“Through your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen. 22:18
ISRAEL PRESENTS NON-INVASIVE BRAIN TEST TO HELP PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S: A new medical test that could help doctors prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease – and discover new and better treatments for it – is now being conducted in Israel. Hadassah-University Medical Center, on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus, announced that its SRY subsidiary has contracted with General Electric (GE) to be the sole producer of Vizamyl, a radioactive diagnostic agent indicated for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of the brain. It estimates plaque density in adult patients with cognitive impairment, who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease. “If you don’t see any deposit in the brain, you are OK,” explained Dr. Eyal Mishani of the Nuclear Medicine Institute at Hadassah Medical Center. “If you do see some, then you are at risk. You can change your way of living to suspend or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s or help mitigate the progression of the disease.” He said that one can eat different foods, and do certain exercises or other types of training to suspend the progression of the disease. The technology was tested during a series of clinical trials at Sheba Medical Center. Mishani is confident that it will eventually be used regularly. Hadassah has a six-year contract to exclusively produce and market the compound. (J. Post)
ISRAELI RESEARCHERS DISCOVER HOW TO BOOST NATURAL CANCER-KILLING CELLS: The future of cancer treatments rests also on the shoulders of Natural Killer cells, according to a recent study conducted by Israeli Professor Angel Porgador. The study, published in the July 2019 issue of Cancer Immunology Research described Porgador’s discovery: a protein in the cell membrane of cancers that inhibits the body’s immune system, allowing the cancer to proliferate undisturbed. This membrane protein protects the cancers by disabling Natural Killer cells, the white blood cells that are responsible for attacking tumors and viruses. While such proteins were known to exist in the nucleus and cytoplasms, their detection in the cell membranes is novel. According to Porgador, these membrane proteins could provide a target for new treatments. “This is the real proof that a very important protein in the cancer life, or in the proliferating cell life, has a version that goes in the membrane,” he said, “and this protein could be a target.” Using mouse cells, Porgador and his team were able to develop an antidote to the inhibiting proteins in the form of an antibody. Now, they are in the process of turning the mouse antibody into one that will work on human cells. Their goal? A fully FDA-approved form of cancer therapy that will be administered intravenously or intramuscularly to patients. (J. Post)
TECHNION TEAM GETS PRIZE FOR WATER-FROM-HEAT TECH: Researchers at the Technion Institute of Technology and their partners in Africa have received a prize for the development of a technology that creates water from heat, which aims to provide clean water to third world countries. The scientists have developed a low-cost system powered by renewable energy to extract water from humidity in the air. The technology is different from other techniques that generate water from air in that it converts heat into mechanical power in the form of an acoustic wave. This wave acts as a “virtual piston” that is capable of performing a cooling action. The Phase Exchange Thermoacoustics (PXT) technology developed by the Technion researchers is thus “a candidate for low cost, small scale conversion” devices for rural and developing areas, said the Technion’s, Guy Ramon. “We plan to develop a robust and low-cost system for atmospheric humidity harvesting, powered by renewable energy,” he said. “Ultimately, the system will be tested in Ethiopia.” (Times of Israel) “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Gen. 12:2
PLURISTEM GETS POSITIVE RESULTS FROM RADIATION TREATMENT TRIALS: Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics Inc last week reported positive results from a series of studies in animals of its stem cell therapy to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The studies were conducted by the USA Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Radiobiology and demonstrate that PLX-R18 administered 24 hours before radiation exposure and again 72 hours after exposure, resulted in an increase in survival rates of 46-70% compared with the control group, Pluristem said. Analysis of tissues collected showed an increase in bone marrow cell numbers and improved regenerative capability, the company said. “We believe that this outcome is an important contribution to protect the armed and medical forces which may need to enter contaminated areas,” said Chief Executive Officer Yaky Yanay. “It is Pluristem’s goal to provide the different federal agencies access to PLX-R18 that it may be used as a countermeasure both before and after radiation exposure in order to minimize organ damage.” Last year, the FDA cleared the emergency use of Pluristem’s therapy in a nuclear event. (J. Post)
