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Popular Bgu News and Current Events, Bgu News Articles.
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Ben-Gurion U researchers isolate microalgal strain that could reduce cholesterol
A research team at BGU's Landau Family Microalgal Biotechnology Lab in the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research headed by Prof. Zvi HaCohen, is studying an algal mutant that is capable of accumulating up to 15 percent (of dry weight) of a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) called DGLA (Dihomo-γ-Linolenic Acid). The new strain, IKG-1, is a freshwater microalga that the researchers believe is the only known plant source capable of producing such significant amounts of DGLA. (2010-05-03)

New genetic mutation that causes male infertility discovered by Ben-Gurion university researchers
Profs. Ruti Parvari and Mahmoud Huleihel of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics discovered the mutation in the gene, which normally protects the full DNA sequence in sperm. This mutation inactivates the function of the gene and arrests sperm production. (2017-08-03)

US opioid epidemic reaches new level of crisis in overdoses, hospitalizations and cost
'We found a 34 percent increase in overdose-related ICU admissions while ICU opioid deaths nearly doubled during that same period,' according to Dr. Lena Novack, Ph.D., a lecturer in BGU's School of Public Health. The mortality rates of these patients climbed at roughly the same rate, on average, with a steeper rise in deaths of patients admitted to the ICU for overdose after 2012. (2017-08-28)

Ben-Gurion University research leads to first nationwide sunscreen chemicals ban in Palau
'We are pleased to see that governments are using scientific research conducted at Ben-Gurion University to protect the delicate coral reef systems and ocean wildlife that are already under significant stress from climate change,' says Prof. Kushmaro. (2018-11-07)

Height gap with parents, not genetics, determines onset of puberty -- Ben-Gurion U. study
'A child who hits puberty earlier than his peers, but at a time consistent with a parental height gap model, should be considered 'healthy',' Dr. Limony says. 'We believe having the ability to determine normal ranges more accurately will reduce the need for unnecessary diagnostic procedures and help doctors better explain the emergence of early- or late-onset puberty to concerned parents.' (2019-02-21)

Ben-Gurion University researchers develop new method to remove dust on solar panels
Particle removal increased from 41% on hydrophilic smooth Si wafers to 98% on superhydrophobic Si-based nanotextured surfaces. The researchers confirmed these results by measuring the adhesion of a micron-sized particle to the flat and nanotextured substrate using an atomic force microscope. They found that the adhesion in water is reduced by a factor of 30. (2019-12-09)

Researchers control cattle microbiomes to reduce methane and greenhouse gases
''Now that we know we can influence the microbiome development, we can use this knowledge to modulate microbiome composition to lower the environmental impact of methane from cows by guiding them to our desired outcomes,'' Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof Mizrahi says. (2020-06-01)

Ben-Gurion University researchers train dogs to respond to haptic vibration commands
'Our research results showed that dogs responded to these vibrotactile cues as well or even better than vocal commands,' says Prof. Amir Shapiro, director of the Robotics Laboratory within BGU's Department of Mechanical Engineering. 'Our current proof-of-concept study shows promising results that open the way toward the use of haptics for human-canine communication.' (2019-07-09)

New analysis on problems between archaeology and pharaonic chronology, based on radiocarbon dating
A Science magazine article reports that, for the first time, it is possible to relate the Minoan Santorini eruption with Egyptian Historical Chronology solely on the basis of radiocarbon dates. Thus, it appears that the eruption preceded the 18th Dynasty and occurred during the Hyksos Period. Moreover, conventional association of Egyptian history with archaeological phases at Tell el-Dab'a, the ancient capital of the Hyksos, located in the northeastern region of the Nile delta, do not fit in terms of radiocarbon dating. (2010-06-17)

Ben-Gurion U. researchers receive US-AID MERC grant for water project with the Palestinian authority
The US-AID MERC grant will address biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes during reclamation of secondary wastewater. Reverse osmosis membrane filtration is normally used for desalination and reclamation of secondary effluents, removing organics and undesired salts from water. The grant project, (2010-08-13)

Blood-brain barrier damage occurs even with mild head trauma -- Ben-Gurion U study
'While the diagnosis of moderate and severe TBI is visible through magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and computer-aided tomography scanning [CT], it is far more challenging to diagnose and treat mild traumatic brain injury, especially a concussion which doesn't show up on a normal CT,' explains Professor Alon Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Friedman is a groundbreaking neuroscientist and surgeon, who established the Inter-Faculty Brain Sciences School at BGU. (2019-09-25)

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
Laser-induced graphene made from an inexpensive polymer is an effective anti-fouling material and, when charged, an excellent antibacterial surface. (2017-05-22)

Ben-Gurion U. introduces israel's first underwater robotic vehicle
'The autonomous HydroCamel II integrates state-of-the-art technologies, including high-level maneuvering in six degrees of freedom and an ability to dive almost vertically,' says Prof. Hugo Guterman of the BGU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and head of LAR. 'Until now, these capabilities were limited to remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), which must be tethered by an umbilical cable to a host ship for its power and air source. The HydroCamel II is completely autonomous.' (2017-10-19)

