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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
1644
Computer memory and storage are among the most critical components of today’s consumer electronics and computer technology. Currently available memory and storage technologies have inherent limitations that confine the capacity and speed of access to memory devices. The present innovation is based on...

Computer memory and storage are among the most critical components of today’s consumer electronics and computer technology. Currently available memory and storage technologies have inherent limitations that confine the capacity and speed of access to memory devices.

The present innovation is based on Chiral Induced Spin Selectivity (CISS) effect that was established experimentally and theoretically in the last decade, and allows for production of inexpensive, high-density universal memory-on-chip devices, that don’t require the use of permanent magnets.

Applications


·         Inexpensive, high-density universal memory-on-chip devices

·         The technology can be used as superior alternative for both Random Access memory and Flash memory

·         Surface-controlled spintronic devices

·         Logic and data processing


Advantages


·         Up to 70 times more storage on the same physical size

·         Up to 100 times lower energy consumption

·         Si-Compatible

·         High density (can reach Si technology limit)

·         Estimated low cost

·         Overcomes limitations of other magnetic-based memory technologies


Technology's Essence


Ferromagnets can be magnetized either by external magnetic fields or by spin polarized current. However, the current density required for inducing magnetization is extremely high and significantly affects the device’s structure and performance. The newly discovered CISS effect allows for magnetization switching of Ferromagnets, which is induced solely by adsorption of chiral molecules, where much lower current density is sufficient to induce the magnetization reversal. Chiral Memory technology uses the CISS effect for spin selectivity instead of the common ferromagnetic-based spin filters. This allows, in principle, the memory bit to be miniaturized down to a single magnetic nanoparticle or a nano-scale domain. The operation principle of the device relies on the spin-selective transmission of electrons through organic chiral molecules to the ferromagnetic layer of the device, which results in the magnetization of this layer and efficient storing of bits of information. The magnetization switching by local adsorption of chiral molecules eliminates the need for a permanent magnet.

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  • Prof. Ron Naaman
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
1615
A new process for the production of catalytic metal coated WS2 nanotubes, using cobalt, palladium, nickel, chromium and noble metals.These metal coated nanotubes were shown to have catalytic activity in different organic reactions including degradation of known organic contaminants (Co coated) and...

A new process for the production of catalytic metal coated WS2 nanotubes, using cobalt, palladium, nickel, chromium and noble metals.
These metal coated nanotubes were shown to have catalytic activity in different organic reactions including degradation of known organic contaminants (Co coated) and Suzuki and Heck coupling reactions (Pd coated).
Since catalytic chemical reactions are at the heart of many processes and industries, and efficient catalysis is essential for both economic and environmental reasons, this development of a new catalytic platform bears a potential to influence many diverse markets.

Applications


  • New and efficient Pd-based catalysts for diverse reactions.
  • New and efficient crude oil HDS catalysts.
  • New and efficient wastewater purification catalysts.
  • Production of activated hybrid WS2 nanotubes with new properties.
  • Tailoring catalytic nanotubes with different band gaps adjusted to different activation and catalysis applications.

Advantages


  • Formation of highly active catalytic nanotubes
  • Utilization of the nanotubes' very large surface area
  • Recruiting specific nanotube semiconducting characteristics for special catalysis requirements

Technology's Essence


The invention involves deposition of metal nanoparticles on prepared WS2 nanotubes (INT-WS2) in a two stage process involving Pd-nanocrystallites assisted activation followed by electroless plating.
In this process WS2 nanotubes are synthesized according to known procedures. The nanotubes are then covered by metal nanoparticles in a simple and straightforward procedure resulting with highly active nanotubes which can be utilized as catalysts for various chemical reactions.
This new hybrid technology opens the way to a new family of highly efficient, tunable catalysts; the INTs large surface area, specific band gap design and choice of metal result in an ability to produce unique tailor-made catalysts, applicable to many different industries. 

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  • Prof. Tenne Reshef
  • Prof. Tenne Reshef
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
1647
Novel algorithms developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science for Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) can enhance search engines by crowd-sourcing and improved clustering.Discovering visual categories among collection of images is a long standing challenge in computer vision, which limits images-...

