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Jun 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2106.00523

Flow of time during energy measurements and the resulting time-energy uncertainty relations

Ismael L Paiva, Augusto C Lobo, Eliahu Cohen

Uncertainty relations play a crucial role in quantum mechanics. A well-defined method exists for deriving such uncertainties for pairs of observables. It does not include, however, an important family of fundamental relations: the time-energy uncertainty relations. As a result, different approaches have been used for obtaining them in diversified scenarios. The one of interest here revolves around the idea of the existence or inexistence of a minimum duration for an energy measurement with a certain precision. In our study, we use the Page and Wooters timeless framework to investigate how energy measurements modify the relative "flow of time" between internal and external clocks. This provides a unified framework for discussing the topic, recovering previous results and leading to new ones. We also show that the evolution of the external clock with respect to the internal one is non-unitary.

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Jun 2022 • Sexual Development 16 (2-3), 80-91, 2022

SOX genes and their role in disorders of sex development

Rajini Sreenivasan, Nitzan Gonen, Andrew Sinclair

SOX genesare master regulatory genes controlling development and are fundamental to the establishment of sex determination in a multitude of organisms. The discovery of the master sex-determining gene SRY in 1990 was pivotal for the understanding of how testis development is initiated in mammals. With this discovery, an entire family of SOX factors were uncovered that play crucial roles in cell fate decisions during development. The importance of SOX genes in human reproductive development is evident from the various disorders of sex development (DSD) upon loss or overexpression of SOX gene function. Here, we review the roles that SOX genes play in gonad development and their involvement in DSD. We start with an overview of sex determination and differentiation, DSDs, and the SOX gene family and function. We then provide detailed information and discussion on SOX genes that have been …

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Jun 2022 • Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

RNA Editing of Israeli Founder Nonsense Mutations causing IRDs using Site-Directed Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA

Nina Schneider, Ricky Steinberg, Johanna Valensi, Amit Eylon, Eyal Banin, Erez Levanon, Shay Ben-Aroya, Dror Sharon

Purpose: Targeted RNA editing utilizing the ubiquitous human adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzyme is a possible new genetic therapeutic approach for the treatment of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). Utilizing guideRNA (gRNA) to recruit the endogenously expressed ADAR enzyme to a mutated RNA and facilitating the deaminization of a specific adenosine to inosine (read as a guanine by the ribosome), allows for the correction of mRNA transcripts in a transient and tunable manner. According to our recent analyses, 40% of single nucleotide variants (SNVs)-causing IRDs are candidates for ADAR-directed editing. Our aim is to design and test gRNAs that induce targeted ADAR editing for 3 common Israeli mutations causing IRDs: TRPM1-p. K294*, FAM161A-p. R523*, and KIZ-p. R76*.Methods: After determining Israeli IRD candidate mutations, we used a yeast model to identify candidate gRNAs …

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Jun 2022 • Journal of Cell Science

Glucocorticoids enhance chemotherapy-driven stress granule assembly and impair granule dynamics, leading to cell death

Avital Schwed-Gross, Hila Hamiel, Gabriel P Faber, Mor Angel, Rakefet Ben-Yishay, Jennifer IC Benichou, Dana Ishay-Ronen, Yaron Shav-Tal

Stress granules (SGs) can assemble in cancer cells upon chemotoxic stress. Glucocorticoids function during stress responses and are administered with chemotherapies. The roles of glucocorticoids in SG assembly and disassembly pathways are unknown. We examined whether combining glucocorticoids such as cortisone with chemotherapies from the vinca-alkaloid family that dismantle the microtubule network, will affect SG assembly and disassembly pathways and influence cell viability in cancer cells and in human-derived organoids. Cortisone augmented SG formation when combined with Vinorelbine (VRB). Live-cell imaging showed that cortisone increased SG assembly rates but reduced SG clearance rates after stress, by increasing protein residence times within the SGs. Mechanistically, VRB and cortisone signaled through the eIF2α-mediated integrated stress response yet induced different kinases …

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Jun 2022 • ACS Applied Electronic Materials

Current Mapping of Amorphous LaAlO3/SrTiO3 near the Metal–Insulator Transition

Anders V Bjørlig, Dennis V Christensen, Ricci Erlandsen, Nini Pryds, Beena Kalisky

