What is the Weizmann Institute doing to help protect our planet?

  • Weizmann Institute Profs. Avihai Danon and Uri Pick are genetically engineering algae to produce environmentally friendly, sustainable biofuel.

  • Weizmann scientists developed new protein-enriched wheat varieties that provide nearly 40 percent higher yield, allowing for greater production. These varieties also produce better crops that are more resistant to diseases and natural damage.

  • Weizmann scientists were the first to produce hybrid cucumber seeds without hand pollination. This method is used today throughout the world.

  • Weizmann scientists discovered a gene in wild tomato plants that provides resistance against disease. The presence of this gene may greatly decrease the need for spraying crops with pesticides or treating soil, which can cause environmental damage.

  • A Weizmann scientist has developed a unique solution to the problem of waste paper. He created a designer cellulosome that breaks down the long sugar chains in paper's cellulose into soluble sugar syrup.

  • A tiny sensor that uses organic molecules to detect problems – from asthma to hidden explosives to harmful substances in the environment – was developed at the Weizmann Institute.

  • Weizmann Institute researchers are investigating new types of sensors for the real-time measurement of toxic metal levels in rivers and other fast-moving bodies of water.

  • Ninety-seven percent of the world’s water is too salty for drinking or irrigation. Weizmann researchers are developing efficient consumption and management methods, including desalination, to face this challenge.

  • Weizmann research projects on climate change, including global warming, are aimed at preventing ecological disasters. For example, Institute scientists are developing a formula to improve rain predictions with great accuracy – information that will be helpful to countries in arid regions.

  • Farmers in Africa fight against witchweed (Striga Hermonthica), a parasitic weed that drains the nutrition and water from crops. A new method for preventing witchweed, developed by Weizmann Institute researchers, disrupts the growth of the parasite before it reaches damaging sizes.

  • To improve fuel economy and lessen pollution, Weizmann scientists developed nanomaterials that enhance the performance of moving parts and can be used as lubricants for engines.

  • Weizmann researchers study processes that allow plant cells to cope with stress. This work could yield both environmental and agricultural rewards, possibly helping farmers develop emergency-ready crops. It may also lead to more protein-rich crops, which could alleviate malnutrition in developing countries.

  • The Weizmann Institute of Science is home to one of the world’s most advanced solar research facilities, enabling scientists to develop alternative, creative ways to use the sun’s energy.

  • Weizmann scientists developed an innovative technology that offers a green method for creating hydrogen fuel. It uses solar power to produce zinc powder, which can be easily stored and reacts when mixed with water to release hydrogen. Zinc oxide, the reaction's byproduct, can be recycled in the same solar plant.


Tomorrow Lab:Protecting
Our Planet

Most people know him as the commissioner of the NBA. But did you know that the NBA and its teams leverage their resources to engage, motivate, and raise fan's awareness of issues related to protecting our environment?


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IntroducingTomorrow Lab:

Tomorrow Lab for Humanity was created as a place to explore the state of science today and its impact on you. We’ve loaded this section with the latest data, news and information about our planet and the ways in which we can protect our environment. Make a dedication like David's to share why Protecting Our Planet is important to you.

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More carbon dioxide was added to the atmosphere in the last 200 years than during the previous 18,000.

In 2009,
the US wasted more energy
than it actually used.

While the human population has
doubled in the past 50 years, we have
increased our use of resources
four fold.

a tree
will remove one ton
of carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere
over the course of
the tree's life.

A major soft-drink
manufacturer recently
released a bottle
made entirely of
plant-based materials.

Scientists have developed a
fueling station for cars that's
the size of a filing cabinet.

Cars can now run on
vegetable oil (instead of gasoline).


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Learn more about the breakthroughs that Weizmann scientists have achieved in Improving Health and Medicine and the impact their discoveries have had on the world.

Improving Health and Medicine
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