Current Bgu News and Events

Current Bgu News and Events, Bgu News Articles.
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Music is a must for young drivers, according to Ben-Gurion U. researchers
According to the study published in APA's journal Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain, 140 young adults responded to a 67-item questionnaire exploring how drivers engage with music while driving. Ironically, most of the respondents (80%) claimed it was not only ''difficult,'' but sometimes ''near impossible'' to concentrate on traffic and road conditions without music playing. And once they arrive, most of the respondents will stay in their car at their destination until the song ends. (2021-02-22)

Members Face 'Catch-22' challenges joining online communities -- Ben-Gurion U. study
''Social networks, and the technologies that support them, provide valuable tools for forming and maintaining connections that build social capital,'' says Dr. Daphna Yeshua-Katz of the BGU Department of Communication Studies. ''While we don't dispute the benefits of these far-reaching communities, our findings reveal the problematic paradox caused by security concerns.'' (2021-02-16)

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)

New Parkinson's disease therapeutics discovered by Ben-Gurion U researchers
Dr. Claude Brodski, M.D., head of the BGU's Laboratory for Molecular Neuroscience, discovered that BMP5/7 signaling in neurons was significantly reduced in dopamine-producing brain cells, which could contribute to Parkinson's disease advancement. (2021-01-20)

Green med diet cuts non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by half - Ben-Gurion U. study
Overall, the green MED diet produced dramatic reductions in fatty liver. NAFLD prevalence dropped from 62% at baseline to 31.5% in the green Mediterranean group, down to 47.9% in the Mediterranean group and 54.8% in the healthy dietary regimen group. Addressing this common liver disease by targeted lifestyle intervention might promote a more effective nutritional strategy. This Ben-Gurion University of the Negev clinical trial demonstrates an effective nutritional tool for NAFLD beyond weight loss (2021-01-18)

Reopening Florida schools followed by uptick in COVID-19 infections, Ben-Gurion U. study
''Our analysis has implications for countries trying to determine whether to keep physical schools open as they battle rising infection rates,'' Miron says. ''Vaccines will not be given to children initially, so managing infection rates through temporary remote learning is of paramount importance.'' (2021-01-05)

Can we be manipulated into sharing private info online? Yes, says Ben-Gurion U. study
The Ben-Gurion U. researchers showed that by using digital ''foot-in-the-door'' techniques, such as requesting personal information from less important to more private (ascending privacy-intrusion order), websites can successfully entice users to reveal more of their private information. Similarly, by placing each request on consecutive, separate webpages, users are more likely to reveal more private data. Websites can further manipulate their users by spreading out information requests over the course of several pages, rather than consolidating all requests on one page. (2020-12-22)

Do I know you? Researchers evaluate how masks disrupt facial perception
The researchers found that the success rate of identifying someone wearing a mask was reduced by 15%. ''This could lead to many errors in correctly recognizing people we know, or alternatively, accidently recognizing faces of unfamiliar face as people we know,'' says Prof. Galia Avidan who is a member of the BGU Department of Psychology and the Department of Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and an expert on facial recognition and perception. (2020-12-21)

Possible bittersweet effects of stevia uncovered by Ben-Gurion U. researchers
According to the new study, stevia may disrupt communications between different bacteria in the gut microbiome. While the team found that stevia inhibited these pathways, it did not kill off the bacteria. (2020-12-07)

New cyberattack can trick scientists into making toxins or viruses -- Ben-Gurion University researchers
The researchers found that accessibility and automation of the synthetic gene engineering workflow, combined with insufficient cybersecurity controls, allow malware to interfere with biological processes within the victim's lab, closing the loop with the possibility of an exploit written into a DNA molecule. (2020-11-30)

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)

Cockroaches and lizards inspire new robot developed by Ben-Gurion University researcher
'The AmphiSTAR uses a sprawling mechanism inspired by cockroaches, and it is designed to run on water at high speeds like the basilisk lizard,' says Ben-Gurion University Prof. Zarrouk. 'We envision that AmphiSTAR can be used for agricultural, search and rescue and excavation applications, where both crawling and swimming are required.' (2020-11-02)

Keeping weight off is up to your brain, not just willpower, Ben-Gurion U researchers discover
'To our surprise, we discovered that while higher executive functions, as measured behaviorally, were dominant factors in weight loss, this was not reflected in patterns of brain connectivity,' says Gidon Levakov, a graduate student, who led the study from the BGU Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. 'Consequently, we found that weight loss is not merely a matter of willpower, but is actually connected to much more basic visual and olfactory cues.' (2020-10-19)

Moms report mild to high levels of COVID-19 anxiety and insomnia in study by Ben-Gurion University
The results indicated that maternal clinical insomnia (Insomnia Severity Score > 15) during the COVID?19 pandemic more than doubled to 23% during the pandemic, compared with only 11% before the pandemic. Approximately 80% of mothers also reported mild?to?high levels of current COVID?19 anxiety. (2020-10-12)

New York and California may have already achieved herd immunity -- Ben-Gurion U. researcher
Prof. Last of the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, presented these finding virtually at the Artificial Intelligence and the Coronavirus workshop at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIME) on August 26. He has been analyzing health data for the past 20 years. (2020-09-01)

Consuming your own fecal microbiome when dieting may limit weight regain -- Ben-Gurion University
''It is well known that most weight-loss dieters reach their lowest body weight after 4-6 months, and are then challenged by the plateau or regain phase, despite continued dieting,'' says Dr. Shai. a member of the School of Public Health. In this groundbreaking study, the international group of researchers explored whether preserving the optimized personal microbiome from fecal transplants after six months of weight loss helps maintain weight loss by transplanting back the optimized microbiome during the subsequent expected regain phase. (2020-08-26)

New technique to prevent imaging cyberthreats proposed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
As part of his Ph.D. research, Ben-Gurion University researcher Tom Mahler has developed a technique using artificial intelligence that analyzes the instructions sent from the PC to the physical components using a new architecture for the detection of anomalous instructions. (2020-08-25)

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)

COVID-19 pooling test method from Ben-Gurion U. IDs asymptomatic carriers
P-BEST can be configured on the basis of the carrier rate. The lower the carrier rate, the higher efficiency. The pooling method has been tested using an advanced liquid-handling robotic system that can perform the task in an hour and can be performed in a typical clinical diagnostic laboratory anywhere in the world. (2020-08-21)

Lack of continuous infectious disease pandemic research endangers responses
The coronavirus was also studied considerably less than blood borne viruses like Hepatitis B or C and H.I.V. and its research community has less prolific researchers than the other investigated diseases. This translates into limited collaborations and a non-sustained investment in research on coronaviruses. Such a short-lived investment also reduces funding and may slow down important developments such as new drugs, vaccines or preventive strategies. (2020-08-17)

Significantly improved COVID-19 outcomes in countries with higher TB vaccination coverage
The researchers discovered that BCG regimes are associated with better COVID-19 outcomes, both in reducing infection rates and death rates per million, especially for ages 24 or younger who had received the vaccination in the last 15 years. There was no effect among older adults who had received the BCG vaccine. Many countries have stopped inoculating their entire population, but some still use BCG widely. (2020-08-12)

New method to defend against smart home cyber attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
According to their new study published in Computers & Security, the ability to launch massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks via a botnet of compromised devices is an exponentially growing risk in the Internet of Things (IoT). Such massive attacks, possibly emerging from IoT devices in home networks, impact the attack target, as well as the infrastructure of telecommunication service providers (telcos). (2020-08-03)

Ben-Gurion University researchers determine how to accurately pinpoint malicious drone operators
When tested in simulated drone paths, the model was able to predict the operator location with 78% accuracy. The next step in the project would be to repeat this experiment with data captured from real drones. (2020-07-08)

A furry social robot can reduce pain and increase happiness -- Ben-Gurion University researchers
Ben-Gurion University researcher Levy-Tzedek and her team discovered that a single, 60-minute interaction with PARO actually improved mood as well as reduced mild or severe pain. When participants touched PARO, they experienced greater pain reduction than when it was simply present in their room. (2020-06-23)

MRI test for football players that could detect CTE, developed by Ben-Gurion U. researcher
'We believe that those with persistent leak encompassing months or years are more likely to develop CTE,' says Prof. Friedman. 'Many players seem to repair their BBB quickly, and if they do not suffer from repeated TBIs [traumatic brain injuries] or are not sensitive to brain injury, they are not likely to develop CTE.' (2020-06-19)

Bacteria in Chinese pickles can prevent cavities -- Ben-Gurion University study
Prof. Ariel Kushmaro of the BGU Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering and the Chinese research team evaluated 14 different types of Sichuan pickles from southwest China. They extracted 54 different strains of Lactobacilli and found that one, L. plantarum K41, significantly reduced the incidence and severity of cavities. K41 was also highly tolerant of acids and salts, an additional benefit as a probiotic for harsh oral conditions. It also could have potential commercial value when added to dairy products. (2020-06-11)

Zero rates preferable to negative rates for investors' risk-taking -Ben-Gurion U study
In several lab experiments, the researchers demonstrated that a zero-interest rate policy has the strongest impact on individuals' investment decisions driving their decisions to borrow money and the percentage of risky assets in their portfolios. Specifically, dropping the interest rate below zero, a negative interest rate policy, is less effective in terms of increasing leverage and shifting individuals' allocations to risky assets. (2020-06-08)

