yet in demand of more energy, solutions should have the capacity to be implemented quickly and incorporated into existing infrastructure. This technology offers the potential to tackle several problems with one simple solution.

Applications


Integrate into industrial fossil-fuel burning facilities which include:

  • Power plants
  • Cement factories
  • Steel foundries

Advantages


  • Implement into existing infrastructure and reduce reagents’ costs compared to current techniques
  • Significantly higher efficiency and elimination of hazardous waste by-products
  • Potential generation of revenue from recycled Sulfur waste.

Technology's Essence


The significant enhancement of this scrubbing technique is the sequentially operable scrubbing zone and regeneration zone, which communicate with one another via a molten eutectic mixture of lithium, sodium and potassium carbonates. In the scrubbing zone, an ingress flue gas interacts with the molten carbonates, resulting in chemical absorbance of the SO2 and in discharge of reaction gases. In the regeneration zone, either chemical or electrochemical melt regeneration takes place resulting in formation of sulfur containing vapor which is cooled down for converting the sulfur-containing vapor into a liquid and solid phase for a further collection and utilization.The technology developed by Prof. Igor Lubomirsky and his team introduces three essential improvements over past techniques: (i) the removal of sulfate from the melt is achieved at expected operating temperatures of an industrial scrubbing tower (480-550°C), which drastically reduces corrosion of metal components, (ii) the reduction of sulfates by CO gas rather than by carbon powder represents a simpler, one-step process, which results in a high reduction rate and allows for the reaction chamber to be small (few tens of m3 for a 1GW coal plant), and (iii) the removal of sulfate in the form of COS, rather than H2S, provides considerable freedom in choosing the final sulfur product – either sulfuric acid or elemental sulfur.

 

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  • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
1629
A new unsupervised learning tool for analyzing large datasets using very limited known data via clustering was developed by the group of Prof. Domany. This solution was originally demonstrated for inferring pathway deregulation scores for specific tumor samples on the basis of expression data.Nearly...

A new unsupervised learning tool for analyzing large datasets using very limited known data via clustering was developed by the group of Prof. Domany. This solution was originally demonstrated for inferring pathway deregulation scores for specific tumor samples on the basis of expression data.
Nearly all methods analyze pathway activity in a global “atomistic” manner, based on an entire sample set, not attempting to characterize individual tumors. Other methods use detailed pathway activity mechanism information and other data that is unavailable in a vast majority of cancer datasets.
The new algorithm described here transforms gene-level information into pathway- level information, generating a compact and biologically relevant representation of each sample. This can be used as an effective prognostic and predictive tool that helps healthcare providers to find optimal treatment strategies for cancer patients. Furthermore, this method can be generically used for reducing the degrees of freedom in order to derive meaningful output from multi-dimensional data using limited knowns.

Applications


  • Personalized cancer treatment.
  • A tool for mining insight from large datasets with limited knowns.

Advantages


  • Provides personalized solutions.
  • Can be utilized for rare conditions with very limited known information.
  • Proved on real oncologic datasets.
  • A Generic unsupervised learning tool.

Technology's Essence


The algorithm analyzes NP pathways, one at a time, assigning a score DP(i) to each sample i and pathway P, which estimates the extent to which the behavior of pathway P deviates from normal, in sample i. To determine this pathway deregulation score the expression levels of those dP genes that belong to P using available databases are used. Each sample i is a point in this dP dimensional space; the entire set of samples forms a cloud of points, and the “principal curve” that captures the variation of this cloud is calculated. Then each sample is projected onto this curve. The pathway deregulation score is defined as the distance DP(i), measured along the curve, of the projection of sample i, from the projection of the normal samples.

 

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  • Prof. Eytan Domany
  • Prof. Eytan Domany
1662
Immunotherapy, that is the use of the immune system to treat cancer, is currently a leading candidate in the combat against cancer. Unlike the toxic effects of both chemotherapy and radiation, immunotherapy is considered to have mild side effects due to its ability to differentiate between healthy and...

