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Scientist
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
1671
A novel method to revert human iPSC to a fully naive state, retaining stable pluripotency. The feasibility for the existence of ground state naive pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESC) has long been researched. This innovative technology supplies the composition of chemically defined...

A novel method to revert human iPSC to a fully naive state, retaining stable pluripotency. The feasibility for the existence of ground state naive pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESC) has long been researched. This innovative technology supplies the composition of chemically defined conditions required for derivation and long term maintenance of such cells, without genetic modification.
Human naive pluripotent cells can be robustly derived either from already established conventional hESC lines, through iPSC reprogramming of somatic cells, or directly from ICM of human blastocysts. The new human pluripotent state was isolated and characterized; it can open up new avenues for patient specific disease relevant research and the study of early human development.

Applications


  • Reprogramming kits - Somatic cells to iPSC at near 100% efficiency (7days), iPSC to fully naive state.

Advantages


  • Deterministic iPSC reprogramming with no genetic modification required.
  • Stable pluripotency, with low propensity for differentiation
  • Reagents available off-the-shelf.

Technology's Essence


Hallmark features of rodent naive pluripotency include driving Oct4expression by its distal enhancer, retaining a pre-inactivation state of X chromosome in female pluripotent cell lines amongst others. Naive mouse ESCs epigenetically drift towards a primed pluripotent state; while human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) share several molecular features with naive mESCs (e.g. expression of NANOG, PRDM14 and KLF4 naive pluripotency promoting factors), they also share a variety of epigenetic properties with primed murine Epiblast stem cells (mEpiSCs). These observations have raised the question of whether conventioal human ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be epigenetically reprogrammed into a different pluripotent state, extensively similar with rodent na?ve pluripotency. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute discovered that supplementation of certain chemically defined conditions, synergistically facilitates the isolation and maintenance of pluripotent stem cells that retain growth characteristics, molecular circuits, a chromatin landscape, and signaling pathway dependence that are highly similar to naive mESCs, and drastically distinct from conventional hESCs.

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  • Dr. Jacob (Yaqub) Hanna
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
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
1765
A new image reconstruction tool based on non-iterative phase information retrieval from a single diffraction pattern was developed by the group of Prof. Oron.  Lensless imaging techniques enable indirect high resolution observation of objects by measuring the intensity of their diffraction patterns....

A new image reconstruction tool based on non-iterative phase information retrieval from a single diffraction pattern was developed by the group of Prof. Oron. 
Lensless imaging techniques enable indirect high resolution observation of objects by measuring the intensity of their diffraction patterns. These techniques utilize radiation in the X-ray regime to image non-periodic objects in sizes that prohibit the use of larger wavelengths. However, retrieving the phase information of the diffraction pattern is not a trivial task, as current methods are divided based on a tradeoff between experimental complexity and computational reconstruction efficiency.
The method described here is suitable for use with existing lensless imaging techniques to provide direct, robust and efficient phase data while requiring reduced computational and experimental complexity. This method, demonstrated in a laboratory setup on 2D objects, is also applicable in 1D. It can be applied to various phase retrieval applications such as coherent diffractive imaging and ultrashort pulse reconstruction

Applications


  • Phase microscopy
  • Signal processing
  • Holography
  • X-ray imaging

Advantages


  • A Generic solution to the phase retrieval problem
  • Non-iterative approach
  • An efficient and noise robust tool

Technology's Essence


The method is based on the fact that the Fourier transform of the diffraction intensity measurement is the autocorrelation of the object. The autocorrelation and cross-correlations of two sufficiently separated objects are spatially distinct. Based on this, the method consists of three main steps: (a) The sum of the objects’ autocorrelations, as well as their cross-correlation, are reconstructed from the Fourier transform of the measured diffraction pattern. (b) The individual objects’ autocorrelations are reconstructed from their sum and the cross-correlation. (c) Using the two intensities and the interference cross term, double-blind Fourier holograph is applied to recover the phase by solving a set of linear equations.

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  • Prof. Dan Oron
1593
The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders.  To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools...

The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders. 
To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools is to allow individuals identification while maintaining sufficient resolution for accurate tracking.
The present technology provides a system that utilizes fluorescent fur dyes to differentially mark and track individuals within a group. Using a sensitive color camera and a newly designed tracking algorithm, behavior of groups may be recorded and analyzed with high temporal and spatial resolution.   
The technology further offers a method for characterizing the group’s interactions using the maximum entropy model.

 

Applications


 


Advantages


  • High spatial and temporal resolution – enabled by sensitive color video tracking.
  • Enables high detailed analysis of individual behavior within the group.
  • Suitable for community study of groups - limited only by available fur dyes.
  • Compatible with long-term analysis.
  • Simple, cost effective.
  • Minimal suffering and improved animal welfare.

