One day in the future, we may be treating our ailments with microbiotic combinations designed specifically to correct imbalances in our personal microbiomes. We’ll bring our prescriptions on rewritable paper and pay using shimmery optical chips embedded in our cell phone cases or maybe our jewelry. Or we’ll be waiting in our doctor’s…

It is a mystery no more: A physical model can explain how a bunch of ants are able, with no visible leader (or highly-developed brains, for that matter) to drag that oversized cake crumb or leaf all the way across your floor to their nest. It turns out that there are, indeed, leaders, of a…

In theTop 10

This year’s CWTS Leiden Ranking put the Weizmann Institute at number 10 — and number one outside of the US — for impact. What is impact? In dry terms, it is publications in excellent journals and citations, weighted for institute size and evaluated by subject. This prestigious ranking favors the Weizmann Institute, because it compares…

When Dr. Jakub Abramson was a 14-year-old boy in the former Czechoslovakia, he asked his father what was the best place to do science. His father took the question seriously and, after some consideration, answered “the Weizmann Institute of Science.” Since that day, says Abramson, he knew he was bound for the Institute. “It’s just…

What is a breakthrough in cancer research? It is a new piece of a puzzle made up of a million pieces. It may, however, be a piece that allows a picture to start emerging – one that lets us see the shape of the next piece needed to fill in more of the puzzle, or…

Speaking of boycotts

A few days ago, the heads of several Israeli academic institutes, including Weizmann Institute of Science President Prof. Daniel Zajfman, met with Israel’s president, Reuben Rivlin to discuss the possible effects of an academic boycott. Afterward, Prof. Zajfman was interviewed on the evening magazine program London and Kirschenbaum. For Hebrew speakers, here is the interview:…

“Inclusion bodies – those clumps of protein that are found in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients – are, sadly, a product of aging,” says Dr. Maya Schuldiner. “They can form naturally in practically all cells, but when these cells get old, the mechanism for clearing them away starts to fail.” That is not great…

Best Image Today

Here is today’s scientific image: This delicate, fluffy object is a cytoskeleton viewed under a fluorescence confocal microscope. Below is a time-lape video of the process. For an explanation of why the cell’s actin fibers twist around into this shape, go to our website. Indeed, all three of today’s new articles involve crucial cellular dynamics:…

Next week is a big week for science in Israel. Tuesday is National Science Day, and Thursday is the annual Science on Tap talks in the bars and restaurants of Tel Aviv. Don’t know about National Science Day — this science writer will just point out that of all the minstries that are being fought…

Foreigner or native-born? Your immune system discriminates between them, as do those of bacteria. Yes indeed, bacteria do have immune systems – pretty complex ones at that. And like any useful immune system, the bacterial ones must have a good technique for distinguishing “foreign” from “self.” You may even have heard of the bacterial immune…