The two-dimensional electron system found between LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 hosts a variety of physical phenomena that can be tuned through external stimuli. This allows for electronic devices controlling magnetism, spin–orbit coupling, and superconductivity. Controlling the electron density by varying donor concentrations and using electrostatic gating are convenient handles to modify the electronic properties, but the impact on the microscopic scale, particularly of the former, remains underexplored. Here, we image the current distribution at 4.2 K in amorphous-LaAlO3/SrTiO3 using scanning superconducting quantum interference device microscopy while changing the carrier density in situ using electrostatic gating and oxygen annealing. We show how potential disorder affects the current and how homogeneous 2D flow evolves into several parallel conducting channels when approaching the metal-to-insulator …

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Jun 2022 • Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

Investigating the survival and function of retinal ganglion cells in an organotypic culture: An in-vitro model for studying synaptogenesis

Nairouz Farah, Efrat Simon, Yossi Mandel

Purpose: Stem cells replacement therapy is becoming a promising pursued avenue for vision restoration in people with degenerative diseases of the outer retina. However, the integration and survival of the transplanted cells and the formation of fully functioning synapses remain a challenge. Our aim is to develop an in-vitro experimental paradigm which will allow us to address these issues while working under experimentally controlled conditions and avoiding immune system reactions faced in-vivoMethods: As a first step, we are utilizing organotypic retinal cultures from transgenic rats expressing the calcium indicator GCaMP6f while monitoring the survival of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) using both extracellular recordings (multi electrode arrays), and calcium imaging at various time points.Results: Our calcium imaging revealed robust spontaneous activity of the RGCs up to 72hrs, albeit decreasing throughout …

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Jun 2022 • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

On the Practical Applications of the Magnesium Fluorinated Alkoxyaluminate Electrolyte in Mg Battery Cells

Tjaša Pavčnik, Matic Lozinšek, Klemen Pirnat, Alen Vizintin, Toshihiko Mandai, Doron Aurbach, Robert Dominko, Jan Bitenc

High-performance electrolytes are at the heart of magnesium battery development. Long-term stability along with the low potential difference between plating and stripping processes are needed to consider them for next-generation battery devices. Within this work, we perform an in-depth characterization of the novel Mg[Al(hfip)4]2 salt in different glyme-based electrolytes. Specific importance is given to the influence of water content and the role of additives in the electrolyte. Mg[Al(hfip)4]2-based electrolytes exemplify high tolerance to water presence and the beneficial effect of additives under aggravated cycling conditions. Finally, electrolyte compatibility is tested with three different types of Mg cathodes, spanning different types of electrochemical mechanisms (Chevrel phase, organic cathode, sulfur). Benchmarking with an electrolyte containing a state-of-the-art Mg[B(hfip)4]2 salt exemplifies an improved …

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Jun 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2206.07730

Magnetic memory and spontaneous vortices in a van der Waals superconductor

Eylon Persky, Anders V Bjørlig, Irena Feldman, Avior Almoalem, Ehud Altman, Erez Berg, Itamar Kimchi, Jonathan Ruhman, Amit Kanigel, Beena Kalisky

Doped Mott insulators exhibit some of the most intriguing quantum phases of matter, including quantum spin-liquids, unconventional superconductors, and non-Fermi liquid metals. Such phases often arise when itinerant electrons are close to a Mott insulating state, and thus experience strong spatial correlations. Proximity between different layers of van der Waals heterostructures naturally realizes a platform for experimentally studying the relationship between localized, correlated electrons and itinerant electrons. Here, we explore this relationship by studying the magnetic landscape of 4Hb-TaS2, which realizes an alternate stack of a candidate spin liquid and a superconductor. We report on a spontaneous vortex phase whose vortex density can be trained in the normal state. We show that time reversal symmetry is broken above Tc, indicating the presence of a magnetic phase independent of the superconductor. Strikingly, this phase does not generate detectable magnetic signals. We use scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy to show that it is incompatible with ferromagnetic ordering. The discovery of this new form of hidden magnetism illustrates how combining superconductivity with a strongly correlated system can lead to new, unexpected physics.

