Comprehensive coverage

The laboratory - Mazki what's new in science - 2009-2010

Clips of what's new in science during 2009 until the end of July 2010. The laboratory program is broadcast on Channel 1 on Fridays at 16:30 and rebroadcast on Saturdays at 12:30

The laboratory program, channel 1
The laboratory program, channel 1

No smoking day

On May 31, the International No Smoking Day takes place. In Israel, almost a quarter of the population smokes, 23 percent, which is divided: 31 percent of men smoke and only 15 percent of women smoke. The grim statistics also say that one out of two smokers will die from the effects of smoking. This year, in 2010, it was decided for the first time to include in the drug basket two prescription drugs for smoking cessation, Champix and Zaivan. 74 percent of those who use these drugs, in combination with a workshop, do succeed in quitting cigarettes.

The jock and attention disorders

Just before you spray the next cockroach in the house, you should hear about a new American study, which states that children who are exposed to high levels of common pesticides are more likely to have ADHD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For four years, the researchers followed 1,139 children and teenagers and conducted urine tests on them to discover traces of organophosphorus substances, which make up pesticides. The findings showed that the higher the level of exposure to organophosphates, the higher the rate of ADHD among those children. A possible explanation is that the pesticides inhibit the action of an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. It is known that people with attention and concentration problems have a disorder in the process involving this enzyme, and thanks to Efrat Strogo for the information.

A bomb of protein

What do the arrow and the protein have in common? It turns out that sometimes the principles of war are also relevant when it comes to fighting bacteria. The science website reports that American researchers have succeeded in turning certain molecules into "protein destroyers". Where is the resemblance to a ballistic missile - in the new method the "arrowhead" molecule is used, a molecule that is capable of disabling the action of proteins close to it. The researchers increased this ability by projecting light onto the molecule, and disturbing its structure. The result - an arrowhead that is many times more active, that is really looking for proteins to devour them. This discovery will accelerate the development of innovative drugs.

Sky highs

After seven years of development, this week in California, the Boeing company conducted the first test of an unmanned pilot vehicle on a sound. The X-51A WAVERIDER, launched from a US Air Force B-52 bomber, broke records. He flew independently for about two hundred seconds and reached a speed of Mach five, five times the speed of sound, and also climbed to an altitude of 70 feet. However, during the data transmission to the ground station, something happened that caused the plane to lose speed. In the near future, test flights are planned for three similar models of supersonic aircraft.

the road to mars

In Moscow, preparations are being completed for the big experiment, which will simulate a flight to Mars and will begin on June 250rd. Two Europeans, three Russians and one Chinese will enter a cabin that is supposed to exactly simulate a flight to the Red Planet, meaning a 240-day journey, which was thirty days on the planet and a 20-day return to Earth, a total of five hundred and twenty days. The cosmonauts will not be able to watch TV or surf the Internet, will eat meals that will be prepared in advance and will use toilets similar to those in space. Even the communication outside the cell will have a DELAY of XNUMX minutes, to simulate the real conditions. The goal: to test their physical reaction to the difficult conditions, and also their mental reaction, how six people would function in a small and closed place. This is the third experiment in the series. In the previous times, cosmonauts simulated journeys of fourteen hundred and five days.

A quiet landing

In the airports of Spain, they started using the quiet landing, a regulation that will be fully implemented by the end of 2010. What is a quiet landing? Very simple - before landing, the plane shuts down its engines and flies towards the runway, relying only on the lifting force, and not on the engines. The goal is threefold: to reduce noise, save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Every quiet landing means one less ton of carbon dioxide in the air, and when a plane lands every 5 minutes at the airport in Madrid, that's a lot.

It's good to be a liar

Are the kids lying? A better future awaits them. Scientists from Canada discovered that the ability of young children to lie convincingly indicates brain development, and its introduction implies that the children will be quick-thinking in adulthood. The researchers, from the University of Toronto, examined one thousand two hundred children and teenagers from the age of two to sixteen, and determined that the children with the highest cognitive abilities were the ones who managed to invent the most convincing lies. According to them, only twenty percent of children are able to lie at the age of two, compared to ninety percent of four-year-olds. Kol Israel correspondent, Itai Nebo, points out that the researchers found no connection between the ability to lie at a young age and the tendency to become frauds or swindlers at an older age.

It's not good to be ugly

Justice may be blind, but the jury turns out not to American study raises concerns that juries tend to convict uglier defendants, as well as to sentence them to harsher sentences. At Cornell University, students were presented with real legal cases, and asked to try to convict the accused. When the evidence was clear, the jury convicted ugly and gangly defendants at a similar rate. However, in complex cases, where the ruling is more difficult, the juries sentenced ugly defendants to prison sentences twenty-two months longer on average than the punishments of handsome defendants. Itai Nebo returns and reports that the investigators explain that the jurors tend to weigh data such as the defendant's skin color, gender and social status in their verdict. Unconsciously, a person with an ugly appearance equates to the character who may have a tendency to crime.

Electrifying sewage

From the air it looks like a normal sewage treatment facility, but in fact this facility in Australia is electrifying sewage. It uses the energy contained in the flow of water to generate electricity. The electricity is used both to drive the pumps of the facility itself and is fed into the regional system, in an amount sufficient for about a thousand homes. The facility is environmentally friendly because, apart from the clean electricity, a new technology is used to also absorb the methane gas from the wastewater and turn it into electrical energy.

The future battlefield

What will the wars of the future look like? Remote control, robots? In Germany this week they presented a series of developments that will make the life of the soldiers in the field easier and above all safer. For example, the Gekko, an unmanned robotic vehicle that can patrol battle zones and provide information on enemy movements. The robots can also perform routine logistical tasks that involve life risk, such as transporting food and supplies. The German Military Academy presented vehicles with vision sensors, laser scanners, multifocal cameras and powerful computers. This vehicle is following a lead vehicle driven by a human. This is a partial solution against side charges. Despite the technological advances, scientists are still waiting for the breakthrough that will eliminate the dependence on human supervision.

A white dwarf from Helium

Astrophysicists from the University of California have identified a new star system, the science website reports. It is a double star system with two white dwarfs - a type of star formed at the end of the life of a normal star. The excitement is great because one of the white dwarfs is of a particularly rare type - it is composed of helium, and not oxygen and carbon like most stars of this type. And there is also an Israeli point - the co-discovery of Dr. Avi Shaforer.

Snow in May

Global warming in recent years has caused a reduction in the amount of snow at ski resorts around the world. In Austria, they solved the matter at the end of last year when they installed a snowmaking facility at the Pitztal ski resort. That is why one can understand the astonishment of the Austrians when this week, in the middle of May, thick snow began to fall in the western part of the country. A thick layer of white covered the roads and the balconies of the houses, and the weather became foggy, as if it were the end of December.

There is a cloud without fire

The farmers in the Amazonian jungles burn huge areas of forest every year in favor of agricultural land. The smoke from the fires remains in the atmosphere for a long time and affects the development of clouds, and hence the amount of precipitation in the area. A joint study by Israeli scientists using NASA satellites and a global lightning monitoring system found that in low concentrations of smoke, there is a large amount of clouds, and they produce ice and water in large quantities that encourage lightning activity. But - beyond a certain concentration of smoke in the air, the trend reverses. So the smoke "suffocates" the clouds and they fail to grow to a high enough height - they do not produce lightning and above all - they do not rain precipitation in sufficient quantity.

The heart and sexual function

Men who have problems with sexual function and low levels of testosterone are at high risk of heart disease, according to a new study from the University of Florence. The study also shows that men who already suffer from heart problems, and in addition - from low levels of the male sex hormone, are at a seven times higher risk of dying from a cardiac event - more than "normal" heart patients. However, the researchers admit that at this stage they cannot say whether the low levels of testosterone are the cause or the result of the higher risk.

On elephants and bees

For the first time, researchers were able to prove that elephants make warning sounds when threatened by bees, reports the "Hidan" website. Elephants fear bees. Despite the thick skin, the bees sting them around the eyes and in the trunk area. A swarm of bees can even kill a young elephant. The researchers from the University of Oxford played the sounds of angry bees to herds of elephants. In response, the elephants not only ran away from the area but also shook their heads and made special warning sounds. The researchers recorded these sounds, and later, played them to other elephants, without the sounds of the angry bees. The elephants who heard the warning calls ran away fast and far.

