Tsedek-Israel News No. 127 - Jan-Feb 2018

Home"columnists"Tsedek-Israel News No. 127 - Jan-Feb 2018
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Tsedek-Info d'Israël n° 127  -   janv-fev 2018

Tsedek-Israel News No. 127 Jan-Feb 2018

Distinctions & performances

 

- Dr. David Ginat's team, at the Tel Aviv University School of Education, won two silver and two bronze medals at the 29th International Computer Olympiad (IOI) , which was happening in Tehran, the team being remotely based in Turkey ....

- The 2013 Yarden Malbec wine from Golan Heights Winery won a gold medal at the Citadelles du Vin competition in Bordeaux.

- Dr. Liad Mudrik, from the School of Psychology at Tel Aviv University, was selected among Forbes Magazine's Top 50 Most Influential Women in 2017. And he has appointed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked as Israel's most influential woman.

- TransWorld SkateBoarding has selected Tel Aviv alongside cities such as London, Berlin, Shenzhen, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Barcelona as the top destinations for skateboarders and skateboarders.

 

High tech

 

- A sequenced human genome can represent 200 to 300 gigabytes (GB) of raw data, while an analyzed genome can occupy a terabyte (TB) of space on a disk. When the individual genomes are mapped, there will not be enough space in the computer space to store this data. Rafael Feitelberg, General Manager of Geneformics, from Petah Tikvah: " if you want a genebank, the sheer size of the data will be really, really prohibitive ... Geneformics is about to offer the tools and infrastructure to make genomic data accessible through compression, while facilitating decompression"With a mapped genome available, for example, the era of personalized medicine could flourish. Doctors will be able to develop personalized medicines for patients, ensuring that the drug will specifically target the problem raised, without any side effects.

Founded in 2011 by Raviv Melamed, Naftali Chayat and Miri Ratner, thetart-up Vayyar has developed sensors capable of detecting and displaying in 3D what is hidden behind any surface. This technology is about to transform the way we interact with the world, and to save lives, because it can detect tumors through skin analysis, look through walls, create 3D images foundations of a structure ... The sensors are placed in a small black box that magnetically attaches to the back of a smartphone and connects to the Walabot mobile application already developed by the company.

Unlike MRI rays or ultrasonic machines that cost several hundred thousand dollars and are reserved for certain areas, the sensors used by Vayyar are small and inexpensive.

- Chemotherapy is sometimes more harmful than the cancer it seeks to treat. Pr. Nissim Benvenisty of the Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has created the NewStem start-up to develop new practical therapeutic methods derived from stem cell university research. He succeeded in separating from embryonic cells the mono-chromosomal cells called "haploids" which have the advantage over the more common "diploid" cells, of being able to transform themselves into cells of any organ of the body. With the genetic mutation method called "Crispr Cas", he was able to create a library of 180,000 mutations of 18,000 genes, ie 10 mutations / gene.

President Ayelet Dilion-Mashiah: " It can thus be seen whether the chemotherapy treatment is suitable or not, depending on the degree of survival of the stem cells tested.. If they survive and proliferate, it is because they offer resistance to treatment .... By reducing the resistance rate, the effectiveness of the treatment is increased "

 

Archeology

 

- Dr. Yonatan Adler, a professor at Ariel University and excavator director for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Reina, Lower Galilee, and his team discovered raw limestone kitchen utensils dating from from the Roman period, at the end of the 2nd Temple. According to him, the reasons for the passage of pottery utensils to raw stone utensils are religious, the pottery becoming "impure" and frequently to be destroyed. This fact is proven in the Talmud. The team has discovered hundreds of pieces in various states of conservation.

- Archaeologist Mordekhay Aviam of Kinneret College, University Institute of Lake Tiberias, believes that the two excavation campaigns he has completed have discovered the site of the ancient Roman settlement of Julias, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Tiberias where, according to the Gospels, Peter, his brother Andrew and Philip, three of the 12 apostles, were born or lived. Mordekhay Aviam: "We found fragments of pottery, coins, and the remains of a public bath, which tends to prove that it was not a small village, but a locality that could match Julias "

- A team of archaeologists digging through the National Park of the City of David discovered clay seals. These seals sealed the mail (letter for example), and if they were broken, it meant that the mail had been read.