Immunotherapy, that is the use of the immune system to treat cancer, is currently a leading candidate in the combat against cancer. Unlike the toxic effects of both chemotherapy and radiation, immunotherapy is considered to have mild side effects due to its ability to differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells. Also, the therapeutic role of the immune system is an essential element in the healing process due to bone marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancies.
However, a more efficacious and less toxic T cells based treatment is required. Effective therapy depends on the functional avidity between T cell receptors (TCRs) and peptide-MHC complex (pMHC). However the natural affinity of TCR is low and they do not naturally undergo the processes that improve antibody affinity, such as somatic hypermutation (SHM). Currently there is no method of increasing the affinity of a TCR to its ligand. Moreover there is no knowledge on how use affinity maturated TCRs for creating anti-tumor reactive cells
This technology presents a method of increasing the affinity of a TCR to its ligand. This is done by subjecting TCR genes to SHM via the enzyme Activation Induced cytidine Deaminase (AID). The technology further provides affinity maturated TCRs (in cell- bound or in soluble form) and their pharmaceutical potential for immunotherapy. 

Applications


  • Generating anti-tumor T cells
  • Generating T cells reactive against selected antigen

Advantages


  • Rapid
  • Effective

Technology's Essence


This novel technology reveals that the affinity of a TCR to its ligand may be increased remarkably by subjecting TCR genes to SHM, directed by AID.
First a nucleic acid construct encoding a TCR gene is expressed in a host cell. Next SHM is used to introduce mutations to the TCR gene. Last, the the cells will be analyzed for affinity maturation by tetramer staining and subsequently sorted by FACS.
There are three parallel approaches to perform affinity maturation for the TCR: (1) Ex-vivo affinity maturation system, using Tet-regulated expression of AID (2) Ex-vivo affinity maturation system, using controlled expression of AID by mRNA electrophoresis (3) In-vitro affinity maturation system, using extracts from cells that are in SHM and recombinant AID.

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  • Prof. Rachel Lea Eisenbach
1546
Improvement of protein production by modulating the tRNA pool. For maximal heterologous expression of proteins per host cell, the optimal level of expression of genes needs to be addressed. The science and art of expressing a gene from one species in another often amounts to modifying the codons of the...

Improvement of protein production by modulating the tRNA pool. For maximal heterologous expression of proteins per host cell, the optimal level of expression of genes needs to be addressed. The science and art of expressing a gene from one species in another often amounts to modifying the codons of the gene, and supplementing the host with specific tRNAs. Yet the full challenge of heterologous expression is not only to maximize expression per host cell, but also to minimize the burden on the host. The outlined invention describes a universally conserved profile of translation efficiency along mRNAs, based on the adaptation between coding sequences and the tRNA pool, to improve heterologous gene expression and thus protein production.

Applications


  • Improvement of the yield and success rate of recombinant protein production.

Advantages


  • Protein expression levels can be artificially increased
  • Minimization of the burden on the host

Technology's Essence


The translation efficiency profile of a gene is defined, for each codon position, as the estimated availability of the tRNAs that participate in translating that codon. The profile is high at codons that correspond to abundant tRNAs and low at codons that correspond to rare tRNAs. In this invention it is predicted that the first ~30-50 codons of genes appear to be translated with a low efficiency “ramp”, while the last ~50 codons show highest efficiency. The “ramp” serves as a late stage of initiation and is an optimal and robust means to reduce ribosomal traffic jams, thus minimizing occupation of free ribosomes, ribosomal abortions and, ultimately, the cost of protein expression. Implementation of appropriate ramping in heterlogous proteins, given the host?s tRNA pool, might improve the yield of expressed recombinant proteins.

