Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Division of Public Affairs & Resource Development, January 2004

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1 I N T E R N E T : h t t p : / / w w w. f o c u s. t e c h n i o n. a c. i l Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Division of Public Affairs & Resource Development, January 2004 W ORLDS AHEAD There are many new worlds emerging at the Technion: the genius of using self-assembling properties of DNA to create new horizons of technology, the pools of wisdom that are nurturing stem cell research, and the breadth of experience and dedication of world-class students and graduates. Technion is a place to look forward to the world ahead. SWITCH TO NANO Using the self-assembling properties of DNA to manipulate the tiniest elements of the material world, Technion scientists have come up with the ultimate in electronic miniaturization the nanotransistor. story on Page Kinneret Keren (right) published the second of two papers in Science, reporting on her Ph.D. research. Keren, working at the Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics by Biotechnology, is part of the team that developed a revolutionary concept for the construction of DNA-templated electronics using genetic recombination the process which mixes two pieces of DNA molecules to yield a new molecule. Miki Koren NASA/JPL/Cornell U C MARS Technion graduate brainpower from HP helped the world see the spectacular, high-resolution images of Mars transmitted by NASA s roving spacecraft. Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (HPL) said research by three Technion graduates Drs. Gadiel Seroussi, Marcelo Weinberger and Guillermo Sapiro made possible the transmission of pictures from the Mars explorer, Spirit. Compression technology is important for rapid transmission of high quality pictures. To send the most accurate images possible, NASA is relying on the LOCO-I algorithm (LOw COmplexity LOssless COmpression for Images) developed at HPL. Just hours after it landed on January 3, NASA s Spirit Rover began sending stunning black-and-white photographs of Mars rocky surface back to Earth, 106 million miles away. These and other color images will be used to help scientists select the most promising targets to explore for signs of water that might once have sustained life on Mars. Weinberger and Seroussi s doctoral advisors were Profs. Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, developers of the Lempel-Ziv coding algorithm a world standard for compressed information transmission. SAPERMAN Listed by TIME Magazine and CNN as one of the 20 most influential businesspeople for 2003, Technion graduate 34-year-old Shai Agassi, SAP Executive Board member, came home to a packed auditorium of students and alumni. story on Page 3... IRON FUNDING Thirty years of research into brain iron metabolism have made Prof. Moussa Youdim, head of Technion s Eve Topf and US National Parkinson s Foundation Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Teaching, the first to determine the vital role of iron in brain function. Youdim recently received one of five major grants from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research this field. Fox, 42, is a well-known Hollywood actor who suffers from Parkinson s disease. (See full story in next issue of Focus.) Nano World p.2 Bridging Worlds p.5 Stem Cell Creations p.6 FROM THE PRESIDENT Prof. Yitzhak Apeloig, President Welcome to the latest edition of Technion Focus, in which we are continuing to celebrate our exceptional 80 year history. We have recently seen much in the world media about Technion achievements at the very cutting edge of research and development. Our progress in fields from nanotechnology to stem cell research is deciding the material future of the world in which we live. Many of these breakthroughs are shaping the future. But beyond the gratitude and fulfillment of such success I would like to honor something which is often missed. Patience. Within each scientific and technological breakthrough is a state of mind which is suffused with patience. For years Technion scientists watch the unfolding of their discoveries, cultivating each step of the way, nurturing the unfolding of a spark of inspiration into a concrete result and beyond. Patience means there is a devotion and commitment to science, knowledge and excellence which is there before, during and after the resounding bells of success. Patience in the heart of the Technion scientist is a timeless state of excellence. In our long history we have many salient events, from the laying of the first cornerstone of a would-be Jewish technical college in 1912, to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, through the many challenges of immigration, wars, peace and nation-building. Beyond it all is the patient manifestation of a vision of an institute of technology and science which fulfills the highest possible global standards. This vision remains unaltered by the changing tides of history, and it is in this vision that we continue to invest our trust. Spinning New Worlds p.8 Yesterday s World p.11

2 COUNTERTERROR TOP SECURITY The race is on to develop technologies that will meet the challenges of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The Technion is a first stop for security professionals worldwide. PENTAGON TO TECHNION The Pentagon s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is just one organization to enlist the support of Technion know-how in its efforts to counter emerging security threats. In October, DARPA chief Dr. Anthony Tether met with Technion heads and toured RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, Israel Aircraft Industries, and Elbit Systems. Tether, who is responsible for DARPA's annual $3 billion dollar budget, was in Israel to discuss cooperation on the research and development of defense projects with Defense Ministry and security industry officials. He said the vision for military R&D for the next 10 to 20 years is to develop the technology to bring any type of systems array to anywhere in the world and to ensure total interface between all systems in terms of control and monitoring. Tether said he was extremely impressed with Israel's level of R&D and that he would support future joint programs. COUNTER TERROR THINK-TANK There is a pressing need for nations to involve themselves in science in a world that is facing ominous threats, said former Israel Justice Minister Dan Meridor at a Technion symposium on Security and the War Against Terror: The Scientific Challenge. Technion has always been a cradle from where original thinking has emerged, making an important contribution to Israel. We expect Technion to contribute to the fight against terrorism not only for Israel, but for the world. Awarding the prizes to the winners of Technion s first Counter Terror Competition, sponsored by friends of the American Technion Society, Gen. (Res.) Dan Arditi, Head of the Prime Minister s Counter Terrorism Bureau said, The new challenges to security are complex, we don t have time to waste. We appreciate Technion s sophisticated and advanced research and see it as the first real initiative that stands on solid ground. The work at other universities in Israel is not as advanced as what Technion is doing. The symposium was sponsored by the Institute for Future Defense Technologies Research named for the Medvedi, Shwartzman and Gensler families of Israel, and the Center for Security Science and Technology, headed by Prof. Avi Marmur. CHINESE CHECKERS A delegation from the National University of Defense Technology of China (NUDT), accompanied by the First Secretary and Education Attaché, representing the Embassy of the People s Republic of China, came to learn about security science and technology at Technion. MILITARY MANEUVERS Military attachés from Germany, Russia, U.K., Italy, Czech Republic, Turkey, Peru and Ivory Coast visited Technion to learn about futuristic defense technologies. The delegation of 12 uniformed officials, whose visit was instigated by the Ministry of Defense, saw the latest counter terror research from Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Miki Koren WMD SENSITIVE Nature provides models for nanoparachute wings BY ROBERTA NEIGER Since 9/11, the possibility of a chemical or biological attack no longer seems an if, but a terrifying when. Imagine this scenario: terrorists explode a large bomb packed with toxic nerve gas in a crowded supermarket, school or stadium. Those able, stampede toward safety, while others succumb, in painful and deadly spasms. When the chaos subsides, the questions remain: How long does the gas poison the air? What are the boundaries of the danger zone? Three Technion professors have found some answers in the form of tiny dandelion-like parachutes. The Nano-Drone for the Detection of Clouds Infected with Biological and Chemical Agents is the brainchild of Distinguished Prof. Daniel Weihs of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Profs. Alexander Yarin and Eyal Zussman. The nano-drone is in fact an Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV), less than one centimeter in length. Made of specially treated polymeric fibers, the tiny UAV changes color when it comes in contact with different gases. After opening up and spreading out, they sink to the ground, changing color in the presence of gas. Dandelion seeds (r) and Thrips: The biological inspiration behind the mm-size gliding UAV. Discontinuous aerodynamic surfaces are their common characteristic. Thousands of these cleverly simple and affordable devices can be packed in a container, and released over an affected area. After opening up and spreading out, they sink to the ground, changing color in the presence of gas. This gives you the picture of the size of the cloud of toxic gas and how long it is in the air, says Weihs, whose inspiration for the