…that you can follow BSF on Facebook and Twitter? We have ramped up our social media presence, because we want you to be in the know about interesting projects we support, upcoming grant application deadlines, important Israeli science news, and honors received by BSF-affiliated scientists and researchers. Following us is easy – just click on the icons and hit follow!

…that U.S. and Israeli researchers have come up with new method to preserve male fertility in boys with cancer? As part of a BSF-supported project, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center researchers in Beer-Sheva, are developing a cell culture system that for the first time can change testicular stem cells into sperm-like cells that may enable future fertility for boys with prepubertal cancer. Aggressive chemotherapy in childhood often results in male testicular damage and consequently jeopardizes future fertility. According to the findings published in Stem Cells and Development, the researchers found that the presence of spermatogonial cells (SPGCs) in the testes of prepubertal cancer patient boys (PCPBs) can be used to develop future strategies for male fertility preservation. Read more here.

…that two BSF grantees have been named innovative researchers by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute? Clifford Brangwynne and Ed Boyden are among 19 science investigators receiving funding through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s new $200 million initiative for innovative researchers. The project was created to help researchers who are pushing the boundaries of biomedical research and advancing our understanding of cells, brains, metabolism, and more. Brangwynne, of Princeton University, specializes in epigenetic liquids. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that do not involve changes to an underlying DNA sequence. Brangwynne and Michael Elbaum of the Weizmann Institute of Science were awarded a BSF grant in 2016 for their project on non-membranated organelles. Boyden, of M.I.T., focuses on synthetic neurobiology, which involves mapping of molecules and brain wiring to better understand brain cells and synapses. He and Pablo Blinder of Tel Aviv University received a BSF grant in 2014 for their project, Multimodal Whole Mammal Physiological Analysis. The researchers were selected from a pool of 675 applicants and are based at 15 different institutions in the U.S. Read more here..