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November 30, 1984 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

commercial exploitation of hybri-
ALTHOUGH primarily a centre
dome techniques of monoclonal
dedicated to basic scientific
antibodies. Its clinical chemistry line
research, the Weizmann Institute
includes liquid and freeze-dried hu-
has, for the past 15 years,
man control sera for use in calibra-
reemphasized the significance of in-
tion for quality control programmes
dustrial application. Each year
at clinical laboratories.
-some 30-40 new inventions are
The biochemical products are re-
pawned at the Institute and about
covered from natural materials by
1,400 local and foreign patent ap-
the extraction, refractionation and
plications have been filed during a
purification of plant and animal tis-
period of more than two decades.
sues. The company's sales to Europe
The patents cover a wide selection
alone are expected to exceed the $1
of industrial chemicals, phar-
m. mark in 1984.
unaceuticals, diagnostic tests and
Yet another commercial success is
therapeutic tools, as well as instru-
Rhinotherm, an Israeli invention
'inents for health care and scientific
that has proven effective against
research.
colds and allergies. It is being pro-
duced at Kibbutz Netzer Sereni.
With more than half its staff in-
This instrument operates on the
volved in sophisticated biological,
principle that local heating of the
biomedical, and biochemical re-
nasal passageways may restrict viral
search, some of the most exciting
replication and also enhance a pa-
industrial developments at the Insti-
tient's ability to resist colds and
`iute naturally flow from these disci-
allergic rhinitis.
plines. Thus, processes for produc-
ing hormone-like materials and im-
Israel is among the most advanced
mune system-stimulating drugs for
countries in the world in the field of
clinical use are already in their pilot
agriculture. One of the Institute's
stages. Recombinant DNA technol-
contributions in this area has been
Right:
The Makhteshim the development of a variety of pro-
ogy is being used to enable simple Left: Prof David Vofsi, Head of the Institute's Harry Levine Centre for Industrial Research.
plant at Ramat I-Tovav, which manufactures many products based on Weizmann Institute research.
-bacteria to produce valuable natural
tective plastic field covers. Develop-
substances in higher yields. In the
ers Yael Allingham and Prof. David
area of plant genetics, cytogenetic
Vofsi point out that the Institute's
and cell culture techniques are being
development of the modification of
applied to non-conventional "breed-
polyethylene film is superior in
ing" of higher yielding and hardier
maintaining warmer ground temper-
%agricultural crops — plants difficult to
ature during cool nights in tunnels
an interferon-based cream with the
tries
in
Beersheba,
a
division
of
obtain by more standard methods.
trade name of Frone. The cream was made from the foam, resulting not
Koor
Chemicals.
As
Israel's
leading
By
Joseph
Morgenstern
in nearly all Institute departments,
only in substantial energy savings, but
used to shrink disfiguring genital
producer of agricultural formula-
scientists are applying state-of-the-
also in increased yields of various
warts
that
subsequently
disappeared
tions and a manufacturer of resinous
art techniques used in their regular
crops.
in 80 per cent of the patients
tive)
inspection,
as
well
as
extending
and
basic
industrial
chemicals,
work to advance projects with com-
Teaching computers to deal
treated. It has also been found
the range of structures that can be
Makhteshim has gained decisively
mercial appeal.
with
new data tasks can now be done
useful
in
the
treatment
of
other
evaluated. No commercial system
from its collaboration with Israel's
Chaim Weizmann's vision of eco-
in one-third to one-fifth of the usual
viruses
affecting
the
female
genital
with
comparable
specifications
is
institutes of higher learning, most
nomically relevant research was re-
time thanks to the DB-1 data proces-
areas.
available on the market.
particularly the Weizmann Institute.
lected in his founding the Daniel
sing system originally developed at
Another
commercial
success
re-
Institute
Prof.
Shmuel
Edelstein's
A long-term project with this com-
Sieff Research Institute, around
the Institute's Computer Centre and
sulting
from
the
applied
research
at
studies of the brittleness of
pany, headed by Prof. David Vofsi,
which the Weizmann Institute even-
now being further refined and mar-
the Institute is Bio-Yeda Ltd. Bio-
human bones in the elderly led
was
largely
responsible
for
the
estab-
tually grew. Weizmann, himself a
keted by Umnei Tochna Ltd. of
Yeda
is
primarily
a
manufacturer
of
him
to
conclude
that
the
problem
lishment of one of the biggest indust-
dedicated industrial chemist, had
Rehovot, a subsidiary of Software
a broad range of products that in-
was connected with the failure of the
rial facilities in the country, the
made perhaps his most outstanding
Craftsman Inc. of Boston.
clude
antibodies,
immunochemicals,
aging
body
to
metabolize
Vitamin
D
Ramat Hovav complex, south of
scientific achievement by developing
The system has also been adopted
lectines,
clinical
chemistry
reagents
properly. The approach was to find a
Beersheva.
a bacterial fermentation method for