device came not from sophisticated electronics or circuitry, but straight from Mother Nature. I went to the insect and plant worlds and tried to learn from them. The aerodynamics of tiny bugs and flying seeds is very different from that of larger flying objects, even birds, says Weihs. The idea was to understand the aerodynamics of low speeds, where even wings are not needed. Weihs sought to design an unpowered, stable windborne glider, whose small size precludes classical aerodynamic design. His role models: dandelion seeds and Thrips, tiny 2mmlong insects. Common to both was the nonsolid comb-like structure of their wings and lifting surfaces. To reduce weight, yet maintain efficiency, Weihs did a computersimulated analysis of the effect of changing the distance between the prongs of these structures. He found that even if the distance between prongs were increased to five-times the prong thickness, the effect still works saving up to 80 percent of the wing s weight. This principle is applicable to millimeter-sized objects that can cover up to 50 cm per second or a little over one mile/hour, walking speed. While not pertinent to supersonic missiles, or even birds, this concept is certainly relevant to insects, seeds or miniature drones. At this point, the mechanical engineers stepped in. Using thin plastic fibers less than one one-thousandth of a millimeter wide, produced by their own novel technique, the researchers built models for testing. Resembling dandelion seeds, the test group devices look like inverted Nanoparachute wings made of electrospun nanofibers, coated with chemical sensing material, provide vital information on toxins to security officials on red alert. umbrellas, with comb-like sides. The control group was composed of the same structures, the sides of which were covered with plastic wrap. Experiment results indicated that the permeable and lightweight comb did the same work as the impermeable solid one. Deceptively simple in design, these devices, says Weihs, show that the real high tech often sounds like low tech. The next step, he says, is making millimeter-sized drones that are powered and can move on their own. Or, if you will, moving from the plant world to that of insects. Throughout his vastly varied research career, Weihs motto has always been: wherever we can, we should learn from nature. Whatever exists in nature now, has been through an optimization process much more rigorous than any we can do, he says. In nature, it s simple, if you don t succeed, you get eaten up. There s a lesson in that. 2 TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY 2004

3 N E W S AWARDS NASA STAR TRIBUTE Gyroscopes are used in spacecraft to keep the vehicle at the desired orientation. The gyroscope axes are aligned inside the spacecraft before launch. Due to launch shock, the alignment is damaged to a certain extent resulting in the need to determine how those axes are misaligned, and compensate for them, which is called calibration. Prof. Itzhack Bar-Itzhack (right), who holds the Sophie and William Shamban Chair in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, accepts the NASA Group Achievement Award from Alphonso V. ( Al ) Diaz, Director of Goddard Space Flight Center, in recognition of exceptional achievement in the development of new technologies for spacecraft attitude determination and on-orbit sensor calibration. Prof. Itzhack Bar-Itzhack s team devised a statistical algorithm that yields more accurate results, and imposes less stringent requirements on the spacecraft movements during calibration. Our algorithm, says Bar-Itzhack, uses measurements of the directions from the spacecraft to heavenly bodies like the sun and stars to deduce the gyro misalignments and correct for them. AGASSI HITS HOME...continued from Page 1 BY BARBARA FRANK My years at Technion were some of the best in my life, announced one of the world s top entrepreneurs, Shai Agassi. Indeed, as his father, Reuven, also studied at the Technion, the vision to begin his career there was very much a family affair. High-tech is critical for the future of Israel, and we don t have high-tech if we don t have Technion. Agassi, now 34, entered Technion at the age of 15, after being accepted to several universities in the United States. Since then he has never stopped achieving. In his twenties, he started no less than four companies, one of them being TopTier, which he sold to German software giant SAP for $400 million. He now heads technology development at SAP and is the first non- German member of the Executive Board. SAP is the largest supplier of inter-enterprise software in the world. It is one of the final four global software giants, together with Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, he says. It was standing room only in the Taub Computer Science Faculty building. Even outside the auditorium, people viewed a closed circuit broadcast of Agassi s speech. For Technion students, especially those majoring in Information Systems, the secrets of Agassi s success and his thoughts on the future of IT (Information Technology) were the main allure. Rich with humor and insight, Agassi presented an overview of the history of IT, emphasizing how rapidly the new technology caught on, and gave his vision of future changes in the industry. Financial observers predict that the $40 Shai Agassi Class of 90 SAP technology chief, TIME and CNN 2003 global business influential billion business-software industry is heading for a rumble and Agassi forecasts that the winner will be determined in Agassi voraciously reads business history and finds it invaluable. He believes Israel has a chance to become a high-tech superpower. SAP was at Technion headhunting students and graduates. Agassi said, Technion educates those who will become the leaders of Israel years from now. High-tech is critical for the future of Israel, and we don t have high-tech if we don t have Technion. When questioned about where he hopes to be in the future, Agassi explained that he had accomplished his goals by the time he was 30 and is still figuring out what comes next. Watch this space. FROM HARVEY TO NOBEL Prof. Robert S. Langer of MIT was awarded the 2003 Harvey Prize for his research in biomedical engineering, biomaterials, and biotechnology; and for his pioneering work in tissue engineering scientific discoveries that have saved and enhanced the lives of millions of people across the globe. Langer feels that, in the area of biomedical engineering, we ve made some progress, but the challenges ahead are probably even greater. First awarded in 1972, the prestigious Technion Harvey Prize was created by the late Leo Harvey, as a bridge of goodwill between Israel and the global community. It is awarded annually to outstanding international scholars and scientists and is considered a good predictor of the Nobel Prize. QUANTUM ACHIEVEMENT Distinguished Prof. Asher Peres will be awarded the prestigious 2004 Rothschild Prize by the Yad Hanadiv Foundation in the Physical Sciences at a ceremony to be held at the Knesset in May. Peres is the incumbent of the Gerard Swope Chair in Physics. He was selected for playing a key role in the creation of quantum information theory, a new discipline which combines quantum mechanics and computer science, and for his numerous contributions to other branches of physics. French-born Peres is one of the six fathers of quantum teleportation. In that process, someone prepares a quantum system in any state of his choice, and then his knowledge of that state is teleported to another distant system, without any actual transfer of matter between these systems (no one else can know the nature of that state). This bizarre process has been experimentally confirmed in several laboratories in various countries. Shai Agassi networks with would-be entrepreneurs (l-r) Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Technion Senior Vice President Prof. Aviv Rosen, Druze leader Sheikh Muafek Tarif, Colonel Zaher Atef. AGASSI S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY Remember, every lesson is important, and nothing is as important as also working while studying. One day everything will make sense, even Physics 2! Pick the right team. ( people you trust 100% are better than people who know 100% ) Sit on giants shoulders. ( they will take you far ) Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. You can t do it on your own. When you figure out the combination to the floodgate the flood shows up. The media loves you on the way up but don t buy into your own image. The media loves you even better on your way down. Agassi s final words to the future entrepreneurs: Be yourself, love what you do the road is the reward. RECRUITING EXCELLENCE (l-r) Mimi Sela, Landa Fund Manager congratulates outstanding student Mansour Husam and his mother. I want to be the first engineer from my village, then others will follow. Rateb Ghanem In October 2003, 19 Druze students from Technion s Atidim ( Futures ) pre-university studies program celebrated their successful completion of a year s course of studies. They will attend university and serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); nine of them are continuing their studies at Technion. Atidim was founded in November 1999 by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, then IDF Chief-of-Staff and his colleagues, to encourage and assist outstanding youngsters from disadvantaged communities and those in the periphery to acquire quality academic education in engineering and science, within the framework of the IDF academic reserves. The program is generously supported by the Landa Fund for Equal Opportunity through Education. Gustavo Hochman TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY Gustavo Hochman

