Archives for July, 2010

Even severely paralyzed people on respirators can do it: They can sniff. That is, they can at least partially control the movement of air through their nostrils. And if they can sniff, they can use this action to write on a computer screen or steer a wheelchair. That’s the principle behind a new device developed…

A Test of Courage

Anne Dillard said “You can’t test courage cautiously,” but Institute scientists have found a way to test it fairly safely, at least. One might think of courage as an abstract idea, but it turns out that acts of bravery reveal a unique activity pattern in the brain. An experiment at the Institute to identify the…

Bats may be using an innate understanding of physics to track their prey in the dark. Institute neurobiologists trained Egyptian fruit bats to fly to food in a dark lab. They found that in some situations the bats sweep their sonar to either side, catching their “prey” on the beam’s slope, while at other times…

In the three years since he joined the Weizmann Institute, there have been four press releases on Dr. Avishay Gal-Yam’s work as well a number of stories in our magazines. This may be somewhat unusual, but there is no denying the interest in his subject matter: supernovae. Of the last two papers featured in the…

TThe Institute’s Prof. Ruth Arnon was elected President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and the Humanities (IASH) last week – the first woman ever elected to the post. We spoke with her briefly: You have held a number of leadership positions over the years. How is this one different? My previous posts were mostly…

According to the yearly survey in The Scientist, the Weizmann Institute is the second best place to work in international academia. Over the past few years, the Institute has twice taken the number one slot; this is the third time it has been rated number two. Congratulations to the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, which…