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  • Prof. Yitzhak Pilpel
1602
A novel technology for robust downregulation of bacterial genes.RNAi (RNA interference) is a powerful method for downregulation of gene expression in eukaryotic systems. RNAi-based technologies are extensively applied as scientific research tools, as well as actively explored as promising therapeutic...

A novel technology for robust downregulation of bacterial genes.RNAi (RNA interference) is a powerful method for downregulation of gene expression in eukaryotic systems. RNAi-based technologies are extensively applied as scientific research tools, as well as actively explored as promising therapeutic agents. However, although an efficient way to dowregulate bacterial and microbial gene expression has been long sought after, RNAi is not applicable in these species. The present technology offers a rapid and simple means to silence gene products in prokaryotic systems.

Applications


  • Treatment of bacterial infection, by targeting bacterial genes vital for antibiotic resistance or bacterial virulence.
  • Enhanced biofuel production by targeting genes that interfere with ethanol and/or hydrogen biosynthesis.
  • Generation of improved bacterial strains for the diary industry (e.g. phage-resistant strains).
  • Discerning prokaryotic gene function by silencing the expression of the gene product.

Advantages


  • The present technology may offer means to treat antibiotics-resistant strains.
  • Because CRISPR-based technology does not involve ‘classical’ genetic engineering, the resulting products do not require labeling as 'genetically modified'.
  • CRISPR-based technology system allows for the development of a rapid, scalable and high-throughput platform to probe the function of genetic circuits in prokaryotes.

Technology's Essence


CRISPR (clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a recently discovered anti-viral system that functions as the prokaryotic-equivalent of the adaptive immune system. CRISPR provides bacteria with protection against foreign genetic elements such as viruses by incorporating short stretches of invading DNA sequences in genomic CRISPR loci. These integrated sequences are thought to function as a genetic memory that prevents the host from being infected by the viruses and other genetic elements containing this recognition sequence. A team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute, headed by Dr. Rotem Sorek, has developed a unique technology to gain robust and rapid silencing of prokaryotic gene expression by exploiting the CRISPR system capacity to efficiently downregulate gene products. This potent technology can potentially be utilized in a broad range of areas such as in the agriculture, food and pharmaceutical industries as well as in the scientific research arena.

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  • Prof. Rotem Sorek
1583
The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel...

The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel technique developed at Weizmann Institute, has a disruptive potential to change this market.  

Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute came up with Thermal Electric conversion technique, based on a new TE device architecture which allows performance enhancement. The core invention is in the field of Bi-junction thermoelectric device architecture, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, leading to thermal electric conversion efficiency optimization.

Applications


Various TE devices will benefit from better TE efficiency, achieved by the developed conversion technique. The growing market for thermoelectric energy harvesters will reach $865 million by 2023. Current TE market is driven by consumer energy harvesting applications and some niche segments:

  •  Automotive energy harvesting applications, since around 40% of the energy produced by internal combustion engines is currently lost in heat through the exhaust.
  • Wireless devices/sensors segment is forecasted to account for over a third of the overall market for thermoelectric harvesters and cooling by 2023.

Advantages


In order to drive down the thermoelectric module costs and facilitate broad deployment, TE has several barriers to overcome: 

  •  low conversion efficiency;
  • toxicity and low availability of chemical elements constituting part of the thermoelectric materials.

 In this context, the main TE market challenges are reaching higher efficiencies using low cost thermoelectric materials. These challenges can be addressed by the proposed technology.


Technology's Essence


Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute have developed novel bi-junction TE device, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, aiming at TE efficiency improvement. Thermoelectric efficiency depends on the figure of merit (ZT). The figure-of-merit curves, for the developed 3-T TE device configurations show that higher ZT should be achieved.  

The secret essence of the invented configuration is in using two independently adjustable input parameters - voltage and temperature - as drivers for optimizing device thermoelectric efficiency.