The ancient world is revealed

Researchers from all over the world are flocking these days to Papuk in Croatia, where rare fossils of monstrous giant creatures that swam in the Pannonian Sea that stretched in the area more than twelve million years ago have been uncovered. Even though it is located in the center of Europe, the Papuk region has not yet been explored in depth, and there are also the remains of the largest volcano in Croatia, which was active 400 million years ago. The combination of the ancient sea and the volcanic ash created many fossils that can tell the story of animal species that became extinct many years ago.

(will be) the largest telescope in the world

The largest telescope on Earth will be built in the heights of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile at a cost of more than a billion dollars. The diameter of the telescope will be 42 meters, and it will be located at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, in an area where the humidity is low and the sky is free of artificial lighting - two important components for the quality of the observation. The construction is supposed to start in 2011 and end in XNUMX - then it will be possible to search for distant worlds and black holes with the telescope.

Noah's Ark

And has the biblical Noah's ark finally been found? A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical researchers claim ninety-nine percent that they did find the ark in Turkey. The exact location: not far from the highest point of Mount Ararat, and they claim that the remains found have cells, similar to pens suitable for keeping animals, pairs of pairs. A carbon test showed that the age of the findings is approximately four thousand eight hundred years.

Fitness is waiting

Studies have shown that breaks in studies in favor of physical activity improve students' ability to concentrate. At a high school in Chicago, they lifted the glove, and the result: a school that is every child's dream: exercise classes six times a day - at the beginning of each class, and there are exercise bikes in the classrooms. The American Ministry of Health found that in order to improve the ability to concentrate, children need 60 minutes of exercise a day, and it is desirable that during the lessons fitness breaks of about twenty minutes each time be included. This program has been operating in a high school in Chicago for five years and tests show that the students' reading ability has greatly improved, and in math the grades have increased by twenty percent.

Fever in children

Fevers are very common in children, and even the doctors sometimes find it difficult to know what the cause is, whether it is an inflammation of the retina or just a virus. Australian researchers have developed a computer program that helps diagnose whether the fever really indicates a serious bacterial infection. For five years, they followed more than fifteen thousand children who arrived in emergency rooms with a fever of more than thirty-eight degrees. In seven percent of the children, the fever was caused by a bacterial infection, but only seventy percent of this group were immediately given antibiotics as required. On the other hand, twenty percent of the children who came to the emergency room with just a fever did receive antibiotics, unnecessary of course. These are exactly the problems that the new software is supposed to solve.

Sugai and Vijay are 40 years old

In the Mutumalai reserve in southern India, preparations are starting for the 40th birthday of Sujay and Vijay - a pair of twin elephants. A litter of twins in elephants is very rare, and when it occurs - only rarely do both elephants survive - because usually the mother has difficulty providing the amount of milk needed for two cubs weighing several hundred kilograms. Sujay and Vijay are the only known twins living together. They are not the same, but they have many features in common - such as the taste of food - except for the fact that Vijay does not like coconuts. The best example of the special bond between them - they are both dominant males, and during the heat season, Vijay does not allow any male elephant to approach him, except for his twin Sujay.

secret in space

The United States launched a miniature shuttle into space on top of the Atlas Five rocket. Both the cost of the shuttle and its mission are classified: the X-37B shuttle is designed to assist military missions in space. It is unmanned and in the coming months, modern military technologies will be tested. One of the estimates is that the shuttle will be able to get within touching distance of military satellites for surveillance or sabotage purposes.

Einstein was right
In recent years, theories have been heard that disagreed about Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, but a new and comprehensive study proved once again - Einstein was right. The "Hidan" website reports that physicists from the universities of Berkeley, Princeton, and Zurich examined more than 70,000 galaxies and proved that the universe, at least up to a distance of three and a half billion light years from Earth, behaves according to the rules that Einstein established 95 years ago, that is, the principle that gravity distorts space and time and its existence of dark matter are still the best explanation for what is happening in the universe.

blink all the way
This car is not driven by a ghost - it is a new German development presented last Friday - driving using eye movements. A camera mounted on a helmet tracks the driver's eye movements and translates them into driving instructions for the car. Another camera examines the road and brakes the vehicle in case of unexpected obstacles. Currently, the new system allows driving at a speed of up to fifty kilometers per hour, and in the next stage of development, they will increase the speed to sixty kilometers per hour.

The end of animal experiments?

Is the end of animal experiments finally approaching? At Tel Aviv University, they developed a computerized model of the load on cells in experiments that test the endurance of tissues. Microsarcop laser scanner in XNUMXD live cell. Using a computer algorithm developed by Professor Amit Gefen, it is possible to cause deformations in the cell, on the computer of course, and see how it will react and behave. This model saves animal experiments and improves the ability to study phenomena such as pressure sores and ulcers.

Diet dissolves the sclerosis

One of the main dangers in atherosclerosis is the blockage of a central blood vessel that carries blood to the brain, which can cause a stroke. A new study by Be'er Sheva University in collaboration with the Kirya Nuclear Institute reveals that it is possible to "melt" (dissolve) the sclerosis in the blood vessels leading to the brain with the help of diet, without drugs. The study followed 140 people for two years, and with the help of advanced XNUMXD technology, it was discovered that the volume of the carotid artery retreated in them by an average of five percent, with the help of the diet alone. Success in reversing sclerosis is the same with a low-fat, Mediterranean or low-carbohydrate diet.

We fight the "killer in the silence of sight.""

Today begins "International Glaucoma Week, in which they try to increase awareness of the disease, which is also defined as: "the silent killer of sight". Glaucoma damages the optic nerve gradually, slowly and continuously. The patient's field of vision becomes smaller and smaller as the disease progresses, sometimes to the point of complete blindness. Since the rate of change is so slow, it is difficult to notice it, and when you find out - it is already too late, because the damage is irreparable. About two percent of Israelis over the age of 40 have the disease, and half of them are completely unaware of the fact that they have glaucoma. On Tuesday, stations will be set up in thirteen centers across the country where free tests will be introduced to detect the disease.

The earthquake shortened the day

More tired in the last week? No wonder, there is less time to sleep now because the day has shortened. The earthquake in Chile was one of the strongest in history - with a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale. In such an earthquake, rock slabs hundreds of kilometers long shake and move a few meters from side to side. This massive movement caused the Earth's axis to shift from its place, to be precise the axis moved by eight centimeters, therefore the rotation time of the star, the day, was also shortened by 1.26 microseconds, which is about a millionth of a second less than sleep.

Counting fish

These days, about 2,000 scientists from eighty different countries are working on an almost impossible task - a census of marine animals. The "Hidan" website reports that so far almost a quarter of a million species of marine animals have been identified, and every year 1,400 more are discovered. Don't worry - the researchers don't stand in the middle of the ocean and try to count fish - they use computer models and state-of-the-art technologies, such as a powerful sonar that can detect a shoal at a depth of three and a half kilometers or satellite tagging that shows tuna crossing the Atlantic Ocean three times in less than a year. The results will be published on the fourth of October in London and will be used to formulate a conservation policy and limit fishing in the sensitive areas of the oceans.

The longest ambulance in the world

And here is news from Dubai that is not related to the elimination of Buhoh. After building the tallest tower in the world, Dubai now boasts the longest ambulance in the world, twenty meters long. In it, forty-five wounded people can be treated, and no less than a hundred people can be evacuated in an emergency situation. Our reporter Yuval King points out that the ambulance, built in cooperation with Germany, is equipped with the most advanced medical equipment in the world, including an intensive care room and even an operating room.

Healthy sports?

For the information of the participants in the Winter Olympics: a Norwegian study found that former professional athletes are more likely to have a heart attack. For thirty years, the researchers followed one hundred and twenty-two professional snowboarders. Fourteen percent of them had at least one heart attack, and the average age for the first attack was fifty-eight. Among the rest of the population, the percentage of heart attacks is almost one percent lower, and the average age for the first attack is also higher. Two main reasons for the phenomenon: bricardia - a low heart rate, and an excessively enlarged heart wall - both are a result of the great effort of the heart muscle during the long years of training.

Against cholesterol and also against cataracts

A new Israeli study reveals that drugs for the treatment of excess cholesterol significantly reduce the risk of having cataracts - blindness caused by clouding of the lens of the eye. Kol Yisrael reporter Itay Nevo says that Tel Aviv University examined the files of one hundred and eighty thousand patients who were treated with drugs from the statin group, which inhibit the production of cholesterol. They found that in men, the proportion of patients who had a poor line was almost forty percent lower than men who did not receive statins. In women, the treatment reduced the risk of miscarriage by almost twenty percent.