4 G R A D U A T E S C H O O L SOLVING PROBLEM SOLVING A Ph.D. student has delved into problem solving, extracting strategies of the gifted and helping the average to shine BY AMANDA JAFFE-KATZ What do mathematically- gifted people do when tackling a difficult algebraic or geometrical problem? Can the secrets of their problem-solving genius be copied and taught? In his doctoral dissertation, Junior High-School Students Heuristic Behaviors in Mathematical Problem Solving, Boris Koichu says many of these strategies can be formulated and put at our fingertips. Koichu took three mathematically-gifted high school students representing Israel in the International Math Dr. Boris Koichu Olympiads, and made them think aloud. He then asked 20 experienced in-service teachers to fill out a Heuristic Questionnaire about their own heuristics and those of their strong, average and weak students. He combined his findings with one focused case study on a gifted teenager who was formulating a new theorem in geometry. From these three sources Koichu derived a hierarchical set of universal heuristic strategies used by expert problem solvers, and classified them by their usefulness for the experts. These strategies include thinking forward, problem decomposition, thinking backward and problem reformulation. Koichu revealed four distinct patterns of heuristic behaviors: naïve, progressive, circular and spiral. Koichu is a math teacher who immigrated five years ago from Ukraine where he won that country s 1997 Teacher of the Year Award. Following his preliminary research, Koichu brought his newly formulated approach to the junior-high school classroom. The half-year teaching experiment used eighth-grade classes already participating in MOFET, an educational project which gives mathematically motivated but not gifted students an extra three hours of math per week. Two classes were designated as the experimental group and a further two classes served as the control group. Koichu worked with teachers under regular school conditions with all the inherent curriculum and calendar constraints. The standard teaching program was taught, with an added stress on the importance of selected heuristic strategies. Koichu acted only HEURISTICS? A helpful procedure for arriving at a solution; a set of rules intended to increase the probability of solving some problem; using trial and error to arrive at a solution; systematic search strategies for problem analysis. as an observer and says both he and the teachers were open-minded as to what would happen. We all defined ourselves as learners first, and only afterwards as teachers. The experiment had three stages. In the first months, the objective was to inculcate heuristic vocabulary into classroom discourse. Next, the teachers set more difficult problems along with a set of clues using the heuristic vocabulary. The final three months reflected a period in which the vocabulary was less important but the material was reorganized to teach the strategies indirectly. All four classes two experimental and two control were tested before and after the present intervention using a standardized test of students mathematical reasoning ability SATM. As expected, there was some improvement in all classes. But in the two experimental classes, this improvement was significantly better than in the two contrast classes. Koichu also addressed the question, Which students derive the greatest benefit? and found that the weakest students in the experimental group gained most. According to Koichu, the issue of heuristic behaviors was intensively explored from the early 1970s but there are still more questions than answers. The current research suggests an executive definition of the concept of heuristic behavior that resolves some contradictions in the professional literature. After 36 interviews with selected students whom he trained to think aloud, Koichu revealed four distinct patterns of heuristic behaviors: naïve, progressive, circular and spiral. He has presented partial results at international conferences in Latvia, Italy and Bulgaria, and a set of papers based on the research is in preparation. The first is soon to appear in International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning. One of the possible directions to explore is tutorial software for heuristics training. Dr. Koichu is a fantastic combination of a teacher, student, scholar and researcher. Gustavo Hochman Learning new strategies for mathematical problem solving Koichu says that he arrived at the Technion with no spoken English or Hebrew. Five years on, he speaks both fluently, thanks partly to his participation as a mentor in SciTech, Technion s international summer research program for high school students. He acknowledges the vital role played by his Ph.D. advisors, Prof. Avi Berman of the Faculty of Mathematics and Prof. Michael Moore of the Department of Education in Technology and Science. I was lucky in having both a very strong mathematician and a very strong psychologist supervise my research, he says. I also learned all the research techniques which I used, here in the Department. I came as a teacher, but here, I m primarily a learner. Dr. Koichu is a fantastic combination of a teacher, student, scholar and researcher. I expect him to become a leader in Math Education Research, says Berman, returning the compliment. Koichu is all set to spend his postdoctoral internship at University of California, San Diego, to where he, his wife and three children are relocating. But, he says, My greatest dream is to be accepted back to the Technion as a faculty member. Koichu s research was supported by a scholarship from the Sacta-Rashi Foundation and the Technion Graduate School, and a Gutwirth Special Award. The TechIA Forum was established in May 2002 under the auspices of the Faculty of Computer Science, to enhance cooperation between Technion graduate students, faculty and alumni, and the high-tech industry. Founded by Master s student Saar Pilosof, the forum provides a platform for leaders of the Israeli hightech industry, managers of VC firms and entrepreneurs to share their views about academia, the market and future technology trends and opportunities. TechIA holds monthly meetings at which the invited lecture is followed by networking opportunities. This year's theme "From Dream to Reality" covers diverse aspects in the process of turning a technological idea into a commercial reality. DREAM TO REALITY Shai Agassi conducts a talk at Technion to a crowded auditorium. "The IT Industry: What is its Role and Where is it Heading?" was convened by the TechIA Forum and the Technion Alumni Association (see Page 3). Agassi said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you shall still be among the stars." TOP GRADS This year s Wolf Prizes for Excellent Students will be awarded on January 28, 2004 to the following Ph.D. students: Dalia Shallom, Food Engineering and Biotechnology Yair Srebro, Physics Monika Bayorek, Biology Arkady Polyakovsky, Mathematics Micha Fridman, Chemistry Rabea Asleh, Medicine The Master s students being recognized are: Amir Rozental, Electrical Engineering Avner Fleischer, Chemistry Ravid Rosenzweig, Civil and Environmental Engineering Rotem Berman, Physics (see Page 10) Yoav Berlatzky, Physics The Israeli Physical Society Prize for graduate students was awarded to Oren Cohen for his Ph.D. research, advised by Prof. Moti Segev. 4 TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY 2004

5 BRIDGE OF LIFE BY BARBARA FRANK She has scaled the highest peaks around the world. She has crossed ravines to reach the needy. She has served in medical clinics in Peru and Ecuador, bridging the needs of remote communities with MIT student brainpower. She made an impact on rural Uganda. Her footsteps were left in the Andes of Argentina and she is remembered on Mount Aconcagua where she explored the risks of fetal contamination from high-altitude water. She links the needs, aspirations and know-how of disparate parts of the global village, and today she is researching her Ph.D. in Medical Robotics with Prof. Moshe Shoham of the Technion s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.. I want to bridge the gap between medicine and engineering. Michal Berris, Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering s D. Dan & Betty Kahn Medical Robotics Laboratory for Research and Instruction, ATS Detroit Chapter Project. Coincidentally, Berris also hails from Detroit. Twenty-seven years old, with a vocation expressed by her energy, Michal Berris is bringing the world to the Technion and Technion-quality skills and know-how to the world. In addition to her many research expeditions from MIT, Berris also consulted for two years for a medical device start-up company, where she was involved in project management as well as designing and testing surgical prototypes. Her specific research, in collaboration with the Children s Hospital of Philadelphia, is the development of a microrobot that will be able to operate on the fetus in utero. The microrobot, less than two millimeters in diameter, would reduce uterine trauma, preventing preterm labor, enhance imaging, and offer a more flexible alternative to current techniques. Berris also intends to study for her MD. Berris chose Technion, as Shoham s lab is one of only a few worldwide addressing surgical microrobots. Pursuing a chance to gain a different and refreshing perspective from that which she enjoyed in the United States, Berris says, I want to bridge the gap between medicine and engineering. The two fields speak entirely different languages. Engineers solve problems based on known or measurable inputs and correlated outputs, and set timelines and goals for long-term project planning. A medical clinician often copes with emergency or unexpected conditions. Sometimes a physician treats symptoms and illness without knowing their exact cause. If one treatment is ineffective, another is tried. There are many unknown variables in medicine. Haifa is also the perfect setting for her hobbies in