A “Snowman” at the Edge of the Solar System

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New Horizons photograph (courtesy of NASA) of Arrokoth

A model developed at the Faculty of Physics at the Technion, in collaboration with German scientists at Tübingen, explains the unique properties of Arrokoth – the most distant object ever imaged in the solar system. The research team’s results shed new light on the formation of Kuiper Belt objects, asteroid-like objects at the edge of the Solar system, and for understanding the early stages of the solar system’s formation.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Nature, explain the unique characteristics of “the Snowman,” known formally as Arrokoth, It is the farthest imaged object in the system, and pictures of it were first taken last year by the New-Horizons space mission.

The research was led by Ph.D. student Evgeni Grishin, postdoc Dr. Uri Malamud, and their supervisor Professor Hagai Perets, in collaboration with the German research group in Tübingen.
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World Environment Day

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June 5th is World Environment Day, a day to reflect on what we can do protect the health of our planet. This year in particular, amidst the pandemic, we all have a heightened awareness of the ways in which our earth and human health are interconnected and must safeguarded.  Let’s all take this opportunity to become more environmentally responsible and mindful of the ways we can preserve nature today.

Here are a few ways Technion’s technological innovations encourage you to revisit your relationship with the world we live in.

ISRAEL AND USA JOIN FORCES FOR WATER-ENERGY TECH

Technion is part of a $21.4 million Israel-US consortium to develop water-energy technologies. More specifically, they are focusing on energy-efficient enhanced water supply, wastewater reuse and resource recovery, and energy water systems.

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THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY

PhD student Avigail Landman and Masters student Rawan Halabi are saving the planet with a water-splitting system powered by solar energy. This is a huge step towards eliminating our use of fossil fuels and lowering the damaging effects they have on our environment.

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MACHINE WHISPERERS TO SAVE THE PLANET

Augury is an Industrial Internet of Things and AI company which makes machines more reliable and enhances human productivity to  help reduce environmental impact. Also known as “machine whisperers”,  Augury co-founders Gal Shaul and Saar Yoskowitz are Technion alumni.

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WASTE CONVERSION TECH TO MAKE AUTO PARTS

German giant Daimler AG recently announced their collaboration with UBQ Materials to develop “clean” auto parts from converted unsorted household waste. UBQ Materials CTO Shaul Sheffer is a Technion alumnus.

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MONITORING THE ENVIRONMENT WITH BIOLOGICAL COMPUTER

Ph.D. student Natalia Barger and Assistant Professor Ramez Daniel, head of the Synthetic Biology and Bioelectronics Lab at Technion, designed a biological computer to monitor different substances in the environment. Constructed within a bacterial cell, it can transmit signals and can even warn about hemorrhaging in the human body in the future.

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EVERY DROP OF WATER COUNTS

Hydratech founder and CTO Dr. Dovik Barkay, is a Technion alumnus who started Hydrantech to create smart hydrant that saves water and millions of dollars. This smart hydrant alerts authorities of leaks, theft or malicious attempts to penetrate a water supply.

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FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE

Technion graduate Tomer Tzach started CropX in 2014.  The company is based on a hardware and software system that uses the power of big data, machine learning and cloud technology to boost agricultural output.  Their revolutionary system protects the environment by helping farmers save on water, fertilizer and energy while conserving resources.

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GIVE BEES A BREAK

Technion alumnus Eylam Ran is the Founder and CEO of agri-tech startup, Edete Precision. They have developed an innovative two-stage artificial pollination technology which mimics the way honeybees collect and distribute pollen. Now bees can take a break!

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MACHINE VISION ANALYZING WATER QUALITY

Mekorot and Newsight Imaging collaborated to develop an inexpensive spectrometer which can improve monitoring the quality of water and considerably increase efficiency. Co-founder and CTO of Newsight Imaging, Eval Yatskan, is a Technion alumnus.

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REMOTE SENSOR TO END OIL POLLUTION

Technion researchers are always trying to find innovative solutions to help save the planet. One of these solutions includes a remote sensor that can be placed on drones or satellites to produce high-resolution data on soil contaminants and detect oil leaks.

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Technion students, researchers and alumni are making big strides daily to help improve the state of the environment. If we all contribute by making one small change, together we can make a big impact. Be the difference the world needs. Support Technion Research helping make the world a better place.

SUPPORT THE TECHNION

Solving Antibiotic Resistance

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Nanosynex Co-founders Michelle Heymann and Diane Abensur Bessin

Medical start-up Nanosynex was founded by CEO Diane Abensur and VP marketing and business development Michelle Heymann, who met when they were studying for MBAs at the Technion.  Both had recently immigrated to Israel; Abensur from France and Heymann from Brazil.

Based on findings by renowned Technion-Israel Institute of Technology cell researcher Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, Nanosynex  has developed a method of precisely adapting antibiotics to infections. The objective is to implement more effective and faster treatment without encouraging the resistance of bacteria to the most widely used antibiotics.

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Helping Babies Breathe Easier

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Doctoral candidate Eliram Nof (left) and Prof. Josué Sznitman with their model of the upper respiratory tract of a premature baby.

More than 10 percent of babies worldwide are born prematurely, and a common complication of premature birth is respiratory distress. The respiratory system only reaches full function in the late stages of prenatal development, and premature infants may lack a unique soapy substance (surfactant), which prevents the collapse of the lungs and facilitates breathing. 

Fortunately, modern medicine is able to cope with this problem by providing an exterior surfactant that is delivered in conjunction with a ventilation machine.  However, in its current form, the use of a respirator is not without problems. One of the possible side effects in premature infants using a ventilation machine is damage to the lung tissue. Fortunately, a new technology developed by Technion researchers will protect the respiratory tract of premature infants needing assisted ventilation.

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The Future of Clean Energy

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Technion Researchers (L-R) : Dr. Hen Dotan , Avigail Landman , Prof. Avner Rothschild and Prof. Gideon Grader.
Credit: Chen Galili,

A research team from the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program has developed an innovative, clean, inexpensive, and safe technology for producing hydrogen from solar energy. The new system is based on a theoretical breakthrough by the Technion’s team, whereby it is safer to decompose the water into hydrogen and oxygen in two different cells, with no dangerous interaction which can cause explosions.

Technion Professor Avner Rothschild, one of the lead researchers, said the hydrogen produced by this process could  one day replace fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas that currently heat our homes and fuel our cars. The researchers hope that academics and industry will continue and advance the system into a commercial product.

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Safe Landings

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Technion students and mentors, from left: O. Freund, A. Yarosinski, K. Kohai, N. Shimkin, H. & D. Straussman and A. Bar-Gill. Photo courtesy of Technion Spokesperson’s Office

For those who fear flying, Technion technology offers reassurance of a safe flight! Technion professors and students from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering have developed and successfully tested software that monitors a plane’s trajectory to determine if it’s losing altitude and what physical obstacles might be in its way. It also guides the plane to the best alternative landing strip.

The team was led by Professor Nahum Shimkin and Dr. Aharon Bar-Gill, both of the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion. Prof. Shimkin is the dean of the Faculty.

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