Also for fertility, also helps autistics

And another drug that helps not only for its original purpose: it turns out that the hormone intended for fertility treatments in women, helps autistic people make eye contact. Thirteen adults with severe autism who did not communicate with the environment were examined in the study. When they received the oxytocin hormone in a spray, a significant change in their behavior was felt. This study joins a line of evidence suggesting that the hormone oxytocin can affect brain dysfunction.

Energy from the window

A car currently receives the energy for driving from the battery and the engine, in the future it may receive energy from the door and window. The "Hidan" website reports that Volvo is developing an original material that can store and flow electrical energy, and that will be strong and lightweight so that it can be used as car parts. The new material consists of carbon fiber and polymer resin, will be able to flow energy faster than common batteries, and will make the vehicles light, economical and with a greater driving range. If the experiment is successful, the new material could also be used as packaging for other devices such as laptops and phones.

Elephant - walking or running?

When facing a charging elephant it doesn't really matter if it runs or walks, but a new study claims that the elephant walks and runs at the same time. It turns out that elephants break all the accepted rules of movement in the animal world. Most quadrupeds come off the ground while running, while elephants speed up their legs and lengthen their strides. It was discovered that the elephants, despite their enormous weight, run lightly. A human exerts three times the force of his body while running. The elephant exerts a total of 1.4 of its body weight, partly because it does not change the body's center of gravity during fast movement.

Zebra migration

They drop zebras. The number of zebras in the reserves in Kenya has greatly decreased due to the droughts in Africa in recent years. Inspectors are now moving thousands of zebras from more fertile reserves to those affected by the drought. The intention is also to strengthen the population of zebras, but also to have food for lions. The damage to the ecological balance led the lions to leave the reserves and prey on herds of cattle and sheep, which increased the hunting of the rare predators. Now it is hoped that with the arrival of the zebras, the number of lions that are harmed by humans will decrease.

Decoding the enzyme that allows AIDS to attack the immune system

A breakthrough in AIDS research. At the end of twenty years of research, researchers from Harvard and Imperial College succeeded in deciphering the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme that allows the AIDS virus to attack the cells of the immune system. Using this enzyme, the virus inserts its genetic material into the DNA of the attacked cell, thus taking over it. Kol Israel correspondent, Itay Nevo, reports that some drugs for the treatment of AIDS inhibit the activity of the enzyme, but until now the researchers did not know exactly how they work. The discovery will make it possible to study the mechanisms of action of the drugs, and to develop more effective treatments.

An amputee has difficulty gauging the distance close to his body

When a certain object is said to be within reach, they mean that it is close. But if there is no hand, is it possible to accurately identify the place of the object? Twelve amputees participated in a study conducted at the Hebrew University, and it turned out that they had difficulty estimating the distances close to their bodies.

The space close to the body, where we can perform actions with our hands, is called "action space". The brain encodes the visual information coming from the action space differently from the encoding of the magical information from a distance. Now it is proven that the spatial perception of amputees is impaired - in the absence of the hand, the brain has difficulty distinguishing what is within reach.

Saving a broken hip joint by the growth of a new bone

Innovative surgery makes it possible to save a broken hip joint by growing a new bone. A fracture in the pelvis in osteoporosis patients causes a disruption in the blood supply, so until today, in the case of a fracture, doctors recommended replacing the hip joint with a metal prosthesis, but this method was accompanied by severe complications and even deaths. In the new method, developed by Dr. Mark Wiseman from Carmel Hospital, the joint is not replaced. In surgery implants a repair, a fruit of Israeli development, which connects the fracture sections firmly. The facility also has an artificial bone with biological properties that allow new bone to be created in a short time. The results, so far, show success.

Salad with vaccine

It is possible that in the near future we will also eat a vaccine with the salad for breakfast, instead of receiving injections, reports the "Hidan" website. The herbal vaccine works on the same principle as the existing one - introducing killed viruses of a disease into the body. The researchers at the University of Central Florida genetically engineered lettuce and tobacco plants to contain two proteins: one from parasites that cause malaria, and the other from a toxin secreted by the cholera bacterium. In addition, a biological mechanism was developed that allows the engineered proteins to survive the stomach acids and be absorbed into the blood. Millions of people die every year from diseases such as malaria and cholera, and by using the vaccine in food it will be possible to stop the spread of epidemics more easily.

20,000 year old human bones were found in Japan

Human bones estimated to be XNUMX years old have been found in Japan, and are the oldest so far discovered in the islands. The skull bones of a man who was probably between twenty and thirty years old were found in a cave in Okinawa Prefecture, lying among many animal bones. The oldest human remains found so far in Japan were fourteen thousand years old, and anthropologists hope that the new findings will shed light on the relationship between the original inhabitants of the islands and those who live there today.

Cyclone season has begun in Australia

And you will meet - this is Olga - the cyclone that attacked the Queensland region in Australia this week. The cyclone season on the fifth continent has begun, and despite the flooding, and the fact that entire areas remain cut off - it was welcomed. Australia has been suffering from severe droughts in recent years. The situation is so dire that the cyclones are now seen as a blessing in disguise. And as evidence - the rains have not yet reached the New South Wales region, which borders Queensland, and the residents there hope that their homes will be flooded, like the neighbors.

Starting this week, don't say "Spirit space vehicle" but "Spirit ground research station", reports the site of the science. Six years ago the spacecraft sank into a sand trap on the surface of Mars. All attempts to rescue him failed, and as mentioned NASA decided to turn the vehicle into a ground research station, but for this it is first necessary to direct its solar collectors so that they absorb enough energy in the near future. If Spirit manages to absorb enough energy to allow him a sort of "bear sleep" in the harsh Mediterranean winter, he will allow NASA scientists to check from his fixed position whether the red star's core is made of liquid or solid iron.

Wayne Rooney in XNUMXD
Today's history in Britain, televised history - for the first time a XNUMXD TV broadcast. The Sky network broadcast the match between Arsenal and Manchester United in three dimensions. Although most of the viewers in the kingdom could watch Wayne Rooney and his friends in the good old two dimensions, but in nine locations whose location is kept secret - for fear of an onslaught of fans - the game was broadcast, like Avatar, only without the blue people. The enthusiasm among Sky people who saw the test footage is very high - there they intend to launch in April a dedicated channel that will broadcast only in XNUMXD, also the World Cup games in South Africa in the summer.

The beginning of the fall of the Maya?
In southern Mexico, a 1,100-year-old tomb was discovered - from the end of the Mayan period, and it may shed light on what happened to that wonderful culture. The popular opinion is that the Mayan culture became extinct because of wars between the Mayans themselves or because of their failure to adapt to the environmental changes. In the tomb that was discovered, alongside the typical Mayan finds, there was also ceramics typical of the Toltecs - an ancient civilization that lived in central Mexico - before the Aztecs. In light of the discovery, the researchers assume that the Toltecs descended south, conquered the Mayan cities and took control of them, although other experts claim that one should not draw too hasty conclusions based on a single discovery.

The almond blossoms and is poisonous
The nectar of almonds contains the deadly toxin amygdalin, one of its products: the poison cyanide. Apparently there is a contradiction here - the nectar, which is supposed to attract insects, is so poisonous, but it turns out that the toxin actually helps the nectar fulfill its mission - pollination. In an experiment carried out by a group of researchers from the University of Haifa, it was discovered that the higher the concentration of amygdalin in the nectar, the more the bees were attracted to it. The hypothesis is that this is another stage in the "competition" of the plants for the pollinating insects, and the amygdalin gives almonds advantages - for example - it can be used as a filter: repels insects that are not experts in pollination, but allows access to experts in pollination who have developed immunity to it.
Tamar adds a lot
We were always warned not to eat too many dates because of their high sugar content. A new study conducted by Prof. Michael Aviram of the Technion and published in National Geographic states that eating dates not only does not raise the blood sugar level, but may improve the quality of cholesterol in the body. Dozens of subjects were asked to add one hundred grams of dates per day to their normal diet for a month. The blood tests showed that the sugar level did not increase, and in contrast the blood lipid levels decreased significantly, as well as the degree of oxidation of the blood lipids. And there is also a difference between the varieties of dates - in comparison it was found that the Khalawi date has higher health properties than the Majhol date.