  • Technology's Essence


    The present technology takes advantage of the fact that mice are nocturnal (active at night) animals, to mark their fur with different fluorescent dyes. Under ultraviolet light, the mice can be accurately and automatically tracked, over a number of days. As the mice are allowed to move freely in an interesting arena for exploration containing ramps, nest boxes and barriers (Figure 1), their trajectory and behavior are recorded using a sensitive color camera.
    The system further includes an image processing module which analyses the recorded images, calculates a spatiotemporal model and the nature of social interactions between individuals.
    Combining detailed behavioral and genetic analysis ate the level of individuals, in association with group analysis, may enable the identification of genetic and neuronal correlates of complex social interactions. 

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    • Prof. Alon Chen
    1657
    Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential...

    Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential feedstock for biorefineries, with the end products serving as solid or liquid storage of energy.  Such microbial electrosynthesis is highly dependent on mediators to enable electron transfer from an electrode to a living cell. 
    Formic acid (formate) is an electron mediator with a number of desired features for microbial electrosynthesis. However, wild-type organisms that can grow on formate are not suitable for industrial use due to slow growth rates and metabolism. 
    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have successfully engineered a formatotrophic E.coli. By combining systematical analysis with computational tools they screened numerous metabolic pathways and identified the optimized metabolic pathway that supports efficient formate-based growth. This innovative method enables the design of industrial strains of bacteria capable of efficient microbial electrosynthesis.

    Applications


    • Biofuel and chemical commodities production.

    Advantages


    • Efficient and robust storage of electrical energy.
    • Cost effective conversion of C1 compounds into sugars.

    Technology's Essence


    By engineering E. coli, the ”workhorse” bacteria used in biotechnology and enabling its growth on formate, researches at Dr. Ron Milo’s lab paved the way for efficient microbial electrosynthesis. The Researches started by investigating many metabolic pathways in order to discover how a model organism such as E.coli can be engineered for formatotrophic growth.  estimate which pathway is most suitable to support growth on formate each pathway was examined based on various criteria such as biomass yield, thermodynamic favorability, chemical motive force, kinetics and additional practical challenges. 
    One short favorable pathway was consistently identified, that is the reductive glycine pathway. Furthermore.  Researches generated an isolated organism that is able to convert formate to pyruvate or glycerate.


    Licensing Status


    Pending

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    • Prof. Ron Milo
    1564
    A new recyclable size-selective filtration device. Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with...

    A new recyclable size-selective filtration device.

    Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with well-defined sizes, which have application in the fields of optoelectronic devices, biomedicine, materials, and catalysis.

    Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have fabricated supramolecular ultrafiltration membranes that can be used for filtration and size-selective chromatography of nanoparticles. The membranes are composed of a self-assembled three-dimensional fibrous network that is held together by reversible non-covalent interactions.

    The membranes are robust, easy to fabricate, and recyclable.

    Applications


    • Size-selective separation of semiconductor and metal nanoparticles
    • Uniformity and monodispersity of nanoparticles in solution.
    • Size exclusion chromatography of nanoparticles in the sub-5-nm size regime.

    Advantages


    • Efficient and inexpensive

    • Fast and easy fabrication

    • Recyclable

    • Self-assembled

    • Dual application regime: filtration and/or chromatography


    Technology's Essence


    The recyclable supramolecular membranes are formed from unique perylene derivatives that are large and flat aromatic molecules. These molecules are insoluble in water and form a 3-D network over a solid support, which can be used for the separation of nanoparticles.

    The filters can be subsequently recycled from this mixture using an organic solvent (e.g. dichloromethane), which separates the membrane material from the water-soluble nanoparticles, and reused without loss of performance.

    This material is hence highly attractive for application in the field of nanotechnology.

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    • Prof. Boris Rybtchinski
    1628
    New generation of superior nature-inspired therapeutics for treating inflammation.Inflammation is characterized by elevated levels of TNF-?. Neutralizing TNF-? activity was shown to be beneficial for patients with chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and...

    New generation of superior nature-inspired therapeutics for treating inflammation.Inflammation is characterized by elevated levels of TNF-?. Neutralizing TNF-? activity was shown to be beneficial for patients with chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, current treatments of such conditions include general anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs that are of limited effectiveness and may cause serious side effects. Another class of drugs includes targeted therapies directed against TNF-?, that are associated with serious infections including tuberculosis (TB) and sepsis as well as increased risk of cancer in some cases. Thus, there is an urgent need for highly selective, safer and more effective drugs for inflammatory conditions that involve TNF-? as a key mediator. The present technology introduces a novel generation of candidate drugs that selectively inhibit the processing of TNF-?, thereby preventing it from exerting its pro-inflammatory properties. This technology provides a framework for the development of safer and more effective therapeutics for IBD and related autoimmune disorders.