HEBREW U. PROFESSOR DECODES MECHANISM FOR GAMMA-RAY BURSTS FROM SPACE: A researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been able to name the “Rosetta stone of gamma-rays bursts." Prof. Tsvi Piran of the Hebrew University, working with a group of other researchers, decoded the mechanism for gamma-ray bursts following an eruption observed last January. Now, in a paper published in “Astrophysical Journal Letter,” he describes how a stream of particles moving toward us at close to light speed emits the gamma radiation. Gamma-ray bursts are extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest explosions in the universe. According to a release by Hebrew University, since gamma-rays are blocked by the atmosphere, the bursts were discovered accidentally in the late 1960s by the Vela satellites sent to monitor man-made nuclear explosions in space. Since their discovery, several dedicated satellites have been launched into space to explore their origins. In the late 1990s, it was realized that bursts lasting more than a few seconds arise during the death and collapse of massive stars, while in the first decade of this century it was found that bursts lasting less than a few seconds arise in neutron star mergers. Still many mysteries involving these bursts remain. (J. Post)
ISRAELI EXPERTS UPGRADE NEO-NATAL UNITS IN GHANA: Israeli experts have upgraded neo-natal facilities in Ghana, saving around 700 babies. According to Ghana’s news site Yen, the neo-natal units were located in the Kumasi South and Suntreso hospitals in the Ashanti region of the country. Medical staff at the facilities were also trained by Israeli medical personnel from the Soroka Medical Center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva. Ghana’s health minister, Kweku Agyemang-Manu, and Shani Cooper, the Israeli ambassador to Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, both pledged that the project will continue. Agyemang-Manu enthused over the project’s success and said it would be expanded throughout the country. (Algemeiner) "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isa. 60:3.
ANCESTRY.COM DIGITIZES MILLIONS OF HOLOCAUST RECORDS, FREE TO PUBLIC: A digital, searchable archive of Holocaust records is now available to users around the world via the website Ancestry.com. Ancestry, the consumer genetics and genealogy giant, partnered with the Germany-based Arolsen Archives to produce the online database, called the Holocaust Remembrance Collection. The archives hold more than 30 million documents on Nazi persecution, containing information on 17.5 million victims and survivors of National Socialism. The digitized archive, available on Ancestry.com as of 31 July 2019, includes two separate collections. "Africa, Asia and Europe Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons" tracks displaced people who left Germany and other European countries from 1946 to 1971. The 1.7 million records in the collection mostly document the journeys of Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and laborers, and refugees from Central and Eastern European countries as they traveled to different countries, especially America, after the war. The second collection, "Registration of Foreigners and German Individuals Persecuted" includes 9.97 million records from 1939 to 1947 documenting persecution faced by German Jews, people with non-German citizenship, and stateless people living in Germany and areas of the German occupation. Altogether, the project contains approximately 1.2 million digitized images, which are searchable by entering a person's basic demographic information. The new project is part of what Ancestry describes as its "philanthropic initiative to make culturally important records available to everyone," according to its vice president of media Monique Dinor. (J. Post)
THESE ARE ISRAEL’S MOST POPULAR BABY NAMES: A full 1,447 baby boys were named David in 2018, making the name Israel's most popular Jewish boys' name for that year. The runner-up, Ariel, came in with just over 100 less at 1,323. The name "Tamar" retained its popularity for the third year in a row, with 1,289 girls receiving the name. Meanwhile, the name Noa dropped to fourth most popular, and Maya rose to second place. (Arutz-7) "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands, and by your descendants, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Gen. 26:4
SEE WHAT GOD IS DOING FOR ISRAEL AT THE MILLENNIUM CENTER WITH THE HELP OF YOUR DONATIONS: The Millennium Center is located in the heart of the country, allowing Vision for Israel to operate under one roof to reach the entire population faster with life-saving aid in times of peace and war. The lower floors of the Millennium Center are dedicated completely to humanitarian aid. In 25 years, Vision for Israel has been able to reach almost a million Israelis in need, often with life-saving assistance. From this new facility, the organization is able to touch the lives of so many more. Visit us in person when you are in the country - and bring your tour groups too! To view from your living room how dreams are coming true at the Millennium Center click on: https://vimeo.com/339869724
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Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff