Basic Research

Category archives for Basic Research

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…

Dr. Gabriele D’Uva is finishing up his postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute. Here is his account of three years of highly successful research on regenerating heart cells after injury. Among other things, it is the story of the way that different ideas from vastly different research areas can, over the dinner table or in…

Today’s guest blogger is Idan Frumin, a student in the group of Prof. Noam Sobel in the Neurobiology Department.  Their research on the transmission of odor compounds while shaking hands appears today in eLife. It all started one day after lunch, sometime back in 2011. We sat in the lab’s living room (Yeah, we have…

The Poetry of Science IV

With a skull and Keats, there was little choice but to write about the new online items in rhyme. So with apologies to Shakespeare, Keats and the scientists, as well as the people at SpaceIL, here are today’s grab bag of poems. As usual, follow the links.       On a Lone Cranium Alas…

Getting the Whole Picture

What’s in a picture? Prof. Benny Shilo knows the value of a good picture. We recently mentioned his book: Life’s Blueprint, which uses photographs of things like bread dough and yeast cells to illustrate the process of biological development. Here is the image from the most recent piece we have uploaded on his research: This…

Science Teaching researcher Prof. Nir Orion  recently returned from Peru, where his award-winning Blue Planet teaching unit was adopted by the Peruvian Ministry of Education Q: You have been working for many years to get schoolchildren out of the classroom setting. Why? A: Schools in general and science teaching in particular are supposed to teach…

Getting cells to revert to a stem-like state – creating so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – was a true revolution, but the technique invented in 2006 is only half the game. The first challenges include getting enough adult cells to undergo the “reprogramming” in culture to be of use and removing those traces of…

Not everyone gets their research written about by this week’s Nobel Prize winners: All mammals face the challenge of navigating in complex, three-dimensional (3D) environments, whether they are swinging from branch-to-branch in forests or burrowing underground tunnels. How does the brain maintain a sense of place and direction in 3D? In a beautiful study published…