    Applications


    • Treatment of autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as IBD and RA.
    • Treatment of neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
    • Treatment of other inflammatory mediated diseases such as psoriasis, systemic sclerosis and ankylosing spondylitis.
    • All MMPs and ADAMs proteases possess an autoinhibitory pro-domain and therefore this technology can be broadened to other MMP and ADAM targets.

    Advantages


    • TACE pro-domain is highly potent and efficient.
    • TACE pro-domain is metabolically stable, unlike small molecule inhibitors of TACE.
    • Targeting TACE through nature-inspired protein design may constitute a safer approach to combat TNF-? induced inflammation.
    • Unlike non-specific small molecule inhibitors, which target the conserved catalytic zinc site of TACE, TACE pro-domain shares little homology to other MMPs, making it a good candidate for specific inhibitor of TACE.

    Technology's Essence


    The A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17), also known as tumor necrosis factor-? converting enzyme (TACE), has been defined as the major shedding protease for a broad range of substrates predominantly the key immuno-regulatory cytokines TNF-?. Cleavage by TACE renders TNF-? pro-inflammatory, highlighting ADAM17 as a rationale target for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as IBD and arthritis. A team of researchers at the Weizmann institute headed by Prof. Irit Sagi, has employed a sophisticated approach towards TACE targeting by exploiting its autoinhibitory pro-domain as a platform for the ‘smart design’ of TACE selective natural inhibitors. The therapeutic potential of TACE pro-domain was demonstrated in IBD mouse models, where TACE pro-domain administration showed significant improvement in multiple parameters such as reduced mortality and weight lost, in a dose dependent manner. Additional in vivo studies demonstrated that the TACE pro-domain is highly stable in vivo and harbors specificity towards the activated immune cells located in colon lesions. Thus, the novel TACE inhibitor presented in this technology leads to significant therapeutic effects and is beneficial in controlling inflammation in IBD disease manifestations in mice.

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    • Prof. Irit Sagi
    1597
    Metal-oxide material generates electromechanical stress an order of magnitude above existing materials.The ability to develop a mechanical stress in response to the application of an external electric field has many uses, and characteristic materials are classified as either piezoelectric or...

    Metal-oxide material generates electromechanical stress an order of magnitude above existing materials.The ability to develop a mechanical stress in response to the application of an external electric field has many uses, and characteristic materials are classified as either piezoelectric or electrostrictive. Modern inorganic piezoelectric devices are used for a wide variety of applications from inexpensive speakers and headphones, to sophisticated sonar transducers. Over the last several decades, these materials have become highly reliable and technologically mature, but the magnitude of the mechanical stress they can generate in response to an input electric signal has reached an upper limit.This innovative technology applies Gadolinium-doped Cerium Oxide (Gd-doped CeO2) to piezoelectric and electrostrictive devices and will enable high-performance electromechanical materials with output capabilities an order of magnitude above existing solutions, in excess of 500 MPa. This could facilitate the next generation of many consumer and industrial electronic devices.

    Applications


    • Wide range of personal electronic devices
    • Industrial and fine electronics – specifically powerful acoustic transducers

    Advantages


    • Generate large displacement and large stress simultaneously
    • Sensitive and tunable properties

    Technology's Essence


    In piezoelectric devices, stress develops due to the deformation of a non-centrosymmetric lattice under the application of an electric field. In commercial electrostrictors, or materials with centrosymmetric lattices and very large dielectric constants, an external electric field distorts the unit cells of the lattice, rendering them locally non-centrosymmetric. In both cases, the electromechanical stress develops due to a small displacement of atoms within each unit cell. Increasing the magnitude of the response would lead to more powerful actuators, and permit a decrease in the operating voltage; therefore, the search for novel mechanisms of electromechanical response in solids remains an important objective for both fundamental and applied science.

    We have demonstrated that Gd-doped CeO2, specifically Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9, can generate stress an order of magnitude greater than the best electromechanically active materials. The large stress develops in response to the rearrangement of cerium-oxygen vacancy pairs and their local environment. This effect is expected to be two-fold; i) an applied electric field results in strain and stress directly, and ii) application of the external electric field affects the elastic modulus of Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 by suppressing the chemical strain effect. This is a fundamentally different mechanism than materials currently in use. In this view, Gd-doped CeO2 is representative of a new family of high-performance electromechanical materials.

     

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    • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
    1664
    Neuroinflammation is well established as a key secondary injury mechanism following central nervous system (CNS) trauma, such as brain/spinal injury or ischemic stroke. The neuroinflammation has long been considered to contribute to the damage sustained and fatal outcomes following brain injury....