 

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  • Prof. Yoseph Imry
1640
Although early programs targeting MMPs (matrix metalloproteins) were largely unsuccessful due to adverse side effects, they remain a viable and highly desirable therapeutic target. The main obstacle in the attempts to target MMPs is the ability to selectively target individual family members. The...

Although early programs targeting MMPs (matrix metalloproteins) were largely unsuccessful due to adverse side effects, they remain a viable and highly desirable therapeutic target. The main obstacle in the attempts to target MMPs is the ability to selectively target individual family members. The present invention provides highly selective targeted therapy against MMP-7, which is strongly associated with aspects of cancer development such as angiogenesis and metastasis.
The innovative concept leading to this high selectivity is immunization with both a synthetic metal-protein mimicry molecule, previously developed by the present inventors, followed by the metalloenzyme itself (e.g. MMP-7). The resulting antibody exhibits exceptional degree of specificity towards MMP-7 over other MMPs.
The present technology offers an opportunity to re-introduce improved MMP-targeting agents to the cancer therapeutics market, in particular aggressive cancers that face a major unmet medical need. 

Applications


  • Therapy for MMP-7 associated diseases
  • Diagnostic tool for MMP-7 associated diseases

Advantages


  • Highly selective
  • Safe – avoids adverse effects that are associated with broad spectrum MMP inhibitors.
  • Efficient – targeting a physiological active conformation of the enzyme

Technology's Essence


The present technology is based on a previous invention that was developed in Prof. Sagi's lab, of synthetic metal-protein mimicry molecules that mimic the conserved structure of the metalloenzyme catalytic zinc-histidine complex within the active site of each MMP enzyme.
These molecules were shown to be powerful immunogens in the generation of highly selective MMP antibodies since they recognize both electrical and structural determinants residing within the enzyme active site. The potential of this method to successfully generate MMP-targeting therapeutics was shown for MMP-9/2 inhibitory antibodies in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease.
Prof Sagi and her team now take this invention a step further to achieve even higher specificity. They show that immunizing with the mimicking molecules described above, followed by immunization with the metalloenzyme itself increases selectivity further.   
Implemented for MMP-7-targeting, this approach yielded an antibody with a 5 fold lower Ki towards MMP-7 than towards other MMPs (e.g. MMp-2 and MMP-9).


 

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  • Prof. Irit Sagi
  • Prof. Irit Sagi
1554
We present a novel approach resulting in efficient and robust wireless energy transfer in the mid-range. Applications of wireless energy transfer are already in use and are continuously being developed. The main limit of wireless energy transfer techniques is that both the transmitter and transformer...

We present a novel approach resulting in efficient and robust wireless energy transfer in the mid-range. Applications of wireless energy transfer are already in use and are continuously being developed. The main limit of wireless energy transfer techniques is that both the transmitter and transformer need to be of the same resonance. In addition, this technique is very susceptible to noise which limits efficiency. The present invention provides a technique for a robust and efficient mid-range wireless power transfer between two coils. This technique can transfer the energy between the coils without being sensitive to any resonant constrains, noise and other interferences that exist in the neighborhood of the coils

Applications


  • Simultaneous energy transfer to several electrical gadgets.

Advantages


  • Efficient
  • Not sensitive to electrical interference.
  • No need for an exact resonance match between transmitter and transformer.

Technology's Essence


The efficiency and robustness of this technology is achieved by adapting the process of rapid adiabatic passage (RAP) for a coherently driven two state atom to the field of wireless energy transfer. In other words, the resonance of the transmitter is tuned adiabatically to scan a resonant frequency range, thus arriving at a dynamic solution to the electrical transfer problem.

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  • Prof. Yaron Silberberg
1610
A novel method for increasing Insulin content in pancreatic beta cells. In healthy individuals, Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreas. In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), these cells do not produce enough Insulin to effectively fine-tune blood sugar levels. In the US alone...

A novel method for increasing Insulin content in pancreatic beta cells.