Smaller plates don't help you eat less when you're hungry -- Ben-Gurion U. research
The new study, published in Appetite, debunks the popular diet trick based on the Delbouef illusion that predicts people will identify sizes differently when they are placed within a larger or smaller object. The classic experiment shows that people perceive a similar black circle is smaller when it embedded in a larger circle than when it is embedded in a smaller one. (2018-07-30)

Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
A new study of adults who were referred for evaluation of a suspected sleep disorder suggests that women tend to underreport snoring and underestimate its loudness. (2019-04-23)

Water makes the proton shake
Basic processes in chemistry and biology involve protons in a water environment. Water structures accommodating protons and their motions have so far remained elusive. Applying ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy, Dahms et al. map fluctuating proton transfer motions and provide direct evidence that protons in liquid water are predominantly shared by two water molecules. Femtosecond proton elongations within a hydration site are 10 to 50 times faster than proton hopping to a new site, the elementary proton transfer step in chemistry. (2017-07-13)

New technique completely protects internet video from cyberattacks -- Ben-Gurion University study
To counter this emerging threat, Professor Hadar developed a series of algorithms that can completely prevent attackers from being able to infiltrate and extract information through videos or pictures. His techniques combat steganography, a process that involves hiding a message in an appropriate carrier, such as an image file. Utilizing steganography, the carrier can be sent to a receiver without anyone else knowing that it contains a hidden message. (2017-03-13)

New smartwatch software may now verify your signatures
New software from Tel Aviv University that measures wrist movements can be used to verify signatures, replacing tablets and digital pens. (2017-01-30)

Financial illiteracy and irrational thinking are causing a dangerous shortfall in retirement savings
Since individuals do not make rational decisions in complex matters such as retirement planning, the researchers suggest an alternative behavioral approach. Instead, they would focus on affecting a few particular attitudes that guide individuals' savings decisions or raising awareness about the needs for retirement, which is harder to ignore. (2019-03-06)

First blood-brain barrier chip using stem cells developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
''By combining organ-chip technology and human iPSC-derived tissue, we have created a neurovascular unit that recapitulates complex BBB functions, provides a platform for modeling inheritable neurological disorders, and advances drug screening, as well as personalized medicine,'' Ben-Gurion University researcher Dr. Vatine says. (2019-06-12)

Cameras can steal data from computer hard drive LED lights -- Ben-Gurion U. study
The research team utilized the hard-drive (HDD) activity LED lights that are found on most desktop PCs and laptops. The researchers found that once malware is on a computer, it can indirectly control the HDD LED, turning it on and off rapidly (thousands of flickers per second) -- a rate that exceeds the human visual perception capabilities. As a result, highly sensitive information can be encoded and leaked over the fast LED signals, which are received and recorded by remote cameras or light sensors. (2017-02-22)

Children conceived after fertility treatments are at increased risk for pediatric cancers
'The research concludes that the association between IVF and total pediatric neoplasms and malignancies is significant,' Prof. Sheiner says. 'With increasing numbers of offspring conceived after fertility treatments, it is important to follow up on their health.' (2017-04-25)

Mass media exposure increases demand for vaccinations
According to a new study in the journal Vaccine, researchers monitored daily immunization rate reports during the detected outbreak and discovered a significant increase in both bivalent oral poliovirus vaccines (bOPV) and other vaccinations during the period there was constant media exposure. (2018-03-01)

The brain can be trained to regulate negative emotions -- Ben-Gurion University study
'These findings are the first to demonstrate that non-emotional training that improves the ability to ignore irrelevant information can result in reduced brain reactions to emotional events and alter brain connections,' says Dr. Noga Cohen. Cohen conducted the study as part of her Ph.D. research at BGU's Cognitive Neuropsychology Lab under the supervision of Professor Avishai Henik of the Department of Psychology. 'These changes were accompanied by strengthened neural connections between brain regions involved in inhibiting emotional reactions.' (2016-01-05)

Cybershoppers make better buying decisions on PCs than phones -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
This is the first study that differentiates between screen size and information reduction, which are often mixed up. The findings will be presented next month at the International Conference on Information Systems, the top academic conference in the field. (2019-11-21)

NTU Singapore and Ben-Gurion University ink partnership to combat advanced cyber threats
Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) are collaborating to find innovative ways to counter cyber threats. The aim of this joint research project, called the Bio-Inspired Agile Cyber Security Assurance Framework (BICSAF), is to develop innovative technologies for tackling Advanced Persistent Threats. (2017-02-01)

Could COVID-19 in wastewater be infectious?
Bar-Zeev, and his postdoc student, Anne Bogler, together with other renowned researchers, indicate that sewage leaking into natural watercourses might lead to infection via airborne spray. Similarly, treated wastewater used to fill recreational water facilities, like lakes and rivers, could also become sources of contagion. Lastly, fruits and vegetables irrigated with wastewater that were not properly disinfected could also be an indirect infection route. (2020-08-24)