Novel algorithms developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science for Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) can enhance search engines by crowd-sourcing and improved clustering.
Discovering visual categories among collection of images is a long standing challenge in computer vision, which limits images-based search engines. Existing approaches are searching for a common cluster model. They are focused on identifying shared visual properties (such as a shared object) and subsequently grouping the images into meaningful clusters based upon these shared properties. Such methods are likely to fail once encountering a highly variable set of images or a fairly limited number of images per category.
Researchers form Prof. Michal Irani lab suggest a novel approach based on ‘similarity by composition’. This technology detects statistically significant regions which co-occur across images, which reveals strong and meaningful affinities, even if they appear only in few images. The outcome is a reliable cluster in which each image has high affinity to many images in the cluster, and weak affinity to images outside the cluster.

Applications


  • Images search engines - can be applied for collaborative search between users.
  • Detecting abnormalities in medical imaging.
  • Quality assurance in the fields of agriculture, food, pharmaceutical industry etc.
  • Security industry- from counting people up to identifying suspicious acts.
  • Computer games and brain machine interface.

Advantages


• Can be applied to very few images, as well as benchmark datasets, and yields state-of-the-art results.
• Handles large diversity in appearance.
• The search is not a global search, it requires no semantic query, tagging or pre-existing knowledge.
• The multi-images collaboration significantly speeds up the process, reducing the number of random samples and iterations.
• Set of images are obtained in time which is nearly linear in the size of the image collection.


Technology's Essence


In “clustering by composition”, a good cluster is referred as one in which each image can be easily composed using statistically significant pieces from other images in the cluster while is difficult to compose from images outside the cluster. Multiple images exploit their ‘wisdom of crowds’ to further improve the process. Using a collaborative randomized search algorithm images can be composed from each other simultaneously and efficiently. This enables each image to direct the other images where to search for similar regions within the image collection. The resulted sets of images affinities are sparse yet meaningful and reliable.

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  • Prof. Michal Irani
1556
Synthetic carbon fixation pathways can allow plants to produce more biomass using the same amount of energy from sunlight. Novel carbon fixation cycles discovered at The Weizmann Institute hold potential to greatly increase the capacity of organisms to convert atmospheric carbon into sugars. Modern...

Synthetic carbon fixation pathways can allow plants to produce more biomass using the same amount of energy from sunlight. Novel carbon fixation cycles discovered at The Weizmann Institute hold potential to greatly increase the capacity of organisms to convert atmospheric carbon into sugars.

Modern agriculture faces limited arable land and climate changes. Carbon fixation under these conditions will become a significant growth limiting factor. The proposed solution provides the ability to enhance crop yields using the same expanse of land.

The novel technology presents alternative synthetic carbon fixation pathways that were discovered by harnessing a systems biology approach. These pathways are predicted to harbor a significant kinetic advantage over their natural counter parts, making them promising candidates for synthetic biology implementation.

Applications


  • Synthetic organisms utilizing this revolutionary technology can offer higher carbon fixation rates as compared to natural alternatives allowing:
  • Superior rate of biomass generation, providing cost effective feedstock for the production of biofuels.
  • Enhanced food production via increased crop yields.

Advantages


  • Minimal thermodynamic bottlenecks and superior kinetics over natural counterparts.

Technology's Essence


The productivity of carbon fixation cycles is limited by the slow rate and lack of substrate specificity of the carboxylating enzyme, RuBisCo. In his discovery Dr. Milo addresses the inefficiency of the carbon fixation process through an alternative cycle that is predicted to be two to three times faster than the Calvin–Benson cycle, employing the most effective carboxylating enzyme, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, using the core of the naturally evolved C4 cycle.

A computational strategy was applied, comparing kinetics, energetic and topology of all the possible pathways that can be assembled from all ~4,000 metabolic enzymes known in nature.

The results suggest a promising new family of synthetic carbon fixation pathways.

