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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Mar 09, 2016

Common blood test may diagnose Alzheimer’s

HAIFA - The progressive dementia of Alzheimer’s disease affects some 35 million people worldwide and is expected to affect some 115 million by 2050, yet currently it is not possible to detect the disease before it has caused loss of memory and function. Even then, the tests available are invasive and/or expensive.

The quest to develop a simple blood test for Alzheimer’s is therefore top priority.

As Israel21c reported in December last year, the Israeli company NeuroQuest is working with the University of California-San Diego on clinical validation trials of its blood test for very early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, based on award-winning research led by Prof Michal Schwartz of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

Now, researchers from three Israeli institutions - Tel Aviv University, Technion and Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa - and from Harvard University, have published a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that proposes testing a novel biomarker in the blood for cognitive ageing and Alzheimer’s disease.

The marker, called activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), is essential for brain formation and cognitive function.

“This study has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests, and it is known that early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients,” said Prof Ilana Gozes, lead researcher.

“We are now planning to take these preliminary findings forward into clinical trials - to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments.” - Israel 21c


Little chance of Israel at war this year

JERUSALEM - The probability of war this year was low, according to the National Intelligence Estimate for 2016, drafted by the research department of Military Intelligence with input from the research departments of Mossad (the external espionage agency) and the Israel Security Agency (the domestic service - Shin Bet).

This applied on all fronts from Gaza in the south to Lebanon and Syria in the north.

Neither Hezbollah nor Hamas had plans or any interest to initiate a war against Israel. Hezbollah was bleeding in the killing fields of Syria. The Lebanese Shi’ite organisation also had 15 000 reservists called to duty for training or field missions for up to 40 days a year.

So far, Hezbollah had lost nearly 1 500 soldiers, killed in action - many of whom belonged to its elite units - and more than 6 000 have been wounded. Hezbollah’s losses were a heavy blow to its military capabilities and had dented its morale to go to war with Israel.

Hezbollah was also suffering from a serious economic crisis. In the south, Hamas had not recovered yet from the war in the summer of 2014, which inflicted heavy casualties on its military forces and capabilities and, even more importantly, caused severe damage to the civilian population. In other words, deterrence is working. - Jerusalem Post


StandWithUs launching in Australia


SYDNEY - Plans are underway to launch an Australian branch of the international Israel education and advocacy organisation StandWithUs, with the local chapter aiming to educate Jews and non-Jews with facts about the Holy Land.

Based in Los Angeles, StandWithUs has 18 offices and chapters across the US, Canada, Israel and the UK.

The principal goal is to empower youth to feel confident about their knowledge and ability to stand up for Israel.

StandWithUs Australia will organise speaking tours within Australia, workshops to train advocates and a seminar for Australian gap year students in Israel. Thousands of StandWithUs brochures will be distributed on university campuses and throughout communities, as well as hundreds of hours of activism - training for student and community advocates.

Ilana Kempler, one of StandWithUs Australia’s three directors, told AJN it was important that today’s university students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were educated with facts about Israel including its history. - Australian Jewish News


Centenary of Harold Wilson's birth: 'His support was never in doubt'


LONDON - Harold Wilson would be "ashamed" of Labour's present anti-Israel attitude and the presence of anti-Semitism within the party's ranks, his former colleagues have claimed.

Speaking ahead of a series of commemoration events planned to mark what would have been his 100th birthday this month, Labour peers said Wilson would have rejected many of his party's current policies and the endorsement by some of a boycott.

Lord Bernard Donoughue, who was a senior adviser to the late prime minister, said: "He would have been shocked and appalled by what's happening on the hard left of the Labour Party because he was a strong supporter of the Jewish community and a great supporter of Israel.

"For the Labour Party, or left-wing elements of it, to now be flirting with anti-Semitism is an appalling development."

Donoughue said Wilson would have rejected boycott policies and, as a former Oxford University student, "he would have been appalled by the anti-Semitism allegations in the Labour Club and would have called upon the university authorities to take a firm stand".

Donoughue recalled a conversation between himself, Wilson and his press secretary Joe Haines in Downing Street in 1974.

"It was shortly after the Yom Kippur War. Joe and I told Harold that we would happily volunteer to fight for Israel if she were under threat of extinction. Neither of us are Jewish but that was the strength of our feeling.

"He was very sympathetic to that point of view. He was a great supporter of Israel." – Jewish Chronicle



Political correctness ‘stops people denouncing misogyny’


THORNHILL, Ontario - A leading Canadian intelligence expert warned that political correctness may be stopping people from denouncing the misogyny of various Islamic groups in Canada and many parts of Europe and Great Britain.

Thomas Quiggin, who is regarded as one of Canada’s foremost experts on counterterrorism, security and intelligence, spoke to some 475 people at Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, on February 29. He discussed the attacks on women in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve, the misogynistic philosophy of Islam and the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Canada.

Quiggin expressed concern that Syrian refugees settling in Canada may not have been properly screened because there is a lack of personnel on the ground with sufficient security expertise.

The focus of much of Quiggin’s presentation, however, was the institutional misogyny of Islam. He said the attacks by Muslim asylum-seekers on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve was a watershed event, because the media exposure set these attacks apart from similar violent episodes against women in other parts of Europe that had previously been ignored.

In Cologne, 1 075 criminal complaints were launched against 73 individual suspects, many of whom did not have proper identity papers, he said, noting that initially, the government and the media were reluctant to report the story.

He cited political correctness as the reason for the disparity between the women’s complaints and initial media versions that obscured the Islamic identity of the perpetrators. – Canadian Jewish News


Old Los Angeles Nazi ‘headquarters’ being demolished


LOS ANGELES - Tucked away behind an enclave of glass-walled mansions facing the Pacific Ocean, is a relic of an ugly and half-remembered past. Built into a seam of the Santa Monica Mountains, not far from Sunset Boulevard, is a derelict compound once devised as the nucleus of a Nazi command centre on the West Coast.

What little remains of the unfinished site - known as Murphy Ranch - has been warped by seven decades of decay and uncountable layers of psychedelic graffiti. Now, parts of the complex deemed unsafe by the city are being razed to prevent hikers from injuring themselves. 

“It was, in fact, going to be the equivalent of the Western White House for Hitler,” said Steven Ross, a University of Southern California historian who has researched the site. “What people don’t realise is that Los Angeles was a major centre of Nazi and fascist activity in the 1930s.”

Murphy Ranch has long tantalised historians and hikers: allegedly a site in Rustic Canyon where Nazi sympathisers could ride out the Second World War and welcome a conquering Third Reich with a regal West Coast headquarters. Plans called not only for a vast mansion, but libraries, equestrian facilities and extensive cultivation of agriculture. – Los Angeles Jewish Journal


A Trump contribution to Israel

MIAMI - Former Pretorians now living in Miami, Florida, brothers Jules and Eddie Trump - no relation to Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, but certainly in his financial league - donated $150-million in 2011, spread over 10 years, to improve the standard of maths education in Israel.

"We identified the serious shortage of math teachers as a main obstacle to the improvement of math studies in Israel, and we invested in that," says Eli Horowitz, CEO of the Trump Foundation.

Because of the use of their name, they had one major legal run-in with Donald Trump, who sued to stop the brothers from using the name Trump. For more than 10 years, Donald Trump had used his name to promote office towers, hotels and casinos. He contended that the Trump brothers benefited from the publicity he generated.

First, Donald Trump sued in New York State court and lost. Then, he petitioned the US Patent and Trademark Office to revoke the federal registration of the group’s name - and won. The brothers Trump had to relinquish the trademark but can still use the name “The Trump Group”. – Ynet



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