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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Technion’

Israeli Scientists Warn Men ‘Less Talk’ on Cell Phones

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Carmel Medical Center are warning men there is a risk in speaking on cell phones for more than an hour daily.

According to a new study, the sperm count dropped to levels below the fertility rate in men who used their mobile phones for more than an hour a day. The team studied the cell phone usage of men who were referred for semen analysis, and the connection between the two.

Speaking on a cell phone while it is charging, or speaking on the device for more than an hour a day doubled the risk for low sperm count, the study found.

Researchers at the two institutions published the findings Tuesday in the medical journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online. The team was led by Dr. Ariel Zilberlicht of the Carmel Medical Center.

The findings indicated the sperm counts dropped among men who held their cell phones approximately two feet or less from their groins while speaking or charging.

Abnormally low sperm counts were recorded among 47 percent of those who kept their phones in their pants pockets throughout the day, in comparison to only 11 percent of the general male population.

Sperm quality is the determining factor in 40 percent of the cases involving couples struggling with fertility in the Western world, according to the researchers. The quality of sperm among men in Western nations is dropping; these findings increase the concern that galloping technological advances may only be adding to the problem.

Numerous researchers and technicians now recommend consumers turn off their cell phone while charging the device, and use a headset or headphones as much as possible.

Hana Levi Julian

Technology and Tikkun Olam: Israel Paves the Way

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Decades have passed since Israelis invented a modernized drip irrigation to maximize limited water supply and make desert bloom, yet Israeli curiosity, drive and ingenuity toward excellence continues to thrive. Israelis are determined to lead in solving some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges. Working on the precepts of tikkun olam, Israel persists at the forefront of innovation, seeking to make life better for all. Just one avenue where Israel excels is health and medicine.

Nearly 1 billion people in developed countries consider emergency response expensive and delayed, while upwards of 6 billion people in the developing world simply lack access to any sort of emergence response. In cases of accidents, terror attacks or other medical emergencies, people are likely to die or suffer serious injuries because of a lack of proper response. With its unfortunate and long history of facing terror attacks, Israel has honed in on effective emergency response techniques to save lives quicker.

In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, like in most major cities, ambulances typically get stuck in traffic and cannot arrive fast enough. Following the Second Intifada, a group of young ambulance medics watched too many people die because aid was unavailable. So they envisioned a solution, where medics could be notified according to their proximity to a reported incident. Equipped with medical supplies, they could rush over and stabilize victims within the minutes before the ambulance arrives. This model, now called United Hatzalah, dropped response times to under three minutes.

“We took chutzpah and ran with it,” said Eli Beer, founder of United Hatzalah of Israel. Since officially formalized in 2006, United Hatzalah has recruited over 2,500 trained volunteer medics to join the movement of community-based lifesaving. To fuel the program, the organization worked with Israeli startup NowForce to develop the LifeCompass app, an integrated GPS-powered system that records incidents, alerts nearby medics and guides them to arrive to the scene quickly.

In addition to the app, United Hatzalah has crafted and deployed customized ambulance motorcycles to weave through traffic. This “ambucycle” is stocked with medical equipment and works in tandem with LifeCompass. By way of practical ingenuity, United Hatzalah’s community-based emergency response model has exceled in cutting response time and attending to more people who need critical care. United Hatzalah dispatchers received 245,000 calls last year, nearly a quarter of which are considered life-threatening situations.

Hooked on their effective program, United Hatzalah representatives have traveled the globe sharing their knowledge and experience. “We have taken what we have learned in Israel and begun sharing it with others, because we know that we can help solve this world-wide challenge,” said Beer.

In July, Beer and Dov Maisel, vice president of international projects, traveled to Dubai to present the model to delegates from several developing countries. This model has been deployed in places like India, Lithuania, Argentina and Panama, and recently made its debut in the United States, with Jersey City into the United Rescue initiative.

While sharing tools and techniques with the world has huge merit, teaching and inspiring others to better the world is even more valuable, as Jewish proverbs explain. Israeli institutions are famed as major research centers and engaged in Israel’s role as the “Start-Up Nation.” At the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, innumerable cutting-edge research and innovation have been born in the halls of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine.

