Posted by: israelembassysa | September 22, 2010

AngloRaanana Israel Update

2-on-2 beach volleyball

Image by runneralan2004 via Flickr

AngloRaanana Israel Update

Quote for the week: “The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.”— (Whitney Young. A good quote for the Eve of Yom Kippur we thought.)

  • To herald in the New Year we hail the scientists and doctors who have made their contribution to saving lives and making life more livable for those destined to suffer and here is a record of some of those achievements made public in the last two weeks:
  • Gila Kobo didn’t know Simmy Ventura and yet when they met for the first time there were tears of joy and an atmosphere charged with emotion because it was Simmy´s stem cell donation that gave Gila a new lease on life. During the past year, over 40,000 donors joined the Registry, and 124 life-saving transplants were performed. Altogether, since the Registry´s inception, 710 of these procedures have taken place. In the month of August alone, 24 transplants were performed, from donors in the Ezer Mizion Registry. 24 people whose lives were saved, each one, according to Jewish tradition, an entire world for his family. The organization’s bone marrow registry now numbers 580,000 donors, the third largest in the world. 
  • Tel Aviv university scientists have discovered that sugaring the pill certainly helps. But our grannies knew that years ago we hear you protest. True, but this is somewhat more sophisticated. They coated a chemotherapy drug with a sugar compound that caused it to selectively target only tumor cells, preventing the sometimes horrendous side effects that these drugs can have. Improved accuracy and speed of delivery of medication is the name of the present game and this is a significant step forward. So far it‘s worked on mice, hopefully the success will extend to humans in the not too distant future.
  • A team of researchers from the Hebrew University has developed a treatment that completely destroys HIV-infected human cells in laboratory cultures, according to an article published last month in the scientific journal AIDS Research and Therapy. The therapy, developed by scientists from the university´s Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences and the Institute of Chemistry, destroys cells infected with HIV without damaging adjacent healthy cells. Up until now there has been no therapy that completely eradicates HIV-infected cells, and this is it, GN indeed.
  • It was only a few weeks ago that Intec reported positive interim results in a Phase IIb clinical trial of its accordion – we’ll tell you what that is further down – Levodopa pill for Parkinson´s disease. And now, the Company is conducting a study, including tens of patients´ suffering from sleep disorders, who will receive the accordion pill containing the medication Zaleplon. The study will track patients sleep patterns throughout the night and will be conducted in leading sleep laboratories at medical centers in the US and Israel. The firm expects that the accordion pill technology will improve the efficiency of the drug. The accordion pill will remain in the stomach during most of the night, steadily releasing the medication, improving sleep quality and preventing a hangover effect the next day. The market for sleep disorder medications was estimated at $4.1 billion in 2007, not surprising because, as the Ancient mariner from the poem of the same name said and we quote; ‘Sleep is a thing beloved from Pole to Pole’ and no less a person than Macbeth from the play of the same name was heard to whisper, and we quote yet again [sleep is]’ great nature’s bath, balm of hurt minds’ – they did have a way with words, these guys.  And now for the accordion. This pill is a regular sized capsule, but folded up inside (like an accordion) is a material that contains one or more drugs. After the capsule dissolves, the material remains in the stomach for as long as twelve hours, releasing the drugs it contains slowly and gradually. If the clinical trial proves successful, the company will grant an external license to a large pharmaceutical firm to complete the development, production, and marketing of the product. So insomniacs take heart, help is at hand.
  • You may not remember 6 year-old Woodley Elsyee who became quite a celebrity when the aid group that went to Haiti brought him back with them for emergency heart surgery by the Save a Childs Heart team at Wolfson Medical Center. Well Woodley paid back the life-saving kindness and then some. Because of his well won fame the donations poured in, enough to bring 3-year-old Darensky, 2-year-old Jacquelin and 13-year-old Stephanie with their mums all of them from Haiti to receive expert treatment from these dedicated doctors whom, we should remind you give their services without charge.
  • A brief item of macro economics; Bank Hapoalim said its purchasing managers index rose above 50% for the first time in three months in August, to 50.6%, an increase of 2.6% over the previous month. Fifty percent is the line differentiating economic contraction and expansion.  Further proof that- the economy is still expanding.
  • Fabless chip company Mellanox Technologies Ltd. announced that Goethe University in Frankfurt has chosen its InfiniBand connectivity products, to provide storage networking for its Hessian high-performance supercomputer. With a theoretical peak performance of 599 TeraFLOPs – a teraflop, what’s that? We’ll tell you, it’s the speed at which the computer does its calculations and amounts to a trillion operations per second. Fast enough for anybody we hear you say. But no. Their computer, and now we know why it’s a supercomputer, with the help of Mellanox’s technology will be capable of 599 X a trillion operations per second. The University’s head of HPC [High Performance Computing – What else?] architecture said, “The Mellanox 40Gb/s InfiniBand will help our scientists enhance and accelerate their wide range of scientific research.” [Watch this space for the petaFlop. That’s even faster a quadrillion or 10 to the power of 15 operations per second].  
  • They just keep on arriving and that’s really GN. The CBS – the Central Bureau of Statistics for those who don’t yet know – tells us that August, the tenth consecutive record month, saw 280 000 good people visiting to experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and according to the tourists themselves, the friendliness of the people of this magnificent land and they included a group of 1500 pilgrims from 35 countries who came to undergo the spiritually uplifting experience of baptism in the waters of the Jordan. Historical sites going back to the dawn of creation, a tsunami of theater, music, art and dance, gourmet food and one of the ten best beaches in the world that can be enjoyed in our endless summer and lots more including a twitchers’ [which is what  bird watchers call themselves], paradise. And the cherry on the top, hopefully each one of these folk will go back to their home countries as a confirmed [and unpaid] ambassador for the Holy Land.
  • It first saw the light of day as an Olympic sport in 1964 and it’s still very popular in Israel. It’s volley ball and now the Israeli side has made the European Championships for the first time in 39 years by beating Belarus 3 – 1 in front of a large, ecstatic crowd. We might have forgotten to tell you that it was the ladies team that did the necessary and good for them.  

 For more information: www.angloraanana.com   


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