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Jun 2022 • 241st ECS Meeting (May 29-June 2, 2022)

Vanadium Oxide Coatings for Enhanced Stability and Activity of Pt Electrocatalysts

Samuel Spencer Hardisty, David Zitoun

Jun 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2206.12926

Rivendell: Project-Based Academic Search Engine

Teddy Lazebnik, Hanna Weitman, Yoav Goldberg, Gal A Kaminka

Finding relevant research literature in online databases is a familiar challenge to all researchers. General search approaches trying to tackle this challenge fall into two groups: onetime search and life-time search. We observe that both approaches ignore unique attributes of the research domain and are affected by concept drift. We posit that in searching for research papers, a combination of a life-time search engine with an explicitly-provided context (project) provides a solution to the concept drift problem. We developed and deployed a project-based meta-search engine for research papers called Rivendell. Using Rivendell, we conducted experiments with 199 subjects, comparing project-based search performance to one-time and life-time search engines, revealing an improvement of up to 12.8 percent in project-based search compared to life-time search.

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Jun 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2206.04166

Planning with Dynamically Estimated Action Costs

Eyal Weiss, Gal A Kaminka

Information about action costs is critical for real-world AI planning applications. Rather than rely solely on declarative action models, recent approaches also use black-box external action cost estimators, often learned from data, that are applied during the planning phase. These, however, can be computationally expensive, and produce uncertain values. In this paper we suggest a generalization of deterministic planning with action costs that allows selecting between multiple estimators for action cost, to balance computation time against bounded estimation uncertainty. This enables a much richer -- and correspondingly more realistic -- problem representation. Importantly, it allows planners to bound plan accuracy, thereby increasing reliability, while reducing unnecessary computational burden, which is critical for scaling to large problems. We introduce a search algorithm, generalizing , that solves such planning problems, and additional algorithmic extensions. In addition to theoretical guarantees, extensive experiments show considerable savings in runtime compared to alternatives.

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Jun 2022 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2206.03356

Position Paper: Online Modeling for Offline Planning

Eyal Weiss, Gal A Kaminka

The definition and representation of planning problems is at the heart of AI planning research. A key part is the representation of action models. Decades of advances improving declarative action model representations resulted in numerous theoretical advances, and capable, working, domain-independent planners. However, despite the maturity of the field, AI planning technology is still rarely used outside the research community, suggesting that current representations fail to capture real-world requirements, such as utilizing complex mathematical functions and models learned from data. We argue that this is because the modeling process is assumed to have taken place and completed prior to the planning process, i.e., offline modeling for offline planning. There are several challenges inherent to this approach, including: limited expressiveness of declarative modeling languages; early commitment to modeling choices and computation, that preclude using the most appropriate resolution for each action model -- which can only be known during planning; and difficulty in reliably using non-declarative, learned, models. We therefore suggest to change the AI planning process, such that is carries out online modeling in offline planning, i.e., the use of action models that are computed or even generated as part of the planning process, as they are accessed. This generalizes the existing approach (offline modeling). The proposed definition admits novel planning processes, and we suggest one concrete implementation, demonstrating the approach. We sketch initial results that were obtained as part of a first attempt to follow this approach by planning …

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Jun 2022 • Advanced Functional Materials

Operating Highly Stable LiCoO2 Cathodes up to 4.6 V by Using an Effective Integration of Surface Engineering and Electrolyte Solutions Selection

Tianju Fan, Wang Kai, Villa Krishna Harika, Cunsheng Liu, Amey Nimkar, Nicole Leifer, Sandipan Maiti, Judith Grinblat, Merav Nadav Tsubery, Xiaolang Liu, Meng Wang, Leimin Xu, Yuhao Lu, Yonggang Min, Netanel Shpigel, Doron Aurbach

The need for high power density cathodes for Li‐ion batteries can be fulfilled by application of a high charging voltage above 4.5 V. As lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) remains a dominant commercial cathode material, tremendous efforts are invested to increase its charging potential toward 4.6 V. Yet, the long‐term performance of high voltage LCO cathodes still remains poor. Here, an integrated approach combining the application of an aluminum fluoride coating and the use of electrolyte solutions comprising 1:1:8 mixtures of difluoroethylene:fluoroethylene carbonate:dimethyl carbonate and 1 m LiPF6 is reported. This results in superior behavior of LCO cathodes charged at 4.6 V with high initial capacity of 223 mAh g−1, excellent long‐term performance, and 78% capacity retention after 500 cycles. Impressive stability is also found at 450 °C with an initial capacity of 220 mAh g−1 and around 84% capacity retention …

