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Dec 2021 • Cellulose

Effective degradation of cellulose by Microwave irradiation in alkaline solution

Lama Jabareen, Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Aharon Gedanken

Lignocellulose biomass effectively produces chemicals and fuels, which are of importance for the establishment of a sustainable society. The conversion of cellulose, the main component of the biomass, into significant precursors that can be further converted to different chemicals or fuels under gentle conditions is a promising route. Organic acids such as acetic, glycolic and formic acid are significant examples. A novel method to produce important platform chemicals from micro-crystalline cellulose (MCC) was developed. MCC was degraded as a result of oxidation with potassium chlorate by microwave radiation in a one-pot procedure. Efficient reaction conditions such as short reaction time and full conversion of cellulose were identified. The reaction products were analyzed by 1H and 13C NMR, XPS, TGA and XRD.

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Dec 2021 • Optics Express

Broadband complex two-mode quadratures for quantum optics

Leon Bello, Yoad Michael, Michael Rosenbluh, Eliahu Cohen, Avi Pe’er

In their seminal paper, Caves and Schumaker presented a new formalism for quantum optics, intended to serve as a building block for describing two-photon processes, in terms of new, generalized qudratures. The important, revolutionary concept in their formalism was that it was fundamentally two-mode, i.e. the related observables could not be attributed to any single one of the comprising modes, but rather to a generalized complex quadrature that could only be attributed to both of them. Here, we propose a subtle, but fundamentally meaningful modification to their important work. Unlike the above proposal, we deliberately choose a frequency-agnostic definition of the two-mode quadrature, that we motivate on physical grounds. This simple modification has far-reaching implications to the formalism – the real and imaginary parts of the quadratures now coincide with the famous EPR variables, and our two-mode …

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Dec 2021 • Big Data and Cognitive Computing

Gambling Strategies and Prize-Pricing Recommendation in Sports Multi-Bets

Oz Pirvandy, Moti Fridman, Gur Yaari

A sports multi-bet is a bet on the results of a set of N games. One type of multi-bet offered by the Israeli government is WINNER 16, where participants guess the results of a set of 16 soccer games. The prizes in WINNER 16 are determined by the accumulated profit in previous rounds, and are split among all winning forms. When the reward increases beyond a certain threshold, a profitable strategy can be devised. Here, we present a machine-learning algorithm scheme to play WINNER 16. Our proposed algorithm is marginally profitable on average in a range of hyper-parameters, indicating inefficiencies in this game. To make a better prize-pricing mechanism we suggest a generalization of the single-bet approach. We studied the expected profit and risk of WINNER 16 after applying our suggestion. Our proposal can make the game more fair and more appealing without reducing the profitability. View Full-Text

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Dec 2021 • The journal of physical chemistry letters

What Can We Learn from Protein-Based Electron Transport Junctions?

David Cahen, Israel Pecht, Mordechai Sheves

These questions led to an increasing number of studies, resulting in evidence for the relevance of the above motivations. 4− 8 At the same time, the results raise new, or leave open, existing issues. Herein, we discuss some of these results that we view as central and issues arising from questions 1− 3 (question 4 is left for another occasion), with further questions presented in italics.

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Dec 2021 • NEUROMOLECULAR MEDICINE

Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome (Mar, 10.1007/s12017-021-08651-5, 2021)

Tomer Illouz, Arya Biragyn, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Orly Weissberg, Alessandro Gorohovski, Eugene Merzon, Ilan Green, Florencia Iulita, Lisi Flores-Aguilar, Mara Dierssen, Ilario De Toma, Hefziba Lifshitz, Stylianos E Antonarakis, Eugene Yu, Yann Herault, Marie-Claude Potier, Alexandra Botte, Randall Roper, Benjamin Sredni, Ronit Sarid, Jacqueline London, William Mobley, Andre Strydom, Eitan Okun


Dec 2021 • NEUROMOLECULAR MEDICINE

Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome (Mar, 10.1007/s12017-021-08651-5, 2021)

Tomer Illouz, Arya Biragyn, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Orly Weissberg, Alessandro Gorohovski, Eugene Merzon, Ilan Green, Florencia Iulita, Lisi Flores-Aguilar, Mara Dierssen, Ilario De Toma, Hefziba Lifshitz, Stylianos E Antonarakis, Eugene Yu, Yann Herault, Marie-Claude Potier, Alexandra Botte, Randall Roper, Benjamin Sredni, Ronit Sarid, Jacqueline London, William Mobley, Andre Strydom, Eitan Okun