Vitamin D against colon cancer
It turns out that vitamin D prevents the development of colon cancer. For several years, the European Cancer Research Institute conducted a study among more than half a million people, in which the types of food they used to eat, their health status and especially the levels of vitamin D in their bodies were examined. The analysis of the results revealed that people with high levels of vitamin D are 40% less likely to get colon cancer, but - don't rush to swallow supplements of any kind. There are still no studies that indicate the effects of high levels of vitamin D.

A refrigerator, but also a heater

We were taught that the forests help cool the atmosphere, because they absorb carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas. Well, it's ambiguous. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute discovered that forests also store heat. In a study done in the Yatir forest, it became clear that the forests absorb more energy from the sun's rays and translate it into heat - at the same time as the process of absorbing carbon dioxide. So on the one hand - a cooling process, on the other hand a heating process and as always in nature - now we are checking how to reach a balance.

Stop smoking, even after cancer

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer. A new study reveals that lung cancer patients who stop smoking greatly increase their chances of surviving at least five years. To date, it has not been proven that quitting smoking contributes to the fight against cancer, but at the University of Birmingham they discovered that in patients who continued to smoke, the tumor spread more quickly. The chance of surviving lung cancer among patients who stopped smoking was close to seventy percent compared to only about thirty percent among patients who insisted on continuing to hold a cigarette in their hand.

Pain in the groin

Do you know the phenomenon of chronic pain that no medicine helps? Well, it is possible that the source of the pain is damage to the glial cells. According to the "Hidan" website, glial cells are located in the brain and spinal cord and their role is to maintain the chemical environment around the nerve cells, and to release the growth factors that improve the survival and recovery ability of the nerve cells. New studies have shown that after an injury, the glial cells help the nerve cells, but sometimes there is some disruption in the mechanism - and they continue to emit substances even after the distress situation has passed - this is the source of chronic pain. Normal painkillers act on the nerve cells and therefore do not affect this pain at all, and only cause dangerous addiction. These days, experiments are being carried out on new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain based on components found in marijuana.

Waves waves, rising and falling

The sea level in Israel has been rising and falling alternately in the last 2,000 years, according to a study conducted at the University of Haifa. The range of movement of the level is about one meter, and most of the time it was lower than its height today. In the last fifty years, the level of the Mediterranean Sea rose by five and a half centimeters, but there were also periods when the level rose by ten centimeters in ten years. Therefore, the researchers say, sharp increases or decreases are not evidence of long-term trends, and it is too early to determine that the recent rise in sea level is a trend resulting from global warming.

Telegram from the tsunami

Today there is no mechanism that can warn of a tsunami, but it is possible that soon the giant waves will send scientists a telegram. How will this happen? A revolutionary new model is currently being developed at the American Center for Ocean and Atmospheric Research. Such a massive movement of salty water over the Earth's magnetic field creates a change in the electric field. There are communication cables at the bottom of the oceans anyway. These cables can sense the change in the intensity of the electric voltage around them, due to tsunami waves. Now they are working on mapping all the cables at the bottom of the oceans and synchronizing them all into a worldwide warning system.

Collecting the pearls

And these days in the Miya district of Japan the pearl collection season begins. The natural pearls, as we know, are formed inside oysters, without the touch of human hands. Microscopic particles are trapped inside the oysters, which wrap them in a long and repeated process in layers of calcium carbonate and other substances. In the natural process, the collection was complicated - before artificial aids were used to speed up pearl production - out of three tons of oysters, only three or four had a perfect pearl.

Fat and cancer

The connection between overweight and breast cancer has long been known - heavy women have higher levels of estrogen, which encourages the development of breast cancer. Now researchers in Australia have discovered why this happens. They identified the factors in the adipose tissue that accelerate the production of estrogen in the breast, something that does not occur in women of normal weight. Normal drugs to lower the level of estrogen have side effects, such as osteoporosis, so the researchers are now testing the effect of metformin - a drug for diabetics that also lowers the level of estrogen in the breast tissue.


A British revolution in orthopedic surgery. Andrew Kenneth broke his tibia in five different places during a mountain climb. He underwent three surgeries, but due to a severe infection, the fractures did not heal and he was already advised to amputate his leg. Not to worry, the leg was saved with the help of innovative stem cell therapy. The doctors removed the stem cells from the bone marrow of his hip, mixed them with a gel of proteins and created a paste, which they surgically applied to the fractures, and gently fixed them in a sort of iron cage for six months. The gel holds the stem cells in front of the bone, where they form a new layer of cartilage. In the future, cartilage problems in the knees will also be treated with this method.

Genetic gambling

Want to bet what the next piece of news will be - if so, you most likely have an active monoamine oxidase type gene. At the Hebrew University they discovered that it is the gene that influences risk taking. In the experiment, three hundred and fifty participants received money and could bet on it or insure it. They underwent blood tests, in which the activity levels of the gene, monoamine oxidase, were tested. The results: Subjects with a very active gene have a tendency to gamble their money, even in the face of small chances of winning, while subjects with a less active gene preferred to insure the money. Voice of Israel reporter Itay Nevo explains that the findings are of economic importance, because they make it possible to predict on a genetic basis the behavior of investors in the capital market.

A new spider

A new species of spider, which was not known until now, was discovered this week in the Samar sands in the Arabah by researchers from the University of Haifa. The length of the legs of the new spider is 14 centimeters, making it the largest in the Middle East, and a species discovered in the steppe was named Cerebellus arabensis. The friend Arabensis is active at night, and lives in a burrow in the ground which it closes with a raised door, camouflaged with stuck grains of sand. Sounds good, but - his habitat is in danger. The Samar sands are the last remaining dune in the southern Arava, and it is also shrinking due to land conversion for agriculture and sand mining. The intention of the Israel Land Administration to resume mining in the area - puts the Arabensis in danger of extinction, and perhaps also other species that are not yet known.

NASA saves turtles

NASA had a lot of work this week, and not necessarily in space. Hundreds of sea turtles arrived on Florida shores following the cold wave that hit the normally warm waters off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center. The turtles are similar to humans, and when the water temperature drops below fifteen degrees, they become exhausted and lethargic, their body temperature drops, and they go into a state of shock. NASA personnel and environmental conservation activists transferred approximately three hundred turtles for medical treatment, after which they were released to a warmer water reservoir, until the cold wave passed.

the zircon

The zircon stone is known as a substitute for diamond, but now it has been discovered that zircon allows a deep glimpse into the interior of the earth. The "Hidan" website says that the mineral zircon is common in different colors - transparent, yellow, red-brown or green. Teams from Germany, China, Australia and the United States who examined basaltic fields discovered that zircons were formed in the earth's crust and remained in this environment before migrating to the front of the globe by lava flows - that is, examining the structure of zircons can tell us about what happened in the earth's crust millions of years ago.

HIGH DEFINITION for cataract patients

HIGH DEFINITION is the name of the game today when it comes to monitors or video cameras - from now on cataract patients - poor, in Hebrew - will be able to see in HD without even looking at the TV.
In an innovative surgery in the UK, the doctors remove the patient's lens, and implant an artificial lens in its place, made of silicon that is particularly sensitive to light. A few days later, they use ultraviolet light to adapt the lens exactly to the patient's needs - they change its shape and curvature - so that the focus is precisely adjusted to the eye. The result - people who suffered from cataracts or myopia now see better than normal people, that is - 6/6 - smaller than them!
Ashkenazi Jews and Joubert syndrome

One out of ninety-two Ashkenazi Jews carries a genetic mutation that can cause the birth of babies with Joubert syndrome, researchers at Hadassah Hospital discovered this week. Joubert syndrome is a neurological disease characterized by degeneration of the cerebellum - that part of the brain responsible for maintaining stability and balance and coordinating the actions of the voluntary muscles, what is called - coordination. Children with Joubert syndrome suffer from swallowing problems, unsteadiness in walking, eye twitching and strabismus, and they may even be retarded. Identifying the defective gene will allow early testing - to make sure that both partners do not carry it.
Corals eat jellyfish

For the first time in history, researchers from Tel Aviv University managed to photograph corals eating jellyfish. Coral is an animal and not a plant, and until now it was known that corals feed on microscopic animals - plankton, and substances that are transferred to them through algae that live in the coral tissue. The photos taken in Eilat in March of this year were a real surprise: they show pitra corals eating Aurelia jellyfish, which are very common in the Red Sea.
Pomegranate peel as medicine

For years, scientists have been praising the nutritional properties of the pomegranate, and now they have discovered at Kingston University in London that the peel of the fruit can also be used. After three years of research, the researchers produced an ointment to treat MRSA - a deadly bacteria that causes severe infections and has developed resistance to antibiotics. The ointment takes advantage of the antibacterial properties of the pomegranate peel and combines two more natural ingredients: vitamin C and metal salts. The new ointment can also help with infections caused by patients who stay in crowded places with a high risk of infection such as hospitals, nursing homes and day care centers.