Dr. Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf, who conduct the IAA excavations, explain that there are dozens of seals in the City of David that prove a high level of administration in Jerusalem at the time of the 1st Temple. The oldest seals contain an image rather than letters or a name. The inscriptions are in ancient Hebrew and one has discovered a seal bearing the name of "Achiav ben Menachem" who seems to be a king of Israel Ahab, according to the prophet Elijah.

 

Did you know ?

 

- The most powerful laser in the Middle East has been set up in the laboratory of Dr. Ishay Pomerantz at the Faculty of Engineering of Tel Aviv University. It emits 20 terawatt rays, a thousand times Israel's total electricity consumption, and will serve to promote innovative cancer treatments as well as security solutions for the protection of strategic infrastructure.. Dr. Pomerantz :”The power of this laser is so strong that it can not move in the air; thus all our system and all our experiments are carried out under vacuum, in large containers of stainless steel. Each container is used for an experiment conducted by a group of students. The laser pulse penetrates inside the container and irradiates the object we want to examine .... Currently used particle accelerators do not work with lasers, and they are very bulky, expensive and impossible to move. With laser particle accelerators, it will be possible, for example, to protect ports against the smuggling of certain products carried in sea containers. "

Michael Cordonsky and youTel Aviv University's multidisciplinary team developed a low-cost multispectral camera ($ 5,000 instead of $ 100,000) in an artisanal way that reads texts that had disappeared on ancient ostracas. Thus on the Otracon N ° 16 of the IAA, drawn from a search in Tel Arad, dating from - 600, they were able to complete and double the content of the known text with 45 characters or 20 words. Thus each search team will be able to carry with it a multispectral camera. In Tel Arad, 91 pieces were found with inscriptions mostly concerning orders for supplies or military orders from the Judean military leaders in the Fortress of Arad.

 

 

Defense

 

Elbit Systems Ltd has successfully completed a first simulation in the field of anti-submarine warfare. This is a new unmanned mini-frigate, called Seagull, capable of performing various missions. This small building, barely 12 meters long, was remotely controlled by a control console via Satcom satellite system, at a distance of more than 3,500 km! The frigate drew up in real time a cartography and a precise catalog of all the objects which were on the surface and in depth, within a certain radius. With this system, the building can detect, but also repel, any submarine enemy threat. It can be used against submarines, mines, in an electronic combat, in the surveillance of the coasts and in various other missions at sea. The Seagull can be sent from the coast, but also transported by boat and dropped at a point . It has an autonomy of action of 4 days.

 

Inventions and discoveries

 

- Teacher. Doron Shabat of the Tel Aviv University School of Chemistry has developed a sensor technology called AquaSpark, which emits a large amount of light in a liquid medium, locates and exposes tumors. cancerous, including tiny metastases, with a very high level of accuracy. Ramot, the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University, has just signed a license agreement for these sensors with Biosynth, a Swiss company specializing in the development and manufacture of chemicals for medical diagnostic purposes .

- Dr. Alex Golberg, of Tel Aviv University, has developed a new technology that controls the proliferation of collagen cells, which is responsible for healing severe burns. The method uses the pIRE technique (partial irreversible electroporation), ie exposure of the skin to high voltage electric fields, with very short pulses. This helps to reduce the formation of the scar, as well as the pain in the healing process.

- Pr Zeev Zalevsky is one of Israel's most prolific inventors, with more than 50 patents filed on his behalf. In particular, he has developed a technology that could help birth-blind people regain their sight through high-tech contact lenses. He helped found the Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA) and became director of the Nano-Photonics Center. He focused on creating ultra-small applications that harness the power of light for high-speed information processing, including medicine and high-resolution imaging. His optical studies of light and its interactions with matter at nanoscale, evolve in particular in the development of devices capable of processing optical information, without having to convert it into electrical data.