    Neuroinflammation is well established as a key secondary injury mechanism following central nervous system (CNS) trauma, such as brain/spinal injury or ischemic stroke. The neuroinflammation has long been considered to contribute to the damage sustained and fatal outcomes following brain injury. Alternating between CNS microglia pro and anti-inflammatory activation states is at the core of neuroinflammation initiation and resolution, and failure to switch to the anti-inflammatory state can induce further damage. This can happen under acute or chronic activation as microglia fail to undergo self?resolution of their inflammatory phenotype. Targeting and correcting the balance between microglia activation and suppressive states can therefore reduce brain damage following injury and inflammation.

    The present discovery by the teams of Prof. Michal Schwartz and Prof. Ido Amit elucidates the mechanisms that lead to injury-induced microglia over-activation and proposes IFN-? as a therapeutic strategy to induce microglia to stop their inflammatory response. 

    Applications


    ·           Targeted therapy to reduce neuroinflammation – avoids general immuno-suppressive side effects, treating the cause of inflammation. 

    ·           May allow relatively large therapeutic window – according to proof-of-concept preliminary experiments.


    Advantages


     


    Technology's Essence


    Resident microglia are the major specialized innate immune cells of the CNS. During the process of wound healing or pathogen removal, there is an induction of the microglia active pro-inflammatiry phenotype (M1), leading to a transient inflammatory response, which is resolved via local conversion to the M2 anti-inflammatory phenotype. Following acute injury, microglia fail to acquire M2 phenotype in a timely manner, often resulting in self-perpetuating local inflammation and tissue destruction beyond the primary insult.

    Prof. Schwartz, Prof. Amit, and their respective teams uncovered the mechanisms that lead to injury-based inhibition of the M1 to M2 phenotype switch. They showed that the capacity to undergo pro- to anti-inflammatory (M1-to-M2) phenotype switch is controlled by the transcription factor Interferon regulatory factor-7 (IRF-7). Their results demonstrate that restoring Irf-7 expression by IFN-? (a known IRF-7 activator) reactivates the circuits leading to M2 conversion by improving the resolution of pro?inflammatory cytokines expressed by microglia ex vivo and in vivo, following acute CNS insult.

    Importantly, the anti-inflammatory activity of IFN-? was demonstrated in vivo in mouse models when administrated 24h following the primary insult, proposing a relatively large therapeutic window.

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    • Prof. Michal Eisenbach-Schwartz
    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
    1633
    The ErbB family consists of four structurally related receptor tyrosine kinases. Excessive ErbB signaling is associated with enhanced tumorogenesis, and as such serves as a major therapeutic target in a wide array of solid tumor cancers. A member of this family, the human epidermal growth factor...

    The ErbB family consists of four structurally related receptor tyrosine kinases. Excessive ErbB signaling is associated with enhanced tumorogenesis, and as such serves as a major therapeutic target in a wide array of solid tumor cancers. A member of this family, the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ErbB-2/HER2), is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, including breast and gastric tumors. ErbB-2/HER2 amplification correlates with elevated metastatic activity and poor prognosis. An innovative and highly potent approach for cancer treatment is proposed here, based on delivering novel nucleic acid-based entities called aptamers targeting ErbB-2/HER2. Remarkably, the antitumor effect exerted by the multimeric anti-ErbB-2/HER2 aptamers is twofold stronger than that elicited by currently available antiErbB-2 monocolonal antibodies.

    Applications


    • A novel class of molecules for the treatment of human cancers exhibiting excessive ErbB-2/HER2 signaling.
    • Combination with other therapeutic modalities may predictably enhance the antitumor activity of the aptamer.
    • Aptamers may also be harnessed as carrier molecules to deliver toxic loads into cancer cells.

    Advantages


    • Unlike traditional methods for producing monoclonal antibodies, no organisms are required for the in vitro selection of oligonucleotides. This facilitates the selection and chemical design process of aptamers.
    • Aptamers are produced chemically in a readily scalable process.
    • Non-immunogenic.
    • Unlike other oligonucleotide-based therapeutics (siRNAs, antisense RNA), aptamer therapeutics can be developed for intracellular as well as extracellular or cell-surface targets.

    Technology's Essence


    Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that fold into defined architectures and avidly bind to targets such as proteins, with the same effectiveness and affinity associated with mAbs. Using a novel screening technology the research team has identified a multimeric aptamer with pronounced ErbB-2/HER2 inhibitory activity. Preliminary preclinical experiments show that treatment of gastric tumor-bearing mice with trimeric aptamer resulted in reduced tumor growth that was nearly twofold stronger than that achieved with a monoclonal anti-ErbB-2/HER2 antibody.

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    • Prof. Yosef Yarden
    • Prof. Michael Sela
    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

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