Dec 2021 • NEUROMOLECULAR MEDICINE

Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome (Mar, 10.1007/s12017-021-08651-5, 2021)

Tomer Illouz, Arya Biragyn, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Orly Weissberg, Alessandro Gorohovski, Eugene Merzon, Ilan Green, Florencia Iulita, Lisi Flores-Aguilar, Mara Dierssen, Ilario De Toma, Hefziba Lifshitz, Stylianos E Antonarakis, Eugene Yu, Yann Herault, Marie-Claude Potier, Alexandra Botte, Randall Roper, Benjamin Sredni, Ronit Sarid, Jacqueline London, William Mobley, Andre Strydom, Eitan Okun


Dec 2021 • OSA Continuum

Usage of fiber optics as an underground deployable radon gas detector

Yehuda Rodal, Amir Shemer, Ariel Schwarz, Nisan Ozana, Hovav Zafrir, Zeev Zalevsky

Radon gas was previously presented to be a good tool as a proxy for pre-seismic precursory before earthquakes, especially when the detector is deployed a few meters underground in regions of high seismic activity. In this paper, we present a fiber optic-based detector that can be deployed underground and assist in the measurement of radon gas temporal concentration variations. The sensitivity of the fiber-based sensor is enhanced due to Fabry-Perot resonator realized within the fiber. The sensing principle is related to the impact of the alpha particles released from the surrounding radon gas on the optical transmission parameters of the fiber. By incorporation of WDM filters along the fiber sensor, the dispersion of the radon's radiation damage along the deployed fiber can be allocated.

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Dec 2021 • Biotechnology Advances 53, 107843, 2021

Microbial inhibition and biosensing with multifunctional carbon dots: Progress and perspectives

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, Poushali Das, John HT Luong, Aharon Gedanken

Carbon dots (CDs) and their doped counterparts including nitrogen-doped CDs (N@CDs) have been synthesized by bottom-up or top-down approaches from different precursors. The attractiveness of such emerging 2D‑carbon-based nanosized materials is attributed to their excellent biocompatibility, preparation, aqueous dispersibility, and functionality. The antimicrobial, optical, and electrochemical properties of CDs have been advocated for two important biotechnological applications: bacterial eradication and sensing/biosensing. CDs as well as N@CDs act as antimicrobial agents as their surfaces encompass functional hydroxyl, carboxyl, and amino groups that generate free radicals. As a new class of photoluminescent nanomaterials, CDs can be employed in diversified analytics. CDs with surface carboxyl or amino groups form nanocomposites with nanomaterials or be conjugated with biorecognition …

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Dec 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Selective Catalyst Surface Access through Atomic Layer Deposition

Samuel S Hardisty, Shira Frank, Melina Zysler, Reut Yemini, Anya Muzikansky, Malachi Noked, David Zitoun

Catalyst poisoning is a prominent issue, reducing the lifetime of catalysts and increasing the costs of the processes that rely on them. The electrocatalysts that enable green energy conversion and storage, such as proton exchange membrane fuel cells and hydrogen bromine redox flow batteries, also suffer from this issue, hindering their utilization. Current solutions to protect electrocatalysts from harmful species fall short of effective selectivity without inhibiting the required reactions. This article describes the protection of a standard 50% Pt/C catalyst with a V2O5 coating through atomic layer deposition (ALD). The ALD selectively deposited V2O5 on the Pt, which enhanced hydrogen transport to the Pt surface and resulted in a higher mass activity in alkaline electrolytes. Cyclic voltammetry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed that the Pt was protected by the coating in the HBr/Br2 electrolyte which dissolved …

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Dec 2021 • Neuromolecular medicine

Correction to: Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome

Tomer Illouz, Arya Biragyn, Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, Orly Weissberg, Alessandro Gorohovski, Eugene Merzon, Ilan Green, Florencia Iulita, Lisi Flores-Aguilar, Mara Dierssen, Ilario De Toma, Hefziba Lifshitz, Stylianos E Antonarakis, Eugene Yu, Yann Herault, Marie-Claude Potier, Alexandra Botté, Randall Roper, Benjamin Sredni, Ronit Sarid, Jacqueline London, William Mobley, Andre Strydom, Eitan Okun