Dandelions in car tires

Dandelion is also known for its medicinal properties and as an ingredient in tea or wine. But one variety of the plant that grows in Russia may actually make its way to the car tire market. It turns out that the dandelion produces a molecule of rubber, and compared to the South American rubber tree that suffers from pests and its cutting damages the ecological balance, the dandelion is similar to a weed. It is strong, grows quickly, is easy to harvest and can be done twice a year. In general, natural rubber is better than the synthetic rubber produced from petroleum due to its flexibility and strength, and today about twenty percent of car tires and eighty percent of airplane tires are made from natural rubber. These days, laboratories in Germany and the USA are trying to develop the genes of the dandelion in order to produce rubber in commercial quantities.
Does ginkgo biloba improve brain activity

And here is a plant that they discovered that the rumors about it - are not true: Ginkgo biloba. This plant is considered in Chinese medicine to improve brain activity. But the "Hidan" website reports that a comprehensive study conducted on the subject completely negated the claim. Ginkgo biloba is a tree that originates from China and is considered a "living fossil", because it is the only one of its family that survived the Paleocene period. But history did not help him - in a study conducted among more than three thousand people who received the medicine extracted from the plant, no change in the brain activity of the participants was discovered. Another important fact: the study was conducted by the US National Center for Complementary Medicine, i.e. supporters of alternative medicine.

They also shoot camels

In Australia, authorities began shooting from helicopters at a herd of wild camels that had invaded the town of Docker River. The drought pushed the 6,000 thirsty camels to storm the small town and look for any possible source of water - including uprooting air conditioners and fire hoses. Two weeks ago, the camels caused serious damage to the pipes in the town - until the water flow stopped completely - and all this when the temperature around was 42 degrees. The rampage of the camels in the streets also really endangered the residents. Now, as mentioned, they are trying to scare the camels using helicopters and smuggle them into the Australian desert, where they will try to thin out the herd.

The Hafiltefish attack

Like many troubles - the following story also started with good intentions. In the late seventies, the Asian carp was brought to the United States from China - to naturally clean fish ponds of algae. What else? - In the floods of the 90s, the carp left the pond and moved to the Mississippi and its tributaries. Now the huge fish, weighing almost 40 kilos, swim in the river and in the navigation canals that come out of it unhindered. They have no predators, and they, the invading species from Asia - devour about forty percent of their body weight every day, that is, they eliminate the plankton and vegetation in the water - the food of other fish, including the salmon. They even endanger owners of small boats that collide with them. The big danger is that the carp will reach the Great Lakes, so the current plan is to poison the navigation canals that connect the Mississippi to the lakes. In this way other fish will be harmed - but the lakes will survive.

No noise, no air pollution

In absolute silence, without any noise, the first ferry powered by fuel cells was inaugurated in Amsterdam. Fuel cells are batteries or accumulators that contain hydrogen. When the hydrogen comes in contact with the oxygen in the air - a chemical reaction is created that can be turned into electrical energy. Since hydrogen is a common element in nature, we basically get a battery that never ends, and also - the by-product of this operation is water, so the shuttle does not pollute the air at all. The shuttle's special design is also designed to save energy.

Go to the germ economist

The lazy are sent to the anthill - and to whom will the politicians and economists go? – To the bacteria! Professor Eshel Ben Yaakov from Tel Aviv University discovered that the decision-making process of bacteria under stress and distress is better than ours. The bacteria communicate with each other through chemical messages, and use a complex network of genes and proteins to perform complex calculations of their chances of survival. In the calculations they use, no less, game theory, more precisely the famous prisoner's dilemma. Professor Ben Eshel was able to present a model that deciphers the behavior of bacteria and how they make their calculations. Conclusion - the next time someone calls you a bug - it could be a compliment.

Graphene: the smallest, strongest, most conductive

The world of nanotechnology is more and more enthusiastic about the new material graphene, whose importance only increases as the research on it develops. The "Hidan" website reports that it now turns out that graphene is not only the smallest material possible, but it is also ten times stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than any other known material at room temperature. Graphene is a very flat molecule consisting of carbon atoms organized in a pattern of hexagonal rings - and it allows physicists not only to create new mechanical and electrical devices, but also to confirm theories that until now were thought to remain only in books.

Car boot

Honda unveiled its new concept car PNUT, which stands for Personal Transportation to the New City. The LEV website updates that the vehicle is characterized by a modern approach. The engine compartment, located in the rear, can accommodate three types of engines - gasoline, electric or hybrid. The seating arrangement is also innovative - the driver's position is in the center of the vehicle, surrounded by the other two passengers. The rear seats can be folded - thus increasing the vehicle's storage volume. There is no doubt - it looks promising, but for those who have already had time to get excited - this is only a concept car, and today, at least, there is no intention to move it to the production lines.

more or less?

Here is another example of the delicate, sometimes problematic balance in nature. So far, researchers have considered the beta-amyloid protein as a toxic protein - one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease. Because a high concentration of beta-amyloid leads to damage to the process responsible for learning and memory, they mainly tried to get rid of it, but this week a group of researchers from Tel Aviv University discovered that this protein plays an important role in transmitting information even in a healthy brain, and the decrease in its concentration also damages memory. Conclusions: too much or too little beta amyloid - in both cases the memory process goes wrong. Now the scientists are working to find out what is the optimal amount of it the body needs.

Remind me - what is a crown?

And by the way memory - who remembers today what a token is? Soon they may say - who remembers what a dental crown is. Why? Because in Japan, researchers succeeded in growing a replacement tooth for a tooth that was removed from the mouth of a mouse. It is a simple tissue that was taken from embryonic cells, underwent a process of biological engineering, and then served as a kind of germ for a new tooth. In the experiment, the sprout was implanted in the mouth of a mouse, and fifty days later it developed into a millimeter-sized tooth, the same shape and size as the tooth that was extracted. The growth rate was also the same as the growth of a natural tooth.

Despite the enthusiasm, much work is still needed before the method can be clinically tested in humans.

Bacteria in cigarettes

And here is another good reason not to smoke: research in the United States and France reveals that many cigarettes are contaminated with bacteria, some of which are disease-causing. The researchers examined four types of cigarettes, Camel, Lucky Strike, Marlboro and King's and found that each of the types has hundreds of different species of bacteria. Among other things, Clostridium bacteria that cause intestinal and lung infections, Klebsiella that cause vascular and respiratory diseases and bacteria that cause severe chronic infection were found. The researchers point out that it seems that the bacteria are not destroyed by smoking and point to the need to study the harm they cause to smokers.

Atlantis returned safely

The space shuttle Atlantis landed on Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The "Hidan" website reported that the shuttle returned from an 11-day journey, during which it brought supplies to the International Space Station. The astronauts performed three spacewalks, mainly to store some of the supplies in external warehouses to save space in the active area of ​​the station.

Now there are only five more shuttle flights left to complete the space station and assemble it. Then the Americans will say goodbye to the old shuttle fleet for good, and will be completely dependent for five years on Russian Soyuz shuttles to bring crew members to the International Station.

Space electricity

And the Japanese are about to get their electricity - from space. The Japanese government has decided to promote a program to produce solar energy in space. Voice of Israel reporter Itai Nebo updates that according to the plan, Japan will build satellites with a huge array of solar panels about two kilometers in diameter within about two decades. The satellites will orbit the earth, and will be able to generate energy from the sun at all hours of the day and in any weather. The energy will arrive in the form of microwave radiation from an altitude of hundreds of kilometers to power plants on the ground. The main challenge at the moment is to reduce the cost of the project, which is currently estimated at a trillion dollars.

Newspaper shoes

Fish are usually wrapped with old newspapers - but you can also turn yesterday's newspaper into tomorrow's shoes.

