Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Recent publications
Climate Field Reconstructions (CFRs) combine modern observational data with paleoclimatic proxies to estimate climate variables over spatiotemporal grids during time periods when widespread observations of climatic conditions do not exist. The Common Era (CE) has been a period over which many seasonally‐ and annually‐resolved CFRs have been produced on regional to global scales. CFRs over the CE were first produced in the 1970s using dendroclimatic records and linear regression‐based approaches. Since that time, many new CFRs have been produced using a wide range of proxy datasets and reconstruction techniques. We assess the early history of research on CFRs for the CE, which provides context for our review of advances in CFR research over the last two decades. We review efforts to derive gridded hydroclimatic CFRs over continental regions using networks of tree‐ring proxies. We subsequently explore work to produce hemispheric‐ and global‐scale CFRs of surface temperature using multi‐proxy datasets, before specifically reviewing recently‐developed data assimilation techniques and how they have been used to produce simultaneous reconstructions of multiple climatic fields globally. We then review efforts to develop standardized and digitized databases of proxy networks for use in CFR research, before concluding with some thoughts on important next steps for CFR development.
While scholars have closely examined the intensification of negative affect across party lines during elections, less is known about the decline of partisan hostility in the aftermath of election campaigns. Synthesizing insights from research on electoral rules and political psychology, we theorize and empirically test two such mechanisms of post‐election negative affect decline. The first is that of winners' generosity: the expectation that self‐perceived election winners will express warmer feelings towards political opponents. The second is that of co‐governance, which predicts that shared coalition status leads to warmer affective evaluations among governing parties. We provide evidence that these mechanisms operate as pressure valves of negative partisan affect. We also show that while co‐governance reduces negative affect between parties who govern together, it fuels negative affect among supporters of opposition parties. The empirical analyses leverage a uniquely uncertain political period following the 2021 Israeli elections, around which we conducted an original panel study. Our findings advance the comparative polarization literature and connect psychological and institutional accounts of temporal fluctuations in partisan affect.
Introduction Recognising the connection between country-level social determinants of health, and child unintentional injury mortality can contribute to better resource allocation for child safety. This cross-sectional country-level study aims to investigate such a link where the role of income inequality (Gini Index) is examined alongside education expenditure, current health expenditure and gross national income (GNI) per capita. Methods A total of 49 high-income countries were studied, using the WHO Global Health Estimates 2016, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators for education and GNI per capita, and the standardised world income inequality database to compile estimates of child unintentional injury mortality rates and selected socioeconomic characteristics. Results A wide range of childhood mortality rates from unintentional injury was observed (1.3–10.0 deaths per 100 000 children). Such risk is strongly associated with income inequality (0.50), GNI per capita (–0.35) and education expenditure (–0.01) (mediated by income inequality). No association was found to current health expenditure. The results explain 52% of the variance in child unintentional injury mortality. Conclusions In countries with higher overall economic activity and lower-income inequality, child mortality from unintentional injuries is lower. Allocation of education expenditure is one contributor to reducing income inequality; other factors need further exploration.
This combined retrospective and prospective study aimed to investigate the relationship between scoliosis, spinal bone mineral density (BMD), and truncal muscle strength in patients with familial dysautonomia (FD). A total of 79 FD patients (40 male, 39 female) aged 5–44 years were included. The severity of scoliosis, lumbar spine BMD (Z-score), and truncal muscle strength were assessed. Correlations were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Inverse correlations were observed between scoliosis severity and BMD (r = − 0.328, p = 0.001), as indicated by increasingly negative Z-score values with worsening osteoporosis. There were also inverse correlations between scoliosis and truncal muscle strength (r = − 0.595, p < 0.001). The correlation between scoliosis and age was notable up to 22 years (r = 0.421, p = 0.01), but not in the older age group (22–44 years). Our study identified inverse correlations between osteoporosis and scoliosis, as well as between scoliosis and truncal muscle strength, in FD patients. These findings suggest that there may be a relationship between bone density, muscle strength, and the severity of spinal curvature in this population. While our results highlight the potential importance of early diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, and possibly the benefits of physical therapy to strengthen truncal muscles, further research is needed to determine the direct impact of these interventions on preventing the progression of scoliosis and its associated complications in FD patients. A long-term longitudinal study could provide more insights into these relationships and inform treatment strategies for FD patients.