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Jun 2022 • Chemical Bulletin of Kazakh National University

Применение сорбентов на основе природного цеолита и шамотной глины для извлечения ионов натрия и калия из соленой воды: предварительное исследование

Gulziya A Seilkhanova, Akmaral B Rakhym, Anastasiya V Kan, Aruzhan K Kenessova, Yitzhak Mastai

treated with NaCl and HNO3 solutions were obtained to extract Na+ and K+ ions from saline water. The physicochemical characteristics of the obtained sorbents were studied by SEM, EDAX, and BET methods. It was found that successive treatment with NaCl and HNO3 solutions has a positive effect on the sorption properties of the studied materials. The maximum increase in the specific surface area from 4.5 m2/g to 39.3 m2/g is observed for acid-treated Z, and the specific surface area of ​​ChC also increases almost 2-fold from 8.4 m2/g to 15.3 m2/g. Na+ and K+ ions are extracted from water due to ion exchange with Z and ChC cations. As a result of determining the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the studied sorbents, it was found that treatment with a NaCl solution improves the ion exchange properties of the sorbent and leads to the formation of a “homoionic” form of aluminosilicates. Due to that the sorbents more easily enter ion exchange reactions. The authors established the sorption activity of the obtained materials based on natural Z and ChC with respect to Na+ and K+ cations. The maximum recovery rate is 28.45% for Na+ ions with the ChC-Na-H sorbent and 76.28% for K+ ions with the ChC-Na sorbent. Among Z-based sorbents, the most effective forms are Z-Na-H (15.44% Na+ recovery) and Z-Na (60.47% K+ recovery).

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Jun 2022 • Progress in Polymer Science, 101574, 2022

3D printed magnetic polymer composite hydrogels for hyperthermia and magnetic field driven structural manipulation

Sayan Ganguly, Shlomo Margel

Magnetic hydrogels and soft composites have fuelled the development of next generation biomimetic soft robotics due to their precise control and non-cytotoxic nature. Bare magnetic nanoparticles are difficult to regulate via remote controlling whereas, when these nanoparticles are arrested inside polymeric matrices, the whole system become an artificial soft mussel like integrated system. Concurrently, these polymeric magnetic soft materials are also prone to response of external magnetic field (static or oscillatory). Additive manufacturing via spatial assembly of polymeric precursors followed by actuation like behaviour is quite a new manufacturing technique to fabricate magnetic soft materials. In this review, we focused on the magnetic nanoparticles and their entrapment into polymeric matrices and assessing their applicability in clinical (hyperthermia) as well as shape morphing behaviours. Both the behaviors …

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Jun 2022 • ACS Omega

Fabrication of Transparent Silica/PEG Smooth Thin Coatings on Polymeric Films for Antifogging Applications

Naftali Kanovsky, Shlomo Margel

Fog accumulation on surfaces typically has a negative effect by reducing their transparency and efficiency. Applications such as plastic packaging, agricultural films, and particularly many optical devices suffer from these negative effects. One way to prevent fogging is to coat the substrate with an antifogging coating having a smooth surface and hydrophilic surface chemical groups. This causes the fog water droplets that come into contact with the substrate to completely flatten across its surface, thus retaining transparency. These coatings are mostly relegated to laboratory research due to their insufficient stability and costly synthetic processes. We proposed the use of organically modified silica particles consisting of a mixture of tetraethyl orthosilicate and methacryloxypropyltriethoxysilane, which were grown in situ in the presence of a corona-activated polyethylene film, thus providing a thin siloxane coating …

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May 2022 • Communications Biology

Statistical parametrization of cell cytoskeleton reveals lung cancer cytoskeletal phenotype with partial EMT signature

Arkaprabha Basu, Manash K Paul, Mitchel Alioscha-Perez, Anna Grosberg, Hichem Sahli, Steven M Dubinett, Shimon Weiss

Epithelial–mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a multi-step process that involves cytoskeletal rearrangement. Here, developing and using an image quantification tool, Statistical Parametrization of Cell Cytoskeleton (SPOCC), we have identified an intermediate EMT state with a specific cytoskeletal signature. We have been able to partition EMT into two steps:(1) initial formation of transverse arcs and dorsal stress fibers and (2) their subsequent conversion to ventral stress fibers with a concurrent alignment of fibers. Using the Orientational Order Parameter (OOP) as a figure of merit, we have been able to track EMT progression in live cells as well as characterize and quantify their cytoskeletal response to drugs. SPOCC has improved throughput and is non-destructive, making it a viable candidate for studying a broad range of biological processes. Further, owing to the increased stiffness (and by inference invasiveness …

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May 2022 • Microbiology Spectrum

PrrT/A, a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Bacterial Encoded Toxin-Antitoxin System Involved in Prophage Regulation and Biofilm Formation

Esther Shmidov, Ilana Lebenthal-Loinger, Shira Roth, Sarit Karako-Lampert, Itzhak Zander, Sivan Shoshani, Amos Danielli, Ehud Banin

Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic modules that consist of a stable protein-toxin and an unstable antitoxin that neutralizes the toxic effect. In type II TA systems, the antitoxin is a protein that inhibits the toxin by direct binding. Type II TA systems, whose roles and functions are under intensive study, are highly distributed among bacterial chromosomes. Here, we identified and characterized a novel type II TA system PrrT/A encoded in the chromosome of the clinical isolate 39016 of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We have shown that the PrrT/A system exhibits classical type II TA characteristics and novel regulatory properties. Following deletion of the prrA antitoxin, we discovered that the system is involved in a range of processes including (i) biofilm and motility, (ii) reduced prophage induction and bacteriophage production, and (iii) increased fitness for aminoglycosides. Taken together …

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May 2022 • Heart Rhythm


Tomer Mann, Eli Eisenberg, Erez Levanon

BackgroundRNA editing is an inflammatory modulator with high activity in the cardiovascular system. It is mainly active in noncoding genomic areas, but also invokes changes in coding genes, mimicking a mutation and altering protein function. Although RNA editing is implicated in atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy, its role in atriopathy and AF is unknown.Objective

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May 2022 • Carbohydrate Polymers

Non-radical synthesis of chitosan-quercetin polysaccharide: Properties, bioactivity and applications

Yevgenia Shebis, Alexander Laskavy, Anat Molad-Filossof, Hadar Arnon-Rips, Michal Natan-Warhaftig, Gila Jacobi, Elazar Fallik, Ehud Banin, Elena Poverenov

Quercetin-chitosan (QCS) polysaccharide was synthesized via non-radical reaction using L-valine-quercetin as the precursor. QCS was systematically characterized and demonstrated amphiphilic properties with self-assembling ability. In-vitro activity studies confirmed that quercetin grafting does not diminish but rather increases antimicrobial activity of the original chitosan (CS) and provided the modified polysaccharide with antioxidative properties. QCS applied as a coating on fresh-cut fruit reduced microbial spoilage and oxidative browning of coated melon and apple, respectively. Notably, QCS-based coatings prevented moisture loss, a major problem with fresh produce (2%, 12% and 18% moisture loss for the QCS-coated, CS-coated and uncoated fruit, respectively).The prepared QCS polysaccharide provides advanced bioactivity and does not involve radical reactions during its synthesis, therefore, it has …

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May 2022 • The Journal of Immunology

Ontogeny of the B Cell Receptor Repertoire and Microbiome in Mice

Amit Gilboa, Ronen Hope, Shira Ben Simon, Pazit Polak, Omry Koren, Gur Yaari

The immune system matures throughout childhood to achieve full functionality in protecting our bodies against threats. The immune system has a strong reciprocal symbiosis with the host bacterial population and the two systems co-develop, shaping each other. Despite their fundamental role in health physiology, the ontogeny of these systems is poorly characterized. In this study, we investigated the development of the BCR repertoire by analyzing high-throughput sequencing of their receptors in several time points of young C57BL/6J mice. In parallel, we explored the development of the gut microbiome. We discovered that the gut IgA repertoires change from birth to adolescence, including an increase in CDR3 lengths and somatic hypermutation levels. This contrasts with the spleen IgM repertoires that remain stable and distinct from the IgA repertoires in the gut. We also discovered that large clones that germinate …

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