“Ask any researcher or academic in medicine anywhere in the world and they will tell you that Israelis are world-class, first-class innovators,” said Dr. Debra Kiez, an emergency medicine clinician based in Toronto. Kiez also lectures at the Technion’s American Medical School program (TEAMS) on how to bridge Israeli and American medical systems. “Israel is doing a large amount in medicine and science with very little; as a small yet impressive country, Israelis have a huge ability to discover, learn, innovate, research and teach,” said Kiez, who has worked in Canada, the U.S. and Israel.

“Hospitals and medical schools in Israel are rich learning environments … because people in Israel have learned how to maximize what they can do with very little,” she said.

TEAMS educates America’s future doctors, giving them hands on experience in a rigorous clinical setting while studying under top Israeli physicians and researchers. Graduates land residencies at top programs across North America and go on to successful and impactful careers as physicians, educators and researchers.

Like most American alumni from the Technion medical school, Dr. Samantha Jagger, now a cardiologist at AdvantageCare Physicians in Brooklyn, studied under Nobel Prize winners and stays connected to Israel by following all the published medical research.

“When I was a student at the Technion, I saw the first PillCam being tested during my rotations,” said Jagger. “Now it’s a routine practice everywhere!” Jagger added that there is a special ablation procedure used to solve rhythmic problems in the heart developed in Israel that she and her colleagues use frequently.

Dr. Jason Brookman, a 2004 graduate of TEAMS currently working as a fellowship program director and assistant professor in anesthesia at Johns Hopkins University, said his experience in medical school was “a stepping stone for the rest of his career.”

“Medical school is the foundation, like a background in a good painting, we paint as broadly as possible. With each additional training or residency, our medical careers get refined with smaller brush strokes. The nitty gritty details of medical practice rely on a solid foundation in medical school,” he explained.

Most of the benefits of studying in Israel is getting to learn from world-class experts while in a very diverse setting. As a small country with an extremely diverse population, Israeli doctors serve a wide range of people, with each population bringing unique diseases and cultural tends into the fold, said Kiez.

“My time at Technion and in Israel gave me a really deep cultural experience,” said Jagger. “I got a good understanding of how to deal with patients cross culturally, especially when you can’t necessarily communicate in their language.” Now working with Asian and Spanish speaking patients, she has implemented the skills and tools she garnered from working in Israeli hospitals teaching Russian, Arab and Ethiopian patients.

By combing top-class education and rich life experiences, Israeli medical school students are bridging the world, serving also as a light bringing positive healing into the world.

Daniela Berkowitz

Harvard, Stanford, MIT top 2015 Shanghai Ranking, Hebrew U 67th, Technion 18th in CS

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Harvard University is still number one in the world, for the 13th year, in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released on Saturday by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Harvard is followed by Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Cambridge, Princeton, Caltech, Columbia, Chicago and Oxford. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ranks 67th, after having dropped in 2014 from 59th to 70th place.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is ranked 18th in the world in computer science in 2015.

Starting in 2003, ARWU has been presenting the world Top 500 universities annually, based on a set of objective indicators and third-party data. It is considered a trustworthy source, using six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel prizes and Fields medals; the number of highly cited researchers; the number of articles published in journals of nature and science; the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance.

More than 1200 universities are ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 scores are published.

The Technion is in 77th place on the list of world academic institutions. Tel Aviv University ranks between 151-200, alongside Weizmann Institute of Science. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ranks between 401-500.

Haifa University did not make the top 500 institutions.

Yeshiva University was ranked between 201-300. Yeshiva’s ranking has been on a steady decline in the Shanghai ranking, down from the 100-200 band in 2003-4. The only area where Yeshiva has retained its 151-200 ranking in 2015 is clinical medicine and pharmacy.

The top world academic institution in natural sciences and mathematics in 2015 is the University of California, Berkeley, followed by Harvard, Princeton and Stanford Universities. The Technion ranks in the 51-75 band, together with Hebrew University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Tel Aviv University ranks in the 101-150 band.

The top world academic institution in computer science in 2015 is Stanford University, followed by MIT, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Texas at Austin, Cornell, UCLA, and USC.

The 18th ranked Technion is followed by Tel Aviv University which ranks 20th in computer science, and the Hebrew U and Weizmann which are in the 76-100 band in the same category. Ben-Gurion is in the 101-150 band. Bar-Ilan University is in the 151-200 band in computer science.