In bacteria, determination of the 3’ termini of transcripts plays an essential role in regulation of gene expression, affecting the functionality and stability of the transcript. Several experimental approaches were developed to identify the 3’ termini of transcripts, however, these were applied only to a limited number of bacteria and growth conditions. Here we present a straightforward approach to identify 3’ termini from widely available RNA-seq data without the need for additional experiments. Our approach relies on the observation that the RNAtag-seq sequencing protocol results in overabundance of reads mapped to transcript 3’ termini. We present TRS (Termini by Read Starts), a computational pipeline exploiting this property to identify 3’ termini in RNAtag-seq data, and show that the identified 3’ termini are highly reliable. Since RNAtag-seq data are widely available for many bacteria and growth conditions, our approach paves the way for studying bacterial transcription termination in an unprecedented scope.
This report addresses the challenges of controlled drug delivery for peptide and protein therapeutics by introducing a novel approach of nano formulation fabricated in aqueous media applying stereo‐interaction mechanism with poly(D‐lactide)‐polyethylene glycol (D‐PLA‐PEG). To overcome the inherent poor stability of peptide and protein therapeutics, we applied stereocomplexation of the peptide, insulin, onto D‐PLA‐PEG in aqueous media. Nanoparticles of about 400 nm were spontaneously formed when water‐soluble D configured PLA‐PEG diblock copolymer and L‐ configured insulin interlock into a stereocomplex, owing to their concave convex fitness. In vitro release of insulin from stereocomplex in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) pH 7.4 solution showed sustained release for 14 weeks. The therapeutic efficacy of the PLA‐insulin stereocomplex nanoparticles were evaluated in diabetic Akita mice. Blood glucose levels and body weight were closely monitored for a period of 17 weeks, revealing a significant reduction in glucose levels of the Akita mice treated with insulin stereocomplex, as well as normal body weight gain. These findings suggest that the stereocomplex nanoparticles of insulin‐D‐PLA‐PEG presents a promising and effective sustained and extended release platform for insulin. Notably, the use of water‐soluble D‐PLA‐PEG for stereocomplexation in water expands the applicability of this approach to fabricate controlled delivery systems for peptide and protein therapeutics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Background The gut microbiota in patients with inflammatory bowel disease are perturbed in both composition and function. The vaginal microbiome and its role in the reproductive health of women with inflammatory bowel disease is less well described. Objective We aim to compare the vaginal microbiota of women with inflammatory bowel disease to healthy controls. Methods Women with inflammatory bowel disease enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study provided self-collected vaginal swabs. Healthy controls underwent provider-collected vaginal swabs at routine gynecologic exams. All participants completed surveys on health history, vulvovaginal symptoms and gastrointestinal symptoms, if applicable. Microbiota were characterized by sequencing the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Associations between patient characteristics and microbial community composition were evaluated by PERMANOVA and Principal Components Analysis. Lactobacillus dominance of the microbial community was compared between groups using chi-square and Poisson regression. Results The cohort included 54 women with inflammatory bowel disease (25 Ulcerative colitis, 25 Crohn’s Disease) and 26 controls. A majority, 72 (90%) were White; 17 (31%) with inflammatory bowel disease and 7 (27%) controls were postmenopausal. The composition of the vaginal microbiota did not vary significantly by diagnosis or severity of inflammatory bowel disease but did vary by menopausal status (p = 0.042). There were no significant differences in Shannon Diversity Index between healthy controls and women with IBD in premenopausal participants. There was no difference in proportion of Lactobacillus dominance according to diagnosis in premenopausal participants. A subgroup of postmenopausal women with Ulcerative colitis showed a significant higher alpha diversity and a lack of Lactobacillus dominance in the vaginal microbiome. Conclusions Menopausal status had a larger impact on vaginal microbial communities than inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis or severity.