Colin Lee, a Taiwanese fashion designer, makes green shoes, not necessarily the color - they are environmentally friendly, from recycled newspapers. No need to worry, you can walk with the shoes even in the mud, they are coated with thin plastic. Those interested also have matching bags, of course they are also recycled. According to the designer, in the production process of the recycled newspaper shoes, he uses less than in the production of normal shoes. The price - between 100 and 150 dollars per pair.

Keep the orangutang

In Sarawak, Borneo, the authorities have invited international experts to conduct research designed to ensure the survival of the orangutans there. In Sarawak, about XNUMX individuals of the Bornean orangutan, a species at high risk of extinction. The authorities hope that the research will yield practical recommendations on how to allow better conditions for monkeys whose average lifespan is thirty-five years. The authorities' invitation is also intended to please the environmental organizations that recently accused the government in Borneo of neglecting the orangutans in a way that endangers their existence.

They also keep the koalas

And those who are still in danger of extinction are the koalas in Australia. If 200 years ago, before the white man came to the continent, millions of koalas lived, today their number is estimated at only about forty thousand. The main factors that affected them are weather changes and deforestation. The New South Wales region has already declared koalas as vulnerable animals in need of legal protection. The Australian Minister of the Environment directed the "Government Committee on Endangered Species" to make recommendations for the conservation of koalas at the federal level.

the missing link

Dinosaur remains from two hundred million years ago found in South Africa could be the missing link in our knowledge of the evolution of dinosaurs. It is a dinosaur of the Ardonyx celeste type, a herbivore with a large rounded chest that stood XNUMX meters tall and weighed about XNUMX kilograms. The age of the dinosaur that was found is estimated at ten years and according to the findings in the field it died of dehydration. The discovery belongs to the Australian paleontologist Adam Yates, who claims that this dinosaur is a link between the ancient two-legged dinosaur and the advanced and larger species that walks on all fours. The dinosaur that was discovered could walk on both two and four.

The sunspot cycle

You can learn a lot about what is happening on Earth precisely by looking at the sun - more precisely by monitoring the spots that appear on the sun. The problem - there are periods when the sun's activity is minimal - then it is very difficult to observe the spots. A new discovery by scientists from Tel Aviv University solves the problem. Using a triangular antenna that picks up electromagnetic radiation at very low frequencies, the researchers examined lightning storms originating in South Africa. They discovered that there is a 27-day cycle in the intensity of lightning, which results from activity originating from the sun, in the sunspots - that is - a way was found to follow the spots even if you cannot see them exactly. The new discovery, a cycle of 27 days, could have consequences for the functioning of satellites, the accuracy of navigation systems, the health of astronauts and even for the power grids.

flying garbage

27% of the volume of garbage in Israel are plastic bags, and the problem is not only Israeli. In China, three hundred tons of plastic bags are thrown away every day. Han Fushan, a resident of Beijing and a retired engineer, started nine years ago to build kites from the garbage he collected and already has about six hundred kites in his collection. The thick bags are good for strong wind and the thin ones for light wind. The kites consist of figures of animals, singers, athletes and even leaders of the Communist Party. Raw material as mentioned - Han has not been lacking for many years.

The subconscious is not a legend

Sigmund Freud created a revolution when he divided the human psyche into the conscious and the subconscious, but only now, seventy years after his death, have they been able to characterize the brain activity behind the subconscious. The science website reports that researchers from Tel Aviv University have succeeded in isolating the brain activity that occurs during unconscious perception. They found that awareness occurs relatively late in perception, almost half a second after exposure to the stimulus. What does this mean - just half a second after the signal for the end of this corner starts, you will realize that it is really over.

Time is gained until transplantation

News in the field of organ transplants comes from Australia. As soon as a heart is removed from the donor's body, the clock starts ticking. So far, the doctors had only four hours until the transplant. At St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, they concocted a new cocktail of existing drugs, and added it to the liquid in which the heart is preserved. The new mixture doubles the preservation time and in some cases it is possible to wait even fourteen hours until the surgery. Also, the heart preserved in the cocktail functions better after the transplant. This discovery is critical to saving lives in Australia, where the distances are particularly great. Now the effectiveness of the cocktail is being tested on other organs as well.

Laser rays destroy cancer cells

It turns out that it is not enough to invent new methods to treat cancer. It is also necessary to convince the patients to use them. At the University College Hospital in London, they developed an innovative treatment for pancreatic cancer: laser beams that activate drugs that are injected into the body. In the forty-second treatment, the cancer cells are destroyed without harming the healthy cells, and the patient does not suffer from side effects. Although the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is very low, only one percent of the seven thousand patients in the UK have applied for the new treatment.

A new antibiotic

One of the most difficult problems of medicine today is the resistance that bacteria develop to antibiotics. The science site reports that a new type of antibiotic was discovered this week, and this is no small thing. In the last forty years, only two new types of antibiotic substances have been developed. While the known drugs eliminate bacteria by preventing the production of cell walls, the new substance blocks a stage in the development of the surface of the bacterial cell - a stage that until now has not been recognized as a target for antibiotic substances.

Going to the moon again

The ARES project, NASA's renewed journey to the moon will be launched the day after tomorrow at 8 am US time, when the ARES IX rocket will launch into space. This is the first unmanned test flight planned to test hardware, facilities and the functionality of the project's ground base of operations. Another goal is to test the effectiveness of the rocket's innovative design, to make sure it is suitable for the mission before real-life astronauts board it. This launch is supposed to be the first of several test flights planned through 2012, but it may also be the last, as it is not clear whether NASA will receive the budget to complete the ambitious project of returning to the moon.

How is it in Hebrew?

Uranus in Hebrew is Oron or Shachak? We have already reported here about the "Hebrew star is born" competition to choose Hebrew names for the planets Uranus and Neptune. Hundreds of names were proposed, from which a special committee chose the two names, for each star, that reached the final stage. So Uranus was offered Oron - which is a small light, that's how it looks from the earth or sky - a synonym for the sky. What about Neptune? Here the candidates are Rahab - the name of the god of the sea in Hebrew or Tarshish - one of the breastplate stones whose name also refers to the sea. You can vote at the address that appears on the screen. Results - at the end of December.

Around the world

Hundreds of people gathered on the beaches of Normandy this week to say goodbye to the French research ship Le Boudez. The ship already left in August for a two-year journey around the world on an official mission on behalf of the French Ministry of the Environment. The dozens of researchers on board were required to examine issues related to the oceans, such as, for example, plant and animal resistance, sea level rise, and effects of deforestation and fishing on the natural environment. The ship will sail towards South America and is expected to pass through Cape Horn in December 2010.

Is the cell phone cancerous?

Does cell phone use really cause cancer or brain tumors? Hundreds of studies have been done on this topic, so now in Seoul and California they did a huge joint study - which analyzed twenty-three of the studies that examined the issue and included more than thirty-seven thousand subjects. The conclusions: no clear connection was found between the mobile phone and the risk of brain tumors. But, there is a but. The researchers distinguish between high-quality studies and low-quality studies. The qualitative studies found a moderate increase in the risk of developing tumors among those who talk on a mobile phone. It was also found that long-term cell phone users, at least ten years, have a higher risk of developing benign and non-malignant brain tumors. On the other hand, in the low-quality studies, it was discovered that the level of risk of developing cancer was lower. Guess who funded these studies? The phone manufacturers of course.

A mammogram is mandatory

And there are studies that simply confirm what is already known - and in the case of breast cancer - mammography examinations are mandatory. A new study examined seven thousand women who got breast cancer in the US in the last decade. Seventy-five percent of the deaths were of women who did not take care to perform routine mammography examinations (remember: it is recommended to start at age 40). Only twenty-five percent of the deaths were of women who made sure to get checked.

Even before the age of 21...

The Japanese want to reach the moon. The "Hidan" website reported last week from the International Astronautical Congress where the Japanese space program was presented. At the conference, the selene-2 ​​robot lander was presented for the first time, which should go on a mission in 2013. Four years later, the Japanese plan to land a more advanced research spacecraft on the moon that will scan the planet's surface. Japan's more distant goal is the exploitation of the moon's resources, and for this purpose the establishment of a manned base is planned - still without a specified date.

Vehicles for the disabled

But until they reach the moon, the Japanese don't stop inventing patents - this time light and comfortable vehicles for the disabled and the elderly to drive. The Toyota company has developed a system that allows wheelchair drivers to load the chair on the roof of the car with the push of a button and without assistance from others. Honda has a system designed for people with limited legs. Instead of the gas and brake pedals, they can control the vehicle with a lever handle located next to the driver.