- Technion researchers have developed a technology that allows a new understanding of the night landscape, from the office to the whole city, thanks to the flickering of electric lights. The approach of Professor Yoav Schechner and his team combines different areas of research, including that of optics, computer vision, image processing and electrical network engineering. The reason for the flickering of light is that power grids operate in an alternating current (AC), where the current of electrons constantly reverses its direction.

Shimmering photography is a challenge. On the one hand, identifying the flicker dynamics requires very short exposure. On the other hand, night photography requires a long exposure to collect enough light and create an image. To solve this gap, the researchers developed an electro-optical camera called ACam to detect flicker of alternating current. This technology paves the way for continued research in many areas, including controlled object illumination, three-dimensional object measurement, texture, shadow-based surface, and color. analysis of the properties of the remote electricity grid, by optical methods.

- According to Prof. Eli Eisenberg of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University octopus and octopus know how to reprogram their DNA. This discovery is likely to provide new insights to control genomic information and develop drugs against genetic diseases.

The cells of our body are composed of proteins, produced according to the instructions written in the DNA. DNA is a huge molecule made up of a chain of small units. The specific organization of these units, called the DNA sequence, composes the code that determines the structure of the proteins. Each molecule of DNA (chromosome) can contain hundreds of thousands of genes, which are kind of "instruction sheets" for the construction of the protein.

In the cell occurs a process of transcription of DNA, into similar molecules named RNA, which are ultimately translated into proteins. In most living beings the sequence of proteins present in cells is unequivocally determined according to the genetic information encoded in DNA, which determines the structure and function of proteins.

Octopuses and octopuses have the extraordinary ability to make genetic modifications by making changes in RNA molecules so that there is no exact transcription of the genomic sequence. So they can produce different versions of the protein from the same original "instruction sheet" stored in the DNA.

DNA manipulations can be complicated and dangerous, and cause unwanted side effects. The RNA editing mechanism, on the other hand, gives researchers another, less dangerous way to influence proteins in the human body by some sort of "RNA engineering".

- Under the leadership of Pr Asaph Aharoni of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Plants of the Weizmann Institute, a team has succeeded in producing "betalain" pigments in plants and flowers that do not have them. He stated : "Our results could in the future be used to fortify a wide variety of cultures with betalans in order to increase their nutritional value. It should be known that purple and yellow pigments contain antioxidant properties and violet tomatoes contain 60% more oxidants. Betalain pigments also protect plants against gray mold. We can also create ornamental plants with colors that can be modified on request.

- The average life expectancy of American men is 79, but Israeli researchers have discovered a genetic mutation that would increase the lives of men on average 10 years. Researchers have identified a genetic variation that alters the function of growth hormone and promotes longevity in men, the absence of the exon 3-part of a gene-of the growth hormone receptor. It has been previously found that dysfunction of the growth hormone and insulin-1 growth factor (IGF-1) associated biological pathways contributes to longevity. Thus in nature, shorter strains of the same species usually subsist longer. For example, ponies live longer than horses, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than older ones.

Gil Atzmon from Haifa University: " Our goal now is to understand the mechanism of variation that we have found, so that we can implement it and allow longevity, while maintaining the quality of life ".

A team of student researchers, Rony Laor-Maayany and Rotem Amar-Halpert, under the direction of Dr. Nitzan Censor at Tel-Aviv University, has identified a fast and effective brain mechanism for learning that may in the future provide us with tedious memorization process "by heart". Several exposures to short flashes, several days apart, have the same effects on memory as repetition hours.

70 healthy participants over the age of 18 were exposed to a variety of visual stimuli displayed on a screen in the form of flashes of a few milliseconds, and were then asked about what they saw. The short flashes reactivated the mechanism of memory in the brain, producing a long and tedious learning without practice. In addition, since the exposure was several days apart, the brain would have had time to assimilate learning, including during sleep.

The results were surprising: the learning curve and the performances of the subjects exposed only to short flashes, several days apart, were in no way inferior to those of the participants who practiced this same task for hours, day after day. In both cases, the performance improved by about 20% to 30%!