This paper sheds light on the alignment of Existential, Possessive and Dative-Experiencer constructions prevalent in Modern Hebrew that involve ambiguity of syntactic relations. Data-driven and employing a strictly typological approach, the study argues that the constructions in question are fundamentally related, and that they do not conform to the typological criteria of ‘subject-oriented’ languages, like most Indo-European languages. It is suggested that an inner relationship holds between the constructions in question. As a non-subject oriented language that does not require entities of referential prominence to be encoded as subjects or topics, Hebrew tends to configure non-volitional events as happening, or coming from outside – existing with reference to the entity experiencing them or who is involved in them as Benefactive or Possessor.
Introduction. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) use is now universal among nonexperts. Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently employed by nonexperts in various imaging modalities to assist in diagnosis and decision making. Aim. To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of POCUS, operated by medical students with the assistance of an AI-based tool for assessing the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of patients admitted to a cardiology department. Methods. Eight students underwent a 6-hour didactic and hands-on training session. Participants used a hand-held ultrasound device (HUD) equipped with an AI-based tool for the automatic evaluation of LVEF. The clips were assessed for LVEF by three methods: visually by the students, by students + the AI-based tool, and by the cardiologists. All LVEF measurements were compared to formal echocardiography completed within 24 hours and were evaluated for LVEF using the Simpson method and eyeballing assessment by expert echocardiographers. Results. The study included 88 patients (aged 58.3 ± 16.3 years). The AI-based tool measurement was unsuccessful in 6 cases. Comparing LVEF reported by students’ visual evaluation and students + AI vs. cardiologists revealed a correlation of 0.51 and 0.83, respectively. Comparing these three evaluation methods with the echocardiographers revealed a moderate/substantial agreement for the students + AI and cardiologists but only a fair agreement for the students’ visual evaluation. Conclusion. Medical students’ utilization of an AI-based tool with a HUD for LVEF assessment achieved a level of accuracy similar to that of cardiologists. Furthermore, the use of AI by the students achieved moderate to substantial inter-rater reliability with expert echocardiographers’ evaluation.
INTRODUCTION As e-cigarette marketing strategies diversify, it is important to examine exposure to and impact of e-cigarette advertisements and non-advertising content (e.g. on social media) via multiple media channels among adults in different regulatory contexts. METHODS Using 2021 cross-sectional data among 2222 adults in the US (n=1128) and Israel (n=1094), multivariable regression examined past-month e-cigarette advertisement and non-advertising content exposure in relation to past-month e-cigarette use (logistic regression), as well as use intentions and risk perceptions (linear regressions), controlling for sociodemographics and tobacco use. RESULTS Overall, 20.3% reported past-month e-cigarette use (15.5% US, 25.2% Israel), 46.1% any advertisement exposure (28.7% digital media, 25.2% traditional media, 16.8% retail settings), and 34.1% any non-advertising exposure (19.4% social media, 13.6% websites, 12.3% movie/television/theater, 5.8% radio/podcasts). Exposure to digital media advertisements (AOR=1.95; 95% CI: 1.42–2.66), traditional media advertisements (AOR=2.00; 95% CI=1.49–2.68), and social media non-advertising (AOR=1.72; 95% CI: 1.25–2.36) correlated with e-cigarette use. Exposure to traditional media advertisements (β=0.23; 95% CI: 0.08–0.38) and social media non-advertising (β=0.26; 95% CI: 0.09–0.43) correlated with use intentions. Exposure to digital media advertisements (β= -0.32; 95% CI: -0.57 – -0.08), retail setting advertisements (β= -0.30; 95% CI: -0.58 – -0.03), and radio/podcast non-advertising (β= -0.44; 95% CI: -0.84 – -0.03) correlated with lower perceived addictiveness. Radio/podcast non-advertising exposure (β= -0.50; 95% CI: -0.84 – -0.16) correlated with lower perceived harm. However, retail setting advertisement exposure was associated with e-cigarette non-use (AOR=0.61; 95% CI: 0.42–0.87), and traditional media advertisement (β=0.38; 95% CI: 0.15–0.61) and social media non-advertising exposure (β=0.40; 95% CI: 0.14–0.66) correlated with greater perceived addictiveness. CONCLUSIONS E-cigarette-related promotional content exposure across media platforms impacts perceptions and use, thus warranting regulation.