Correction to: Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome NCBI NCBI Logo Skip to main content Skip to navigation Resources How To About NCBI Accesskeys Sign in to NCBI PMC US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Search database Search term Search Advanced Journal list Help Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Journal List Nature Public Health Emergency Collection PMC8602985 Logo of phenaturepg Neuromolecular Med. 2021 Nov 19 : 1–2. doi: 10.1007/s12017-021-08695-7 [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC8602985 PMID: 34797469 Correction to: Specific Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Adults with Down Syndrome Tomer Illouz, 1, 2 Arya Biragyn, 3 Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, 4 Orly Weissberg, 4 Alessandro Gorohovski, 4 Eugene Merzon, 5 Ilan Green, 5 Florencia Iulita, 6, 7, 8, 9 Lisi Flores-Aguilar, 10 Mara Dierssen, 11, 12, 13 Ilario …

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Dec 2021 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Application of Molecular Catalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Fuel Cells

Ariel Friedman, Michal Mizrahi, Naomi Levy, Noam Zion, Michael Zachman, Lior Elbaz

The development of precious group metal-free (PGM-free) catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction is considered as the main thrust for the cost reduction of fuel cell technologies and their mass production. Within the PGM-free category, molecular catalysts offer an advantage over other heat-treated PGM-free catalysts owing to their well-defined structure, which enables further design of more active, selective, and durable catalysts. Even though non-heat-treated molecular catalysts with exceptional performance have been reported in the past, they were rarely tested in a fuel cell. Herein, we report on a molecular catalyst under alkaline conditions: fluorinated iron phthalocyanine (FeFPc) supported on cheap and commercially available high-surface area carbon─BP2000 (FeFPc@BP2000). It exhibits the highest activity ever reported for molecular catalysts under alkaline conditions in half-cells and fuel cells.

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Dec 2021 • Journal of translational medicine

Expression and regulatory roles of lncRNAs in G-CIMP-low vs G-CIMP-high Glioma: an in-silico analysis

Indrani Datta, Houtan Noushmehr, Chaya Brodie, Laila M Poisson

Clinically relevant glioma subtypes, such as the glioma-CpG island methylator phenotype (G-CIMP), have been defined by epigenetics. In this study, the role of long non-coding RNAs in association with the poor-prognosis G-CMIP-low phenotype and the good-prognosis G-CMIP-high phenotype was investigated. Functional associations of lncRNAs with mRNAs and miRNAs were examined to hypothesize influencing factors of the aggressive phenotype. RNA-seq data on 250 samples from TCGA’s Pan-Glioma study, quantified for lncRNA and mRNAs (GENCODE v28), were analyzed for differential expression between G-CIMP-low and G-CIMP-high phenotypes. Functional interpretation of the differential lncRNAs was performed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Spearman rank order correlation estimates between lncRNA, miRNA, and mRNA nominated differential lncRNA with a likely miRNA sponge function. We identified 4371 differentially expressed features (mRNA = 3705; lncRNA = 666; FDR ≤ 5%). From these, the protein-coding gene TP53 was identified as an upstream regulator of differential lncRNAs PANDAR and PVT1 (p = 0.0237) and enrichment was detected in the “development of carcinoma” (p = 0.0176). Two lncRNAs (HCG11, PART1) were positively correlated with 342 mRNAs, and their correlation estimates diminish after adjusting for either of the target miRNAs: hsa-miR-490-3p, hsa-miR-129-5p. This suggests a likely sponge function for HCG11 and PART1. These findings identify differential lncRNAs with oncogenic features that are associated with G-CIMP phenotypes. Further investigation with controlled experiments …

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Dec 2021 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2112.14989

Amorphous Selenium Mie Resonators for Infrared Meta-Optics

Danveer Singh, Michal Poplinger, Avraham Twitto, Rafi Snitkoff, Pilkhaz Nanikashvili, Ori Azolay, Adi Levi, Chen Stern, Gili Cohen Taguri, Asaf Albo, Doron Naveh, Tomer Lewi

Applying direct growth and deposition of optical surfaces holds great promise for the advancement of future nanophotonic technologies. Here, we report on a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique for depositing amorphous selenium (a-Se) spheres by desorption of selenium from Bi2Se3 and re-adsorption on the substrate. We utilize this process to grow scalable, large area Se spheres on several substrates and characterize their Mie-resonant response in the mid-infrared (MIR) spectral range. We demonstrate size-tunable Mie resonances spanning the 2-16 um spectral range, for single isolated resonators and large area ensembles, respectively. We further demonstrate strong absorption dips of up to 90% in ensembles of particles in a broad MIR range. Finally, we show that ultra-high-Q resonances arise in the case where Se Mie-resonators are coupled to low-loss epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) substrates. These findings demonstrate the enabling potential of amorphous Selenium as a versatile and tunable nanophotonic material that may open up avenues for on-chip MIR spectroscopy, chemical sensing, spectral imaging and large area metasurface fabrication.