Social issues

 

- A survey conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center of Tel Aviv University with 1,200 Palestinians and 900 Israelis showed that only 53% of Israelis and 52% of Palestinians support the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel . The trend is for the slow and gradual decline of the two-state solution among Israelis. Lack of trust was the main factor that influenced the opponents' position, not the ideology. One-third of Israeli Jews who expressed opposition to the two-state solution said they would change positions if the agreement included mutual recognition by Palestinians of Jewish holy sites in the West Bank. Similarly, a majority of Palestinians opposed to the two-state solution said they would be willing to change their position if Israel agreed to release all "political prisoners".

In each category 15% said they favored expelling each other from their land.

The hypothesis of a "confederation" in which Israelis and Palestinians could live where they want, but everyone would vote for their own Parliament, with a unified capital in Jerusalem, is supported by 61% of Israelis and 25% of Palestinians .

45% of Israeli Jews voted in favor of a peace agreement, while 18% supported maintaining the status quo, 12% said they favor a decisive war against Palestinians, and only 9% supported annexation by Israel from the West Bank.

- In 2015, 53,579 couples were married, 73% of them Jews, or 6.4 per thousand. The average age of 1st marriage is 27.6 years for the groom and 25.2 years for the bride. The rate of celibacy for Jewish men aged 25/29 increased from 28% to 62% in 45 years, for women it went from 13% to 46%; for Jewish men aged 45/49, it rose from 3% to 12% and for Jewish women from 2% to 9%.

- Merkaz Lé-Kalkala Médinit (Center for Public Economy) and the Freidrich Abert Foundation conducted an opinion poll among 15/24 year olds showing a clear decrease in secularism and a shift to the right on the chessboard policy. In 20 years the Orthodox have gone from 9% to 15%.

- The Institut Eretz Hemdah, with the help of the Institut Pouah, would propose to Chief Rabbinat to replace the document proving the Jewishness of an individual by a genetic examination looking for a mitochondritis in DNA

- According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel has 8,743,000 inhabitants. In one year the population has increased by 156,000 people. The Jewish population is 74,6% and Arabic 20.9%.

There are 2,470,200 households, with an average from 3.1 persons / household. The overall fertility rate is 3,11, the highest of the Ocde. Average household income is NIS 18,671 / month ($ 5,300) before taxes.

88% Israelis said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their lives, 21% still feel or often stressed, 6%) often feel lonely and 34% find it difficult to cover their monthly expenses

74,2% Israelis live in cities, 14.9% in urban communities. 5,6% of Israel's land area is built, with 20% of the land used for agriculture, 2.4% are water bodies and 7,3% are made up of forests, groves and national parks.

 

Culture

 

- The National Library of Israel strives to bring together Jewish written heritage by creating a database that gathers tens of thousands of Jewish manuscripts digitized around the world. That is 50% of the heritage and 4.5 million images that can cover 45,000 invaluable documents, from prayers to literature to scientific treatises. The site KTIV becomes one of the main databases for Jewish written heritage.

- The Israeli film "Foxtrot", directed by Shmoulik Maoz, won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival, 2nd prize in importance after the Golden Lion, and rewards the most successful film to the jury. This controversial film is a criticism of the IDF's action in Judea and Samaria, hence its success abroad

Health

 

- A clinical study conducted under the direction of Prof. Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu of the School of Psychology and School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University has shown that a short and simple treatment with existing drugs against stress and pain leads to a reduction considerable risk of post-surgical cancer recurrence. 15% of patients with breast cancer and 20% to 40% of those with colorectal cancer experience metastatic recurrence after removal of a cancerous tumor. This rate can even reach up to 96% in the case of pancreatic cancer.