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  • Prof. Ron Milo
1621
Novel treatment for angiogenesis-related diseases.Angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature — has an essential role in development, reproduction and repair. Pathological angiogenesis is a common theme in a broad range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases,...

Novel treatment for angiogenesis-related diseases.Angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature — has an essential role in development, reproduction and repair. Pathological angiogenesis is a common theme in a broad range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, age-related macular degeneration and atherosclerosis. The global market for angiogenesis stimulators and inhibitors is forecast to reach ~US $50 billion by the year 2015. Most of the currently marketed angiogenesis regulators, such as Avastin, typically display modest efficacy and therefore further highlight the great need for the development of novel therapeutics. The current technology presents a novel method to treat angiogenesis-related disorders by modulating apolipoprotein B (ApoB).

Applications


  • ApoB is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer and other non-neoplastic diseases.
  • ApoB levels may serve as a biomarker for cancer metastasis.

Advantages


  • The anti-angiogenic effect of LDL administration was demonstrated in vivo, in zebrafish models, as well as in vitro, in relevant human cells lines.
  • Regulation of ApoB levels may be applied to treat a broad range of angiogenesis-dependent diseases.
  • Detection of ApoB levels can be readily achieved by analysis of body fluids such as blood and plasma.

Technology's Essence


Using a high-throughput genetic screen for vascular defects in zebrafish, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have identified a genetic mutation that leads to excessive angiogenesis. The mutated gene is responsible for the assembly of ApoB-containing lipoproteins such as LDL, otherwise known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. The group has found that low levels of LDL promote the formation of new blood vessels by directly interacting with the VEGF pathway. The outlined technology offers methods to modulate the levels of ApoB in order to stimulate, or inhibit angiogenesis, dependent on the therapeutic strategy. For example, inhibition of angiogenesis by increasing ApoB levels may repress tumor growth and attenuate its metastatic potential. In another application of this technology, increased circulating levels of ApoB can serve as a biomarker for the overproduction of blood vessels, thus enabling early diagnosis of pathogenic states in angiogenesis-dependent diseases.

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  • Prof. Karina Yaniv
1596
A beam of light has several properties which can be measured for a variety of applications. The most commonly measured properties of light include Intensity, Color, Phase, and Polarization.In recent years there has been a growing demand to have well-defined optical beams. In order to accomplish this a...

A beam of light has several properties which can be measured for a variety of applications. The most commonly measured properties of light include Intensity, Color, Phase, and Polarization.In recent years there has been a growing demand to have well-defined optical beams. In order to accomplish this a light beam requires fast, accurate, and simple measurement techniques to fully characterize it’s properties.Currently, the ability to measure light polarization exists only qualitatively and at only one specific point in a light beam. Our scientific team has developed a new method to measure changing light polarizations in real-time. 
Our demonstrated system presents a simple way to continuously measure and quantify light polarizations in real-time, throughout the entire length of a light beam. This method has the potential to set a new industry standard, and could lead to a number of applications that were previously not possible.
 

Applications


  • Molecular imaging
  • Medical and industrial lasers
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Fiber-optic communications
  • Cryptography
  • Astronomy

Advantages


  • Proved accuracy
  • Simple technique
  • Compact configuration
  • Incorporate into existing equipment
  • Can measure fully polarized, partially polarized, and un-polarized light
  • Two modes of operation:   Space-variant polarization measurements and Wavelength-variant polarization measurements

Technology's Essence


Our polarization measurement technique is based on splitting an input light beam into six parallel beams, each having a predetermined shift in the polarization state with respect to the other beams. The beam components are simultaneously detected using a pixel matrix, such as a CCD camera, to determine their intensity distribution. From this, the polarization state distribution along the cross-section of the input optical beam is determined and we can calculate the Stokes parameters, a set of values which defines polarized light. This allows us to characterize and quantify fully polarized, partially polarized, and un-polarized light at every point in the beam in real-time, with either static or dynamic polarization states. Our method can be applied for two conditions of varying polarizations – changing with position (space-variant) or changing in color (wavelength-variant).

