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Around the Jewish World

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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Jan 27, 2016

Young girl invents system to produce oxygen in space

 

TEL AVIV - A 13-year-old Israeli girl has invented a system for the production of oxygen in space, the Hebrew youth paper Ma’ariv L’Noar reported, along with an interview with the budding teen scientist from Ramat Hasharon.

The winner of the “Satellite is Born” award from the Israel Space Agency, Roni Oron developed BioSat “to solve a problem for astronauts trying to prove that life on Mars is possible”.

Oron says her satellite is “built like a large bubble on one side of which there is a mirror and the other is transparent, enabling the penetration of sunlight. In the middle there is a capsule, which will be made of a membrane through which air can pass but water cannot. Inside of it there will be water and algae, and outside there will be carbon dioxide.

“Through a process of photosynthesis, the satellite will produce oxygen. There will be additional mirrors inside the satellite that will enable sunlight to reach the capsule, but not by direct radiation, which would harm the algae.”

Oron told Ma’ariv L’Noar about her parents’support.“My father, an orthopaedist, was very happy when I began my research,” she said. “From my mother I learned the wisdom of looking at life creatively.” - Algemeiner

 

British physicians attempting to revoke membership of IMA

 

JERUSALEM - A group of 71 British physicians have approached the World Medical Association (WMA) in a bid to revoke the membership of the Israeli Medical Association. This was revealed in a meeting of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee dealing with boycotts against Israeli academic institutions.

Chairman of the Committee of University Heads, Technion President Prof Peretz Lavie, said during the debate: “We have no complaints against the world academic leadership.

“Our problem is with the campuses. In the beginning this took place in marginal campuses, but very quickly it spread to leading campuses in the US. The students who are being exposed to these activities will be the next generation’s senators, and this is where the long-term danger is hidden.

“The American Anthropological Association wrote in its report that we are apartheid universities. The same association decided to conduct a referendum, should they boycott Israeli academia.

“We must reach every single one of the 12 000 association members. This is a symptom, and if we don’t act the fire will spread. There must be one authority in charge of this issue.”

Prof. Zvi Ziegler, professor emeritus at the Technion and chairman of Israel’s Inter-University Senate, said: “There exists a hidden boycott among academic staff members. It’s still below the surface, because they still think it’s illegitimate. We don’t manage to stop the flood with our measly resources. I am very concerned about the future.” - Behind The News

Over 40 per cent EU citizens anti-Semitic

 

JERUSALEM -More than 40 per cent of European Union citizens hold anti-Semitic views and agree with the claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians and behaving like the Nazis, according to data presented during last Sunday morning’s weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (which took place on January 27), Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who also serves as minister of education, presented the country’s 2015 anti-Semitism report, pointing to the trends emerging in Europe as a result of the spread of radical Islam; the refugee and migrant crisis; the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS); and the rise of the extreme right.

The “new anti-Semitism” explored in the report deals mainly with Jew-hatred among Muslims, rather than fringe parties in various European countries. The report states that “anti-Israel protests and accusations that Israel is a blood-thirsty, illegitimate country, creates a slippery slope that eventually leads to the assault on Jews identified with Israel”. - Algemeiner

 

London Mayor Johnson’s initiative against anti-Semitism

 

LONDON - Mayor Boris Johnson has backed an initiative calling on municipal leaders to tackle anti-Semitism.

Johnson signed up to Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism, a scheme launched by Jewish advocacy organisation AJC.

He said: “However it manifests itself, anti-Semitism is totally unacceptable and can never be justified. In London we have a large and visible Jewish population, which makes a massive contribution to our city’s success, and as mayor I take this issue very seriously.

“It is important for mayors to stand shoulder to shoulder to condemn and challenge anti-Semitism, which, like all forms of religious or racial discrimination, has no place in our cities.” - Jewish Chronicle

 

Microscopic technology finds best sperm cells

 

TEL AVIV - For women struggling to conceive or maintain full-term pregnancies, the low success rates of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments (through which eggs are fertilised with sperm in a lab and then returned to a woman’s uterus) - only 20-30 per cent, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - are not always hopeful.

Now, a team of Tel Aviv University scientists say they’ve come up with a game-changing microscopic technology that will change the field of reproductive assistance.

