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Current Bgu News and Events, Bgu News Articles.
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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)

New diagnostic techniques and drug may slow and even reverse cognitive decline from aging
When given the new drug to reduce inflammation, senile mice had fewer signs of dysfunctional brain electrical activity and were better able to learn new tasks, becoming almost cognitively adept as mice half their age. Other findings indicate two practical pathways -- measuring the leakiness of the blood-brain barrier via MRI and abnormal electrical brain activity via EEG -- that can be used to screen people for a leaky BBB. (2019-12-04)

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)

NASA Sending solar power generator developed at Ben-Gurion U to space station
'These results lay the groundwork for future space microconcentrator photovoltaic systems and establish a realistic path to exceed 350 w/kg specific power at more than 33% power conversion efficiency by scaling down to even smaller microcells,' the researchers say. 'These could serve as a drop-in replacement for existing space solar cells at a substantially lower cost.' (2019-11-14)

Can watching movies detect autism?
In the current study, the researchers presented ASD and control children with three short movies, each shown twice. Two of the movies were animated and one was a realistic home video; all contained social interactions between at least two individuals. This experimental design allowed comparisons across movies, presentations and different eye tracking measures to identify what is the best technique for identifying ASD children based on differences in gaze behavior. (2019-10-28)

Pesticides likely caused 'Havana syndrome' that affected Cuba-based diplomats
The study details the nature of the injury, specifies the brain regions involved, including the blood-brain barrier and suggests a possible cause in the form of 'cholinesterase inhibitors,' with 'organophosphorus insecticides' being a likely source. Cholinesterase (ChE) is one of the key enzymes required for the proper functioning of the nervous systems of humans, invertebrates and insects. (2019-10-03)

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)

Super shrimp designed at Ben-Gurion University could increase yield and prevent disease
''We were able to achieve the monosex population without the use of hormones or genetic modifications and thus address two major agricultural considerations: monosex populations and ecological concerns,'' says Levy. ''Prawns serve as efficient biocontrol agents against parasite-carrying snails. And since we can now use monosex prawns, which do not reproduce, it reduces the hazard of prawns becoming an invasive species.'' (2019-09-04)

Router guest networks lack adequate security, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University
According to Adar Ovadya, a master's student in BGU's Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, 'all of the routers we surveyed regardless of brand or price point were vulnerable to at least some cross-network communication once we used specially crafted network packets. A hardware-based solution seems to be the safest approach to guaranteeing isolation between secure and non-secure network devices.' (2019-08-15)

Mankai duckweed plant found to offer health benefits -- Ben-Gurion University research
In this new study, the researchers compared Mankai shake consumption to a yogurt shake equivalent in carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and calories. Following two weeks of monitoring with glucose sensors, participants who drank the duckweed shake showed a much better response in a variety of measurements including lower glucose peak levels; morning fasting glucose levels; later peak time; and faster glucose evacuation. The participants also felt more full. (2019-08-05)

Babies display empathy for victims as early as 6 months -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
'The findings indicate that even during a baby's first year, the infant is already sensitive to others' feelings and can draw complicated conclusions about the context of a particular emotional display,' says Dr. Florina Uzefovsky, head of the BGU Bio-Empathy Lab. 'Even during the first year, babies are able to identify figures who 'deserve' empathy and which ones do not, and if it appears that there is no justification for the other one's distress, no preference is shown.' (2019-07-29)

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 diet study using MRI to map internal fat conducted by Ben-Gurion U researchers
The study showed that a low-carb Mediterranean diet had a greater effect on reducing fat around the liver, heart and the pancreas, compared to low-fat diets with similar calorie counts, although the weight loss was similar. The team also found that moderate physical exercise reduced the amount of visceral fat stored around the stomach. (2019-06-13)

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)

New computer attack mimics user's keystroke characteristics and evades detection, according to Ben-Gurion University cyber researchers
'Our proposed detection modules are trusted and secured, based on information that can be measured from side-channel resources, in addition to data transmission,' Farhi says. 'These include (1) the keyboard's power consumption; (2) the keystrokes' sound; and (3) the user's behavior associated with his or her ability to respond to typographical errors.' (2019-06-06)

New flying/driving robot developed at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Possible commercial uses are package deliveries since it can quickly fly to a target zone and then drive using its wheels safely and quietly to reach the recipient's doorstep. FSTAR can also be used for search and rescue applications as it can fly over various obstacles and crawl between or underneath cracks where a regular drone cannot fly. The robot can also be used in agriculture, maintenance, cleaning, filming, and entertainment, as well as law enforcement and anti-terrorist applications. (2019-05-20)

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)

