Science & Technology
- Written by the Weizmann Institute of Science
The project, led by Prof. Eran Segal and his team of the Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and Molecular Cell Biology Departments, aims to use state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technologies in order to generate personalized predictions for disease risk factors. The 10K project is a longitudinal study designed to collect lifestyle and clinical data from 10,000 individuals that will be recruited from the Israeli population and is suitable for Hebrew speakers only.
Segal and his team believe that the analysis of the data obtained in this study will help in developing methodologies that will influence public health in the future.
For further information about Project 10K and registration (in Hebrew):
Prof. Eran Segal's research is supported by the Crown Human Genome Center, which he heads; the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust; the Else Kroener Fresenius Foundation; the Adelis Foundation; Judith Benattar; Aliza Moussaieff; the Fannie Sherr Fund; the Estate of Zvia Zeroni; and the European Research Council.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.
Weizmann Institute news releases are posted on the World Wide Web at
Photo Weizmann Institute
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
We will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria. Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger, and in any case will not achieve his goal.
PM Netanyahu at the renaming ceremony for the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center .
Photo: GPO/Kobi Gideon
- Written by TAU
Breakthrough research at Tel Aviv University unravels the metastatic mechanism of melanoma
Tel Aviv University researchers, together with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, have discovered the mechanism by which melanoma spreads to other organs in the body, and have found ways to prevent the metastasis.
In a landmark discovery, researchers at Tel Aviv University have unraveled the metastatic mechanism of melanoma, the most aggressive of all skin cancers. The scientists discovered that before spreading to other organs, the tumor sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA. These induce morphological changes in the dermis – in preparation for receiving and transporting the cancer cells. The researchers also found chemical substances that can stop the process, and are therefore promising drug candidates.
The paper was published yesterday (Monday, 22 August 2016) as the leading cover-page article of the prominent scientific journal Nature Cell Biology .
Melanoma, the most aggressive and lethal type of skin cancer, causes the death of one person every 52 minutes (according to data from the Skin Cancer Foundation), and the number of diagnosed cases has been on the rise for the past three decades. Despite a range of therapies developed over the years, there is still no full remedy for this life-threatening disease. A recent study at Tel Aviv University proposes new and effective methods for diagnosing and preventing this most deadly of skin cancers.
"The threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis – cancer cells sent off to colonize in vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones," says research leader Dr. Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine. "We discovered how the cancer spreads to distant organs, and found ways to stop the process before the metastatic stage."
Morphological changes in the dermis
The researchers began by examining pathology samples taken from melanoma patients, and the findings were striking indeed. "We looked at samples of early melanoma, before the invasive stage," says Dr. Levy. "To our surprise we found changes that had never before been reported, in the morphology of the dermis – the inner layer of the skin. Our next task was to find out what these changes were, and how they related to melanoma." In the ensuing long and complex study the group was able to discover - and also block – a central mechanism in the metastasis of melanoma.
According to Dr. Levy, scientists have known for years that melanoma forms in the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. At this early stage the cancer is unable to send off colonizing cancer cells, because it has no access to blood vessels - the highways that carry the cells to other parts of the body. With no blood vessels present in the epidermis, the tumor first needs to contact the abund ant blood vessels running through the dermis. But how is the connection made?
"We found that even before the cancer itself invades the dermis, it sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA. These induce the morphological changes in the dermis, in preparation for receiving and transporting the cancer cells. It now became clear to us that by blocking the vesicles, we may be able to stop the disease altogether."
Transforming melanoma into a nonthreatening illness
Having discovered the mechanism, the researchers proceeded to look for substances that could intervene and block the process in its earliest stages. They found two such chemicals: one, SB202190, inhibits the delivery of the vesicles from the melanoma tumor to the dermis; and the other, U0126, prevents the morphological changes in the dermis even after the arrival of the vesicles. Both substances were tested successfully in the lab, and may serve as promising candid ates for future drugs. In addition, the changes in the dermis, as well as the vesicles themselves, can be used as powerful indicators for early diagnosis of melanoma.
"Our study is an important step on the road to a full remedy for the deadliest skin cancer," says Dr. Levy. "We hope that our findings will help turn melanoma into a nonthreatening, easily curable disease."
The group at Tel Aviv University worked in close collaboration with Prof. Jörg D. Hoheisel and Laureen Sander at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Dr. Shoshi Greenberger at the Sheba Medical Center and Dr. Ronen Brenner at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Lab research was led by Dr. Shani Dror of Dr. Levy's research group.
(The research was funded with the support of the Science, Technology and Space Ministry in the framework of a joint German-Israeli canc er research program.)
- Written by Israel Innovation Authority
Six winning Israeli startups will take part in the “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program and will soon launch pilot programs in India. The program was initiated in meetings between the prime ministers of India and Israel.
Six Israeli startups with innovative technologies in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, and water management have made it to the final stage of the Israel Innovation Authority’s “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program, launched over the past year during bilateral meetings between the prime ministers of both countries. The 18 companies that were initially selected to participate in this program presented their technologies to CEOs and investors from Israel and India in a Demo Day held last week at the Urban Place complex in Tel Aviv. Six companies were chosen to continue to the final stage where they will pilot their solutions in India.
