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Aug 2021 • bioRxiv

Diet-induced modifications to human microbiome reshape colonic homeostasis in irritable bowel syndrome

Ayelet Pearl, Hadar Bootz, Ehud Melzer, Efrat Sharon, Shlomi Abuchatzera, Sivan Amidror, Elana Aretz, Irit Shoval, Orly Yaron, Stephen Malnick, Nissan Yissachar

Changes in microbiome composition have been associated with a wide array of human diseases, turning the human microbiota into an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Yet clinical translation of these findings requires the establishment of causative connections between specific microbial taxa and their functional impact on host tissues. Here, we colonized gut organ cultures with longitudinal microbiota samples collected from newly-diagnosed and therapy-naïve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients under low-FODMAP (fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono- saccharides and Polyols) diet. We show that post-diet microbiota regulates intestinal expression of inflammatory and neuro-muscular gene-sets. Specifically, we identify Bifidobacterium adolescentis as a diet-sensitive pathobiont that alters tight junction integrity and disrupts gut barrier functions. Collectively, we present a unique pathway discovery approach for mechanistic dissection and identification of functional diet-host-microbiota modules. Our data support the hypothesis that the gut microbiota mediates the beneficial effects of low-FODMAP diet, and reinforce the potential feasibility of microbiome based-therapies in IBS.

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Aug 2021 • Journal of the American Chemical Society

Can anions be inserted into Mxene?

Netanel Shpigel, Arup Chakraborty, Fyodor Malchik, Gil Bergman, Amey Nimkar, Bar Gavriel, Meital Turgeman, Chulgi Nathan Hong, Maria R Lukatskaya, Mikhael D Levi, Yury Gogotsi, Dan T Major, Doron Aurbach

Despite the continuous progress in the research and development of Ti3C2Tx (MXene) electrodes for high-power batteries and supercapacitor applications, the role of the anions in the electrochemical energy storage and their ability to intercalate between the MXene sheets upon application of positive voltage have not been clarified. A decade after the discovery of MXenes, the information about the possibility of anion insertion into the restacked MXene electrode is still being questioned. Since the positive potential stability range in diluted aqueous electrolytes is severely limited by anodic oxidation of the Ti, the possibility of anion insertion was evaluated in concentrated aqueous electrolyte solutions and aprotic electrolytes as well. To address this issue, we have conducted in situ gravimetric electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (EQCM-D) measurements in highly concentrated LiCl …

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Aug 2021 • arXiv preprint arXiv:2108.02726

Quantum logical entropy: fundamentals and general properties

Boaz Tamir, Ismael L Paiva, Zohar Schwartzman-Nowik, Eliahu Cohen

Logical entropy gives a measure, in the sense of measure theory, of the distinctions of a given partition of a set, an idea that can be naturally generalized to classical probability distributions. Here, we analyze how fundamental concepts of this entropy and other related definitions can be applied to the study of quantum systems, leading to the introduction of the quantum logical entropy. Moreover, we prove several properties of this entropy for generic density matrices that may be relevant to various areas of quantum mechanics and quantum information. Furthermore, we extend the notion of quantum logical entropy to post-selected systems.

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Aug 2021 • Biomacromolecules

Structure and Dynamics Perturbations in Ubiquitin Adsorbed or Entrapped in Silica Materials Are Related to Disparate Surface Chemistries Resolved by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy

Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Eli Ohaion, Gilit Verner, Avital Schremer, Merav Nadav-Tsubery, Tammy Lublin-Tennenbaum, Keren Keinan-Adamsky, Massimo Lucci, Claudio Luchinat, Enrico Ravera, Gil Goobes

Protein immobilization on material surfaces is emerging as a powerful tool in the design of devices and active materials for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications as well as for catalysis. Preservation of the protein’s biological functionality is crucial to the design process and is dependent on the ability to maintain its structural and dynamical integrity while removed from the natural surroundings. The scientific techniques to validate the structure of immobilized proteins are scarce and usually provide limited information as a result of poor resolution. In this work, we benchmarked the ability of standard solid-state NMR techniques to resolve the effects of binding to dissimilar silica materials on a model protein. In particular, the interactions between ubiquitin and the surfaces of MCM41, SBA15, and silica formed in situ were tested for their influence on the structure and dynamics of the protein. It is shown that the …