When the body is in a state of stress, physiological or psychological, it secretes a large quantity of hormones of the family of prostaglandins and catecholamines Explains Prof. Ben-Eliyahu. " These hormones, which decrease the activity of immune cells, indirectly promote the development of metastases. In addition, they directly help the cancer cells left in the body after the operation to create and develop dangerous metastases. Thus, due to exposure to these hormones, cancerous tissues become more aggressive and metastatics

- Dr. Gabi Gerlitz of Ariel University is studying the inner workings of melanoma cells that migrate - metastasize - in the hope of determining how to block this process. When patients have cancer, 90% of them die from the migration of cancer cells to vital organs, not the primary tumor. " When we look at moving cells, we see fibers called cytoskeletons that help cells migrate and move and reshape their nuclei Says Gerlitz.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. And people who have a mutation in the BRCA2 gene - increasing the risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers - are also at increased risk for skin cancer. For patients whose melanoma is detected early, the five-year survival rate is about 98 percent. But the survival rate falls precipitously if the disease has reached the lymph nodes or "metastasizes" and spreads to other organs.

- Dr. Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has compiled 200 studies worldwide, and showed that the amount of sperm in men's sperm has decreased by more than half in the last 40 years. Thus between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm in an ejaculation decreased by 1.4% / year, leading to a decrease of 52% for the whole period.

After considering factors such as age, the research team calculated that sperm concentration increased from 99 million per milliliter in 1973 to 47.1 million per milliliter in 2011.

Causes include exposure to chemicals used in pesticides and plastics, obesity, smoking, stress, diet and even lack of exercise. Dr. Levine: " We must act, for example, through better regulation of artificial chemicals, and we must continue the fight against smoking and obesity ".

- 100,000 people suffer from diastolic heart failure. In this pathology, the ventricles can no longer expand after contracting. They are no longer able to play their role of pumps and rebroadcast in the body oxygenated blood from the lungs. Dr. Yaïr Peled has developed a new method for treating this pathology, successfully applied at Haifa's Rambam Hospital where a surgical team implanted a small spring into a ventricle of a patient's heart. When the heart contracts, the spring follows its movement and then naturally causes the reverse movement, allowing the heart pump to function properly.

- Antibiotic resistance developed by bacteria is one of the biggest known threats to today's medicine. Under the direction of Dr. Ido Yosef and Prof. Udi Qimron, teams from Tel-Aviv University's Faculty of Medicine have developed state-of-the-art technology that can neutralize the harmful activity of pathogenic bacteria and restore their sensitivity. antibiotics. It consists of expanding the range of action of bacteriophages, viruses that attack bacteria in the human body by inserting new DNA that disrupts their activity.  Pr. Qimron : “In our laboratory, we try to modify the properties of bacteria by changing their DNA. In this way, we can give them the characteristics we choose, and neutralize their harmful functionalities for humans, such as the creation of toxins, the production of diseases and the resistance to antibiotics .... Changing the DNA of pathogenic bacteria using bacteriophages is a promising technology in the fight against many diseases. Among other things, it can help restore the antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria that have developed resistance to common drugs“.

- A study from Tel Aviv University reveals that young people with a Body mass index (IMC) would be more likely to develop a Colon Cancer and rectum later. Theobesity could also be related to a risk of rectal cancer of 71% in men and a two-fold risk in women.

Neta Shlezinger and Pr. Amir Sharon from the Department of Molecular Biology and Plant Ecology at Tel Aviv University have discovered the immune system's strategy to fight the mold spores that we breathe every day in the thousands: they make them commit suicide. According to the researchers, an understanding of this mechanism will lead to the development of more effective treatments for people suffering from a deficient immune system, for example because of illness or chemotherapy.

The researchers created a genetically modified fungus that produces a large amount of a particular protein capable of inhibiting the process of cellular suicide, and thus more resistant to immune cells. The organism infected with the modified fungus was more affected, and had a lot of trouble getting rid of the infection. On the other hand, the immune system of the body infected with the normal fungus has been very successful in causing fungal cell suicide, which has allowed it to get rid of the invasive fungus quickly and effectively.

 

Sources: IsraelValley, SiliconWadi, ... - contribution: Albert SOUED

The Tsedek-Info series is online at http://www.nuitdorient.com/n40a.htm 

 

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