JNi.Media

Bloomberg Donates $100 Million to Cornell Campus of Technion University

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated the foundation carrying his name is donating $100 million towards a $2 billion the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, which is being developed with Israel’s Technion University.

The new campus is scheduled to open in 2017 and move from the small and temporary location since the Cornell-Technion project began two years ago. The new campus, to be called Bloomberg Center will cover 12 acres and accommodate approximately 2,000 students.

Cornell teamed up with Technion despite protests that the Ivy League university was tacitly supporting the “occupation.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Qualcomm Co-Founder Donates $50 Million to Technion

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Qualcomm cofounder Prof. Andrew Viterbi said he is donating $50 million to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion.

Viterbi, a native of Italy who grew up in the United States, has donated to Technion in the past, but the new grant makes him the university’s largest private donor.

This is not Viterbi’s first donation to the Technion, but it is his largest.

He co-founded the Qualcomm chip company and invented the Viterbi Algorithm for decoding signals.

Prof. Viterbi’s visisted and lectured at Technion in 1967, when he was on Sabbatical from UCLA, and he was granted an honorary Doctorate in 2000, when also was named a Technion Distinguished Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie said:

This is the greatest honor for a professor at the Technion, and has been granted up until now to only six people, three of whom were Nobel Prize winners. The degree enables Viterbi to come to the Technion whenever he wants, and there was a period when he visited here every year.

Viterbi said after announcing the latest donation, “Technion electrical engineering graduates are in large part responsible for creating and sustaining Israel’s high-tech industry, which has been essential for Israel’s economic success.”
Technion graduates have been responsible for founding and managing 1,602 high-tech companies, he added.
The grant will enable Technion to enlarge the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Technion Scientists Reach Breakthrough in Cancer Study

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Israeli scientists are closer than ever to finding a way to beat back cancer at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The findings of the new study were published last week in the journal CELL.

The researchers discovered two cancer-suppressing proteins, according to information released via PR Newswire. They carried out the study in the world-famous laboratory of Nobel Prize laureate Professor Aaron Ciechanover, president of the Israel Cancer Society.

The team was led by research associate Dr. Yelena Dravtsova-Ivantsiv and worked together with physicians from Rambam, Carmel and Hadassah Medical Centers, all of whom are studying tumors and their treatments.

KPC1 – a vital pathway in the life of the cell – is responsible for the degradation of defective proteins that could damage the cell if not removed. The system tags these defective proteins and send them to the proteasome cellular complex to be destroyed.

The system also removes functional and healthy proteins that are no longer needed, thus regulating the processes the proteins control.

By the time a protein reaches the proteasome system it is already broken down but there are exceptions.

This study examined “p105” – a long precursor of a key regulator in a cell called “NF-kB” which has been identified as a link between inflammation and cancer.

The first person to suggest such a link was Dr. Rudolph Virchow, a German pathologist, in 1863. His research has been repeatedly confirmed over the years, and since the discovery of NF-kB 30 years ago, there have been many articles linking the cell to malignant transformation in tumors in various parts of the body.

The current research is focused on deciphering the decision-making mechanism that determines which process will be applied to the NF-kB cell. There are two, both connected to the “ubiquitin system” which produces a protein that greatly restricts the development of cancerous tumors.

1. Either a “ubiquitin” system component called KPC1 becomes involved and attaches ubiquitin to p105, thus shortening the protein to become “p50” ; or 2. Ubiquitination is mediated without KPC1 and instead by another component in the system, and p105 is degraded and destroyed completely.

In other words, the presence of high levels of KPC1 and p50 would mean the malignant growth is suppressed and healthy tissue appears to be protected, according to the present findings in the study.

The current research was conducted on lab mice as well as samples of human tumors. A strong connection was found between the suppression of malignancy and the level of the two proteins.

Professor Aaron Ciechanover, president of the Israel Cancer Society, noted that many more years will be required “to establish the research and gain a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind the suppression of the tumors. The development of a drug based on this discovery is a possibility, although not a certainty, and the road to such a drug is long and far from simple.”

Ciechanover won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004, together with Professors Avram Hershko (also from Technion) and Irwin Rose of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, for the discovery of the ubiquitin system. The current line of research is a continuation of that work.

Hana Levi Julian

Technion’s Rube Goldberg Machine Passover Seder

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Video of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/multimedia/video-picks/technions-rube-goldberg-machine-passover-seder/2015/03/24/

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