In healthy individuals, Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreas. In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), these cells do not produce enough Insulin to effectively fine-tune blood sugar levels. In the US alone there are up to 3 million affected individuals with 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Worldwide, T1DM incidence has been increasing in recent years by 2% to 5%. Traditionally treated by multiple daily injections of recombinant Insulin, T1DM management represents a significant burden to both patients and the healthcare system. Recent data estimate that T1DM costs the US ~$15 billion annually in medical costs and lost income. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches to amplify Insulin production in diseased beta cells or to replace them entirely are in great need. The present technology describes a cell-based method to enhance beta cell differentiation and Insulin production by the downregulation of a pancreas-enriched microRNA.

 

Applications


  • Cell replacement therapy: directed differentiation of stem cells towards a beta cell fate followed by transplantation of these engineered cells into patients.
  • These methods can potentially be applied to other Insulin deficiency-related conditions such as diabetes mellitus type 2, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Advantages


  • Simple and robust method for accelerating beta cell differentiation.
  • Cell base therapy for diabetes.
  • Increasing Insulin level.

Technology's Essence


A research team headed by Dr. Hornstein from the Weizmann Institute has discovered an essential role for microRNA-7 (miR-7), a microRNA that is highly and selectively expressed in the endocrine pancreas, in the regulation of beta cell differentiation. By down-regulating the expression of miR-7, the researchers were able to accelerate beta cell differentiation, and concomitantly to augment their Insulin production rate. The data gained from these studies can be further utilized in cell-based therapy applications to restore Insulin production in damaged beta cells, or alternately to replace these cells with stem cells coaxed to differentiate towards a beta cell fate.

 

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  • Dr. Eran Hornstein
1587
An innovative technique to preserve and prolong shelf-life in crop-plants cost-effectively. Different agricultural crops from Solanaceous species which include tomato, potato and eggplant, overcome oxidative stress by the production of steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal saponins. Although...

An innovative technique to preserve and prolong shelf-life in crop-plants cost-effectively.
Different agricultural crops from Solanaceous species which include tomato, potato and eggplant, overcome oxidative stress by the production of steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal saponins. Although SGAs contribute to plant resistance to a wide range of pathogens and predators some are considered as toxic to humans, with potato known as most relevance to food safety.
This innovative technology offers improvement  of nutritional composition and prolonged shelf-life of Solanaceous species, which are widely consumed crop-plants with a market size of hundreds of billions of tones produced yearly worldwide.

Applications


Modification of steroidal glycoalkaloids and steroidal saponins compounds in plants can be used for two purposes:
1. Widely used crop-plants from Solanaceae species with reduced anti-nutritional components.  Leading to a longer shelf-life of crop-plants with safer nutritional compounds. 
2. Highly resistant modified plant with enriched toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids content for non-edible usage. 

Advantages


  • Prolongs shelf-life- by preventing post-harvest elevated toxicity levels.
  • Reduction of undesired anti-nutritional alkaloids, by means that do not affect other biological plant pathways.
  • Helps avoiding spoilage and toxicity of plants that manifest during storage and process.
  • Stress and pathogen-resistant plants for non-edible usage: Genetically modified plants with elevated toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids content will result in enhanced resistance to stress related factors. The outcome will also be prolonged shelf-life achieved in a clean economic manner (reduced need of pesticides/ insecticides).

Technology's Essence


The invention relates to key genes and enzymes on the biosynthesis pathway converting cholesterol to SGA. Biosynthesis involves an array of genes. Modulation of specific regulatory, transcription factor genes had enabled strict control of the production of steroidal alkaloids and glycosylated derivatives therefore.
Prof. Asaph Aharoni discovered the key genes in the biosynthesis of steroidal saponins and steroidal alkaloids in his lab at the Weizmann institute. He also developed a method for altering the gene expression and the production (reduction or elevation) of these components in plants from the Solanaceae species.

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  • Prof. Asaph Aharoni

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