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Aug 2021 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Tailoring Nickel-Rich LiNi0. 8Co0. 1Mn0. 1O2 Layered Oxide Cathode Materials with Metal Sulfides (M2S: M= Li, Na) for Improved Electrochemical Properties

Sri Harsha Akella, Sarah Taragin, Ayan Mukherjee, Ortal Lidor-Shalev, Hagit Aviv, Melina Zysler, Daniel Sharon, Malachi Noked

LiNi 0.8 Co 0.1 Mn 0.1 O 2 (NCM811) is a promising cathode material for long range electric vehicles. However, the material suffers severe chemo-mechanical degradation that can cause gradual capacity loss upon prolonged cycling. Surface passivation of NMC811 was demonstrated to help in retaining the structural integrity of the material upon extended cycling. Herein, we report the surface passivation of the NCM811 using Li 2 S and Na 2 S precursors via direct and simple wet chemical treatment, for the mitigation of parasitic reactions at the electrode electrolyte interphase. This phenomenon is accompanied by increase in the oxidation state of sulfur (from sulfide to sulfate) and partial reduction in the oxidation state of nickel. Electrochemical performance measurements show that the M 2 SO 4 (M: Li, Na) protection layer on NMC811 behaves as an artificial cathode electrolyte interphase (ACEI) that enhance the …

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Aug 2021 • Advanced Functional Materials 31 (46), 2104887, 2021

Graphene‐based nanomaterials for neuroengineering: recent advances and future prospective

Raj Kumar, Rossana Rauti, Denis Scaini, Merav Antman‐Passig, Ohad Meshulam, Doron Naveh, Laura Ballerini, Orit Shefi

Graphene unique physicochemical properties made it prominent among other allotropic forms of carbon, in many areas of research and technological applications. Interestingly, in recent years, many studies exploited the use of graphene family nanomaterials (GNMs) for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, diagnostics, bioimaging, and tissue engineering research. GNMs are successfully used for the design of scaffolds for controlled induction of cell differentiation and tissue regeneration. Critically, it is important to identify the more appropriate nano/bio material interface sustaining cells differentiation and tissue regeneration enhancement. Specifically, this review is focussed on graphene‐based scaffolds that endow physiochemical and biological properties suitable for a specific tissue, the nervous system, that links tightly morphological and electrical properties. Different strategies are reviewed to exploit …

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Aug 2021 • Trends in Genetics 37 (8), 685-687, 2021

The New RNA-Editing Era–Ethical Considerations

Azgad Gold, Erez Y Levanon, Eli Eisenberg

The characteristics of RNA editing, including the lower risk compared with genome editing, may loosen the ethical barriers that are currently imposed on genetic engineering, thus opening new possibilities for research, therapy, and human enhancement. We should start considering the future ethical and social implications of this new and promising technology.

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Aug 2021 • Polymers

In situ grafting of silica nanoparticle precursors with covalently attached bioactive agents to form PVA-based materials for sustainable active packaging

Miri Klein, Anat Molad Filossof, Idan Ashur, Sefi Vernick, Michal Natan-Warhaftig, Victor Rodov, Ehud Banin, Elena Poverenov

Sustainable antibacterial–antioxidant films were prepared using in situ graftings of silica nanoparticle (SNP) precursors with covalently attached bioactive agents benzoic acid (ba) or curcumin (cur) on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The modified PVA-SNP, PVA-SNP-ba and PVA-SNP-cur films were characterized using spectroscopic, physicochemical and microscopic methods. The prepared films showed excellent antibacterial and antioxidant activity, and increased hydrophobicity providing protection from undesired moisture. The PVA-SNP-ba films completely prevented the growth of the foodborne human pathogen Listeria innocua, whereas PVA-SNP-cur resulted in a 2.5 log reduction of this bacteria. The PVA-SNP-cur and PVA-SNP-ba films showed high antioxidant activity of 15.9 and 14.7 Mm/g TEAC, respectively. The described approach can serve as a generic platform for the formation of PVA-based packaging materials with tailor-made activity tuned by active substituents on silica precursors. Application of such biodegradable films bearing safe bioactive agents can be particularly valuable for advanced sustainable packaging materials in food and medicine.

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Aug 2021 • Langmuir

Sonochemically Prepared BSA microspheres as adsorbents for the removal of organic pollutants from water

Kusha Sharma, Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Yitzhak Mastai, Ze’ev Porat, Aharon Gedanken

This work investigates, for the first time, the application of sonochemically prepared bovine serum albumin (BSA) microspheres (BSAMS) as adsorbents of industrial organic pollutant dyes, such as rhodamine B (RhB), rhodamine 6G (Rh6G), and methylene blue (MB). These dyes also serve as model compounds for other organic pollutants such as bisphenol A and 2-nitrophenol. Adsorption kinetics of the dyes by the BSAMS was studied using pseudo-first-order (PFO) and pseudo-second-order (PSO) kinetic models. It was found that RhB follows PFO, with an adsorption capacity, qe,cal, of 7.9 mg/g, which was closer to the experimental adsorption capacity of qe,exp. of 7.6 mg/g. However, MB and Rh6G were controlled by PSO kinetics, with a qe,cal of 5.6 mg/g for MB and 6.6 mg/g for Rh6G, closer to the experimental adsorption capacity of 5.7 and 6.4 mg/g, respectively. The intraparticle diffusion (ID) model applied to …

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Aug 2021 • Nature Communications

A dynamical quantum cheshire cat effect and implications for counterfactual communication

Yakir Aharonov, Eliahu Cohen, Sandu Popescu

Here we report a type of dynamic effect that is at the core of the so called “counterfactual computation” and especially “counterfactual communication” quantum effects that have generated a lot of interest recently. The basic feature of these counterfactual setups is the fact that particles seem to be affected by actions that take place in locations where they never (more precisely, only with infinitesimally small probability) enter. Specifically, the communication/computation takes place without the quantum particles that are supposed to be the information carriers travelling through the communication channel or entering the logic gates of the computer. Here we show that something far more subtle is taking place: It is not necessary for the particle to enter the region where the controlling action takes place; it is enough for the controlled property of the particle,(ie, the property that is being controlled by actions in the control …

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Aug 2021 • Lubricants

Tungsten disulfide inorganic nanotubes functionalized by PTFE for friction application

Tzuriel Levin, Yifat Harel, Jean-Paul Lellouche, Alexey Moshkovich, Igor Lapsker, Alex Laikhtman, Lev Rapoport

Inorganic nanotubes (INTs) and fullerene-like nanoparticles (NPs) of WS2/MoS2 penetrate and exfoliate at the contact interface and facilitate tribofilm formation. While the tribological properties are greatly improved by exfoliated NPs that shed easily, they may be diminished by agglomeration in oil. Therefore, surface functionalization is employed to improve dispersion in oil-based suspensions. Here, WS2 INTs were functionalized by polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in a simple and cost-effective bath sonication method. WS2-INTs with two concentrations of added PTFE were characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. Superior distribution of WS2 was observed before and during friction experiments. Chemical analysis showed a significantly greater amount of PTFE-coated INTs on rubbed surfaces, in accordance with the improved friction and wear properties.

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Aug 2021 • Biomacromolecules

Structure and Dynamics Perturbations in Ubiquitin Adsorbed or Entrapped in Silica Materials Are Related to Disparate Surface Chemistries Resolved by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy

Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Eli Ohaion, Gilit Verner, Avital Schremer, Merav Nadav-Tsubery, Tammy Lublin-Tennenbaum, Keren Keinan-Adamsky, Massimo Lucci, Claudio Luchinat, Enrico Ravera, Gil Goobes

Protein immobilization on material surfaces is emerging as a powerful tool in the design of devices and active materials for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications as well as for catalysis. Preservation of the protein’s biological functionality is crucial to the design process and is dependent on the ability to maintain its structural and dynamical integrity while removed from the natural surroundings. The scientific techniques to validate the structure of immobilized proteins are scarce and usually provide limited information as a result of poor resolution. In this work, we benchmarked the ability of standard solid-state NMR techniques to resolve the effects of binding to dissimilar silica materials on a model protein. In particular, the interactions between ubiquitin and the surfaces of MCM41, SBA15, and silica formed in situ were tested for their influence on the structure and dynamics of the protein. It is shown that the …

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Aug 2021

Siliplant1 protein precipitates silica in Sorghum silica cells.

Santosh Kumar, Nurit Adiram-Filiba, Shula Blum, Javier Arturo Sanchez-Lopez, Oren Tzfadia, Ayelet Omid, Hanne Volpin, Yael Heifetz, Gil Goobes, Rivka Elbaum

Silicon is absorbed by plant roots as silicic acid. The acid moves with the transpiration stream to the shoot, and mineralizes as silica. In grasses, leaf epidermal cells called silica cells deposit silica in most of their volume using an unknown biological factor. Using bioinformatics tools, we identified a previously uncharacterized protein in Sorghum bicolor, which we named Siliplant1 (Slp1). Slp1 is a basic protein with seven repeat units rich in proline, lysine, and glutamic acid. We found Slp1 RNA in sorghum immature leaf and immature inflorescence. In leaves, transcription was highest just before the active silicification zone (ASZ). There, Slp1 was localized specifically to developing silica cells, packed inside vesicles and scattered throughout the cytoplasm or near the cell boundary. These vesicles fused with the membrane, releasing their content in the apoplastic space. A short peptide that is repeated five times …

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Aug 2021 • Microscopy and Microanalysis

Automated Data Labeling and Label Cleaning for Nanoparticle Classification in Electron Microscopy

Kate Groschner, Assaf Ben-Moshe, Alexander Pattinson, Wolfgang Theis, Mary Scott

While there have been a large number of advances for rapid data acquisition in electron microscopy, gaining meaningful insights from this data remains challenging. This is often due to the challenges in creating a robust way to analyze the large amount of data generated. Manually labeling large datasets is often too time consuming, while automated techniques are more error-prone. However, recent advances in the machine learning community have focused on how to develop accurate classifiers from datasets with erroneous labels like those generated by automated techniques, yielding neural networks which are able to accurately analyze the data without the time investment from researchers [1-7]. Here, we analyze two approaches to outperforming accuracy limits imposed by label noise: noise robust techniques, which are immune to erroneous labels, and noise cleaning techniques, network training …

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Aug 2021 • Energies

In Situ Measurement of Localized Current Distribution in H2-Br2 Redox Flow Batteries

Brenda Berenice Martinez Cantu, Peter Fischer, David Zitoun, Jens Tübke, Karsten Pinkwart

Hydrogen bromine redox flow batteries (RFB) are considered to be one of the most promising storage alternatives, as this technology offers both high energy and high-power density. In this work a printed circuit board type of segmented current collector for the measurement of locally resolved current density was developed. This analytical tool was inserted as hydrogen anode current collector in a hydrogen-bromine test cell. Charging and discharging operation was monitored under different stoichiometric flow conditions and the impact on current distribution is presented. This technique offers the possibility to prove cell limiting conditions with spatial resolution, improving our understanding and determining optimal operating conditions for a given design.

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Aug 2021 • Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Stability of Current Collectors Against Corrosion in APC Electrolyte for Rechargeable Mg Battery

Sankalpita Chakrabarty, J Alberto Blázquez, Tali Sharabani, Ananya Maddegalla, Olatz Leonet, Idoia Urdampilleta, Daniel Sharon, Malachi Noked, Ayan Mukherjee

Rechargeable magnesium batteries (RMBs) are highly attractive due to their high volumetric capacity, relatively low cost, and enhanced safety. Significant progress in the development of RMBs was the introduction of nonaqueous electrolyte solutions that enable reversible electrodeposition of Mg metal. These solutions contain a unique mixture of organo− aluminum and chloro− aluminum species. While these solutions are shown to be stable during cathodic polarization, the presence of chlorine anions in the solution can promote the corrosion process during the anodic polarization. Among all the cell components, the cathode current collector is most prone to corrosive processes. In this study, we characterize the corrosion behavior of different metallic current collectors in standard APC (All-Phenyl Complex) electrolyte solutions by following their electrochemical response and surface morphology changes during …

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Aug 2021 • ACS Applied Energy Materials

Multifold electrochemical protons and zinc ion storage behavior in copper vanadate cathodes

Munseok S Chae, Ran Attias, Ben Dlugatch, Yosef Gofer, Doron Aurbach

Zinc-based batteries are gaining attention as a promising candidate for large-scale energy storage systems due to their safety, abundance of elemental zinc, low cost, and ease of handling in air. However, only a few zinc storage materials, namely, intercalation cathode materials, were reported, and there is a need to develop host structures with improved performance. Here, we investigate copper vanadate as a cathode material and uncover its proton and zinc storage behavior by combined electrochemical characterization, XRD analysis, and ion migration barrier calculations for the cation diffusion pathways. The material showed a highly reversible capacity of ∼315 mA h/g at 20 mA/g with a good capacity retention.

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Aug 2021 • Advanced Energy Materials

Bidirectionally Compatible Buffering Layer Enables Highly Stable and Conductive Interface for 4.5 V Sulfide‐Based All‐Solid‐State Lithium Batteries

Longlong Wang, Xingwei Sun, Jun Ma, Bingbing Chen, Chao Li, Jiedong Li, Liang Chang, Xinrun Yu, Ting‐Shan Chan, Zhiwei Hu, Malachi Noked, Guanglei Cui

High‐voltage all‐solid‐state lithium batteries (HVASSLBs) are considered attractive systems for portable electronics and electric vehicles, due to their theoretically high energy density and safety. However, realization of HVASSLBs with sulfide solid electrolytes (SEs) is hindered by their limited electrochemical stability, resulting in sluggish interphase dynamics. Here, a bidirectionally compatible buffering layer design scheme is proposed to overcome the interfacial challenges of sulfide‐based HVASSLBs. As a proof of concept, it is found that NASICON‐type LixZr2(PO4)3 surprisingly exhibit great compatibility with both 4.5 V LiCoO2 and Li6PS5Cl, based on the results of first‐principles calculations and various in situ/ex situ characterizations. This compatibility significantly restrains the interface reactivity and boosts interfacial Li‐ion transport. Therefore, 4.5 V sulfide‐based HVASSLBs can exhibit remarkably …

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Aug 2021 • ACS applied materials & interfaces 14 (30), 34171-34179, 2021

In Operando, Photovoltaic, and Microscopic Evaluation of Recombination Centers in Halide Perovskite-Based Solar Cells

Arava Zohar, Michael Kulbak, Silver H Turren-Cruz, Pabitra K Nayak, Adi Kama, Anders Hagfeldt, Henry J Snaith, Gary Hodes, David Cahen

The origin of the low densities of electrically active defects in Pb halide perovskite (HaP), a crucial factor for their use in photovoltaics, light emission, and radiation detection, remains a matter of discussion, in part because of the difficulty in determining these densities. Here, we present a powerful approach to assess the defect densities, based on electric field mapping in working HaP-based solar cells. The minority carrier diffusion lengths were deduced from the electric field profile, measured by electron beam-induced current (EBIC). The EBIC method was used earlier to get the first direct evidence for the n-i-p junction structure, at the heart of efficient HaP-based PV cells, and later by us and others for further HaP studies. This manuscript includes EBIC results on illuminated cell cross sections (in operando) at several light intensities to compare optoelectronic characteristics of different cells made by different groups …

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Aug 2021 • Review of Scientific Instruments

Setup for pressurizing thin films through the superconductor–insulator transition

R Cohen, M Nikolaevsky, R Salem, A Frydman

We describe an experimental setup designed for transport measurement of thin disordered superconducting films as a function of pressure up to several GPa. We use a specially designed single screw diamond anvil cell that allows the gradual increase of high pressure at cryogenic temperatures. By depositing amorphous films of disordered superconducting indium oxide directly on the diamond, we avoid the effect of pressure-induced structural changes in the substrate. Using this technique, we are able to drive thin films through a pressure tuned superconductor–insulator transition.

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Aug 2021

Picosecond Pulsed Laser Illumination: An Ultimate Solution for Photonic vs. Thermal Processes’ Contest in SOI Photo-Activated Modulator

David Glukhov, Zeev Zalevsky, Avi Karsenty

The functionality of a nanoscale silicon-based optoelectronic modulator is deeply analyzed while it appears that two competing processes, thermal and photonic, are occurring at the same time, and are preventing the optimization of the electro-optics coupling. While an incident illumination-beam first process is translated into photons, generating pairs of electrons-holes, a second process of thermal generation, creating phonons enables a loss of energy. Complementary studies, combining strong analytical models and numerical simulations, enabled to better understand this competition between photonic and thermal activities, in order to optimize the modulator. Moreover, in order to prevent unnecessary heating effects and to present a proposed solution, a picosecond pulsed laser is suggested and demonstrated as the ultimate solution so no energy will be wasted in heat, and still the photonic energy will be fully used. First everanalytical solution to the heating produced due to the laser illumination applied on a nano-photonic device, while the illumination is produced in a periodic time changing function, eg a pulsed illumination, is presented. The present case study and proposed adapted solution can serve as a basis of generic approach in sensors’ activation towards optimized photonics absorption.

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