The BIG Camponotus dig

This was it! after several failed attempts we came back to the Dead Sea with full intent not to let those difficult Camponotus cericeus ants delay the progress of science any more! This time we took off the gloves and brought a BIG shovel. The amazingly dexterous digger opens a 2X2X1 meter hole in 5 minutes. This took two manual diggers the better part of a day in our previous attempts. We then jumped in and continued the delicate work of extracting the ants with shovels. The ants finally gave in and we came back with a nice loot - samples of hundreds of ants from each of seven nests. These ants made it especially difficult for us, but it was worth it! Next Daphna will start the behavioral experiments, video tracking, and finally RNA extraction, transcriptomic sequencing, and differential expression analysis. If all goes well, these ants will reveal their BIG secret: the genes responsible for social information sharing!

Hosting the Israeli Bioinformatics Symposium 2016

IBS 2016

(http://ibs2016.haifa.ac.il/)

For the first time in IBS history we hosted the symposium at the University of Haifa, and it was a huge success! Close to 400 participants attended from all over the country. We had great lectures from young bioinfo researchers from all Israeli universities, and a local keynote lecture by our own Abraham Korol on challenges of genomic mapping. The success of the event was not hampered even by the last minute notice that the foreign keynote speaker would not be able to attend in person. We have arranged a videoconferencing connection to the Max Planck at Dresden and Gene Myers gave the opening keynote lecture with no glitches. We also had the best food, coffee and drinks in all IBS history - as the photos show:

The Hecht auditorium almost full

Gene Myers' keynote lecture over videoconference

The organizing committee, from left to right: Chen Yanover (IBM Research), Sagi Snir, Adi Livnat, Mickey Kosloff, Eva Leman, and Eyal Privman

Transcriptomics workshop / Feb 2016

Together with Daniel Sher and additional invited speakers.

February 21-25, 2016, 8:30-16:30.

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          Booked out

Transcriptomics! workshop concluded successfully

We (Daniel Sher and Eyal Privman) held a whole week workshop on transcriptomics at the University of Haifa. Five full days packed with lectures and hands-on tutorials, including invited lectures from leading researchers in the field: Gil Ast, Tamir Tuller, Adi Stern, and Erez Levanon. More than 30 students and researchers from all Israeli universities participated in the workshop, and we all finished the week very tired and very satisfied!

 

 

 

Tandem runs

First footage of beautiful tandem runs of Camponotus sericeus ants in our lab. These ants were collected south of the Dead Sea to participate in Daphna's behavioral-genomics experiments. In a super-sized arena, the ants call on nestmates in a one-on-one recruitment behavior known as "tandem run". The leader shows the way and the follower keeps up close behind her to learn the route to a new food source, an new nest site, or sometimes to join an assault on an adversary neighboring nest.

Photo credit: Pnina Cohen

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