February 8, 2021
A new computational model may significantly shorten the process of receptor identification
Dr. Judith Somekh (University of Haifa Department of Information Systems) recently discovered a novel data science method that significantly shortens the identification of cell-surface receptor functions that are responsible for inter-cellular communication in the human body. This discovery may lead to the development of new receptor-targeting metabolic drugs.

“Up until now, scientists have been using biological studies to uncover the functions of various receptors that can take multiple years,” explains Dr. Somekh. “The new method, based on network analysis of tens of thousands of values for gene expression, successfully predicts over 90% of the metabolic functions of different receptors, some of which were previously unknown.” The study, published in Scientific Reports, was covered in the Jerusalem Post.
University of Haifa researcher to co-lead EU research consortium investigating large forest fires 
A major EU Horizons 2020 grant for the study of large forest fires has been awarded to an international consortium co-led by Dr. Avi Bar-Massada, a landscape ecologist from the Faculty of Natural Sciences. FirEUrisk -

Developing a holistic, risk-wise strategy for European wildfire management will address all types of forest fires, including mega-fires, the urban-forestry interface, and the challenges of emerging fires in the northern European Union. The project includes 39 research groups from 16 countries.
University of Haifa archaeologists have found evidence of the earliest-known production of olives for consumption rather than for oil, which dates back 6,600 years. The study was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

Thousands of olive pits were found off the southern coast of Haifa, embedded in stone and clay neolithic structures in an area that is now submerged, but is believed to have been part of the northern coast in the past. Continue reading
Why does US Central Command now include Israel? Opinion by Shaul Chorev (left), Douglas J. Feith, Gary Roughead, Seth Cropsey, Jack Dorsett.

The US Central Command has announced that its area of responsibility has been redrawn to include Israel. This action will strengthen the US military posture in the Middle East and improve US-Israel defense relations.

We wrote a September 2019 report, sponsored by Hudson Institute and the Maritime Policy and Strategy Research Center of the University of Haifa, that appears to have been a key source of the idea. Our report noted that from the US Central Command’s inception, its area of responsibility was the greater Middle East, but did not include Israel. Israel was assigned to the US European Command. The rationale for this strategic “gerrymander” was concern that Arab states might cooperate less if Central Command officers were in regular contact with Israelis. But the Middle East is changing. Continue reading