Objective Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychological disorder primarily diagnosed in childhood. Early intervention was found to significantly improve developmental outcomes, implicating on the role of early identification of ADHD markers. In the current study, we explored the developmental history of children referred to neurological assessment to identify early ADHD predictors. Methods A total of 92 children and adolescents (41 females) recruited at a pediatric neurology clinic, with suspected ADHD (n = 39) or other neurological difficulties (n = 53) such as headaches, seizures, tic disorders, orthostatic hypotension, postischemic stroke, intermittent pain, and vasovagal syncope. Developmental history information was obtained from caregivers, and evaluation for possible ADHD was performed. Developmental details were compared between children with and without current ADHD diagnosis. Results Word-finding difficulties (WFDs) in preschool age was reported in 30.4% of the sample. Among children diagnosed with ADHD, 43% had WFDs history, compared with only 5% in children without ADHD. Among children with WFDs history, 93% were later diagnosed with ADHD compared with 42% in children without WFDs history. The relationship between WFDs and ADHD was significant (chi-square test [1, N = 92] = 20.478, p < 0.0001), and a logistic regression model demonstrated that asides from a family history of ADHD, the strongest predictor for ADHD in school age children was a history of WFDs. Conclusion Preliminary evidence supports a predictive link between preschool WFDs and later ADHD diagnosis, highlighting the importance of early WFDs clinical attention.
The technique of indocyanine green fluorescence imaging (ICG-FI) has rapidly gained popularity. Due to the widely available technology in nearly every laparoscopic and robotic system, the clinical use of ICG-FI has become routine. Evidence continues to be published showing numerous potential benefits of ICG-FI in a myriad of surgical indications. One of the most frequent indications for the use of the technique is intraoperative perfusion evaluation in different visceral organs and surgical procedures. We clarify the use of ICG-FI perfusion measurement in colorectal surgery beginning with technical aspects, as well as the technique. Moreover, we review the current literature to determine the impact of using ICG-FI on the incidence of anastomotic leak. In addition to the most common application for perfusion measurement, ICG-FI has recently emerged as a tool for the detection of metastatic lesions, primary tumors, and lymph nodes in several entities. In the following section, the opportunities for tumor detection in colorectal carcinoma, as well as determination of lymph node metastasis and resection margins, are reviewed. Although the overall evidence remains low, the data suggest beneficial effects in tumor and lymphatic mapping using ICG alone or linked to specific targets. In this chapter, we summarize and discuss the impact of ICG-FI in colorectal surgery.
Background Common diseases manifest differentially between patients, but the genetic origin of this variation remains unclear. To explore possible involvement of gene transcriptional-variation, we produce a DNA methylation-oriented, driver-gene-wide dataset of regulatory elements in human glioblastomas and study their effect on inter-patient gene expression variation. Results In 175 of 177 analyzed gene regulatory domains, transcriptional enhancers and silencers are intermixed. Under experimental conditions, DNA methylation induces enhancers to alter their enhancing effects or convert into silencers, while silencers are affected inversely. High-resolution mapping of the association between DNA methylation and gene expression in intact genomes reveals methylation-related regulatory units (average size = 915.1 base-pairs). Upon increased methylation of these units, their target-genes either increased or decreased in expression. Gene-enhancing and silencing units constitute cis-regulatory networks of genes. Mathematical modeling of the networks highlights indicative methylation sites, which signified the effect of key regulatory units, and add up to make the overall transcriptional effect of the network. Methylation variation in these sites effectively describe inter-patient expression variation and, compared with DNA sequence-alterations, appears as a major contributor of gene-expression variation among glioblastoma patients. Conclusions We describe complex cis-regulatory networks, which determine gene expression by summing the effects of positive and negative transcriptional inputs. In these networks, DNA methylation induces both enhancing and silencing effects, depending on the context. The revealed mechanism sheds light on the regulatory role of DNA methylation, explains inter-individual gene-expression variation, and opens the way for monitoring the driving forces behind deferential courses of cancer and other diseases.