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  • Prof. Nir Davidson
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
1571
A novel social behavior monitoring system automatically tracks the precise location of each animal at excellent temporal resolution. This innovative technology provides simultaneous identification of complex social and individual behaviors via an integration of RFID and video surveillance. There is a...

A novel social behavior monitoring system automatically tracks the precise location of each animal at excellent temporal resolution. This innovative technology provides simultaneous identification of complex social and individual behaviors via an integration of RFID and video surveillance.

There is a rapidly growing interest in detecting the molecular substrates of social behavior. This interest is driven by the vast implications of such understanding in both research and the pharmaceutical industry, since some prevalent pathological conditions are mainly characterized by a behavioral deficit or abnormality.

It is extremely challenging to quantify social behavior in a reliable manner. Existing methods struggle to find a balance between objectively quantifying behavior on one hand while enabling a natural, stress-free behavioral estimation on the other hand. Currently, researchers work in a strictly controlled and constrained environment that is estranged and stressful to the animals. The outcome is a highly contaminated measurement of natural behavior. This difficultly becomes increasingly complex when more than one animal is involved as often applied in social behavioral studies.

Applications


  • Rigorous characterization of social organizational deficiencies and evaluation of their severity in animal and human models (for example in autism).
  • An optimized system for estimating the efficacy of clinical treatments.

Advantages


  • Long-term tracking of unlimited number of simultaneously studied animals.
  • Machine based, hence objective and automated quantification of behavior.
  • Excellent spatiotemporal resolution in semi natural environment
  • Flexible- the number, size and distribution of the RFID antennas can be adjusted with different enclosure dimensions.
  • Can be applied from Individual behavioral profile or pairs interactions up to collective social organization of groups.
  • Systematic analysis and classification of basic locomotion up to more complex social

Technology's Essence


Researchers at the Weizmann institute developed a method for tightly controlled monitoring of social behavior in a semi-natural environment. They used integrated and synchronized chip reporting and continuous video postage to precisely locate each individual animal. Using this automated monitoring which provides an exceptional temporal resolution they achieved correct identification of numerous basic individual behaviors as well as complex social behaviors. Such complex behavioral profiles set the basis for subsequent analysis which reveals the formation of a social hierarchy.

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  • Dr. Tali Kimchi
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
1536
Designer cellulosomes are synthetic multi-enzyme complexes that can degrade cellulosic biomass efficiently and economically. The goal of second generation biofuel production is to efficiently convert agricultural waste, algae and other cellulosic biomass into sugar monomers.   Cellulosic biomass...

Designer cellulosomes are synthetic multi-enzyme complexes that can degrade cellulosic biomass efficiently and economically. The goal of second generation biofuel production is to efficiently convert agricultural waste, algae and other cellulosic biomass into sugar monomers.

 

Cellulosic biomass pretreated (e.g. with acid) under ideal conditions, still requires very high enzyme doses to provide efficient bioconversion.

The cost of enzymes and pretreatment is a major hurdle in the production of low-cost cellulosic biofuel, competitive with that of fossil fuels or ethanol produced from corn or sugarcane.

 

The complex structure of cellulosic materials is built to resist bacterial hydrolytic enzymes. The cooperation of many types of carbohydrate-active enzymes is required for effective degradation. By designing synthetic cellulosomes, researchers at The Weizmann Institute enhance synergy between carbohydrate-active enzymes to achieve remarkable degradation rates. Their discoveries can lead to highly efficient conversion of cellulosic biomass, and thus have a major impact in the field of food production and sustainable energy.

Applications


  • High-yield, cost-effective conversion of plant cell wall biomass into soluble sugars for the food industry and the production of biofuels and biochemicals.

Advantages


  • Bio-engineered cellulosomes exhibit synergistic degradation activity of natural substrates compared to the combined action of the free wild-type enzymes.

Technology's Essence


The invention involves the conversion of enzymes (cellulases and xylanases) from the free mode to the cellulosmal mode by attachment using a recombinant dockerin molecule. The dockerin-bearing enzymes are incorporated into designer cellulosomes by interacting with a matching cohesion-containing chimeric scaffoldin (scaffoldin subunits contain the cohesin modules that incorporate the enzymes into the cellulosome complex via their resident dockerins). This approach has generated over two fold enhancement of synergistic hydrolysis on plant cell wall cellulosic biomass. These results create new possibilities for designing superior enzyme compositions for degradation of complex polysaccharides into simple soluble sugars.

