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    1. Israeli researchers discover how to lengthen life of solar panels

      Israeli researchers discover how to lengthen life of solar panels
      In a move toward upgrading solar power technologies, a team of Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed an eco-friendly way to lengthen the lifespan of perovskite-based solar cells.
      The researchers designed a new structure to hold the cells, which allows for the easy removal and replacement of perovskite, a light-sensitive material that degrades over time. The process allows for the full restoration of a panel’s photovoltaic capacities and essentially enables it to be recycled.
      Perovskite is a mineral structure that has the capacity to absorb light and is used as a semiconductor. The growing field ...
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    2. One llama’s antibodies, analyzed in Jerusalem, may help ‘millions’ through COVID

      One llama’s antibodies, analyzed in Jerusalem, may help ‘millions’ through COVID

      Antibodies from a single llama that were analyzed in a Jerusalem lab could be replicated and help “millions” of coronavirus patients, scientists say.

      Dina Schneidman-Duhovny of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has examined the qualities of dozens of antibodies from a llama called Wally, and identified which would best fight the coronavirus in humans.

      The best candidates have been tested in vitro by her US-based colleagues with live coronavirus and human cells, and appear to significantly reduce the virus’s ability to infect cells.

      As the llama antibodies are much smaller than human antibodies — they are often dubbed “nanobodies” — they ...

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      Mentions: Medicine/Health
    3. Glowing engineered bacteria point out explosive landmines

      Glowing engineered bacteria point out explosive landmines

      Researchers who discovered how to utilize fluorescent E. coli bacteria to locate landmines have recently further mutated them so that they are now both more sensitive and emit a glow visible to the naked eye, eliminating the need to scan the ground using laser light beams.

      In 2017, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem molecularly engineered E. coli to emit a fluorescent light upon coming in contact with explosive vapors accumulated in the soil above landmines. This light was recorded using a laser-based scanning system so the mines could be located safely from afar.

      Now, in a study published ...

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    4. Climate research multidisciplinary center opens at Hebrew U.

      Climate research multidisciplinary center opens at Hebrew U.
      The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which considers climate issues as some of the most significant scientific problems the world currently faces, established a climate research center, the Hebrew University Center for Climate Science (HUCS).
       
      The new center, headed by the two researchers Prof. Hezi Gildor and Dr. Uri Adam, will make it possible to deal with the challenges of the climate crisis in the Middle East region. The center's members will focus on building an up-to-date and accurate regional climate model.
       
      The center will allow ideas, research and interdisciplinary brainstorming around the climate issue to collaborate with the Meteorological ...
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    5. Could octopuses have more than one brain? - Hebrew U. study

      Could octopuses have more than one brain? - Hebrew U. study

      A new Hebrew University study recently examined the possibility that octopuses, known to be among the most intelligent of invertebrates, could have multiple brains.

      The full intelligence of an octopus is not fully understood, however it is known that they have the largest nervous system among invertebrates – even larger than some vertebrates – with more nerve cells not in the brain itself but rather in its body and the tentacles.
      The question of multiple brains is one that many researchers are still investigating. 
      The collection of sensory information and the ability to process it, learn from it and respond accordingly, is ...
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    6. Studies show pomegranate supplement slows neurodegenerative diseases

      Studies show pomegranate supplement slows neurodegenerative diseases

      Everybody knows that the pomegranate is a superfood. One of the seven native fruits of Israel, pomegranates are packed with health-promoting and healing antioxidants and vitamins.

      Now, an Israeli supplement derived from pomegranate seed oil has proven helpful in improving cognitive function in multiple sclerosis patients experiencing cognitive difficulties associated with the disease.

      Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, the internationally renowned director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, found significant improvement in learning ability and text comprehension, word recall and categorization in 30 patients involved in a groundbreaking study of the patented GranaGard supplement.

      This is ...

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    7. Yissum Spinouts Raise $79 million in H1 2020 Despite Coronavirus Uncertainty - PRNewswire

      Yissum Spinouts Raise $79 million in H1 2020 Despite Coronavirus Uncertainty - PRNewswire

      Startups from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem raised $79 million in the first half of 2020, Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University announced today.  Despite the continuing global uncertainty caused by the coronavirus and ongoing lockdowns around the world, 14 Yissum spinouts raised tens of millions of dollars in early-stage funding rounds.  

       Investments were made in companies in the cleantech, agriculture, and foodtech sectors as well as in life science, AI, and education.  Despite the fact that VC investments in the US  and Europe were down, the number of VC deals in Israel reached an all-time record ...

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    8. Nano-engineered pomegranate oil holds hope for brain disease, study shows

      Nano-engineered pomegranate oil holds hope for brain disease, study shows

      A Israeli study has found that multiple sclerosis patients taking a nano-engineered nutritional supplement made out of pomegranate oil showed “significant cognitive improvement” after just three months.

      The small-scale study of 30 patients was conducted at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem by Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, director of the center and a senior neurologist. Results showed that patients taking the supplement witnessed an average 12 percent improvement in learning ability and text comprehension, word recall and categorization, in the three months of treatment.

      The researchers are now writing up the findings to submit them to ...

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    9. Ancient scepter found in south may have been part of life-sized 'divine statue' - The Times of Israel

      Ancient scepter found in south may have been part of life-sized 'divine statue' - The Times of Israel

      An approximately 3,200-year-old scepter found at a biblical site in southern Israel may be the first physical evidence of life-sized “divine statues” used in Canaanite rituals, according to a new report.

      Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeology professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote in the academic journal Antiquity that the scepter, which was made from bronze and coated in silver, was discovered inside the cellar of a Canaanite temple at Lachish.

      He linked the scepter, which looks like a spatula, to a scepter found at Hatzor in the north, as well as to a small figurine found at the site ...

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    10. Special vessels show Jewish continuity in Israel after Roman destruction

      Special vessels show Jewish continuity in Israel after Roman destruction

      New research offers insights on how Jewish life continued in the Land of Israel after the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans.

       

      The use of chalkstones vessels, very common among the Jewish population during the Second Temple Period, did not stop with the destruction of city in the second century CE as previously thought, but continued in the Galilee, the new center of Jewish life, for at least another two centuries, a paper published in the May issue of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) documented.

      Several types and ...

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      Mentions: Humanities
    11. Why dance? From prehistory to the Bible, scholar offers answers

      Why dance? From prehistory to the Bible, scholar offers answers

      In the 1990s, leading Israeli scholar Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led several seasons of excavations at the Neolithic site of Sha’ar Hagolan in northern Israel. Among other things, the researchers uncovered several clay figurines depicting the deity Mother goddess presenting unnaturally elongated heads. For their artistic qualities, the figurines were exhibited in the most important museums around the world. For Garfinkel, they represented the spark which prompted him to investigate a new field of research, the history of human dance.

      “While I was trying to understand more about their ...

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      Mentions: Bible Humanities
    12. The Israeli method that could teach China to speak English

      The Israeli method that could teach China to speak English

      “How did you do on your Gaokao exams?”

      That phrase might not trip off the tongues of most Western students, but for high schoolers in China, it’s their key to acceptance into university – and to future success.

      What tips the balance? Proficiency in English. And for most Chinese students, that’s a tough bar to meet.

      “While 22% of the Gaokao is English itself, up to 50% of it is dependent on your ability to understand the language,” explains Howard Cooper, CEO of MagniLEARN, an Israeli startup applying artificial intelligence to teaching English online.

      MagniLEARN grew out of the ...

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    13. Hebrew University receives $1m from US couple for coronavirus lab - The Jerusalem Post

      Hebrew University receives $1m from US couple for coronavirus lab - The Jerusalem Post
      A Virginia couple has donated $1 million to assist the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in its new program designated to fight the coronavirus.  
       
      The $1 million made by Brad and Sheryl Schwartz through American Friends of Hebrew University (AFHU) will assist in building a top-level bio-safety lab, the first of its kind dedicated to non-governmental research. The donation is a major first step toward funding a biocontainment level 3 national laboratory, which will enable direct-contact research with the live virus, rather than virus components used in current labs.
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      Mentions: Medicine/Health
    14. DNA from the Bible's Canaanites lives on in modern Arabs and Jews

      DNA from the Bible's Canaanites lives on in modern Arabs and Jews

      THEY ARE BEST known as the people who lived “in a land flowing with milk and honey” until they were vanquished by the ancient Israelites and disappeared from history. But a scientific report published today reveals that the genetic heritage of the Canaanites survives in many modern-day Jews and Arabs.

      The study in Cell also shows that migrants from the distant Caucasus Mountains combined with the indigenous population to forge the unique Canaanite culture that dominated the area between Egypt and Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age, lasting from approximately 3500 B.C. until 1200 B.C.

      The team extracted ancient ...

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      Mentions: Bible Humanities
    15. Prof. David Kazhdan becomes first Israeli to win the Shaw Prize

      Prof. David Kazhdan becomes first Israeli to win the Shaw Prize
      Prof. David Kazhdan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has received the distinguished Shaw Prize on his contributions to the field of mathematics, the first Israeli to ever win the prize.
      Kazhdan is one of two recipients to win the prize; he shared the Shaw Prize of $1.2 million with another researcher from the University of Chicago, Alexander Beilinson. They won the prize for their “huge influence on and profound contributions to representation theory, as well as many other areas of mathematics.”
      The Shaw Prize honors individuals who have recently achieved distinguished and significant advances in the fields of ...
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    16. 'I'm optimistic that coronavirus will soon be behind us,' says top Israeli medical expert - Haaretz

      'I'm optimistic that coronavirus will soon be behind us,' says top Israeli medical expert - Haaretz

      As Israel stampedes for normalcy, with schools stutteringly opening, shops and salons working overtime and restaurants and bars slated to reopen next week, talking with Prof. Dina Ben-Yehuda is heartening.