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Dec 2021 • Virology journal

Targeting the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus genome with the CRISPR-Cas9 platform in latently infected cells

Coral Orel Haddad, Inna Kalt, Yehuda Shovman, Lei Xia, Yehuda Schlesinger, Ronit Sarid, Oren Parnas

Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a transforming gammaherpesvirus. Like other herpesviruses, KSHV infection is for life long and there is no treatment that can cure patients from the virus. In addition, there is an urgent need to target viral genes to study their role during the infection cycle. The CRISPR-Cas9 technology offers a means to target viral genomes and thus may offer a novel strategy for viral cure as well as for better understanding of the infection process. We evaluated the suitability of this platform for the targeting of KSHV. We have used the recombinat KSHV BAC16 genome, which contains an expression cassette encoding hygromycin-resistance and a GFP marker gene. Three genes were targeted: gfp, which serves as a marker for infection; orf45 encoding a lytic viral protein; and orf73, encoding LANA which is crucial for latent infection. The fraction of cells expressing GFP, viral DNA levels and LANA expression were monitored and viral genomes were sequenced. We found that KSHV episomes can be targeted by CRISPR-Cas9. Interestingly, the quantity of KSHV DNA declined, even when target sites were not functionally important for latency. In addition, we show that antibiotic selection, used to maintain infection, interferes with the outcome of targeting. Our study provides insights into the use of this fundamental approach for the study and manipulation of KSHV. It provides guidelines for the targeting CRISPR-Cas9 to the viral genome and for outcomes interpretation.

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Dec 2021 • Advanced Functional Materials

Enhancing the Energy Storage Capabilities of Ti3C2Tx MXene Electrodes by Atomic Surface Reduction

Arka Saha, Netanel Shpigel, Nicole Leifer, Sarah Taragin, Tali Sharabani, Hagit Aviv, Ilana Perelshtein, Gilbert Daniel Nessim, Malachi Noked, Yury Gogotsi

MXenes are a large class of 2D materials that consist of few‐atoms‐thick layers of transition metal carbides, nitrides, or carbonitrides. The surface functionalization of MXenes has immense implications for their physical, chemical, and electronic properties. However, solution‐phase surface functionalization often leads to structural degradation of the MXene electrodes. Here, a non‐conventional, single‐step atomic surface reduction (ASR) technique is adopted for the surface functionalization of MXene (Ti3C2Tx) in an atomic layer deposition reactor using trimethyl aluminum as a volatile reducing precursor. The chemical nature of the modified surface is characterized by X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The electrochemical properties of the surface‐modified MXene are evaluated in acidic and neutral aqueous electrolyte solutions, as well as in conventional Li‐ion and …

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Dec 2021 • Oncotarget

Correction: The novel long non-coding RNA TALNEC2, regulates tumor cell growth and the stemness and radiation response of glioma stem cells

Shlomit Brodie, Hae Kyung Lee, Wei Jiang, Simona Cazacu, Cunli Xiang, Laila M Poisson, Indrani Datta, Steve Kalkanis, Doron Ginsberg, Chaya Brodie

This article has been corrected: The bioinformatics analysis of TCGA data in Figure 4 (panels A, B, C, I) was inadvertently conducted on LINC00116. We have reworked that analysis using the LINC01116 expression values so that it is aligned with the rest of the paper, which discusses LINC01116. The redrawn Figures 4A-C and 4I and edits to the associated paragraph in the text are shown below. Please note that similar trends are shown for LINC00116 and LINC01116 so the primary message of the paper is not affected. The authors declare that these corrections do not change the results or conclusions of this paper.Original article: Oncotarget. 2017; 8: 31785–31801. https://doi. org/10.18632/oncotarget. 15991