Could internet activity provide accurate in plant and animal conservation?
More than a quarter of the species in their dataset showed seasonal interest. For these seasonal species, the researchers found that the timing and amount of internet activity is a highly accurate measure of when and how the species is present. The team thinks it might be possible to measure changes in the presence and abundance of species simply by measuring internet activity. (2019-03-13)

50 is the new 40 for safe childbirth, according to Ben-Gurion U. researchers
'It turns out that 50 is the new 40 when it comes to childbirth,' according to Dr. Sheiner. 'There is no doubt that medical teams will need to handle increasing numbers of birth for women over age 50.' (2019-03-07)

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)

Home births are three times more dangerous than hospital deliveries
When accounting for variables including the mother's existing health, age, health habits such as smoking, and ethnic background, the occurrence of a still-born infant was significant, with a risk 2.6 times higher for infant mortality compared with patients who delivered in hospitals. (2019-03-02)

Artificial intelligence could predict spread of melanoma
The BGU/ UTSW group demonstrated that their representation of the functional state of individual cells can predict the likelihood that a stage III melanoma, with malignancies limited to the lymphatic system, will progress to stage IV, in which the cancer has spread from the principal area to the rest of the patient's body. (2019-02-26)

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)

Fish and humans are alike in visual stimuli perception -- Ben-Gurion U.
'The experiments tested archerfish performance in visual-search tasks where a target was defined by color, size, orientation, or motion,' says Professor Ronen Segev, head of the BGU Neural Code Lab, and a member of the Department of Life Sciences and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience. 'We found, for the first time, that archerfish process these four features in much the same way humans identify a target amidst distracting shapes and colors.' (2019-02-04)

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)

New nanosatellite system captures better imagery at lower cost
'This is an invention that completely changes the costs of space exploration, astronomy, aerial photography, and more,' says Angika Bulbul, a BGU Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Rosen in the BGU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. (2019-01-04)

NBA teams that come from behind don't garner more overtime wins -- Ben-Gurion U. Research
'People talk about momentum as an indicator for success in business, sports and politics,' says Dr. Elia Morgulev from the BGU Department of Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. 'However, after studying close to 900 tied games with fourth quarter comebacks over 11 National Basketball Association seasons, we found that regardless of momentum, teams with the home advantage and more season wins were more likely to succeed in the five-minute overtime.' (2019-01-02)

Ben-Gurion University researchers improve diabetes remission predictors in bariatric surgery
'We know weight-loss surgery has the potential to put diabetes in remission,' says Dr. Rachel Golan, a lecturer in the BGU School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences. 'The previous DiaRem model was limited to projecting outcomes for only one year after only one type of procedure. Our 'Advanced-DiaRem' was able to predict the longer-term probability of achieving remission from diabetes out to five years following three different surgical procedures.' (2018-12-10)

Medical equipment hacking and defensive solutions presentation by Ben-Gurion U. researcher
The Ben Gurion University proposed system learns to recognize typical imaging scan protocols and to predict if a new, unseen command is legitimate or not. If an attacker sends a malicious command to the device, the system will detect it and alert the operator before the command is executed. Mahler notes that the system is not yet finished, but that the results are a significant milestone on the path to securing medical imaging devices. (2018-11-27)

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)

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)

Ben-Gurion University researchers achieve breakthrough in process to produce hydrogen fuel
''This discovery could have a significant impact on efforts to replace carbon-based fuels with more environmentally friendly hydrogen fuels. Auto manufacturers seek to develop hydrogen-powered vehicles that are considered efficient and environmentally friendly and unlike electric vehicles, allow for fast refueling and extended mileage.'' (2018-10-29)

More bad news for artificial sweetener users according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners. (2018-10-01)

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)

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)

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)

Greater market liquidity actually increases risk, according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
'The model we developed is richer than the classic theory because, among other reasons, it takes into account a more realistic treatment of financial markets in which various investors have different investment strategies,' the researchers say. 'Investors differ in the amount of risk they are willing to assume, and therefore choose different proportions of investments in risky assets, such as equities.' (2018-07-25)

New malicious email detection method that outperforms 60 antivirus engines -- Ben-Gurion
They compared their detection model to 60 industry-leading antivirus engines as well as previous research, and found their system outperformed the next best antivirus engine by 13 percent -- significantly better than such products including Kaspersky, MacAfee and Avast. (2018-07-19)

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 study debunks Dale Carnegie advice to 'put yourself in their shoes'
The researchers debunk the theories canonized in Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People that assuming you understand someone else's thoughts, feelings, attitude, or mental state is a correct approach to interpersonal insight. (2018-06-21)

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