mountain biking and rock climbing. A sports enthusiast, she is a member of the Technion soccer and rowing teams and the triathlon club. Berris is building on a foundational love for Israel nurtured within her religious family life (modern orthodox), Zionist summer camp, and friendships cultivated with Israelis she met over the years. Her fluent Hebrew means she is also able to connect between students in Israel and the USA. In the United States it is not unusual to find women studying Mechanical Engineering. Here, people often make me laugh with their stereotyped attitudes, she says. After her studies in Mechanical Engineering and Medicine, Berris pictures herself introducing life-saving medical technologies into hospitals. The world will notice. HOMING IN ON GRADUATES In the last five years, the number of graduate students has increased by some 20 percent. As an essential extension of affordable living space for graduate students, whose numbers are expected to rise even more steeply in the years ahead, the Technion has defined a new high priority project: the Graduate Student Village. The village will include child-care facilities and a community center as well as 200 efficiently designed apartments, meeting the needs of the large proportion of married Technion graduate students with children. All apartments will be connected to the high-speed, campuswide computer network, which is in turn connected to the Internet. An open competition was held for architects to submit plans in accordance with instructions and specifications regarding the project, located at the geographic summit of the Technion. Winners Gaby Schwartz and Gidi Bar Orian, both of whom are 1986 Technion graduates of architecture, proposed eight elegant residence buildings built perpendicular to the topography, which blend in with the natural surroundings. TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY

6 M E D I C I N E HONORING THE B-TEAM Technion research into the regulatory function of B-cells to beat autoimmune disease wins the JULUDAN Prize Supporting medical research at its best, the prestigious JULUDAN Prize* was awarded this year to Prof. Nathan Karin of the Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine s Department of Immunology, and Prof. Ygal Haupt from the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. Karin researches the enhancement of a regulatory beneficial B cell function in the body. Prize founder Prof. Nathan Karin of the Rappaport Faculty of Daniel Falkner described Karin s Medicine s Department of Immunology work as the fire brigade set to defend the body from any invasion. When B cells turn on themselves, the result is autoimmune disease. Karin explained that it is not a rare occurrence that our own immune systems will attack themselves. There are about 80 autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and Crohn s Disease. Karin and his Technion team developed gene therapy-based technology for creating antibodies to protect against these diseases. They found a regulatory mechanism that can be amplified and are now developing new strategies to strengthen it in patients. The team s breakthrough findings were published in the November 2003 issue of Immunity. Based on these findings, Karin has developed a novel platform for the development of new therapies, and has submitted a patent application. Karin s work has also received a NIS 450,000 grant from the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop a drug for treating autoimmune diseases. *The JULUDAN Prize was established in 1984 by Daniel Falkner, Ludwig Kleiner and the late Julius Tigner and is awarded for outstanding scientific research achievements, which show promise of having valuable scientifictechnological applications and are channeled to enhance man s welfare and prolong the human life span. The first recipient of the prize was Technion s Prof. Rafael Beyar, now dean of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. CUSTOM-GROWN BLOOD VESSELS Medical breakthrough promises to revolutionize treatment of heart disease and cancer Human embryonic stem cells have generated great hopes because of their ability to differentiate into any of the huge variety of cells present in the body, from nerve to muscle to liver cells. However, until now, few have shown that it can really be done. A team of research biologists at the Technion has succeeded for the first time in inducing stem cells to differentiate into the cells that make up blood vessels, and to actually form the vessels themselves. The team s work, led by Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and including graduate student Sharon Gerecht-Nir, is reported in the December 15 issue of Laboratory Investigation. Itskovitz-Eldor was among the authors of the first paper (Science, 1998) describing embryonic stem cell technology. The work will facilitate the growth of blood vessels to repair the heart and other organs. It also gives a way to study blood vessel formation research which could be used in developing new ways to stop and prevent diseases such as cancer. We saw that we were getting both the fragile endothelial cells that line the blood vessels and the external vascular smooth muscle cells that protect the vessels and control the flow of blood, explains Itskovitz-Eldor. In the final step, the team places the blood vessel cells into a 3-D culture consisting of two kinds of gels known to promote the growth of blood vessels. Sure enough, when the newly differentiated cells are put into the gel, they organize themselves into small tubes of blood vessels. NIH SUPPORT The Technion team has become one of the world s leading groups for stem cell research and has received considerable support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Of three grants totaling $2.5 million for three years, one is for expanding research into growing blood vessel cells, which have already been successfully grown at the Technion. Another grant is for developing joint education programs in stem cell technology with NIH scientists. The courses will be taught at the NIH and at the Technion. The third grant is for infrastructure to house stem cell research. BLOOD VESSELS DERIVED FROM HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor and colleagues exchange their latest findings with 2003 Harvey Prize laureate, Prof. Robert Langer of MIT, during his December visit to the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; (l-r) Sharon Gerecht-Nir, Itskovitz-Eldor, Langer and Michal Amit. Blood vessel-like structures spontaneously form within developing human embryoid bodies. The Technion team succeeded in getting the stem cells to produce blood vessels only by using a series of steps, each worked out with considerable experimentation. The first step is to grow the stem cells in contact with collagen, a component of human connective tissue. This stimulates the cells to differentiate into mesoderm, one of three basic layers in the developing embryo. Mesoderm gives rise to blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, nerve cells, and a number of other tissue types. Having found that the cells that can produce blood vessels are the smallest cells in the cultures, the researchers then isolate these cells by filtering them through a fine mesh. In a third step, these smaller cells are placed in another collagen coated dish, where growth factors are added, inducing the mesoderm cells to form the two types of cells that go on to build blood vessels. Directed formation of blood vessel-like structures from human embryonic stem cells. 6 TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY 2004

7 FIRST-AID VISION From the battlefields of Iraq to your local clinic, grad start-up Orex offers new standards of computerized radiography BY ROBERTA NEIGER In Iraq, radiological systems developed by Orex Ltd., provide instant images of injured American soldiers and local civilians, so that paramedics can treat people fast. With no need for film, chemicals or developing, Orex s Distributed Computerized Radiography (D-CR) units perform on-thespot diagnostic x-rays in digital format, which vastly accelerate the diagnostic process. For these reasons, the U.S. military has snapped up some 120 Orex PcCR 1417 units the world s first and only high-performance desktop unit at a cost of around $7.5 million. The military chose our system because its high quality, fast processing speed and desktop size make it particularly adaptable for use in a wide range of clinical settings, said Orex President and CEO Hillel Bachrach, a graduate of the Technion s Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Orex s patented technology/concept is based on an extremely compact CR unit (laser reader) that allows for the transfer of x-ray images from phosphor plates to digital format. This means that digital images derived from x-rays taken on the battlefield or for that matter, on the site of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or road accident can be copied to a CD and sent with the patient to the nearest field hospital, or transferred electronically by network or wireless transmission to the doctor s office. We can be anywhere on the front line where low cost, high quality, x-ray technology is needed, giving answers right away and saving precious time, says CTO and Co-founder Jacob Koren, who holds a Technion B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. Koren conceived this idea while working at Elscint Ltd. and later with the Picture Archive and Communication System (PACS) startup, Fonar. By stressing investigation and hard work, Technion planted within me the seeds for research, he says. More than 3,000 Orex units are in operation throughout the world, but the system is not limited to military or emergency situations. In addition to serving on remote Compact Orex Distributed CR system allows for high quality digital images that can be transmitted