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  • Prof. Edward A. Bayer
1601
A potent combination therapy against non-invasive breast cancer Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females. Among the different subtypes of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) represents an intermediate step between normal breast tissue and invasive breast cancer. Currently, about 25...

A potent combination therapy against non-invasive breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females. Among the different subtypes of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) represents an intermediate step between normal breast tissue and invasive breast cancer. Currently, about 25% of breast cancers that are diagnosed in the US are DCIS. DCIS is commonly treated by surgical intervention followed by adjuvant radiation therapy. However, a significant fraction of the DCIS lesions, which display HER2 gene amplification, are associated with increased relapse rate following surgery. Therefore, in cases of HER2-overexpressing DCIS a molecularly targeted therapy might be necessary for complete eradication of microscopic remnants following surgical tumor removal. The current technology presents an potential DCIS therapeutic strategy that collectively targets the functionally linked HER2 and Notch pathways.

 

Applications


  • Combination therapy for DCIS patients following surgical tumor removal.
  • Classification of DCIS patients according to HER2 Notch activation patterns to identify patients with increased risk of relapse after surgery.
  • Diagnostic antibodies to NRG4 to screen for cancer cell subtypes that express/over-express NRG4.
  • NRG4 fusion conjugates, where NRG4 acts as a vehicle to direct the conjugate to cells specifically expressing the receptor ErbB4.

 


Advantages


  • Targeted cancer therapies will give doctors a better way to tailor cancer treatment.
  • Targeted cancer therapies hold the promise of being more selective, thus harming fewer normal cells, reducing side effects, and improving the quality of life.
  • The proposed treatment strategy may prove beneficial in DCIS patients with poor prognosis.

 


Technology's Essence


The HER2/Neu oncogene, a member of the HER/ErbB signaling network, encodes a receptor-like tyrosine kinase, whose overexpression in breast cancer predicts poor prognosis and resistance to conventional therapies. Pre-invasive lesions, such as DCIS, overexpress HER2 at higher frequency than invasive ones. Another signal transduction pathway critical for breast cancer progression comprises Notch family receptors and their membrane-bound ligands. In the current technology, a team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science uncovered that overexpression of HER2 in a novel experimental model of DCIS leads to transcriptional upregulation of Notch pathway components, resulting in enhanced tumor cell survival and proliferation. Combined treatment with HER2 and Notch pathway inhibitors resulted in decreased proliferative and tumorigenic potential. The current technology offers specific and combined targeting of HER2 and Notch pathways for DCIS treatment. This approach may also be tailored for DCIS patients with enhanced co-expression of HER2 and Notch.

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  • Prof. Yosef Yarden
1582
Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil. Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles,...

Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil.

Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles, including globules formation, degradation and stabilization. The present invention relies on the fact that oil globule associated proteins stabilize the oil bodies, and suggests the induction of one of these proteins as a means to obtain high yields of oil globules. 

Applications


  • Higher yields of oil for food and biodiesel

  • Higher yield of the pigment astaxanthin or beta carotene in pigment-accumulating algae


Advantages


  • Obtaining valuable materials (oil and pigments) with a relatively simple manipulation (i.e., over-expression of the globule-associated protein)
  • Cost-effective

Technology's Essence


In many microorganisms (e.g., yeasts, micro-algae and bacteria), the accumulation of oil globules appears to be induced specifically in response to environmental stresses such as nutrient limitation, high irradiance or osmotic stress. One specific protein, found only in micro-algae, was enriched in isolated globules and in stressed cells, in correlation to astaxanthin accumulation. This correlation makes the protein a promising candidate to function in stress response, and more specifically, in globule buildup. Therefore, it may be expected that its over-expression in plants or in algae could increase the accumulation of oil (tryglycerides).

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  • Prof. Uri Pick

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