Dr Natan Shaked, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at TAU’s Faculty of Engineering, believes his new imaging process, which harnesses phase imaging methods to record the passage of light through a sperm sample to assess its thickness, can quantify the quality of sperm used in ART, leading to more successful ART treatments.

To date, there are two effective ART methods available: in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in which a woman is treated with drugs that cause her ovaries to produce multiple eggs; and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a single sperm is injected into a mature egg and then transferred to a woman’s uterus.

Shaked’s method is applicable to both methods, but is especially helpful in ICSI.

“Until now, clinicians have chosen the ‘best’ sperm according to their speed, but speed is not necessarily an indicator of DNA quality,” says Shaked. “Some of the best sperm candidates are slow or even immobile because their tails have malfunctioned.

“If we can better determine the full structure and composition of the sperm, the success rate of ART treatments will be higher. Success means more births without congenital defects. In cases where sample staining is impossible - such as in vitro fertilisation and ICSI - our device provides a promising new direction.”

Shaked’s new device, a small “black box” attached to an existing microscope, is smaller, cost-effective, and easier to align than conventional interferometric imaging methods. It is joined to new automated software that produces a thickness map of the sample and other physical parameters to evaluate the sperm’s viability in real time and, at a cost of only $1 000, can be used in any doctor’s rooms already outfitted with a conventional microscope. - Israel 21c

 

 

1 Comment

  1. 1 Allan Gale 02 Feb
    FLINT, MI WATER CRISIS: Detroit, Michigan’s Jewish community has
    stepped up to help its neighbors who are a one hour drive north, in
    Flint, folks that are in the midst of a serious water crisis.  The world
    media has reported on the rise in lead levels, especially in children,
    the spike in Legionnaire’s disease, the rashes and the foul smelling and
    looking water in that community since it switched its public supply to
    the Flint River to save on costs.
    Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email
    and never miss our top stories   Free Sign up!Now the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit has opened a special fund to support the people there.
    100% of all funds raised are being donated to
    The Flint Jewish Federation to assist people with any and all needs, as
    well as to The Flint Child Health & Development Fund to ensure that
    children are afforded the resources and interventions to overcome this
    population-wide exposure to lead and other ailments.
    Also, Detroit’s Hillel Day School is accepting
    unopened cases of water for delivery to Flint. And in conjunction with
    The Flint Jewish Federation, suburban West Bloomfield’s Temple Shir
    Shalom and Temple Israel congregations have joined together to bring
    much needed water to the residents of Flint. Unopened cases or gallon
    jugs of water are being collected with the goal of filling a semi-truck.
    The National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section too is
    having a bottled water drive. Donations will delivered to Flint.
    As always, Detroit’s Jewish community is
    committed to the principal of Tikkun Olam, or ‘Repair the World,’ and
    stands ready to assist whenever urgent needs arise in our local or
    global community.
    To educate the broader community, Detroit’s Jewish Community Relations Council has posted on its website (www.detroitjcrc.org),
    some excerpts from a recent article which asks if Israel’s experience
    with water conservation can be of use to Flint and other Michigan
    cities.  The state of Michigan already has official agreements with
    Israel signed by Michigan’s governor and environmental authorities in
    Israel to work together on water technology. This article explains the
    advantages of working with a country which is some 8,000 miles from
    Michigan’s great lakes shorelines.
    Written by Ruth Shuster of Israel’s Haaretz,
    the article covers everything from holistic management to advanced
    toilets, as Israel is a pioneer in dealing with water sources. Shuster
    writes that the world’s problem with water isn’t that it’s disappearing.
    The problem is that in many areas, growing populations have less and
    less water per capita because of crumbling infrastructure leading to
    massive leaking, and short-sighted and self-interested water management,
    leading to egregious waste and other problems, such as those being
    experienced in Flint, Michigan. What Israel has is holistic, centralized
    water management, designed over decades. Israel could also help
    Michigan by training plumbers and engineers. In Israel. pipe leakage is
    only 9% to 10%. She has smart technologies to find leaks and solutions
    that don’t involve tearing up whole streets to replace pipes. And
    Michigan and other U.S. states could do as Israel does and subsidize
    dual-flush toilets, which are the only type available in the Jewish
    State. “Does one flush make a difference? No. But multiply by 8 million
    Israelis (or 10 million Michiganians) peeing six times a day and we’re
    talking about real water savings.

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