Among the notable participants taking part in the Demo Day were representatives of India’s Invest India agency. The keynote speaker was Rohtash Mal, Chairman of EM3 Agriservices, renowned in India as the “Uber of farmers.” The company rents out equipment to farmers based on time or acres farmed, doing away with the need for farmers to purchase expensive equipment and giving them access to advanced technology at low costs.
The six winning companies selected to continue to the pilot stage of the program are:
Amaizz, a company that has developed a portable drying device enabling dry storage of agricultural produce – of immense significance in the Indian market, where it is difficult to ship fresh produce.
Biofeed, a company that has developed a device to combat fruit flies, a pest destructive to India’s yield of mango and other fruit. India is one of the world’s key mango exporters.
Zebra Medical, a company developing medical imaging technologies.
MobileODT, a company that has developed devices to diagnose cervical cancer.
In Water Management:
Aquallence, a company that has developed a device to treat water with Ozone.
AMS Technologies, a company that has developed a system to filter industrial water.
The 18 companies initially selected were reviewed by a panel of judges from Israel and India who looked at over 150 applications. The companies took part in a six-month process that included training and workshops, including information regarding Indian markets, together with professional visits, networking events, mentoring and meetings with senior executives and officials, including investors, senior management and experts and entrepreneurs in the fields of water management, agriculture and healthcare.
The Demo Day judges included members of Indian and Israeli companies, including entrepreneur Ofir Shalvi; Adi Vagman, Managing Partner of the AgriNation venture capital fund; Sigalit Berenson, Sales and Service Manager of the Indian-owned Decco SafePack company; Deeksha Vats, Joint President of Sustainability at the Indian corporation, Aditya Birla Group; Rajit Mehta, CEO of the Max Healthcare Institute; and Avi Luvton, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific and Latin America desk at the Israel Innovation Authority.
Eli Cohen, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, said: “Following the government decision a year ago to invest 240 million shekels by the year 2020 to promote relations with India in the fields of innovation and technology, the “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program is a golden opportunity for Israeli companies in the fields of healthcare, water management and agritech to achieve prominence and to enter such a significant and developing global market – India.”
Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, said: “The Israel-India Bridge to Innovation is a springboard for cooperation between Israeli innovators and Indian corporations. The collaboration between India, a massive economy with the largest growth rate in the world, and Israel, the “Startup Nation,” to develop technological solutions to various challenges, is synergistic and unique. There is a real mutual desire, backed by substantial investment, to pilot these cooperative ventures in India in order to solve pressing global challenges specifically in India but all over the world as well.”
Avi Luvton, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Desk at the Israel Innovation Authority, emphasized that the “Bridge to Innovation” program comes at a peak in Israeli-Indian relations that began more than a year ago and which has been strengthened by bilateral visits by both prime ministers, reflecting an era in which many new opportunities are opening up within the Indian economy.
- Written by MFA
The World Economic Forum has published the annual list of Technology Pioneers. Two of the 14 companies chosen in the category of Life Sciences & Health are Israeli: Consumer Physics and ElMindA.
The World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers programme recognizes early-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society. Technology Pioneers come from a wide range of sectors such as life sciences and health, energy and environment, and information technologies and new media.
The World Economic Forum has published the annual list of Technology Pioneers, which this year consists of 49 companies from 10 countries, recognizing the world's 49 most promising Technology Pioneers for 2015. Two of the 14 companies chosen in the category of Life Sciences & Health are Israeli: Consumer Physics and ElMindA.
Consumer Physics, founded in 2011 and based in Herzliya, has produced the SCiO - a tiny spectrometer that allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent directly to your smartphone. The world's first molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand, it allows users to explore objects by scanning materials.
For example, you can:
Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: Dairy products, Fruits and vegetables. Other apps for drinks, meats, ripeness, salad dressing and more will be released on a regular basis as our database expands.
Know the well-being of popular plants.
Identify capsules containing medicine and nutritional supplements.
Help build the world's first database of matter.
Potential future use cases include analysis of pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, textiles, plants, gemstones, rubber, plastics, and the human body.
ElMindA, also based in Herzliya, was founded in 2006, with the vision of revolutionizing the management of brain disorders and injuries, by transforming state of the art neuroscience into bed-side clinical practice.
ElMindA Ltd. has developed Brain Network Activation (BNA), a non-invasive technology that allows physicians to accurately differentiate between the function of a healthy brain and the dysfunction of an injured brain. With BNA physicians can monitor change in brain networks and address brain health by identifying disease onset and assessing treatment efficacy. ElMindA is revolutionizing our ability to assess and treat the brain across a broad range of previously elusive conditions such as depression, pain, or memory loss.
ElMindA’s innovative approach and supporting data have led to partnerships with top pharmaceutical companies and leading neurological and psychiatric institutes around the world. The company has already completed several clinical trials establishing the utility of the BNA™ technology, and its technology is already being utilized by leading pharmaceutical companies as an integral part of their clinical development programs for monitoring drug effect on the brain.
BNA™ as a measure of brain state and brain changes, can potentially be applied to a wide spectrum of indications and their therapeutic interventions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Concussion, ADHD, pain, stroke, depression, and other Central Nervous System related conditions. In addition, the technology serves as a valuable tool in the development of CNS related treatments.
Photo: Israel's Technological Pioneers: Consumer Physics and ElMindA
Copyright: World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers