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Technology Name
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Scientist
1033
A novel diagnostic test to identify individuals with increased risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one killer among cancers, with 160,000 deaths/year in the USA and 1.6 million/year worldwide. Early detection of lung cancer increases 5-year survival rate from 4% to 54%. Moreover, the...

A novel diagnostic test to identify individuals with increased risk of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the number one killer among cancers, with 160,000 deaths/year in the USA and 1.6 million/year worldwide. Early detection of lung cancer increases 5-year survival rate from 4% to 54%. Moreover, the National Lung Cancer Trial (NLST) showed that early detection of lung cancer by low-dose CT reduces mortality by at least 20%. Despite recommendations for low-dose CT screening for heavy smokers fulfilling the NLST criteria, compliance is low. In addition, 80 million smokers and ex-smokers in the US who do not fulfil NLST risk criteria have no recommended solution.

The MyRepair test fulfils this unmet medical need by providing a quantitative prediction of lung cancer risk using a simple blood test. The test is based on a personalized measurement of the patient’s DNA repair capacity, a mechanism which is highly connected to the onset of cancer. Therefore, the MyRepair technology can potentially increase early detection of lung cancer and thus save lives.

 

Applications


A novel diagnostic test to identify individuals with increased risk of lung cancer


Advantages


·         Simplicity – MyRepair is based on a simple, cost-effective blood test.

·         Accessibility – Compared to low-dose CT which requires specific equipment, the MyRepair test can be easily integrated in general diagnostic labs and therefore may be more accessible to a larger portion of the population.

·         Additional applications – Since the test is based on measuring personalized DNA repair mechanism, it can be adopted in the future for the diagnosis of additional cancer types and DNA repair related diseases.


Technology's Essence


Based on the strong and well documented connection between impaired capacity for DNA repair and onset of cancer, the Livneh lab invented the MyRepair Test, a method for predicting lung cancer risk, based on measuring activity of 3 DNA repair enzymes.

Combining enzyme activities with experimental risk estimates generated MyRepair Score, which measures personalized DNA repair capacity of tested subjects.

An epidemiological/clinical study performed in Israel, further validated in an independent UK study, demonstrated that lung cancer patients have lower MyRepair Score than healthy people. In addition, subjects who test MyRepair-positive have an 85-fold higher risk to develop lung cancer compared to the general population.

Low MyRepair Score is a risk factor independent of smoking, and of comparable magnitude, indicating that it can be a prognostic tool for smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers.

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  • Prof. Zvi Livneh
1245

Applications


The novel DNA Aptamer is a promising candidate for therapeutic as well as diagnostic uses: Therapeutic: A novel therapy for Influenza Diagnostics: Detection of Influenza infection in vertebrates such as avian, swine and human

Technology's Essence


Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science describe a novel oligonucleotide, also known as an Aptamer, which has been designed to complement the receptor-binding region of the influenza haemagglutinin molecule. It was constructed by screening a DNA library and processing by the SELEX procedure. This DNA Aptamer comprises of a polynucleotide sequence that can bind to a polypeptide within the binding region of the influenza virus to the host cell. The proposed mode of action of this Aptamer is by blocking the binding of influenza virus to target cell receptors and consequently preventing the virus invasion into the host cells. Aptamer is capable of inhibiting the haemagglutinin capacity of the virus and the viral infectivity in vitro. Furthermore, it was shown in an animal model to inhibit viral infection by different influenza strains, as manifested by up to 99% reduction of virus burden in the lungs of treated mice.

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  • Prof. Ruth Arnon
1270
Monoclonal antibodies to IgE Description: Rat monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies that was generated by fusion of plasmacytoma (84.1C) or myeloma (EM953) cells with splenocytes of rat immunized with purified murine IgE mAb. The antibodies react with various IgE mAb of different specificities and not with...

Monoclonal antibodies to IgE

Description: Rat monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies that was generated by fusion of plasmacytoma (84.1C) or myeloma (EM953) cells with splenocytes of rat immunized with purified murine IgE mAb. The antibodies react with various IgE mAb of different specificities and not with immunoglobulins of other classes, and recognize an epitope on the murine Fc epsilon region.

Were shown to block IgE-Fc?R interactions and inhibit passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. 

Clone 84.1c recognizes a site on IgE, which is identical or very close to the Fc?R binding site. May be used for detection and manipulation of the IgE response in mice.

Reference:  Schwarzbaum S, Nissim A, Alkalay I, Ghozi MC, Schindler DG, Bergman Y, Eshhar Z. 1989. Mapping of murine IgE epitopes involved in IgE-Fc epsilon receptor interactions. Eur J Immunol 19(6):1015-23.

 

M182, M185, M186

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  • Prof. Zelig Eshhar
1378
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute developed a novel method to design error-free DNA libraries from error-prone oligonucleotides. The system surpasses existing methods for de novo synthesis of DNA libraries in speed, precision, amenability to automation and ease of combining synthetic with natural...

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute developed a novel method to design error-free DNA libraries from error-prone oligonucleotides. The system surpasses existing methods for de novo synthesis of DNA libraries in speed, precision, amenability to automation and ease of combining synthetic with natural DNA fragments. 

All DNA construction protocols struggle with the cumbersome task of cloning and sequencing synthetic DNA fragments, seeking an error-free one. The problem is worsened for longer synthetic DNA which is more prone to errors. Time spent on error correction, clone selection and sequencing is a major bottleneck that prevents de novo DNA synthesis from becoming a routine procedure in labs. 

This innovative solution significantly decreases the need for labor-intensive time-consuming error correction methods, cloning and sequencing. Furthermore, efficient editing and reassembly of different genes is made possible due to a smart recursive reconstruction process.

 

Applications


  • Design and construction of synthetic biological molecules and organisms.
  • Construction of designer DNA libraries.

 


Advantages


  • Applicable in any lab with standard lab equipment. Faster and more precise than existing methods.
  • Amenable to automation, full synthesis in vitro with a modified smPCR protocol.
  • Very simple to combine synthetic and natural DNA fragments.
  • Does not require additional or external methods or reagents for error correction

 


Technology's Essence


Divide and Conquer (D&C), the quintessential recursive problem-solving technique, is applied in silico to divide the target DNA sequence into overlapping oligonucleotides short enough to be synthesized directly, albeit with errors; error-prone oligonucleotides are recursively combined in vitro, forming error-prone DNA molecules; error-free fragments of these molecules are then identified, extracted and used as new, typically longer and more accurate, inputs to another iteration of the recursive construction procedure; the entire process repeats until an error-free target molecule is formed.

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  • Prof. Ehud Y. Shapiro
1397
A novel antibody which can be used, for the first time, to recognize ubiquitinated histone 2B. This technology is novel in its ability to recognize proteins and their destinations, and may serve in diagnostics and immunoprecipitation processes.

A novel antibody which can be used, for the first time, to recognize ubiquitinated histone 2B. This technology is novel in its ability to recognize proteins and their destinations, and may serve in diagnostics and immunoprecipitation processes.

Applications


Primary applications in research. Use as a detection tool in western blotting, immunoprecipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Might be used for monitoring processes associated with modulations of ubiquitinated-H2B levels.

Technology's Essence


The invention involves the generation of antibodies specific to ubiquitinated-H2B which selectively recognize H2B when it is ubiquitinated but not H2B in its unmodified state, or ubiquitin unconjugated to H2B.

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  • Prof. Moshe Oren
1407
Thermotolerant photosynthetic organisms endure worsening climate conditions such as increased temperatures and higher levels of CO2. These novel organisms maintain photosynthetic activity and growth under a wide temperature range (15-45oC) as opposed to their wild-type counterparts. Thermotolerant...

Thermotolerant photosynthetic organisms endure worsening climate conditions such as increased temperatures and higher levels of CO2. These novel organisms maintain photosynthetic activity and growth under a wide temperature range (15-45oC) as opposed to their wild-type counterparts.

Thermotolerant organisms also exhibit higher transparency to light. Photosynthetic efficiency is maintained even though they produce and utilize less chlorophyll molecules; therefore less surface area is required for optimal cultivation. Furthermore, increased CO2 concentrations are preferable for thermotolerant organisms’ efficient photosynthesis.

The innovative solution discovered at The Weizmann Institute, involves replacement of 1-2 amino acid residues in a protein motif within the D1 protein subunit of Photosystem II (the protein complex responsible for the conversion of solar energy to a useful form of energy by photosynthesis). Such a solution has the potential to provide platforms for food production and sustainable energy in regions with harsh climate conditions that until today, were deemed unfit for cultivation.

Applications


  • Bacterial platform to produce biomass or materials (e.g. nutraceuticals) in higher temperatures and higher CO2.
  • Food and biofuel production: adaptation of crops to harsh climates.

Advantages


  • Enhanced Thermal stability and plasticity of the modified organisms to a much broader range than observed for the native organisms.
  • Greater Light penetration (e.g. in ponds) without losing photosynthetic efficiency - thermotolerant organisms maintain efficient activity with less chlorophylls thus allowing greater transmission of light to deeper spaces.
  • Thermotolerant organisms withstand high CO2 concentrations.

Technology's Essence


Professor Avigdor Scherz and his team focused on the sequences of the two major protein subunits D1 and D2 found in all purple bacteria PSII reaction centers. Two sites, D1-209 and D1-212, were found to show consistent changes between mesophilic, thermotolerant and thermophilic organisms including cyanobacteria, algae and green plants.

The sites are positioned in a GXXXG-like structural motif (where G denotes small residues such as Gly, Ala, Ser, Cys and Thr) typical of helix-helix interactions. The motif was found at the points of closest contact between the two major protein subunits, D1 and D2. It was shown that mutations in the amino acids within the identified GXXXG-like motif  result in modification of the local flexibility of the reaction center and, consequently, in the induction of thermophilic behavior.

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  • Prof. Avigdor Scherz
1441
New protein as a target to treat B cell-related cancer.Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a malignant disease characterized by the accumulation of B lymphocytes in the blood, lymphoid organs, and bone marrow, is the second most common type of leukemia in adults, accounting for about 7,000 new cases of...

New protein as a target to treat B cell-related cancer.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a malignant disease characterized by the accumulation of B lymphocytes in the blood, lymphoid organs, and bone marrow, is the second most common type of leukemia in adults, accounting for about 7,000 new cases of leukemia each year. Presently, there is no cure for CLL, and the overall goal of leukemia treatment is to bring about a remission. Therefore, identifying new proteins that may serve as a target for inducing cell death in the malignant cells is highly desirable. The present technology identifies a new regulator protein that is essential for the survival of CLL cells.

Applications


• Treatment of CLL, as well as other B cell-related cancers (e.g. gastric cancer and renal cell carcinoma), by blocking CD84 activity
• Diagnosis of CLL

Advantages


• Very specific to malignant B cells
• Diagnosis, and therefore treatment, can be made at early stages of the disease

 


Technology's Essence


B cells taken from CLL patients have a high level of the protein CD84. Stimulation of CD84 upregulates the survival of B-CLL. However, inhibition of CD84 activity with a blocking antibody downregulates the expression of another protein which controls B-CLL survival, thus inducing cell death. Therefore, the present invention reveals CD84 as a regulator of B-CLL survival

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  • Prof. Idit Shachar
1451
A monoclonal antibody against GluR3B, a peptide found in epilepsy patients, and especially in patients suffering from intractable, resistant forms of the disease, could be used in diagnosis kits as well as in drug development for this form of "autoimmune epilepsy".

A monoclonal antibody against GluR3B, a peptide found in epilepsy patients, and especially in patients suffering from intractable, resistant forms of the disease, could be used in diagnosis kits as well as in drug development for this form of "autoimmune epilepsy".

Applications


1. Producing a new kit for epilepsy patients, able to detect GluR3b Ab's and thus GluR3-mediated neuropathology
The anti GluR3B monoclonal Ab could be used for developing a new diagnostic kit to detect neuropathogenic human anti-GluR3B in serum and CSF of patients with epilepsy. The patient's GluR3B Ab's would compete and displace the GluR3B mAb's of its ligand: the GluR3B peptide. The presence of GluR3B Ab's in a patient, would indicate that autoimmunity against GluR3 may underlie the patient's neuropathology and a) would suggest the initiation of an immune-based therapy b) prevent useless and dangerous brain surgery c) prevent non-effective medication.

2. Drug design for GluR3-mediated neuropathology
The unique GluR3B monoclonal antibody could be used to screen a potential drug for 'Autoimmune Epilepsy'. The GluR3B monoclonal antibody could be used to screen for a molecule (i.e. Anti-idiotypic antibodies) that would block the GluR3 autoantibodies and their detrimental neuropathological effects.

3. Research tool for a kaleidoscope of purposes, including:

  • Detection of the GluR3 glutamate receptor subtype on various target cells.
  • Studies of the properties of the Glutamate/AMPA receptor subtype 3.
  • Studies of the Glutamate-liked agonist activity of the GluR3B monoclonal antibody, and of the GluR3 receptor ion channel gating properties.
  • Production of an animal model of 'Autoimmune Epilepsy'.
  • Studies of neuronal death caused by binding of the GluR3 autoantibody to glutamate/AMPA receptors.
  • Studies of behavioral impairments caused by binding of the GluR3 autoantibody to glutamate/AMPA receptors.

  • Technology's Essence


    Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered a unique anti-GluR3B monoclonal antibody Glu149/29/61.

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    • Prof. Vivian I. Teichberg
    • Prof. Vivian I. Teichberg
    1499
    Bladder cancer is a common malignancy; it is the 4th most common cancer in males and the 9th in females.  The presenting symptom is usually blood in the urine, and diagnosis is currently based on cystoscopy, which is invasive, costly, painful and time consuming.  To date, no biomarker has been...

    Bladder cancer is a common malignancy; it is the 4th most common cancer in males and the 9th in females.  The presenting symptom is usually blood in the urine, and diagnosis is currently based on cystoscopy, which is invasive, costly, painful and time consuming.  To date, no biomarker has been identified in the urine that might be used for screening, staging, prognosis and monitoring treatment.  We now report that the amount of the 60 kDa heat shock protein (HSP60) in a subject’s urine is a biomarker for muscle invasion in patients with bladder cancer – stage T2 and higher.  Moreover, subjects with stage T1 disease can be stratified by their urine levels of HSP60 into a sub-group likely to progress into stage T2 or into a sub-group more likely to respond to conservative treatment with BCG, which does not require removal of the bladder.  The distinction between these two sub-groups of T1 bladder cancer can identify earlier subjects in need of cystectomy, while sparing others unnecessary major surgery.

    Applications


    • Screening subjects with overt hematuria, or at risk of developing bladder cancer (such as heavy smokers)
    • tratifying bladder cancer subjects
    • Prognosis
    • Determining treatment program
    • Monitoring response to therapy.

    Advantages


    • Non-invasive
    • Easy to apply
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Prognositic.

    Technology's Essence


    Quantitative measurement of HSP60 levels in a subject’s urine by ELISA, radio-immunoassay or other simple assays.

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    • Prof. Irun R. Cohen
    1518
    Improved immunotherapy for breast cancer. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to ErbB-2/HER2 growth factor receptor, or to its sibling, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), prolong survival of cancer patients, especially when combined with cytotoxic therapies. However, low effectiveness of...

    Improved immunotherapy for breast cancer.

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to ErbB-2/HER2 growth factor receptor, or to its sibling, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), prolong survival of cancer patients, especially when combined with cytotoxic therapies. However, low effectiveness of therapeutic mAbs and the evolution of patient resistance call for improvements. Furthermore, the response to the clinically approved monotherapy of Herceptin (a humanized mAb directed against ErbB-2), is relatively low (~15%) and short lived (median duration, 9 months). Therefore, there is a need to improve the therapeutic treatment against this receptor. The present technology enhances the therapeutic activity of anti-ErB-2 receptor antibodies, by combining two or more epitope-distinct antibodies.

    Applications


    • Improved treatment of ErbB-2-overexpressing tumors (e.g. in breast and ovary cancers).


    Advantages


    • May enhance patient response and delay acquisition of resistance.
    • Enhancement of therapeutic efficacy and synergy with chemotherapy.

    Technology's Essence


    Optimal selection of mAbs for cancer immunotherapy may improve its therapeutic potential. The outlined technology addresses an emerging strategy, which enhances the therapeutic activity of anti-receptor antibodies by combining two mAbs engaging distinct epitopes. It was demonstrated that pairs of anti-ErbB-2 mAbs better inhibit ErbB-2-overexpressing tumors than the respective individual mAbs, both in vitro and in vivo.

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    • Prof. Yosef Yarden
    1527
    New peptides for improving the recruitment of stem cells for transplantation. Blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma) are very common: they accounted for nearly 9.5 percent of deaths in the US from cancer in 2009. Stem cell transplantation, which aims to restore the function of the marrow, is an...

    New peptides for improving the recruitment of stem cells for transplantation.

    Blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma) are very common: they accounted for nearly 9.5 percent of deaths in the US from cancer in 2009. Stem cell transplantation, which aims to restore the function of the marrow, is an important therapy for these malignancies. Successful blood and marrow transplant requires the infusion of a sufficient number of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC), which is done by recruitment of HSPC from the marrow into the blood (mobilization). Currently used clinical procedures to produce stem cell mobilization include administration of G-CSF or GM-CSF, either as single agents or in combination with chemotherapy. However, some autologous blood stem cell donors exhibit indifference to currently applied mobilization therapies. Hence, improved methods to mobilize peripheral blood HSPC are warranted. The present invention is directed to novel short peptides of beta-defensins for improving the mobilization of HSPC.

    Applications


    • Rapid and efficient mobilization of HSPC for clinical transplantation
    • Inhibition of malignant cell proliferation and metastasis

    Advantages


    ·         Non-toxic, derived from a physiological molecule of innate host immunity

    ·         Cheap and simple synthesis

    ·         Rapid, robust and preferential mobilization of immature HSPC

    ·         Enhancement of mobilizing efficiency of presently used substances (e.g. G-CSF)

    ·         Dual use of the derivatives


    Technology's Essence


    Beta-defensins belong to a family of antimicrobial peptides, a major component of the innate immune system. In a mouse model, two different linear beta-defensin-derived peptides provided a strong and rapid HSPC mobilization, alone and in combination with G-CSF, a cytokine that is the major agent inducing robust mobilization of HSPC. In addition, a cyclic peptide derivative effectively inhibited HSPC mobilization and proliferation, as well as human malignant cell motility in mice. These findings make beta-defensin-derived peptides as promising small molecule candidates for improving current clinical HSPC mobilization protocols, and their cyclic derivatives as promising candidates for reducing cancer cell development and metastasis in patients.

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    • Prof. Tsvee Lapidot
    1546
    Improvement of protein production by modulating the tRNA pool. For maximal heterologous expression of proteins per host cell, the optimal level of expression of genes needs to be addressed. The science and art of expressing a gene from one species in another often amounts to modifying the codons of the...

    Improvement of protein production by modulating the tRNA pool. For maximal heterologous expression of proteins per host cell, the optimal level of expression of genes needs to be addressed. The science and art of expressing a gene from one species in another often amounts to modifying the codons of the gene, and supplementing the host with specific tRNAs. Yet the full challenge of heterologous expression is not only to maximize expression per host cell, but also to minimize the burden on the host. The outlined invention describes a universally conserved profile of translation efficiency along mRNAs, based on the adaptation between coding sequences and the tRNA pool, to improve heterologous gene expression and thus protein production.

    Applications


    • Improvement of the yield and success rate of recombinant protein production.

    Advantages


    • Protein expression levels can be artificially increased
    • Minimization of the burden on the host

    Technology's Essence


    The translation efficiency profile of a gene is defined, for each codon position, as the estimated availability of the tRNAs that participate in translating that codon. The profile is high at codons that correspond to abundant tRNAs and low at codons that correspond to rare tRNAs. In this invention it is predicted that the first ~30-50 codons of genes appear to be translated with a low efficiency “ramp”, while the last ~50 codons show highest efficiency. The “ramp” serves as a late stage of initiation and is an optimal and robust means to reduce ribosomal traffic jams, thus minimizing occupation of free ribosomes, ribosomal abortions and, ultimately, the cost of protein expression. Implementation of appropriate ramping in heterlogous proteins, given the host?s tRNA pool, might improve the yield of expressed recombinant proteins.

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    • Prof. Yitzhak Pilpel
    1549
    A tailor-made strategy for cancer treatment. The ErbB family of tyrosine kinase receptors and their ligands play important roles in development and tissue remodeling throughout adulthood. ErbB proteins are involved in several types of human cancer. Clinical studies indicate that over-expression of one...

    A tailor-made strategy for cancer treatment. The ErbB family of tyrosine kinase receptors and their ligands play important roles in development and tissue remodeling throughout adulthood. ErbB proteins are involved in several types of human cancer. Clinical studies indicate that over-expression of one or more ErbB ligands correlates with decreased patient survival. The currently approved drugs for the treatment of cancers driven by the ErbB family target the receptors rather than the ligands, and they include either monoclonal anti-receptor antibodies, or tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Because of resistance and moderate clinical efficacies of anti-receptor antibodies and TKIs it is worthwhile considering alternative strategies. The present technology combines several antibodies, capable of blocking ErbB ligands, with chemotherapy.

    Applications


    • Treatment of cancers that possess the ErbB receptors (e.g. colorectal, liver, bladder, and head and neck tumors)

    Advantages


    • Effective blockade of the tumorigenic action of ErbB-specific ligands
    • The combination protocol may enhance the sensitivity to chemotherapy

    Technology's Essence


    In the outlined technology, monoclonal antibodies were generated against two ligands, namely TGF-? and heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor. Combining the two antibodies with a chemotherapeutic drug enhanced the ability of chemotherapy to inhibit pancreatic tumors in mice. Therefore, this technology offers a general cancer therapeutic strategy that entails profiling the repertoire of growth factors secreted by a tumor, and combining with chemotherapy several antibodies capable of blocking autocrine ligands, in a way that sensitizes tumors to cytotoxicity and delays onset of chemoresistance.

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    • Prof. Yosef Yarden
    1555
    Albumin binding probe for extending the lifetime of drugs. Most polypeptide drugs, in particular non-glycosylated proteins of molecular mass less than 50 kDa, are short-lived species in vivo having circulatory half lives of 5-20 min. Drug association with endogenous albumin may be suitable for...

    Albumin binding probe for extending the lifetime of drugs. Most polypeptide drugs, in particular non-glycosylated proteins of molecular mass less than 50 kDa, are short-lived species in vivo having circulatory half lives of 5-20 min. Drug association with endogenous albumin may be suitable for designing an approach to protract the action in vivo of, potentially, any short-lived peptide/protein drug. In doing so two principal obstacles must be overcome: (1) following its conjugation, the probe introduced into a peptide or a protein should have sufficient affinity to albumin to manifest prolonged action in vivo, and (2) in case such covalent introduction results in an inactive product, the latter should be capable to undergo slow reactivation at physiological conditions. The present invention relates to engineering prolonged-acting prodrugs employing an albumin-binding probe that undergoes slow hydrolysis at physiological conditions.

    Applications


    • Prolonging half life of short-lined drugs

    Advantages


    • Prolonging the action of the drug without effecting its activity 
    • A desirable pharmacokinetic pattern

    Technology's Essence


    Since albumin is long-lived in vivo, drugs and endogenous substances that tightly associate with it have lower clearance rates than that of the unbound substances, and exhibit prolonged lifetime profiles in vivo. The present invention is based on a concept according to which a long chain fatty acid (LCFA) like albuminbinding compound is covalently linked to a short-lived amino-containing drug to form a non-covalent drug conjugate capable of associating with albumin in vivo, i.e., a long-lived prodrug that gradually releases the pharmacologically active constituent. This approach has been successfully implemented with several drugs (e.g. insulin, exendin and gentamicin).

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    • Prof. Matityahu Fridkin
    • Prof. Yoram Shechter
    1593
    The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders.  To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools...

    The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders. 
    To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools is to allow individuals identification while maintaining sufficient resolution for accurate tracking.
    The present technology provides a system that utilizes fluorescent fur dyes to differentially mark and track individuals within a group. Using a sensitive color camera and a newly designed tracking algorithm, behavior of groups may be recorded and analyzed with high temporal and spatial resolution.   
    The technology further offers a method for characterizing the group’s interactions using the maximum entropy model.

     

    Applications


     


    Advantages


  • High spatial and temporal resolution – enabled by sensitive color video tracking.
  • Enables high detailed analysis of individual behavior within the group.
  • Suitable for community study of groups - limited only by available fur dyes.
  • Compatible with long-term analysis.
  • Simple, cost effective.
  • Minimal suffering and improved animal welfare.

  • Technology's Essence


    The present technology takes advantage of the fact that mice are nocturnal (active at night) animals, to mark their fur with different fluorescent dyes. Under ultraviolet light, the mice can be accurately and automatically tracked, over a number of days. As the mice are allowed to move freely in an interesting arena for exploration containing ramps, nest boxes and barriers (Figure 1), their trajectory and behavior are recorded using a sensitive color camera.
    The system further includes an image processing module which analyses the recorded images, calculates a spatiotemporal model and the nature of social interactions between individuals.
    Combining detailed behavioral and genetic analysis ate the level of individuals, in association with group analysis, may enable the identification of genetic and neuronal correlates of complex social interactions. 

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    • Prof. Alon Chen

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