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U
'The RSTAR is ideal for search and rescue operations in unstructured environments, such as collapsed buildings or flooded areas, where it must adapt and overcome a variety of successive obstacles to reach its target,' says Dr. David Zarrouk, a lecturer in BGU's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and head of the Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab. (2018-07-18)

New smartphone system to evaluate sleep disorders while awake -- Ben Gurion University innovation
Currently, patients are diagnosed using polysomnography to record brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and eye and leg movements overnight. The new system, which does not require contact sensors, can be installed onto a smartphone or other device that utilizes ambient microphones. It both analyzes speech while the user is awake and records and evaluates overnight breathing sounds using new technology that is simpler to use and significantly less expensive than PSG. (2017-01-09)

Medical cannabis relieves symptoms in children with autism
Overall, after six months of treatment, 30 percent of patients reported a significant improvement, 53.7 percent reported moderate improvement, and only 15 percent had slight or no change. Quality of life, mood and ability to perform activities of daily living were assessed prior to treatment and at six months. Good quality of life was reported by 31.3 percent of patients prior to treatment initiation. At six months, good quality of life more than doubled to 66.8 percent. (2019-01-31)

First Israeli nanosatellite for academic research developed by Ben-Gurion U. is launched
BGUSAT is outfitted with visual and short wavelength infrared cameras. Hovering at 300 miles above the surface of the earth, the nanosatellite's orbital path will enable BGU researchers to study a broad range of environmental phenomena. For example, they will be able to track atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and study Earth's airglow layer, which provides crucial information about climate change. (2017-02-16)

New Antarctic rift data has implications for volcanic evolution -- Ben-Gurion U.
New marine geophysical data recorded during two excursions on a French icebreaker enabled Drs. Roi Granot and Jérôme Dyment to date the ocean floor and calculate the relative motion between the Antarctic Plates and the Australian Plate. This new data revealed that Antarctica fused into one plate around 11 million years ago, roughly 15 million years later than previously assumed. (2018-08-21)

Human excrement efficiently converted to hydrochar -- World Toilet Day Nov. 19
The discovery addresses two challenges prevalent in the developing world: sanitation and growing energy needs. The researchers said the reaction that creates the hydrochar sterilizes the waste material, so it becomes safe to handle. The 'coals' can potentially be utilized for household heating and cooking, while the liquid byproduct (the aqueous phase) could be used as fertilizer. (2018-11-15)

First method to detect illicit drone filming developed
'The beauty of this research is that someone using only a laptop and an object that flickers can detect if someone is using a drone to spy on them,' says Ben Nassi, a Ph.D. student in the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering and a researcher at the BGU Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC). 'While it has been possible to detect a drone, now someone can also tell if it is recording a video of your location or something else.' (2018-01-12)

Ambiguous situations make it easier to justify ethical transgressions
Findings from two related experiments show that people are apt to cheat on a task in favor of their self-interest but only when the situation is ambiguous enough to provide moral cover. (2015-04-27)

Methods developed by biorobotics engineers help make hydropower plants more fish-friendly
In the Europe-wide FIThydro project, TalTech researchers worked with industry partners to study existing hydroelectric power plants. Together with researchers across Europe, they developed new assessment methods and technologies with the goal of making hydropower more fish-friendly and environmentally sustainable. (2020-11-10)

Water on the Gaza Strip: Time bomb or ray of hope?
Beneath the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip is a groundwater crisis that's rapidly depriving Palestinians of drinkable water. Israeli, Palestinian, and French geoscientists have worked out a way to save Gaza drinking water while offering Israelis and Palestinians a rare opportunity to work together and solve a problem for their mutual benefit. (2003-11-03)

New cyberattacks against urban water services possible warn Ben-Gurion University researchers
The researchers analyzed and found vulnerabilities in a number of commercial smart irrigation systems, which enable attackers to remotely turn watering systems on and off at will. The researchers tested three of the most widely sold smart irrigation systems: GreenIQ, BlueSpray, and RainMachine smart irrigation systems. (2018-08-09)

Cannabis reduces blood pressure in older adults, according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
''Older adults are the fastest growing group of medical cannabis users, yet evidence on cardiovascular safety for this population is scarce,'' says Dr. Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, one of Israel's leading medical faculties, and the BGU-Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute. ''This study is part of our ongoing effort to provide clinical research on the actual physiological effects of cannabis over time.'' (2021-02-08)

Summer heat increases risk of amniotic fluid level deficiency, Ben-Gurion University study reveals
Pregnant women have a higher incidence of insufficient amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios) in the summer months due to dehydration, according to a study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. During the study period, there were 191,558 deliveries of which 4,335 were diagnosed with idiopathic oligohydramnios. Of these, a proportionally higher number, 1,553 deliveries (36 percent), occurred during these four summer months, while 2,782 deliveries occurred during the other eight months of the year (64 percent). (2009-07-30)

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