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Life in Israel

Fantastic Voyage to Fight Colon Cancer

{image_1}Only a few years ago it would have belonged to the realm of science fiction: A tiny capsule that travels through the intestines, snapping 360-degree X-ray images and continuously transmitting information to a wrist-worn [or belt] data receiver reporting on the prevalence of polyps, the precursors of colorectal cancer. Thanks to the ingenuity of Israel’s Check-Cap, all you’ll have to do is swallow a tiny capsule containing a miniaturized X-ray source and several imaging sensors. No colonoscopy, no hospital visit.

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Life in Israel’s Biblical Heartland

{image_1}Small huts and houses on windswept hilltops. Men wearing kippas [Jewish head covering] and sporting beards. Women with their heads covered surrounded by children. These are what we found in the Itamar, an Israeli community in the heartland of the disputed West Bank [Judea and Samaria]

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Revolutionizing Diabetic Care

{image_1}In people with diabetes, the pancreas doesn't produce or release insulin as it should, so the body can't metabolize sugars properly. That means blood sugar levels have to be monitored continuously, even at night when diabetics' blood sugar can get dangerously out of control. But nighttime monitoring and dosing is a sleep-stealing activity, particularly for parents of diabetic children.

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Hydroelectricity without a Raging River

{image_1}What could be simpler than generating electricity for municipal water monitoring systems from the flow of the water itself? That's the breakthrough idea of Israel's HydroSpin. Hydroelectricity is among the cleanest of today's clean energies, a wonderful way to produce power in places blessed with raging rivers. Israel isn't [such a place]. But HydroSpin, based at Kibbutz Lavi in northern Israel, has come up with a new way to power a “smart water network” (SWAN) by marshalling the flow of water in pipes.

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Ground-breaking Cancer Vaccine

{image_1}Vaxil BioTherapeutics, a biotechnical company near Tel Aviv, has produced a ground-breaking therapeutic vaccine for cancer patients which could prevent about 90% of cancers from coming back. Vaxil was founded in 2006 by Dr. Lior Carmon, and the vaccine is now in clinical trials at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

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The Harvests of a Fruitful Land

{image_1}The Bible describes the land of Israel in humble terms as a land of only seven species (Deut. 8:8): two grains and five fruits. However, despite being a land that is half desert, modern Israel produces 95% of its own food needs, has become a major exporter of fresh produce (especially citrus), and is a world leader in agricultural technologies. Though Israel produces over 40 types of fruit and groves abound, especially in the North, one can’t describe what the Land looks like without mentioning its vineyards and grey-green olive groves.

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Capturing Carbon with Algae

{image_1}With the help of algae, Israel is turning carbon dioxide emitted by power plants into fuel and nutraceuticals [a word blend of “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical,” a food product that benefits health]. Seambiotic is an Israeli clean-tech company enlisting algae in the business of carbon capture. The company has five business deals in the works in the United States, Italy, and in China. It is also working with NASA in the United States to develop a commercially feasible biofuel variety from algae that has a higher freezing point than other plant-based biofuels from corn or sugarcane.

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Filter Device Prevents Stroke

{image_1}A revolutionary, minimally invasive heart repair procedure, now being investigated in America and already being performed by European doctors, could save the lives of older people who might not be able to withstand open-heart surgery to repair their heart valves. However, up to 15% of all patients undergoing this procedure—called TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation)—suffer a stroke on the operating table.

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Running Cancer Interference

{image_1}To fight cancer, it sometimes helps to think outside the box, utilizing methods and strategies from other disciplines, like football. One football-coaching tactic to prevent the rival team from getting to the goal line is to send out players to run interference, keeping opposing players out of the way so that teammates can deliver the ball into the end zone.

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The Shuk—A Feast for the Senses

{image_1}No other place on Earth has quite the color and flair that Jerusalem does, and arguably, no other place in Jerusalem has quite the color and flair of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s largest open-air market, locally referred to as the shuk. A gem in the golden setting of central Jerusalem, the shuk dazzles with its feast of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. The famous outdoor market bristles with activity daily—except for Shabbat, the Sabbath—as vendors display their wares to shoppers from dawn to dusk, and spice-laden fragrances permeate the alleyways.

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