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Mother's Day Blog: Advice, Humor and More

mother's day

As a mother, using google is the same as adding a bit of salt to my cooking--it has become a necessity of life. I love searching for tips, advice, recipes and stories online to feel connected to a global community of mothers. This Mother's Day I would like to share a few blogs as resources that I often use on a daily basis. If you know of other useful blogs please share them with us here. Enjoy your day mothers, we all know you deserve it!





























Stepping into High Gear

Blog: Student
By: IMRIC PhD student Roy Granit
PhD Student Roy Granit

People often ask me, what is it that I do all day? I usually tell them that I am transferring liquids, small amounts of liquids, from one container to another. Of course this is an understatement of actual scientific work, which involves many other aspects, yet aspirating and dispensing liquids (containing cells, DNA, chemical compounds...etc.) remains at the basis of most experimental work. But what if someone else could do these steps for you, repeatedly, more accurately and would not complain about it?

For these reasons automated liquid handlers were developed, and in recent years they are becoming more accessible to the broad scientific public. These instruments enable the handling of small amount of liquids across a large amount of samples, and thus allow the user to conduct thousands of small-scale experiments. This methodology enable experiments otherwise not possible due to the huge amount of work needed to conduct them (therefore named high-throughput screening), and allow researches to address more complex questions. The uncovering of the human genome, ten years ago, involved the use of such system to handle the vast amounts of material and work needed; this greatly fuelled the field and has thrived ever since. 

Recently, the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, IMRIC has acquired a state of the art Hamilton ‘Starlet’ robotic liquid handler, to be used by researchers throughout the institute. The purchase was led by Dr. Ittai Ben-Porath, and Dr. Miriam Kott-Gutkowski, head of the MicroArray Service Laboratory at The Core Research Facility, where the system is positioned. The system will allow IMRIC researchers to expedite their research and preform many interesting experiments, such as cancer or disease drug screening, DNA sample extraction and sequencing, identification of protein interactions and much more. 

Personally, I plan to use this wonderful tool in order to seek genes responsible for the formation of aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, and hopefully uncover how to manipulate them to prevent tumor growth. So the next time someone asks me what I am doing, I’ll simply say I’m monitoring a robot.

Click here to learn about the history of automated liquid handlers

Click here to  see the screening unit at the Broad institute

Click here to see the robot in action. 

Vote for Your Next Einstein Now!

Searching for the next Einstein

The Searching for the Next Einstein Contest is officially closed for submissions and now the real fun begins, when we the people take to the Internet to vote for our favorite next big innovation. Check out the top ten spirited ideas and cast your vote. The winner will receive $10,000 and a trip for two to Israel to be recognized at the President's Conference in June 2013!

The voting closed on Monday, April 22, so vote now!

# 1 - Angela Bianco

I would like to tell you about the Breast Measurement Device (U.S. Patent number 7,399,933; Canadian patent number 2,478,966, a unique medical device which I conceptualized that will benefit women who undergo breast reconstruction (a common procedure following a mastectomy due to breast cancer) and breast reduction procedures.

While researching breast reconstruction procedures, it became clear to me that current procedures give inexact results. There is presently no utilized method of weighing the breast pre-surgically.

Symmetry represents a surgeon's challenge and constant goal. The Breast Measurement Device (BMD) is the solution to assure symmetry by weight. Weighing each breast separately pre-surgery, will enable surgeons to arrive at a more symmetrical result by aiding to minimize/eliminate disparity, thereby reducing the need for possible multiple corrective procedures due to original asymmetries following the initial operation, thereby saving time as well as stress to the patient.

I believe the Breast Measurement Device would have a positive impact on the results of breast reconstruction and reduction procedures as well the emotional and psychological wellbeing of women. Unfortunately, I have neither the technical expertise nor financial to get to the next level.

Perhaps this contest will allow me to help women around the world who face these difficult, excruciating surgeries.

# 2 - Baldo Robert Gurreri

Interdigital transducer unit that produces electrical power at home without using any oil, gas or electricity. It produces electricity by using sound acoustic waves, and uses none of our natural resources. It can power automobiles and all other vehicles without any waste of natural resources. The interdigital transducer motor is powered by Sound Acoustic Waves that spin a piezoelectric rotor. This rotor in-turn spins a magnetic coil shaft that produces electricity. It produces electricity just like a Hydro dam turbine principle, without any cost or waste of natural resources. The rotor is induced by SOUND ACOUSTIC WAVES that produce a spinning effect by electrostatic principles. The interdigital transducers are placed in circular sequence so as to create a constant spinning. The end result is electricity produced for free at home or anywhere in the world. Just think what this would do for poor countries that need free electricity to improve their way of life. THANK YOU.

April: Alcohol Awareness Month


This month represents Alcohol Awareness. The goal of the month is to increase public awareness and understanding at reducing the stigma that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. Here at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC), Prof. Abraham Fainsod focuses his research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, a group of conditions that can be caused by a mother who drank alcohol during pregnancy.

Prof. Fainsod’s breakthrough research helped to establish the unique collaboration between Israel and Canada in the Canada-Israel International Fetal Alcohol Consortium. Together the partners will continue to investigate whether adjusting levels of vitamin A in the diet can reduce the severity and the incidence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

To learn more about Prof. Fainsod’s work and the collaboration check out his recent Vlog.

To learn more about Alcohol Awareness Month click here.



My experience from IBAGS XI: Basal Ganglia: Eilat, Israel 2013

Blog: Guest
By: Boris Rosin, IMRIC Researcher
Boris Rosin

The International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) is a scientific society with the distinct goal of promoting the understanding of normal basal ganglia function and the pathophysiology of their disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, depression and schizophrenia.  IBAGS triennial meetings bring together research scientists from all disciplines, as well as clinicians who are actively involved in the treatment of basal ganglia disorders, to discuss the most recent advances in the field and to generate new approaches and ideas for the future. The society was founded in 1983 and since that time at the end of each meeting a President is elected and the next conference is held in 3 years' time in the President elect country of origin. For the past 3 years, my mentor Professor Hagai Bergman, of the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC), has served as the President of the IBAGS and therefore this IBAGS was held in Israel.

It is difficult to even begin and describe the sheer excitement of meeting in person all the leading researchers from your field. This conference was marked by outstanding scientific quality, the participation of all major researchers in the field and outstanding organization. The range of discussions was as broad as this of the work presented, starting from experimental results of song learning in song birds and ending in data from human patients of Parkinson's disease and other basal-ganglia related disorders. The conference was opened by basic science and clinical tutorials, given by the world's leaders in both areas. A special session of the computational aspects of basal ganglia function and its models was also held. The closing gala dinner was marked by great atmosphere and enthusiasm. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in the IBAGS conferences during my PhD program and especially proud of the fact that the current IBAGS was held in Israel and that Professor Bergman did such a fabulous job of organizing it.

Below are some select pictures from the conference that I would like to share with you. 



This is me and Prof. James Tepper









Prof. Paul Krack and Prof. Anne Young










 Prof. Thomas Whichmann









Prof. Peter Redgrave







Prof. Rob Turner











 Our lab (Prof. Hagai Bergman)