by several research centres and
and
synthetic
peptides.
These
pro-
Vitamin
D
derivative
that
the
body
One of the developments of the
producing acetone and butanol, two
manufacturing concerns, govern-
ducts are primarily employed as di-
lacks. Eventually the basic work
Institute which Yeda is attempting to
chemicals essential to British arms
ment offices, insurance companies
agnostic reagents and also are used
done
at
the
Institute
resulted
in
Teva
commercialize
is
an
automated
manufacture during World War I.
and elements of the Israel Defence
in
research
applications.
with
an
Alpha-D3
sub-
coming
out
holographic non-destructive evalua-
In establishing the Institute, he
Forces. Data bases using the system
Bio-Yeda
was
founded
in
1967
as
stance used in the treatment of renal
hoped to continue to apply the fruits tion system. Based on the interfer-
have already been designed in the
Miles-Yeda
and
is
now
a
subsidiary
bone
disease.
This
became
the
first
ometric comparison between two
of chemistry, but this time in the
areas of general accounting, inven-
of
the
Yeda
Research
and
Develop-
human pharmaceutical to be com-
laser beams sequentially scattered
service of Zionism. In particularly,
tory control, personnel management
ment
Co.
at
the
Weizmann
Institute.
pletely
researched,
developed
and
from an object, the systeM can de-
, Weizmann planned to spearhead the
and orders management. Moreover,
Many
of
the
products
produced
meet
manufactured in Israel.
( production of commercial chemicals tect flaws in several types of indust-
the system is also being used for
the quality of standards set by the
One
of
the
most
exciting
develop-
rial
products
such
as
bonded
struc-
--from Palestinian agricultural pro-
purposes of occupational hazard and
U.S.
Food
and
Drug
Administra-
ments
has
been
the
work
carried
out
ture, honeycombs and tires.
ducts and native plants, and to pro-
biological research.
tion.
These
products
made
by
the
by Prof. Michael Revel along with
In recent years, the scientists in
vide additional markets for local
Developed by computer scientist
company
are
basic
components
for
researcherS
at-
triter-Yeda
Ltd.,
a
the Institute's Department of Elec-
agricultural output. Additionally,
Zvi
Misinai and co-workers, the sys-
the
medical
diagnostic
industry
and
joint effort with InterPharm Labor-
tronics have developed near real-
the Institute would pursue promising
tem is a unique application gener-
also serve as raw materials for phar-
atories
Ltd.
The
work
which
was
time
analysis
of
holographic
inter-
new avenues in industrial fermenta-
ator that operates in conjunction
maceutical preparations. In addi-
started several years ago culminated
ferograms. This improves the detec-
tion and pharmaceutical develop-
with its own sophisticated data base
tion, the company has established a
this
past
month
when
the
Israeli
tion
sensitivity,
allowing
simple
ment.
management system. It performs all
leading international position in the
Health MinistrS, approved the sale of
In 1959, 10 years after the inau- quantitative (rather than qualita-
the common functions of defining,
guration of the Weizmann Institute,
coding, and updating a user's desired
the Yeda Research and Develop-
data base requirements—without the
ment Co., a charitable trust-owned
necessity of writing his own special-
organization, was formed to coor-
ized update programmes. In fact, the
dinate applied research efforts on
system eliminates most of the need
campus. Yeda works to interest local
for programmers.
and foreign industry in Rehovot-
The specifications prepared by the
developed inventions and processes,
system analyst are simply entered on
in addition to dealing with patents
system definition forms that are then
and licensing agreements, the royal-
used to create data definition files.
ties from which go towards the
These are then available to perform
promotion of scientific research.
all the functions necessary to create
> Yeda also alerts Institute scientists
and maintain the user's actual stored
to research and development pro-
data.
jects being offered by industrial con-
The system is well established in
cerns. To give just one example, the
Israel and holds more than 25 per
Israeli electronics industry exports
cent of its market. Efforts at export-
Rehovot-developed instrumenta-
ing the system are currently under-
tion today, to the tune of more than
way.
$1 million per year, while chemical
The above products are just a
and related industries are manufac-
cross-section of the practical results
turing products worth several mil-
of "goal-oriented research" that has
lion dollars annually for local and
become a part of the way of life at the
export markets.
Weizmann Institute of Science.
Were one to single out the greatest
Prof Revel holds the Ruth and
contribution of Institute science to
Jerome A. Siegel and Freda and
i l advancing a particular industrial
Edward M. Siegel Chair of Virology,
concern, it would certainly be the
and Prof. Vofsi the Robert W.
''20-year cooperation between the
Reneker Chair of Industrial
Department of Plastics Research
Chemistry.
Researcher Yael Allingham (far right) visiting greenhouse covered with Institute-developed energy-conserving plastic.
and Makhteshim Chemical Indus-

From lab to industr

1

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