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11.01.2023 | יח טבת התשפג

Bar-Ilan's 5 Most Influential Research Fields

Marking 5 consecutive years as the Israeli university with the fastest-growing student population, Bar-Ilan presents 5 of the fastest-growing research fields at the university

5 Most Influential Research Fields

Bar-Ilan University has recorded an extraordinary achievement for five consecutive years. According to CBS data, Bar-Ilan has the fastest-growing student population among all Israeli universities. 

Gearing up toward the February 10 Open House, we've created a series of 5 articles exposing you to the research, students, graduates, campus locations, and social activities which have played significant roles in Bar-Ilan's growth. 

This article is about five promising fields of research at Bar-Ilan that can impact all of humanity:

  • Technology aiding the blind
  • Nanoparticles advancing medicine
  • Renewable energy solutions
  • Longevity research 
  • Significant research on the beginning of humanity

Technology Aiding the Blind

In the Department of Computer Science at the university, tools are being developed to help the visually impaired orient themselves in their surroundings. As part of the study, the researchers use a four-legged robot that simulates a guide dog and artificial intelligence features to improve communication between the visually impaired and the robot guiding them. In addition, technological developments produced in the vision engineering laboratory at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences in the Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences are expected to improve the condition of patients whose diseases cause blindness and even help the blind to see. 

One of these developments is based on a chip implanted under the damaged retina and receives the images. This chip will allow people who lost sight due to macular degeneration to see again.

Nanoparticles at the Service of Medicine

In the Faculty of Engineering and the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, diamonds, gold, and silver nanoparticles are used to improve imaging and treat diseases. One of these studies deals with nanometric particles made of diamonds, which can carry drugs that reach diseased body parts. Another research in the nanoparticle sector deals with developing a sonochemical method for coating surfaces, which makes it possible to produce antibacterial fabrics and materials. 

Applications of this method in hospitals, for example, can dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality rates due to bacterial infections.

Another technology helps the natural immune system in our body to act against cancer cells. The technology removes various barriers related to the tumor's environment using nanoparticles. It interferes with natural killer cells (lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell) and aids in terminating the cancerous tumor.

Renewable Energy 

Bar-Ilan University is at the forefront of research to promote green energy. Among other things, research was conducted there that deals with the development of active materials for sodium ion batteries to create fuel cells as more environmentally friendly energy storage systems, and additional research deals with the development of rechargeable batteries with high energy density for electric transportation, and rechargeable batteries suitable for storing renewable energy.

A Healthier, Longer Life

With the increase in life expectancy in the last decades, there is a fundamental need for research that also leads to an improvement in the quality of life. 

To address all aspects of longevity, in recent years, Bar-Ilan University has been researching the field of gerontology in a multidisciplinary manner that combines research from the fields of life sciences, medicine, and social sciences. 

An international study conducted at the aging research laboratory revealed a genetic mechanism affecting the extension of healthy life in mammals. Based on the research findings, medicine will be developed to extend humans' healthy life span. Other studies in the field have revealed that the younger a person feels, the longer their life expectancy. Furthermore, the studies show that an improvement in the perceptions of aging contributes to the health and mental well-being of the elderly and adds good years to life.

Discoveries from Distant History

Archaeological studies, with the participation of researchers from Bar-Ilan University, have yielded quite a few new discoveries that allow us to better understand the history of humanity. One of the studies revealed the earliest find of an ancient man discovered in Israel - a 1.5-million-year-old human bone located at the "Ovadia" site. 

The research explains questions regarding the spread of humanity from Africa to the rest of the world. In addition, further archaeological research shed new light on everything we knew about the beginning of the use of fire for food preparation.

Want to know more? An open day for undergraduate and graduate studies will be held at Bar-Ilan University on February 10, 2023.

For details and registration follow this link.