Israel On The Cutting Edge: Shechtman’s Nobel Prize And More


UPDATE: DANGEROUS PALESTINIAN ROCK THROWING INCIDENTS CONTINUE AROUND JERUSALEM AND THROUGHOUT JUDEA AND SAMARIA. 

It is always amazing to your humble servant how Israeli science, technology, and medicine continue to innovate and develop in the midst of all of the turmoil that surrounds the country–and amidst all of the efforts to boycott anything ‘Israeli’. These innovations serve the people of the world.

Let’s just take the events of yesterday:

Shechtman yesterday holding his grandson. Notice his blue tie--which contains the same mosaic pattern he discovered in certain crystals.

Shechtman yesterday holding his grandson. Notice his blue tie--which contains the same mosaic pattern he discovered in certain crystals.

1. Dr. Dan Shechtman of the Technion in Haifa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery that atoms in rigid crystals can be structured in unrepeatable mosaic patterns–a discovery that has led to the building of extremely strong metals that are used in everything from razor blades to surgical tools to diesel engines. So the next time you shave yourself or have a surgical operation or  . . . , you might want to thank Dr. Shechtman.

By the way, Professor Shechtman is the 4th Israeli in the last 7 years to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

2.  The world this morning is mourning the loss of Steve Jobs, the chairman of Apple, who died last night from pancreatic cancer. Sadly and ironically, a landmark study is about to be published by researchers at the Cancer Research Center at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer that shows that the protein klotho, a natural hormone produced by the brain and kidneys, will actually stop pancreatic cancer from spreading and cause existing tumors to shrink. The Sheba researchers have already had promising results in mice and are applying for human trials.

3. There were more encouraging reports yesterday out of a Hadassah University Medical Center ALS treatment study being done in conjunction with Brain Storm Cell Therapeutics based in Petah Tikvah. Brainstorm harvests adult stem cells from the bone marrow of ALS patients at Hadassah (in one month a few cells can produce over 1,000,000 cells). Brainstorm then causes the cells to differentiate so that they produce proteins necessary for nerve to muscle communication.

Israeli researchers at Brain Storm

Israeli researchers at Brain Storm

Early results in human trials show that disease progression in ALS and even MS patients can be at least temporarily halted.

The bone marrow lab at Hadassah

The bone marrow lab at Hadassah

4.  The NeuroAD electromagnetic stimulation system, developed in Israel by the Yokneam-based Neuronix company, has become the first medical device in the world to receive approval for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

The Neuronix neuroadaptive device to treat Alzheimers.

The Neuronix neuroadaptive device to treat Alzheimer's.

Use of the device appears to change the course of the degenerative Alzheimer’s disease and allow patients to regain faded cognitive skills.

***

Finally today–two human aspects of Israel’s drive toward innovation and implementation:

Leaders from 20 countries arrived in Israel yesterday to learn Israeli systems of sustainable development technology. Representing Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, India, Kenya, Kyrgzystan, Moldova, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, and Zambia, these leaders are exploring how to enhance water usage, waste and energy management, and municipal infrastructure.

MASHAV: Sharing Israel's technology with the world

MASHAV: Sharing Israel's technology with the world

The program is sponsored by the Weitz Center for Development Studies and MASHAV, Israel’s agency for international development cooperation.

Last but certainly not least, Shimon Peres and the Rashi Foundation in Israel inaugurated a four-year program yesterday to develop the next generation of top Israeli scientists. Working together with Israeli universities and colleges, the program is open to all gifted Israeli high school students.

President Shimon Peres posing yesterday with Israel's scientists and innovators of the future

President Shimon Peres posing yesterday with Israel's scientists and innovators of the future

So your humble servant offers his sincere kudos to all of those in Israel who are tirelessly working to make this world a better place in the face of surrounding countries who want to destroy us and world organizations who want to boycott us. Keep up the good work! 

**Thanks to Israel 21c and the JPost for information in parts of today’s blog.

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