      “I’m optimistic that this will soon be behind us,” says Ben-Yehuda, head of the hematology department at the Hadassah Medical Center and dean of the Hebrew University medical school. “I see how the best brains around the world have come together to study this disease. None of the researchers at the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University had previously studied the coronavirus [which had been unknown to science ...

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    17. Coronavirus Lockdown in Israel Was Unnecessary, Say Three Hebrew U Professors - CTech

      Coronavirus Lockdown in Israel Was Unnecessary, Say Three Hebrew U Professors - CTech

      As the number of recoveries from coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to exceed the number of new diagnoses in Israel, three local professors are claiming that the lockdown measures implemented by the government over recent months were unnecessary and should be canceled immediately.

      The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel now stands at 15,398, according to data released by the Ministry of Health on  Sunday. The number of people who have died from complications related to the virus hit 200 on Sunday. Some 132 patients are in serious condition, including 100 in need of ventilator support. The number of Israelis ...

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      Mentions: Medicine/Health
    18. Research predicts Israel could see 1,000 serious COVID-19 cases by Passover

      Research predicts Israel could see 1,000 serious COVID-19 cases by Passover

      Israel will have 500 seriously ill coronavirus patients by the first day of Passover, April 9, and five days later the number will stand at 1,000, an influential Hebrew University research team has predicted.

      “We will be surprised if we end up with less than low thousands of dead,” said Nadav Katz of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics. “That’s already looking like an optimistic scenario.”

      If Israel doesn’t take further strong steps, he said, “we could end up like Spain and Italy and other countries that missed out on opportunities.”

      Israel saw ...

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      Mentions: Medicine/Health
    19. New immunotherapy to target blood cancers, solid tumors

      New immunotherapy to target blood cancers, solid tumors

      A new joint project will develop precision medicines for blood cancers and solid tumors by utilizing immunotherapies targeting natural killer (NK) cells.

      In collaboration between Yissum, the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, biopharmaceutical company Cytovia Therapeutics will sponsor a research program to develop multi-specific antibodies targeting both NK cells and the tumor antigen.

      The research will be led by Hebrew University Prof. Ofer Mandelboim.

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    20. Seven Israeli university programs named among top 100 worldwide

      Seven Israeli university programs named among top 100 worldwide

      Seven of Israel’s university departments have been ranked among the world’s top 100 in their respective disciplines, according to the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject published on Wednesday.

      The 10th annual edition of the QS ranking, which assessed the performance of 86 programs at eight Israeli higher education institutions, showed an overall regression for Israel’s higher education system, compared to global competitors.

      Four key metrics were used to compile the rankings, evaluating programs according to academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per paper and the h-index – a tool to measure the productivity of an institution’s ...

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      Mentions: Humanities
    21. Israel Prize awarded to Hebrew University Professor Dani Zamir for his agricultural research - Haaretz

      Israel Prize awarded to Hebrew University Professor Dani Zamir for his agricultural research - Haaretz

      The Israel Prize for agricultural research and environmental science is being awarded to Prof. Dani Zamir, the Education Ministry announced Sunday. Zamir is professor emeritus in genetics at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Hebrew University.

      Zamir’s fields of research deal with improving plants and developing innovative tools for genetic cultivation. For example, he developed a group of cultured tomatoes that contain a DNA string from species of wild tomatoes that make them resistant to dryness, salt and various diseases.

      Twenty years ago he founded the company AB Seeds, which together with the university’s Yissum technology ...

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    22. What red hot chile peppers might be able to do for cancer pain treatment

      What red hot chile peppers might be able to do for cancer pain treatment

      It’s no secret that Israelis can do amazing things with spicy foods. Exhibit No. 1: zhug, the hot sauce derived from chile peppers that seems to be taking the world by storm.

      But some of the greatest excitement today in Israel surrounding chile peppers is happening outside the kitchen — in laboratories, where scientists are experimenting with the pain-suppressing properties of hot peppers for uses as critical as the treatment of pain associated with cancer.

      Few things in life hurt more than diseases like bone or uterine cancer, or the chemotherapy used to treat them, according to Israeli pharmacologist and ...

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    23. Smoking may trigger diabetes in pregnant women, study finds

      Smoking may trigger diabetes in pregnant women, study finds

      Israeli and US researchers say that smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, which increases the dangers of pregnancy and the chances of birth complications.

      Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop in pregnant women, including those who didn’t already have diabetes. Every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      The disease can raise the mother’s risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy, and higher than average-weight babies, which may trigger early and possibly complicated ...

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      Mentions: Medicine/Health
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