While research on police body-worn videos (BWVs) continues to explore new avenues, it appears that other professions that may (or may not) benefit from recording their interactions do not receive the same level of academic interest. Presently, considerably less is understood about the perceptions and experiences of non-police occupations (Bruton et al., J Aggr Confl Peace Res 14(2):133–142, 2022; Hardy et al., Mental Health Family Med 13:393–400, 2017; Koen et al., J Crime Justice 46(2):194–210, 2023; Taylor, Recent developments in surveillance: an overview of body-worn cameras in schools. In: The Palgrave international handbook of school discipline, surveillance, and social control, pp 371–388, 2018). As it is now known that BWVs provide additional benefits beyond personal protection and incriminating evidence, including accountability, training, and professionalism, a variety of professions will likely adopt these devices (Skinner et al., Implementation of body-worn cameras: rapid review of current research and practice. Charles Sturt University, 2022). In addition to retail salespeople, customer service representatives, healthcare professionals, firefighters, correction officers, teachers, and flight attendants, there is a growing interest in and implementation of BWVs among public-facing personnel. However, there is a paucity of research on those who interact with the public in a variety of settings. This study aimed to address this deficiency by investigating the impact of BWVs on frontline personnel in mass transit environments, specifically the British rail network. Notably, this population includes not only security guards but also ticket enforcers, customer support agents, and all public-facing employees associated with the major train operating companies (TOCs) in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that in the United Kingdom alone, more than 65,000 people protect, serve, and manage a system with billions of rides per year (nearly 450,000 employees in the United States and more than 800,000 in the EU; see American Public Transportation Association 2019 and the European Commission 2015). In this chapter, we discuss these results in a wider context and discuss how BWVs can potentially assist in combating workplace violence.
The objective of study 2 is to observe the trends of BWV activation across end users, revealing whether it is possible to identify a power few law with a non-normal distribution of use among TOCs, train stations, or employees (research question 3).
The goal of the focus groups was to bring together a mixture of relevant organisations/customer-facing roles to identify training/awareness needs and colleagues’ views on different aspects of organisational processes, including post-incident care and the reporting of work-related violence. Nevertheless, we will only document the findings of the focus groups as they relate to BWV. To this extent, we approached 13 rail organisations (LNER, Avanti West Coast, Southeastern, TPE, EMR, ScotRail, GTR, GWR, West Midland Trains, Cross Country Trains, Hull Trains, TfL, and NWR) across the United Kingdom to take part in the focus groups. We focused on customer-facing roles, including train drivers, health and safety representatives, and security guards. These roles reflect the diverse workforce within the rail industry and, therefore, offer a variety of views and perceptions on violence in the workplace. We requested a mixture of participants who have and have not experienced work-related violence and have used or are, in some capacity, familiar with BWV.
The objective of study 1 was to estimate the overall effect of equipping public-facing TOC employees with BWVs on the rate of assaults, injuries, and serious injuries relative to periods when BWVs were not deployed (research question 1) and then to compare the effects of mandated versus voluntary use of the BWV policy (research question 2).
The survey for study 5 was designed in consultation with the RDG and the British Transport Police to determine how the Criminal Justice Unit perceives the usefulness of BWV footage. As with comparable studies (Petersen et al., 2023), the survey had to be brief due to the limited time available to prosecutors. Overall, we find a great level of support for BWVs amongst lawyers, as they value the evidentiary powers of BWVs - as long as they are used properly by the frontline members of staff.
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14,949 members
Itamar Gati
  • Education and Psychology
Mark Tolts
  • Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics, Institute of Contemporary Jewry
The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel
Head of institution
Asher Cohen
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