electronically from the field to physicians and radiologists. We can be anywhere on the front line where low cost, high quality, x-ray technology is needed, giving answers right away and saving precious time locations, like oil rigs and cruise ships, the system can increase the number of patients treated and cut costs in the full range of hospital departments. Uniquely, it employs economical reusable plates; processing 41 plates an hour, the unit satisfies the requirements of the busiest single RAD room. It is priced at a third of the cost of traditional CR. Medical personnel should not waste time running x-ray films to and from the radiology department, says Koren. Our technology enables electronic distribution. Radiologists are scarce, and those who know how to read images are found only in large centers. If images can be transmitted, the process becomes far more efficient. Medical personnel should not waste time running x-ray films to and from the radiology department. The company stresses growth and diversity. We have a nice platform. By adding different software we can have different applications, says Koren. For example, an Orex system that uses digital images to calculate a measure of bone density is now being tested. Similarly, the latest Computer Aided Diagnostic (CAD) software is being coupled with Orex systems, to make mammography and other cancer diagnostics easier for doctors. The company has developed a cassette that enables high-energy imaging for radiotherapy. In addition, Orex is a world leader in dental CR. Says Koren: Few small companies can handle such diversity. Herzl Shapiro GENETICS OF CANCER Family history of breast cancer does not increase colorectal cancer risk Technion scientists Dr. Gad Rennert and Ronit Almog have joined forces with researchers in Ann Arbor, Michigan to unravel the risks of genetically-inherited colorectal cancer. Results of the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, are published in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Anyone over age 50 is at risk for colorectal cancer and screening saves lives. Colorectal cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in Israel and the second leading cause of cancer fatalities in the United States. In 2000 in Israel, 2,810 new colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed. Nearly 150,000 U.S. residents were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Previous research to determine whether BRCA mutations increase the risk of colorectal cancer has produced mixed and inconsistent results. Now, people with mutations in BRCA genes or a family history of breast cancer can take a deep breath. People carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations already have their plates full managing a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, says Dr. Stephen B. Gruber, a cancer geneticist in the University of Michigan s Comprehensive Cancer Center. The good news in our study is that they don t have to deal with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, as well. In the current study, blood samples were tested from 1,422 patients with colorectal cancer and 1,566 control subjects without colorectal cancer for mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. DNA assays designed to identify three specific mutations in BRCA genes were used. Called founder mutations, they are present in about 2.5 percent of men and women of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. In the study, 1,002 patients with colorectal cancer were Ashkenazi Jews, as were 1,038 controls. When the results of DNA testing were compared, there was no statistically significant difference between the number of colon cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and the number of non-cancer controls whose DNA contained one of these mutations. This suggests that colorectal and breast cancer are different diseases with different genetic factors. The scientists further found no association between a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree female relative and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Women and men with a significant family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers should contact the familial cancer consultation service, advises Rennert. The same is true for people with significant family history of colorectal cancer, although we now know that the two situations can arise from completely different defects in different genes. The researchers say physicians should advise people with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations to follow colorectal cancer screening guidelines established for the general public. Anyone over age 50 is at risk for colorectal cancer and screening saves lives, says Rennert. I recommend annual fecal occult blood tests this has been shown to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer by 30 percent. Dr. Gad Rennert is Chairman, Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology, Carmel Medical Center and Technion s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; Director, Department of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, CHS Headquarters, Tel Aviv; and Director, CHS National Israeli Cancer Control Center. TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY

8 G L O B A L V I L L A G E AROUND THE WORLD The two latest additions to the Technion family are both located in Europe. A cadre of committed Technion graduates living in Greece is establishing a Hellenic Technion Society. Coordinated by Prof. Benny Natan, on sabbatical from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, with the organizing committee of Victor Asser, Danny Benardout, Dr. Solomon Berahas, Fenia Gavriilidou, Isaac-Sakis Leon and Sam Varsano, contacts have been made in both Athens and Thessaloniki. In a population of 5000 Greek Jews, more than 50 have graduated from the Technion in the last 30 years. All participants expressed their strong support for the Technion and their belief that Technion, as the foundation of Israel s technology, is essential for the welfare and even the existence of the State of Israel. The inaugural event of the Belgian Technion Society in November at the stunning Gothic Room venue in the Brussels Town Hall, was welcomed by Prof. Peretz Lavie, Vice President for Resource Development and External Relations, who delivered a talk entitled To Sleep, Perchance to Dream. The occasion attracted 100 persons from the business and academic worlds. The committee members Philippe Weil (President), Armand Broder, Gilbert Weizman, Michel Freund, and Technion alumna Ruth Orner-Blaufeder are enthusiastic to promote the new society, based at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The Founder Members are Baron Georges Schneck and Thomas Gergeli, both professors at the University. News from other societies: The American Technion Society (ATS) has reached $1 billion in fund raising, with almost half of that amount generated during the past seven years. While this sum represents the total raised since the organization s founding in 1940, its leaders say this milestone is evidence that the Jewish community s commitment to Israel remains solid, and that the ATS mission is increasingly compelling to the community. With so much of the $1 billion raised in the past few years, we have a clear indication that Israel is as important as ever to American Jews, said ATS President Stephen A. Laser. The British Technion Society held the third Ron Arad Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians, with an attendance of nearly 200. Chaired by Prof. Sir Eric Ash, the evening included an address by Prof. Moshe Moshe, Vice President for Academic Affairs, followed by the guest speaker, Prof. Lord Robert Winston of Hammersmith, whose theme was the Jewish response to genetic manipulation. Winston spoke about its highly controversial background and its growing importance to the future, discussing the scientific view of religious and moral priorities and some aspects of his work on fertilization. The Canadian Technion Society held its 22 nd Annual fundraising event to celebrate the 60 th anniversary of its efforts in support of the Technion. The Montreal event raised $150,000 for the Canada Student Residences with some 230 guests who took part in a sumptuous cocktail reception and extensive Silent Auction. This was followed by a presentation by David Suzuki a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist. The guests included the Consul General of the State of Israel, Marc Attali, and Sandra Winston, Commercial Attaché of the Government of Israel. The French Technion Society s Innovation and Technology Transfer event attracted 150 professionals, executives and entrepreneurs. Most of the participants were new blood and the high level of the content drew new members to join the society. Journalists from the national professional press covered the event. Jacques Garih and Armand Stemmer from the consultative committee participated in the event. The Science Prize of the German Technion Society will be awarded in May, at the historical Leibnizhaus in Hanover. The Prize will be conferred upon Prof. Eugen Rabkin from Technion s Faculty of Materials Engineering and Prof. Helmut Schwarz from Technische Universität Berlin, in the presence of dignitaries from both countries. 