A deadly reflection

At Manchester airport this week they started operating a special X-ray machine that scans the body of passengers to detect weapons or explosives. The machine was designed to speed up the inspection process, and save time, but it also created new problems. The quality of the reflection is such that an accurate image of the subject's body is actually created, and can reveal piercings, silicone implants, and other tactical aids that wanted to be thought of as natural.

What to do? At the moment the test is voluntary, it can be converted to the old and slow test with a magnetometer, and also anonymous - the tester is not near the x-ray and does not connect the body being tested to the face.

a slim chance that N1H1 creature superbug

There is some kind of good news in the swine flu sector. Scientists from the United States have found that it is very unlikely that the H1N1 virus will mutate and combine with the viruses of seasonal effects, so that what is known as an extremely deadly "superbug" will be created. In the experiment, the researchers infected ferrets with types of common flu and swine flu, and as mentioned - there was no reaction between one virus and the other. The bad news - the swine flu was much more contagious and in fact took over seasonal effects - most of the ferrets that were infected by their friends, not the scientists, contracted the swine flu. The cases of infection were also much more difficult.

One in every 40 Yemenis carries a genetic defect

One out of every forty Jews of Yemeni descent carries a genetic defect that can cause fatal liver failure in children. In recent years, babies aged one to five months have appeared in hospitals in Israel suffering from acute liver failure, jaundice and coagulation disorders - and except for supportive care, it was not possible to help them. Professor Orli Al-Fleg from the Hadassah Hospital investigated the phenomenon and discovered that in the liver samples taken from the children a regular biochemical pattern returned, and from conversations with the hospitals it emerged that all the patients are of Yemeni origin. In the tests of the gene sequence in the samples, a mutated gene was found, and as mentioned, the mutation exists in one out of every 40 Yemenis, so if two Yemenis who carry the defective gene get married - there is a 25 percent chance that they will have a child with the defect.

The section for searching relatives

And an impressive success was registered this week in the galactic relatives search section. The "Hidan" website reports that observations made at the Southern European Observatory found a galaxy that is a close relative, even very close, of the Milky Way, our galaxy. Its cousin is called ngc 4945 and is a spiral galaxy with rotating arms and an elongated core, with a supermassive black hole at its center.

Europe says goodbye to incandescent bulbs

September XNUMXst symbolizes the beginning of school, the start of World War II and now also - the end of incandescent light bulbs - like for example in this supermarket in Hamburg where all the old light bulbs have disappeared. In Europe, it was decided to stop the use of energy-consuming bulbs, and the first to pay the price are the hundred-watt bulbs. This is part of a three-year plan to get rid of all incandescent light bulbs in use since Thomas Edison invented them more than two centuries ago. The weaker bulbs will be gradually removed in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs that should save about eighty percent of the energy that would have been required to operate the wasteful bulbs, and thus also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Trying to save Flipper

Animal rights activist Richard O'Barry arrived in Japan this week at the opening of the dolphin hunting season to confront the fishermen, and of course was turned away. O'Barry, the trainer of Flipper the dolphin from the mythological series, was involved in a documentary filmed undercover in 2007 in a bay at Taiji Beach, Japan. The film documents the killing and abuse of dolphins for the purposes of the film industry and entertainment. The bay area is hidden from all eyes, fenced with wire, and the fishermen use nets to herd the dolphins and trap them inside the bay. So they do whatever they want with them, without interruption. The film was released for screening about a month ago. It is receiving great acclaim and has already won several awards.

With such friends...

The dog is considered man's best friend, but who needs such friends. It turns out that this friendship does not necessarily benefit him, the dog. Scientists from Hungary found that dogs - like ten-month-old human babies - have difficulty tracking an object that moves from box to box, while wolf pups found the object without any difficulty, and let's remember - dogs and wolves split from one species about fifteen thousand years ago. The researchers attribute the difference in the results to the effect of the presence of the human examiner on the dog's behavior. Kol Israel reporter Itai Nevo points out that scientists estimate that thousands of years of domestication have caused dogs to abandon their instincts and adopt traits that improve their chances of survival in the presence of humans.

Give up the coke

Too much sugar consumption causes obesity, high blood pressure, disrupts the metabolism and is a risk of stroke and heart disease. The American Heart Association published new guidelines this week with the aim of reducing sugar consumption - especially from sweetened soft drinks. According to the new guidelines, women need no more than 100 calories of sugar a day - about 6 teaspoons, while men are allowed to consume up to 150 calories, 9 teaspoons. Just to clarify: an average can of soft drink has 130 calories of sugar, which is about 8 teaspoons, that is - a woman who drinks one can of sugary drink, already exceeds the recommended amount of sugar for the day.

Grandma's new wheels

Robotics and Japanese go well together, and this time from the land of the rising sun: the future wheelchair intended for the elderly population. With a metallic body and wheels that guarantee a smooth ride, the experimental model, temporarily named Am-1, is unlike the chairs that roll in the corridors of hospitals and nursing homes. Instead of leaning, the passenger is required to kneel on the seat. The speed and direction of travel is controlled by a steering rod attached to the handlebars. The developers say that the designed model also arouses interest among young people, and they are now simultaneously working on the development of an electronic electric car with one seat, based on the technology of the M-1. And it was said - if grandma had wheels..

Looking for Amundsen

Tomorrow, two ships of the Norwegian Coast Guard set out in order to discover the remains of the plane that crashed in 1928 with the famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen on board. Amundsen, who was the first to discover the South Pole, went with a team of five people to Spitsbergen Island in the North Pole to look for the traces of his Italian colleague Umberto Nobilla, who flew in an airship and his traces disappeared. Unfortunately Amundsen's plane crashed, while Nobilla was later found safe and sound. The operation to search for the remains was decided after fishermen in the area discovered an old fuel tank that could be part of the lost plane. The ships will scan the area with a tiny robotic submarine and use sonar to find out what happened to Amundsen and his crew.

Discovery is underway

These pictures are always nice to see. After several delays - both because of the weather and because of a malfunction in one of the hydrogen valves of the fuel system - the shuttle Discovery was launched yesterday from Florida. STS-128, that's the name of the flight and its main mission - bringing supplies to the International Space Station. Discovery is launching a new astronaut, who will replace one of the crew members on the station, and on board also "Leonardo": the storage component containing food and equipment for the station crew. Another one is coming - a new fitness device named Colbert - after the comedian Stephen Colbert - who encouraged the viewers of his TV show to vote for him online in the name selection contest organized by NASA - he succeeded.

Lost contact with Chandrian 1

The Indians - who lost contact with the Chandrian 1 spacecraft. The "Hidan" website reports that yesterday evening the devices at the ground station that are responsible for maintaining contact with the spacecraft went silent. The reason for this is still not clear, because until then the devices functioned well. Chandrayaan 1 is a spacecraft whose mission is to orbit the moon. It was launched in October 2008 and two weeks later reached its orbit around the moon, where it has since made 3,000 orbits and sent more than 70,000 high-resolution photographs of the planet's surface, even of places that are always in the shadowed areas. The only solace for the Indian spacemen at the moment is that Chandrayaan 1 managed to complete more than ninety percent of its missions.

or tu tu collision…

Scientists from the UK have identified for the first time a planet that is on a collision course with its sun. The planet orbits the Sun Wasp-18, which is about three hundred and twenty light years away from us, in a small and increasing, spiral-like orbit. Now it is only about three million kilometers away from it - sounds like a lot, but it is fifty times closer than the distance between us and our sun, and the temperature on its surface approaches four thousand degrees. Kol Israel reporter Itai Nevo points out that the researchers claim that the planet's death is expected to continue for another million years before it finally collides with its sun.

Phosphorylation helps memory

Another piece of the most mysterious puzzle on earth - the human brain - has been discovered. Researchers at the University of Haifa have identified one of the necessary processes for forming long-term memory. So how do we manage to remember sounds, sounds, tastes or other sensory information? Partly thanks to the process of phosphorylation - the addition of phosphorus molecules to the receptor in the brain called NMDA. The head of the team of researchers, Professor Kobi Rosenblum pointed out that the neurotransmitters involved in the process play a central role in a number of brain problems including addiction and schizophrenia. There is good reason to assume that schizophrenic patients have underfunctioning or overfunctioning of this system and its departure from equilibrium is one of the causes of the disease. A better understanding of the state of equilibrium will allow in the future new drugs that will improve the lives of patients.

