1. Articles from ISRAEL21c


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    1. One drug could treat Alzheimer’s, MS, Crohn’s and more

      One drug could treat Alzheimer’s, MS, Crohn’s and more

      Could one drug effectively treat incurable inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis as well as neurodegenerative maladies such as Alzheimer’s disease?

      Yes, says Prof. David Naor, speaking with ISRAEL21c at the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology in Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem.

      All these diseases, he explains, are associated with pathological amyloid proteins that could be neutralized by the 5-mer peptide Naor has spent the last 10 years researching and developing with the support of the university’s Yissum technology-transfer company, the Israeli government and Spherium Biomed of Spain ...

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    2. Can Israeli scientists save Darwin’s finches?

      Can Israeli scientists save Darwin’s finches?

      The Galápagos Islands are known for their unique animal species – giant tortoises, iguanas and sea lions – but none are more legendary than the group of birds known as Darwin’s finches.

      Early discoveries from these tiny songbirds, which measure no bigger than a sparrow, are credited for having helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution by natural selection. Now, 11 of the 13 finch species found in the Galápagos are in danger of extinction due to a parasitic fly’s fatal impact on the populations.

      A research team from the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty ...

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    3. Pollution’s impact on weather, crops worse than once thought

      Pollution’s impact on weather, crops worse than once thought

      Even the tiniest of particles from human emissions can fuel powerful storms and influence weather and crops much more than previously thought, according to new research published January 26 in the journal Science. The study focuses on the power of manmade aerosol emissions to grow rain clouds and intensify storms. These particles come from urban and industrial air pollution, wildfires and other sources. While scientists have known that these particles play an important role in shaping weather and climate, the new study shows that even the smallest aerosol particles can have an outsize effect, creating more severe thunderstorms, which in ...

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    4. Why Israel rocks at commercializing academic innovations

      Why Israel rocks at commercializing academic innovations

      It’s no coincidence that Harvard and UCLA chose experienced Israelis to direct their technology-transfer offices. Cash-strapped universities urgently need to streamline the transfer of inventions from lab bench to market, and Israeli TTOs have a remarkable track record of generating more revenue from IP sales than any other country except the United States. “Universities are reinventing themselves as micro environments for innovation and entrepreneurship. A university that can’t demonstrate its impact on industry and the marketplace will become less relevant in the future,” says Benjamin Soffer, chairman of Israel Tech Transfer Network. Soffer, who frequently hosts TTO officials ...

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    5. Israeli auto-tech, robotics, photonics light up Las Vegas

      Israeli auto-tech, robotics, photonics light up Las Vegas

      Intel’s blockbuster acquisition of Israel’s Mobileye last year is finally bearing public fruit: The combined companies unveiled their first autonomous vehicle at the Consumer Technology Association’s flagship event, CES, in Las Vegas on January 9-12. Mobileye develops the sensors and software that allow a car to know where it is in relation to its surroundings. That key component for the coming self-driving car age was the main reason Intel bought the company in March 2017 for more than $15 billion. Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s CEO and now a senior VP at Intel, shared the CES stage ...

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    6. 13 of the biggest health breakthroughs in Israel in 2017

      13 of the biggest health breakthroughs in Israel in 2017

      An Israeli researcher devised a synthetic compound to disable the enzymes that allow cancer cells to metastasize. When cancer cells leave the primary tumor and spread to other organs, they reprogram their energy-generating system in order to survive in harsh conditions with a shortage of nutrients like glucose. Prof. Uri Nir of Bar-Ilan University identified an enzyme called FerT in the energy-generating mitochondria of metastatic cancer cells – an enzyme normally only found in sperm cells (which need to function outside the body they came from). When he targeted FerT in lab mice, the malignant cells soon died. Using advanced chemical ...

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    7. Tiny fish swims to Israel to help unlock mystery of aging

      Tiny fish swims to Israel to help unlock mystery of aging

      The search for the proverbial fountain of youth is moving underwater. Experimental biologist Itamar Harel, returning to Israel this spring from a post-doc at Stanford University School of Medicine, will establish an aging research lab focused on the tiny East African turquoise killifish, the shortest-lived vertebrate that can be cultivated in the laboratory easily. Gleaning insights into human aging from a fish that lives an average of four to six months sounds counterintuitive. But the East African turquoise killifish has an aging progression remarkably similar to ours, making it perfect for studying human aging in a rapid timeframe. “In the ...

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    8. Israel: land of milk, honey and medical cannabis

      Israel: land of milk, honey and medical cannabis

      In August, a joint feasibility committee of the Health and Finance ministries submitted a recommendation that Israel open its booming medical marijuana business to international exports. The market could be worth as much as $4 billion a year in revenue. In the expectation that the proposal will be approved by legislators, an Israel company – Breath of Life Pharma (BOL) – is positioning itself to become the world’s largest medical cannabis facility. BOL’s new production, research and development campus in central Israel has a 35,000-square-foot plant, an 8,000-square-foot storage room, 30,000 square feet of grow rooms and ...