8 BY AMANDA JAFFE-KATZ TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY 2004 SPIN OF THE RINGMASTER A marketing expert creates learning experiences in the classroom and circus Dr. Graham Jackson, who has received the Technion s Distinguished Lecturer Award several times, teaches as if the classroom is a theater. He believes that students learn best when they are totally involved and enjoying themselves. When I teach in class, I often try to give a performance, to make the lesson interactive, to encourage debate and get the students involved. I believe in giving the students a memorable learning experience. That s what they like and that s what is effective, Jackson claims. Jackson joined the Technion in 1983 as an adjunct in the field of marketing in the William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM). Later, when the Faculty developed its prestigious MBA program, there was no tenured professor of marketing in IEM. The post of Visiting Senior Lecturer was created, and Jackson coordinates the six guest professors and lecturers who teach 10 marketing courses. He also acts as Academic Director of the Technion s MBA extension program based in Tel Aviv. In addition, he continues to teach undergraduate courses in advertising. This is hands-on, real-time problem solving. All the world s a stage for Dr. Graham Jackson, marketing expert, Technion lecturer extraordinaire and Chairman of Circus Arts in Israel. Globally oriented, Jackson earned his Ph.D. in International Business from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), sponsored by a Swedish Management Consultancy Company. Prior to making aliyah from Northeast England back in 1977, he gained experience in marketing at two major international companies IBM and Proctor & Gamble. One year ago, Pitango, a major venture capital fund in Israel with some 70 start-up companies, approached the Technion. Several start-ups in Pitango s Health Care Division faced management challenges, primarily in the field of marketing. Under the leadership of the Assistant Dean of IEM and Head of the MBA program, Prof. Avi Fiegenbaum, Jackson was nominated to oversee student projects that address these issues. This is hands-on, real-time problem solving, Jackson says of the three student projects under his supervision that involve 13 MBA students in the final stages of their studies. These practical projects in high-tech start-ups in which Pitango is a lead investor, share all the uncertainty and turbulence of the real world. Jackson also has three decades of expertise training and consulting mid- and high-level executives. The students love the projects which they find to be highly demanding, while the companies benefit from the insight brought to them via the Technion MBA program, and the Technion gains some extra income. Neighbors. Jewish and Arab girls in the Israel Children s Circus where coexistence flourishes. LORD OF THE RINGS Considering the entertaining tricks Dr. Graham Jackson uses to catch his audience s attention, it s no surprise that he serves as Chairman of the Association for the Development of Circus Arts in Israel. During the past year, the Association has moved into new premises at Kfar Yehoshua a moshav some 20 kilometers from Haifa; has continued its activities for children and a fulltime program to train professional young adults (The Israel Circus School); and has gained sponsorship by the European Union (EU), to the tune of a quarter of a million shekels (50,000 Euros). The circus is a lot of fun but it s also a serious management challenge says Jackson. The Association is also sponsored by the World Clown Association, which has made considerable donations for first-class equipment from the United States and the U.K. David Berry, the Association s Founder and Artistic Director, had the original idea for the Circus School. He envisioned the circus as a bridge between the different communities in Israel. With plans to bring the newly created Children s Circus to Cyprus and Turkey both nations that are currently in the process of joining the EU the circus regional perspective is particularly appealing. If we can bring Arabs and Jews together in Israel, then maybe in Cyprus we can find a way to bring Greeks and Turks together, Jackson muses. We can help strengthen coexistence by working with children, Jackson points out, and especially in the circus where the atmosphere is exciting, challenging, and non-competitive. The children learn to maximize their own potential but also to develop teamwork. Circus is not a competitive sport, Jackson explains the rules. There are no winners and losers; there is enjoyment for all. The Children s Circus numbers 10 Jewish and 10 Arab kids. In the tradition of Modern Circus, there are no performing animals. The Arab children, who vied for places in the circus, come from all the minority communities in the area: Druze, Christian and Bedouin. In the world of marketing, customer perceptions depend on the presentation of cost/benefit made by advertisers, the sales team and marketing personnel. And in the performing world, where is Jackson? Well, every circus needs a ring-master, doesn t it?

9 50 YEARS A E R O S P A C E FORMATION FLYING Military and intelligence tracking, mapping, farming, news reporting, and commodities trading are just some of the applications of remote sensing by satellite. AMOS 2 LAUNCH This year marks the 50 th anniversary of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, established shortly after the founding of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). What better way to mark the two occasions than the launch of IAI s AMOS 2 satellite on December 27, AMOS 2 provides communication services in the Middle East, Central Europe, and a direct Internet link with the East Coast of the United States. Many of the engineers involved in the program are Technion graduates, among them IAI President, Moshe Keret. Baikonur, Kazakhstan: AMOS 2 communications satellite is launched into orbit. AFP Maxim Marmur BY ROBERTA NEIGER Current research led by Prof. Moshe Guelman, Director of the Helen and Norman Asher Space Research Institute (ASRI), is increasing our power to both observe the heavens and keep a careful eye on earth-based threats. One project, named revisit time, uses engine acceleration or deceleration to increase the times a satellite can visit a predetermined place. Guelman anticipates that soon the ability of space-based remote sensing systems to gather repeated images of the same location will vastly improve. If one observation satellite can revisit the same place more times or visit twice as many places, this will eliminate the need for additional satellites, says Guelman. I m now investigating improved mission design, that is, the smart programming of satellite trajectories. Through correct use of orbit control, I am confident that we can reduce the number of satellites needed. To achieve optimal revisit time, Guelman proposes electric propulsion, which also dramatically reduces fuel costs. Satellites are more practical than aircraft for remote sensing of the globe. While planes are limited in range and by weather conditions, satellites provide efficient and relatively fast global coverage. As a result, the field of Earth remote sensing is steadily evolving. Like space-based remote sensing in governmental, military and commercial spheres, intelligence operations are running more and more focused missions using small and multiple-use satellite systems of comparatively low complexity and cost. ASRI researchers are also investigating multi-spacecraft formation flying as an alternative to singular spacecraft. The concept of dividing the functions of a single large satellite between several Multi-spacecraft formation flying: artist s view. The European Space Agency s proposed Darwin project is a flotilla of eight spacecraft that will search for Earth-like planets and analyze their atmospheres for the chemical signature of life. smaller craft working together is gaining momentum in scientific, commercial and military sectors. Several satellites could be used, for example, to carry a large and powerful telescope in different parts. Promising to improve the quality of scientific data gained in space, multi-spacecraft formation flying offers increased instrument resolution and coverage, flexibility, reduced launching costs and overall system robustness. As control hinges on communication between satellites, Guelman has joined forces with Electrical Engineering Prof. Meir Orenstein on a method of communication that incorporates lasers. Developed at Technion, this technology is soon to be tested by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority, and is funded by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. If this works, it will be an important part of formation flying, says Guelman, adding, In the future, we can use it toward many goals. SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING Young dolphins keep up with their mothers BY ROBERTA NEIGER Dolphin calves swim alongside their mothers in the open ocean for up to three years. Prof. Daniel Weihs of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering has recently explained how these young dolphins are able to keep pace with their larger and stronger mothers: the calves swim so close to their mothers that they get sucked along. Weihs conducted his research with dolphins at the invitation of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in San Diego. He found that calves, swimming some 10 to 30 centimeters from their mothers, exploit two natural phenomena to keep up with them. As a body advances in the water, it pushes away the water, which comes around and moves forward, filling the space vacated by the body s motion. The calf finds the right place in the flow field of water, which will push it forward. Therefore, the baby must apply less force to achieve the same speed as the mother, says Weihs, adding that resistance felt by the calf is reduced by up to 65 percent. Another principle, the Bernoulli effect, determines that when two bodies are next to each other, an attraction is created between them. In this case, if the attraction is strong enough, the calf can attach itself to its mother as she swims. This force can be so strong that mature cows have been known to baby snatch other mothers calves by sucking the young dolphins towards them. Weihs findings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New Scientist, and Israel s daily newspapers, The Jerusalem Post, Maariv and Ha aretz. The story was also picked up by the Reuters news agency and appeared on Iranian television news. In December 2003, Weihs presented his research at the Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Greensboro, North Carolina. Shmulik Blum TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY

10 N A N O WHEN TINY IS HUGE BY SHLOMO MAITAL Entrepreneurs, CEOs, VPs (marketing), directors of R&D, are all searching for the next big thing the new blockbuster technology, process, product or service that will generate explosive growth and high profit margins. The new industrial revolution began officially on November 9, 1989 curiously, the same day the Berlin Wall fell. On that day, two researchers at IBM s Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley incredibly lined up 35 individual xenon atoms to spell out the IBM logo. Since then, an amazing array of new products and technologies have been invented that focus on individual atoms or molecules. This technology has been dubbed nanotechnology or nanoscience. The name comes from nanometer one billionth of a meter, or the distance spanned by 10 hydrogen atoms lined up in a row. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, who once framed a law now named after him, said: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Magical things are being created by nanotechnology that will change our lives in a decade or so. (See Box). REALLY SMALL BIG THINGS: 2013 & BEYOND Defective chromosomes will be removed from individual cells and replaced by healthy ones, to cure cystic fibrosis (CF) and other genetic diseases. Tiny spheres filled with oxygen will be injected into the blood stream to treat victims of heart attacks and stroke, to prevent damage caused by lack of oxygen. Nanoelectronic computers will provide 3D graphics that enable us to touch, feel and experience products, revolutionizing marketing and education. Self-assembly: Machines will take the same atoms found in grass and water and construct a filet mignon steak for you, instead of the cow. source: Jack Uldrich (with Deb Newberry), The Next Big Thing is Really Small: Crown Business, Sequence-specific localization of labeled nanometer-scale objects on a dsdna substrate. NANOTRANSISTORS...continued from Page 1 The very small big thing revolution has been underway for 14 years, and Israel, a tiny country, urgently needs to catch the wave. Israeli researchers are among the best in the world in life sciences, information technology and nanotechnology. A Technion team, for example, recently succeeded in making the world s smallest transistor by coating DNA with gold, splicing proteins onto it and creating a nano-sized semiconductor (see Nanotransistors, this issue). The problem in Israel lies in technology transfer commercializing scientific knowledge. This is important, and it is here that Israel lags. In the Information Technology revolution, we saw 20-year-old Israeli whiz kids dream up some software, start a company and then sell it for $400 million (see Agassi Hits Home, this issue). But the new industrial revolution based on nanotechnology will create products that are portfolios of technologies, each of which is highly complex and difficult to master. This will take enormous resources, skill in shaping alliances, clever marketing, superb project management and creative financing. I fear that Israel is still living in the glory-days of the Information Technology revolution. But those days will never return. A new mindset is needed, one that will capture the huge returns that the very tiny next big thing promises. Capturing those returns will require massive investments. According to the U.S. National Science Foundation, very small things will contribute $1 trillion to the U.S. economy by On December 3, President Bush signed legislation authorizing federal research and development subsidies of $3.7 billion for nanotechnology over the coming four years. America is determined to be the big winner in small things. So far, Americans are far ahead. A one-day conference on this key subject was held at Technion on January 15, sponsored by TIM and the S. Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology. Top experts from leading multinational companies who are at the cutting edge of the NIBC revolution Andrew Berlin from Intel, Alan Hauser from Motorola, Martin Gerstel from Compugen discussed their companies roadmap for commercializing NIBC technologies. Renowned academics Lester Thurow, TIM Chairman and Dean Emeritus of MIT Sloan School of Management, Timothy Gerrity from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Michael Radnor from Northwestern University shared their insights on Converging Technologies, and selected Israeli startups showcased their innovations. We hope this conference will provide a wake-up call to Israel. Shlomo Maital is Academic Director, TIM-Technion Institute of Management and Prof. Emeritus, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion. Physics Prof. Erez Braun, lead scientist on the nanotransistor project at the Technion, says scientists are intrigued with the idea of using biology to build electronic transistors that assemble themselves without human manipulation. Until the latest results were published in the November 21, 2003 issue of Science, they have fallen short of a physical demonstration. Erez Braun and his colleague Uri Sivan are some of the few pioneers in this field, said Horst Stormer, professor in Columbia University s Departments of Physics and Applied Physics and scientific director of the Nano Science and Engineering Centers. This is outstanding research in the area that matters most in nano technology: self-assembly. To get the transistors to self assemble, the Technion research team, which also included Kinneret Keren, Rotem Berman, and Evgeny Buchstab, attached a carbon nanotube known for its extraordinary electronic properties onto a specific site on a DNA strand, by binding together proteins. They then made metal nanowires out of DNA molecules at each end of the nanotube. The device is a transistor that can be switched on and off by applying voltage to it. Out of 45 nanoscale devices created in three batches, almost a third emerged as self-assembled transistors. The carbon nanotubes used in the experiment are only one nanometer, or a billionth of a meter, across. In computing technology, as scientists reach the limits of working with silicon, carbon nanotubes are widely recognized as the next step in squeezing an increasing number of transistors onto a chip, vastly increasing computer speed and memory. These transistors may also, for example, enable the creation of tiny sensors to perform diagnostic tests in healthcare. DNA, according to Braun, is a natural place to look for a tool to create these circuits. But while DNA by itself is a very good self-assembling building block, it doesn t conduct electrical current, he noted. To overcome these challenges, the researchers manipulated strands of DNA to add bacteria protein to a segment of the DNA. They then added certain protein molecules to the test tube, along with protein-coated carbon nanotubes. These proteins naturally bond together, causing the carbon nanotube to bind to the DNA strand at the bacteria protein. Finally, they created tiny metal nanowires by coating DNA molecules with gold. The goal, Braun explained, was to create a circuit. There are some points where nature smiles upon you, and this was one of those points, Braun continued. Carbon nanotubes are naturally rigid structures, and the protein coating makes the DNA strand rigid as well. The two rigid rods will align parallel to each other, thus making an ideal DNA-nanotube construct. Prof. Uri Sivan heads the Technion Multidisciplinary Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Campuswide Program. 10 TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY 2004

11 T E C H N I O N A T 8 0 CHENNOTI TALES The second extract of Georgina Johnson's historical novella celebrating 80 years of Technion IN THE PREVIOUS EXTRACT PUBLISHED IN FOCUS, OCTOBER 2003, ISAAC AND GITTEL CHENNOTI EMBARKED WITH THEIR BABY TO PALESTINE, HOPING TO ENROLL FOR ENGINEERING STUDIES AT THE NEW TECHNION. ISAAC NOW FINDS THAT THE TECHNION OF THE 1920S IS MULTIDISCIPLINARY AND APPLIED IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE. Dreadful. Just dreadful! announced Raya in a loud voice, clutching the wicker straps of her grocery bag. Shhh! hissed Gittel. In these troubled times, anyone could be listening. I know you are proud, but what if they are arrested? They could close the whole Technion! Oh, Raya. You know he will do anything to help. They all will. Isaac said that if the funding problems get worse the staff will work for nothing just so the Technion survives! They are all aiming for the very best. The best diplomas, the best future for the whole of Palestine and the Middle East! Gittel lowered her voice still further; It is only one night as a bodyguard after all. The British are busy with the trouble in Tel Aviv. Well, if they ask Shmuel to go swaggering around with a gun, I ll give them what for! Oh, Raya Are we going home now? nagged Hannah. Yes darling, sighed Gittel. Hannah knew her mother was pregnant again and should rest. Papa will be all right fighting in the resistance, won t he? asked Hannah, after a few steps. Oh, Hannah, smiled Gittel, He is so with his head in sums and science, you might as well ask if he will be all right crossing the street! But that woman said Don t listen. Papa is being a bodyguard to a very important man just for one day. Who is the man? Why, Ze ev Jabotinsky. One day history will remember him, and your father. You know Hannah, when you act from the heart, you are always all right, one way or another. That s how we came to live here in the first place. Hannah glimpsed the azure ocean between houses, with sparkles of light winking at her in the morning sun. That was the way they had arrived here, three years previously. How Haifa had changed since then. And she, too, was six-and-a-half years old and nearly grown up! Mama, I m glad we live here, she said softly, with the morning warmth on her chest. Our spirit and our vision are stronger than all the empires on this planet. Isaac Chennoti watched his colleague Shmuel downing a second glass of vodka. Gittel was worried, but had given her support. Now here he was with this big shot preparing to protect Ze ev Jabotinsky. How does your wife cope with your underground duties? asked Isaac. Raya? Oh she doesn t know. Shmuel winked. What goes underground stays underground... He gestured the waitress for the bill then said in a conspiratorial whisper: And underground my friend, is where we have to be right now I hope the whole Technion doesn t go underground because of this muttered Isaac as the two men began the familiar route to the aspiring bastion of new technology. It can t fail and we can t fail, said Shmuel as they passed under the stone arch. He gestured to the iron-wrought Star of David crafted above the doorway. Our spirit and our vision are stronger than all the empires on this planet. I love this arch, said Isaac. It is based on a triangle. You have the two points, which is the direction of how to get from a to b. And the third point is essential. That tells you how to get there. Shmuel wiped his nose and grunted. So where is this Slick? Patience. He led Isaac down the concrete stairs, into the empty workshop building, right up to an innocuous and very dirty old cabinet. He heaved this aside and dramatically banged a board nailed to the wall. Open Sesame! One naked light bulb flickered as part of the wall now became an entrance to a clandestine room stocked with weapons and explosives. Oh my God said Isaac, as Shmuel handed him a gun. Put this in your shirt, I m going to teach you to use it But not here. So, where? Ha! With all your calculations and theories you don t know much, do you? We test the weapons, my friend, right in the middle of the action, in the courtyard. What? Down the well. We go down the well to the bottom of it. And there, Isaac, your delicate hands are going to learn some applied technology. After his release from prison, Ze ev Jabotinsky speaks from the steps of the Technion main building; in the foreground his student bodyguard, Why, Ze ev Jabotinsky. One day history will remember him, and your father. The well is 100 meters deep. As Isaac goes down step by step, further and further into the darkness, he feels a trembling from the top of his scalp to the tips of his toes. Down, down, down. He stops counting. He can see the circle of daylight getting smaller and smaller. The power of the holy earth suffuses him. Further and further down, the gun rubbing against his chest; further still, until the air tastes of rock and he is inhaling the mountain and exhaling the future. Down to the throbbing heart of the Zionist vision, through the depths of courage and ingenuity. Down into the clandestine pit where the fate of his people is decided. He blinks in the darkness as his feet now finally touch the earth and he is standing on the edge of a pool of still water which perfectly reflects the tiny circle of light from the well s opening far above. One day as a bodyguard to a visionary who had just been in Acre prison. Just one day Trust the Technion. TO BE CONTINUED Chennoti Tales is inspired by Carl Alpert s Technion: The Story of Israel s Institute of Technology. The restaurant on Herzl Street run by Ephraim Shiloni and his wife, The wellhouse in the Technion courtyard, TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY

12 E C O L O G Y BLUE ARCHER Combining art and technology, underwater photography finds new depths of beauty BY AMANDA JAFFE-KATZ I use light to convey feelings and moods, and to create an atmosphere. It can be a big challenge, creatively and technically, says The Blue Archer Avi Klapfer, a world-renowned diver and photographer who helps produce movies for IMAX Theater and whose Shark photo featured on a cover of Newsweek. Some 70 spectacular photographs, shot underwater in diverse locations across the globe are now on show in the Historic Technion Building home to the National Museum of Science, Technology and Space. Like an archer, the underwater photographer watches the target patiently, takes accurate aim and releases the trigger with perfect timing. Klapfer, a former fisherman, describes himself as initially a hunter, now a protector of ocean life. Guided by four factors eye, imagination, curiosity and passion this shark expert says, One of my aims is to open people s eyes to the magnificent undersea realm and make use of the images to increase their sense of conservation. He also hopes to reach many children through the exhibition. Klapfer uses wide-angle lenses in the mm range, utilizing natural ambient light from the water surface. He shoots most pictures at a distance of 10 centimeters to five meters from the underwater object. When light penetrates the water it causes magnification: objects appear one-third larger than usual size. In addition to the color photographs, some of which even resemble human portraits, the exposition includes video film and displays of special underwater photography techniques. Cleopatra. Taken at Cocos Island, Costa Rica, the subject is a Starry Moray Eel (Echidna nebulosa), about three centimeters in diameter. Shot with Nikon F3 with 105 mm macro lens in a waterproof housing using two small UW strobes lights, the developed picture revealed a surprise: a curious smile and a sand wig. Avi Klapfer To the chemist, the laboratory is the essential launch pad of research that can remix the future. The Technion s Faculty of Chemistry is engaged in a dynamic balance between innovative educational activities and boldly inventive scientific research, but it faces one pitfall space for expansion. To continue to support the rapid growth of world-class teaching and research in the field of chemistry, a three-story teaching laboratory wing has been designed to power the future. Planned as a state-of-the-art building adjoining the chemistry complex, it accommodates seven modern teaching laboratories, a complementary series of rooms for preparing experiments, safely storing chemicals and housing sophisticated equipment. Technicians have adjacent rooms. HIT THE ROOF An extensive technical services wing constructed on the western side of the laboratories houses the necessary infrastructures to ensure the efficient operation of the laboratory equipment, fume hoods and peripheral apparatus. This green building uses recycled water for cooling chemical equipment and instruments, and utilizes an electrical power and air conditioning computerized schedule covering the entire semester that results in an energy-saving facility. The new Chais Chemistry Teaching Wing is set to substantially enhance the faculty s educational capacities, and to meet its full and expanding potential of 7000 student courses per annum. ZEN GARDEN Technion s Ecological Garden, established in 1982 by Prof. Emeritus Zev Naveh, combines beauty with practicality. Spread over some five acres, this functional garden boasts more than 900 types of plants that possess special biological, ecological or ornamental value, and require little water or care. With three central goals: research, teaching and environmental education, the garden s wide-ranging activities serve both the Technion and the general public. While the Ecological Garden has long served as a research site for students and academic staff from a number of faculties, environmental education is relatively new here. It became a central goal just two years ago, when the garden s doors were opened to the public at large. Today, the garden offers a broad selection of activities for youth and adults on such topics as anthropogenic effects on ecosystems and biodiversity, plant and animal adaptations to different habitats, recycling, saving water and energy, and wastewater purification. Dr. Yohay Carmel serves as the garden s scientific director and Dr. Nava Sever is its general manager. The garden has undergone physical changes. Visitors can now tour a previously neglected area that has been transformed into an attractive garden for native Israeli water plants. The pools in this part of the garden recycle air conditioning water from the Amado building on campus. The Ecological Garden s maintenance and expansion are supported through the generosity of the Gutwirth and Sternheim families; the North California chapter of the American Technion Society; the Beracha Foundation and Halla, the Fund for Environmental Quality. A tranquil spot for the Technion student a pool with native Israeli water plants, including rare species protected by the Ecological Garden. Nava Sever GREEN CAMPUS GOES PUBLIC The Technion s Green Campus Project has initiated a series of evening lectures on environmental topics, open to the general public. The meetings are held under the auspices of the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology. Lectures include: Sustainable Energy in Israel by Prof. Dan Zaslavsky, Electromagnetic Fields and the Human Body by Prof. Levi Schachter, and Technologies and Research in Water Desalination by Prof. Rafi Semiat. Technion FOCUS is published by the Division of Public Affairs and Resource Development Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa Israel; Tel: , Fax ; Vice Pres. of Resource Development and External Relations: Prof. Peretz Lavie; Director, Public Affairs and Resource Development: Amnon Rimon; Head of Department of Public Affairs: Yvette Gershon; Editors: Amanda Jaffe-Katz, Barbara Frank, Roberta Neiger, Georgina Johnson; Photography Coordinator: Hilda Favel Design: TECHNION FOCUS JANUARY

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