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Dec 2021 • Optics

Analysis of Decoherence in Linear and Cyclic Quantum Walks

Mahesh N Jayakody, Asiri Nanayakkara, Eliahu Cohen

We theoretically analyze the case of noisy Quantum walks (QWs) by introducing four qubit decoherence models into the coin degree of freedom of linear and cyclic QWs. These models include flipping channels (bit flip, phase flip and bit-phase flip), depolarizing channel, phase damping channel and generalized amplitude damping channel. Explicit expressions for the probability distribution of QWs on a line and on a cyclic path are derived under localized and delocalized initial states. We show that QWs which begin from a delocalized state generate mixture probability distributions, which could give rise to useful algorithmic applications related to data encoding schemes. Specifically, we show how the combination of delocalzed initial states and decoherence can be used for computing the binomial transform of a given set of numbers. However, the sensitivity of QWs to noisy environments may negatively affect various other applications based on QWs.

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Dec 2021 • Optics Express

Broadband complex two-mode quadratures for quantum optics

Leon Bello, Yoad Michael, Michael Rosenbluh, Eliahu Cohen, Avi Pe’er

In their seminal paper, Caves and Schumaker presented a new formalism for quantum optics, intended to serve as a building block for describing two-photon processes, in terms of new, generalized qudratures. The important, revolutionary concept in their formalism was that it was fundamentally two-mode, ie the related observables could not be attributed to any single one of the comprising modes, but rather to a generalized complex quadrature that could only be attributed to both of them. Here, we propose a subtle, but fundamentally meaningful modification to their important work. Unlike the above proposal, we deliberately choose a frequency-agnostic definition of the two-mode quadrature, that we motivate on physical grounds. This simple modification has far-reaching implications to the formalism–the real and imaginary parts of the quadratures now coincide with the famous EPR variables, and our two-mode …

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Dec 2021 • Biosensors

Highly Sensitive and Specific SARS-CoV-2 Serological Assay Using a Magnetic Modulation Biosensing System

Shira Avivi-Mintz, Yaniv Lustig, Victoria Indenbaum, Eli Schwartz, Amos Danielli

Sensitive serological assays are needed to provide valuable information about acute and past viral infections. For example, detection of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibodies could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” that would enable individuals to travel internationally. Here, utilizing a novel Magnetic Modulation Biosensing (MMB) system and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we demonstrate a highly sensitive and specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serological assay. Using anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive and healthy patients’ samples, and vaccinees’ samples, we compare the MMB-based SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay’s analytical and clinical sensitivities to those of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Compared with ELISA, the MMB-based assay has an ~6-fold lower limit of detection (129 ng/L vs. 817 ng/L), and it detects an increase in the IgG concentration much earlier after vaccination. Using 85 RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive samples and 79 -negative samples, the MMB-based assay demonstrated similar clinical specificity (98% vs. 99%) and sensitivity (93% vs. 92%) to the ELISA test, but with a much faster turnaround time (45 min vs. 245 min). The high analytical and clinical sensitivity, short turnaround time, and simplicity of the MMB-based assay makes it a preferred method for antibody detection.

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Nov 2021 • bioRxiv, 2021

The Conformational Plasticity of the Selectivity Filter Methionines Controls the In-Cell Cu (I) Uptake through the CTR1 transporter

P Janoš, J Aupič, S Ruthstein, A Magistrato

Copper is a trace element vital to many cellular functions. Yet its abnormal levels are toxic to cells, provoking a variety of severe diseases. The high affinity Copper Transporter 1 (CTR1), being the main in-cell copper (Cu (I)) entry route, tightly regulates its cellular uptake via a still elusive mechanism. Here, all-atoms simulations unlock the molecular terms of Cu (I) transport in eukaryotes disclosing that the two Methionine triads, forming the selectivity filter, play an unprecedented dual role both enabling selective Cu (I) transport and regulating its uptake-rate thanks to an intimate coupling between the conformational plasticity of their bulky side chains and the number of bound Cu (I) ions. Namely, the Met residues act as a gate reducing the Cu (I) import-rate when two ions simultaneously bind to CTR1. This may represent an elegant autoregulatory mechanism through which CTR1 protects the cells from excessively high, and hence toxic, in-cell Cu (I) levels. Overall, these outcomes resolve fundamental questions in CTR1 biology and open new windows of opportunity to tackle diseases associated with an imbalanced copper uptake.

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