Origin and life in general, and it is final

Now it is final - the origin of life on Earth - in space. The science website reports that NASA scientists discovered glycine, an amino acid that living things use to build proteins, in a sample collected by the Stardust spacecraft from the comet Wilt-2. A special collection net filled with airgel - an innovative sponge-like material - was assembled at Stardust. When the spacecraft passed through the compressed cloud of gas and dust that surrounds the comet, it gently collected samples of gas and dust. The spacecraft fell to Earth in January 2006 and since then the scientists have been busy analyzing the samples. Already in the initial tests, glycine was discovered, but since it is a very common substance on Earth, careful tests were done to ensure that it was not a contamination. Now, as mentioned, it is clear beyond any doubt that the origin of the amino acid, glycine, is in space - another support for the idea that the building blocks of life are common in space, and a reinforcement for the claim that life in the universe is not rare.

Worth checking

A new initiative of the Wolfson Medical Center and the Ministry of Health, "Worth a Test" - a website that allows you to receive personalized medical information, and all this anonymously, meaning that you do not need to identify yourself to receive the service. All you have to do is type in your age, sex, height and weight, and you will receive recommendations for blood tests, lipids, hearing, vision, and also personal recommendations for early detection of potential diseases. At the end of the process, you can print a letter to your doctor detailing the recommendations you received on the website.

Papa Phil

In Mexico, a huge ten-thousand-year-old skeleton of a mastodon - the prehistoric ancestor of the elephant - was discovered. The skeleton was discovered by chance by a local farmer who came across a strange tooth in a field, and was well preserved thanks to the dry climate there.

Now the scientists, with the help of local volunteers, are trying to uncover all the parts of the skeleton, with the aim of accurately determining the age, sex and cause of death of the giant mammal - more than three meters tall, and perhaps another clue will be found as to why this breed that was very common in North America became extinct.

So yes today

Moses sent the spies to Israel from the Paran desert. But does the desert they walked on in the time of the Bible look like the desert today? Regarding the Paran desert - the answer is positive. True - water, winds, volcanic activity - all of these change the surface of the earth constantly, but there is a difference in the rate of change between the mountains, where the changes are faster, and the deserts.

At the Hebrew University they discovered that in the Paran plains in the center of the Negev, an extensive area has been preserved exactly as it was one million and eight hundred thousand years ago, long before the time of the Bible. The researchers dated the age of the stone pebbles in the Faran plains by measuring the concentration of rare isotopes that are formed from the contact of cosmic radiation with the surface. The test showed that large parts of the landscape have not weathered for almost two million years, and are among the oldest dated on Earth.

Thin and cheap

And another step in the video game war: Sony, which is fighting against Nintendo and Microsoft, announced that next month it will launch a thinner and cheaper version of the PlayStation 3. The new device has a hard disk of 120 gigabytes, consumes thirty-four percent less energy compared to the original version, and it also weighs less. These changes make the device cheaper by two hundred dollars. The counter reaction of the competing companies is not yet known but it is certain that they are already working there on their own upgrade. They compete and we nod. May they continue like this.

First step on the way to a quantum computer

Scientists from Yale University succeeded in building for the first time a basic processor of a quantum computer. They built a chip that is capable of doing simple operations according to the principles of quantum computing. The chip consists of two artificial atoms connected together, and the development lays the foundations for the production of a real quantum computer. Kol Israel correspondent, Itai Nebo, points out that in our normal computers, the basic calculation unit can be in two states - zero or one. The computers of the future are based on the principle of quantum mechanics according to which a very small element, such as an atom for example, can be in one of two states, or in both together to a certain extent. Utilizing this feature can multiply the calculation speed dozens of times. One quantum computer will be able to do in a short time operations that supercomputers today need long weeks to complete.

The topographic maps for public service

NASA and the Japanese government are releasing to the public the most comprehensive topographical maps of the Earth ever produced. The "Hidan" website reports that the maps were produced using accurate data from the TERRA spacecraft. Project ASTER, the digital elevation model of the Earth, was created from more than a million stereoscopic images collected by the Emission and Thermal Reflection Radiometer flown aboard TERRA. Until now only about 80% of the topographical data of the sphere was available. Now - 99% of the Earth's elevation database is available free of charge, and this vital information will contribute to energy exploration, natural resource conservation, environmental management, city planning and many other applications.

global drought

The greenhouse effect is global, meaning it is felt all over the world - but especially these days in northeastern Uganda, where there is a severe drought and a decrease in the corn crop. A survey conducted by the international aid organization Oxfam among farmers in fifteen countries in Africa, Asia and South America reveals that the transition seasons are shrinking and decreasing, and the weather is undergoing extreme changes from periods of drought to strong winds and rainstorms. These fluctuations cause hunger and tension between population groups. The organization estimates that in the year two thousand and fifteen there will be three hundred and fifteen million people in existential danger.

The seahorses set off

A first-of-its-kind study on seahorses is currently underway in Spain. Its purpose is to examine the adaptability of seahorses raised in captive conditions living along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The natural habitat of seahorses is near beaches and coral reefs in tropical climates. As part of the study, ten eight-month-old stallions weighing three to nine grams were released near Arosa Island. They were marked with a luminous tag and tissue samples were taken from them for genetic research - the breeding season for seahorses will soon begin. The monitoring of the marked stallions is expected to last about a year.

A new/old predator in Australia

For the first time in 28 years, a dinosaur has been discovered in Australia, and not just any dinosaur, but a big, fat and terrifying creature, whose name even sounds like it was taken from a Schwarzenegger movie - Australovnator. It is an animal that weighed five hundred kilograms and was five meters long - a predator with three claws on each of its front legs that hunted somewhere 98 million years ago. The remains of the dinosaur, which included limbs, ribs, jaw and tusks, were found next to fossils of two other species of dinosaur - herbivores, whose weight - one is 22 tons and the other - tiny, only 17. The researchers who discovered the fossils gave the carnivore the nickname "Banjo" , and they boast that it is the Australian answer to the Velociraptor - only bigger and deadlier. The two herbivores are unknown subspecies of Titanosaurus - the largest dinosaur known to have existed.

Uranium on the moon

And the viewer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is asked to pay attention to the following news: Uranium was found on the moon. The science website updates that until now scientists were not aware of the presence of uranium on the planet, but in analyzing data from the gamma ray spectrometer of the Kagoya spacecraft, a signature of uranium was found, meaning - this is confirmation of the presence of the material - but the amount or size of the deposit is still unclear. The test also confirmed the existence of thorium, potassium, oxygen, magnesium, iron, calcium, titanium and iron - elements that were known to be found on the moon.

A mind reader chair

It sounds imaginary but it is real. A robot that reads minds. A group of researchers from Japan claims to have succeeded in developing a wheelchair that is driven by signals from the user's brain waves. The chair is equipped with computer software that records changes in the brain while performing movement actions, so the user can signal the chair in which direction to travel. The software can decipher the command given by the brainwaves at a speed of one-tenth of a second, an impressive achievement compared to previous attempts where long seconds were required. According to the developers from the Toyota company, it is possible to reach a ninety-five percent accuracy level in commands after only one week of training.

The cipher is finally cracked

And one of the oldest undeciphered ciphers in the world, no longer. In 1801, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, received a letter from his friend mathematics professor Robert Patterson. Patterson informed the president that he had developed an encryption method that was almost completely immune to decryption, and attached some sample encrypted sentences. For more than two hundred years, no one was able to decipher the letter, until two years ago Dr. Loren Smithline, a mathematician from Princeton, heard about it by chance. Smithlane gradually discovered that Patterson used several encryption methods and then scrambled the ciphertext several times. He managed to decipher it by searching for different combinations of letters, and calculating the probability of their appearance in an English text. After about a hundred thousand calculations, it turned out that the encrypted text was the first lines of the American Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson was a co-drafter of. Kol Israel correspondent, Itay Nevo, points out that Jefferson was very impressed at the time by the sophisticated encryption method, and even planned for the American Foreign Service to switch to using it.

A vaccine for Alzheimer's is on the horizon

Researchers in Sweden claim that they are close to developing a vaccine for Alzheimer's, which will not only alleviate the symptoms of the disease, but could actually stop its development. The first phase of the experiment yielded positive results.

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