Neanderthals had sex with other species - and family, DNA study shows: 50,000-year old toe bone from Siberian cave shows inbred Neanderthal woman was child of very closely-related parents.
Robert J. Lefkowitz, a Jewish physician and path-breaking biochemist from New York, has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Brian K. Kobilka, a researcher at California’s Stanford University.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 went to the scientists for studies of protein receptors that explain how cells sense their environment. Read more.
Israeli doctors are performing a radical experimental procedure on severely depressed patients that could offer them hope after years of failed treatments.
The doctors are implanting a device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrodes into the patients’ brains. The Jerusalem hospital is the first one in Israel to employ the treatment, known as Deep Brain Stimulation, as part of an international clinical trial being conducted concurrently in several European countries and Israel. Read more.
Praying regularly can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and milder memory problems by 50 percent, according to a joint Israeli-American study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The study was aimed at identifying factors that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers examined several aspects of the subjects’ lives, including what they did in their spare time during their 20s and 30s. It turns out females who prayed regularly had 50 percent less chance of having mild dementia or Alzheimer’s. Read more.
Israeli geneticists have found that a population of Indians in the U.S. state of Colorado has genetic Jewish roots going back to the expulsion of Jews from Spain.
The common marker was a unique genetic mutation on the BRCA1 gene. This mutation, commonly known as the “Ashkenazi mutation,” is found in Jews of Ashkenazi origin and is associated with an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Read more.
DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert
Conjuring fear of Nazism and anti-Semitism, Jews recoil from the thought that Judaism might be a race, but medical geneticist Harry Ostrer insists the ‘biological basis of Jewishness’ cannot be ignored.
Although he readily acknowledges the formative role of culture and environment, Ostrer believes that Jewish identity has multiple threads, including DNA. He offers a cogent, scientifically based review of the evidence, which serves as a model of scientific restraint. Read more.
In an Israeli lab, the world’s smallest drone
In a Technion aeronautics laboratory, a pair of scientists are conducting experiments funded by the U.S. Army that would allow them to control the flight of insects from afar, as if they were mechanical flight vehicles.
Instead of building a tiny plane whose dimensions would be measured in centimeters, the researchers are taking advantage of 300 million years of evolution. “In order to build drones the size of an insect, you need systems to monitor and control, and to produce energy,” says Technion Prof. Daniel Weihs, who served until recently as the chief scientist of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
In the research’s early stages, the scientists examine how an insect’s muscles operate at each moment of flight. Two special cameras, positioned over the flight simulator, record every miniscule movement made by a flying insect. In parallel, electrodes inserted in the various muscles document the electronic signals received in the insect’s body during flight. Such measurements allow the researchers to identify which electric signals are connected to which movements. Basically, they translate the insect’s flight movements into a code comprised of electronic signals. Using this code, the researchers are able to send electronic signals into an insect’s muscles, triggering movements. Read more.