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    9. Fiverr teams up with NY Yankees for entrepreneur contest

      Fiverr teams up with NY Yankees for entrepreneur contest

      Have you ever dreamed of having your company’s name and message appear on advertisements plastered across New York City’s Yankee Stadium? A new competition sponsored by Israeli freelancer marketplace Fiverr in cooperation with the iconic NY Yankees baseball team will allow five lucky entrepreneurs to do just that. It’s called “The Game Changer” and winners will receive LED advertisements at Yankee Stadium, designed by a Fiverr Pro freelance designer. Winners will also receive $1,500 in Fiverr credit, which they can spend on other professionals on the Fiverr site. (Fiverr has plenty of members ready to design ...

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    10. Thousands attend startup nation’s biggest tech conference

      Thousands attend startup nation’s biggest tech conference

      Thousands of high-tech professionals, from just-getting-started entrepreneurs to seasoned investors, have descended upon Tel Aviv for the city’s annual DLD (Digital Life Design) Conference. Now in its fifth year, DLD expects some 10,000 guests from around the world and has 100 events planned, from talks on the main stage (at Tel Aviv’s historic old train station) to an urban street happening with interactive exhibits lining Rothschild Boulevard. Delegations from Google, Samsung, Amazon and Facebook are all visiting Tel Aviv. The event will end with a closing party on the beach. Tech luminary and investor Yossi Vardi co-chairs ...

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    11. Teaching the world how to make the desert bloom

      Teaching the world how to make the desert bloom

      At the Ramat Negev Agro-Research Center, acacia trees bloom, casting long shadows by the greenhouses, and fat pumpkins ripen on the ground. Everywhere you look, jewel-like cherry tomatoes dangle above the sand, on vines strung to wires, carefully irrigated and nourished. While tiny tomatoes have been around for centuries, certain varieties of cherry tomatoes – including the popular tomaccio – were developed in Israel back in the 1970s. Here they grow in abundance, as do sweet peppers of all colors – yellow, green, red, chocolaty-brown, and purple. The Ramat Negev Regional Council oversees this center, and agricultural experiments are conducted by onsite researchers ...

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    12. Israeli scientist develops early diagnostic test for Parkinson’s

      Israeli scientist develops early diagnostic test for Parkinson’s

      The exciting news coming out of Israel, that a scientist has developed a groundbreaking test to categorically detect Parkinson’s disease, is giving the medical and science worlds hope for the future. Suaad Abd-Elhadi, a PhD student at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Medicine, has developed the lipid ELISA diagnostic tool. She won the Kaye Innovation Award for 2017 for the breakthrough invention of this highly sensitive kit that may lead to earlier detection of Parkinson’s disease, along with better tracking of the disease’s progression and a patient’s ...

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    13. Astounding drug-testing tech simulates liver, heart, brain

      Astounding drug-testing tech simulates liver, heart, brain

      After spending an average of $2.5 billion to develop a single new drug, sometimes pharma companies have to pull it from the market due to a bad outcome that was not detected in clinical studies. That’s what happened in 2000, when a promising Type 2 diabetes drug called troglitazone led to idiosyncratic (unexplained) liver damage in one of every 60,000 users. The troglitazone mystery wasn’t solved until March 2016, when a novel “liver-on-a-chip” platform developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Yaakov Nahmias revealed what no animal or human tests could: even low concentrations of this ...

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    14. Israel’s vital contributions to nanotechnology

      Israel’s vital contributions to nanotechnology

      Yeshayahu Talmon is a chemical engineer and former director of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute (RBNI) at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. A frequent spokesman for the industry, he answers even laymen’s questions patiently and lucidly, and offers positive news about Israel as a “nucleus” for nanoscience. “Nanoscience is the science of everything that happens on that very small scale. Now, technology is being developed to take that science and apply it,” says Talmon. “One example of applications we are working with at the Russell Berrie Nanotech Institute is carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are only one to ...

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    15. Sweeping study shows sharply declining male fertility

      Sweeping study shows sharply declining male fertility

      A groundbreaking meta-analysis of data collected between 1973 and 2011 has found that sperm concentration has declined by more than half among men from Western countries, with no sign of a “leveling off” in recent years. The study appears today in Human Reproduction Update. The research — the first systematic review and meta-analysis of trends in sperm count –was led by Dr. Hagai Levine, head of the Environmental Health Track at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Jerusalem. Levine worked with Dr. Shanna H Swan, professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at ...

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