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)

Trump's election didn't cause a large increase in depression among US Democrats
''Broadly speaking, our data suggest that America did not get more depressed because of Trump, at least in the first year after his election,'' says Prof. Michael Gilead, who heads the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Symbolic Cognition and Interaction Lab. (2020-05-06)

Treated wastewater may safe for aquaculture -- Ben-Gurion University researchers
A new study in aquaculture by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has determined that organic micropollutants (OMPs) in the water - trace elements of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and personal care products as well as pesticides, solvents, and detergents - result in minimal accumulation in fish. Additionally, the wastewater does not appear to affect other commercially important traits of fish. (2020-03-13)

Next gen 911 services are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks -- Ben-Gurion researchers
In recent years, organizations have experienced countless DDoS attacks, during which internet-connected devices are flooded with traffic -- often generated by many computers or phones called 'bots' that are infected by malware by a hacker and act in concert with each other. When an attacker ties up all the available connections with malicious traffic, no legitimate information -- like calling 911 in a real emergency -- can make it through. (2020-03-11)

Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming
'Every crop we tested had a very significant mitigation capacity despite being grown on very different soils and under natural climate variability,' says Dr. Ilya Gelfand, of the BGU French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. 'These crops could provide a very significant portion of the decarbonization of US light-duty vehicle transport to curb CO2 emissions and slow global warming.' Decarbonization of transportation is critical to limit rising temperatures.' (2020-03-10)

There's a better way to think about being kept waiting at work
Generally, abstract thinking leads to better outcomes, such as more creativity, wider vision and feeling more powerful. However, in the paper published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior (2020), Efrat-Triester, and UBC researchers Michael Daniels and Sandra Robinson demonstrate that abstract thinking can also lead to undesired outcomes in stressful situations, such as waiting. (2020-02-24)

Cyber researchers at Ben-Gurion University fool autonomous vehicle systems with phantom images
In a new research paper, ;Phantom of the ADAS,' the researchers demonstrated that autopilots and advanced driving-assistance systems (ADASs) in semi-autonomous or fully autonomous cars register depthless projections of objects (phantoms) as real objects. They show how attackers can exploit this perceptual challenge to manipulate the vehicle and potentially harm the driver or passengers without any special expertise by using a commercial drone and inexpensive image projector. (2020-02-18)

Researchers develop first all-optical, stealth encryption technology at Ben-Gurion University
'Basically, the innovative breakthrough is that if you can't detect it, you can't steal it,' Professor Sadot says. 'Because an eavesdropper can neither read the data nor even detect the existence of the transmitted signal, our optical stealth transmission provides the highest level of privacy and security for sensitive data applications.' (2020-01-29)

Full influenza vaccination among children cuts hospitalization in half
Fully vaccinating children reduces the risk of hospitalization associated with influenza by 54%, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan, the Clalit Research Institute, and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. (2020-01-22)

Ben-Gurion University researchers slash pre-drug screening time from years to days
'Our new approach will increase the understanding of the mechanisms and evolutionary origins of specific PPIs, and facilitate the rational design of specific inhibitors that can discriminate between structurally similar protein targets,' says Professor Niv Papo of BGU's Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN). (2020-01-22)

Influenza vaccination of children cuts hospitalization in half: Ben-Gurion U. researchers
The findings reveal that the flu vaccine reduced hospitalizations associated with the flu by more than half. They also validate guidelines in the United States and Israel that recommend two vaccine doses for children up to age 8 who have never been vaccinated or who previously received one dose. (2020-01-21)

Ben-Gurion University researchers develop new realtime soil nitrate sensor
The new optical nitrate sensor is based on absorption spectroscopy. It enables continuous, real-time measurement of nitrate and can detect nitrate concentrations in the range of tens to hundreds of parts per million (ppm), which is the range relevant to growing crops. Its ability to continuously monitor soil nitrate levels produces a highly detailed portrayal of the rapidly changing concentrations of nitrate in the soil solution. The new sensor is also highly resistant to harsh chemical and physical soil conditions. (2020-01-14)

Sleep difficulties in children with Autism caused by shallower brain waves -- Ben-Gurion U.
'For the first time, we found that children with more serious sleep issues showed brain activity that indicated more shallow and superficial sleep,' says BGU Prof. Ilan Dinstein, head of the National Autism Research Center of Israel and a member of BGU's Department of Psychology. 'We also found a clear relationship between the severity of sleep disturbances as reported by the parents and the reduction in sleep depth.' (2020-01-06)

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