a different side of Israel

Tag: Technion

Mazal Tov to Hebrew University

Mazal Tov to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It has been ranked among the world’s top 100 institutes of higher education, out of a complete list of 500. The annual ranking by the Centre for World Class Universities and the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai’s Jao Tong University, HU has risen one place since last year, making it number 64. Harvard is at the top of the list, with Stanford coming in second and the University of California Berkeley, number 3.

einsteinThe Hebrew University was ranked 25th in computer sciences, and among the 75 best in the categories of mathematics, economics and business administration. And among the top 100 in chemistry.

Of the top universities in the Asia Pacific region, the Hebrew University was ranked number 4, just after the Australian National University and the Japanese Kyoto and Tokyo universities.

Also, Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were ranked in the second tier group of the 150 best universities. The Weizmann Institute of Science was in the top 200, and The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Bar-Ilan University in the 400 category.

Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson expressed delight at his university’s ranking:

“I am pleased that the Hebrew University continues to stand out among the 100 best universities in the world, both in general and in specific disciplines,” he said. “Our aspiration now is to rise in standing in order to reach the rankings of the top 50 universities in the world. We must continue to be Israel’s best university in every area.”

The Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus of Jerusalem was opened on April 1, 1925, more than 20 years before the founding of the State of Israel. The first Board of Governors included, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann.

Cancer Breathalizer Comes out of Technion at Haifa

Wow. These Israeli inventions just keep coming, don’t they? We’ve heard of cancer sniffing dogs, so why not program some artificial intelligence to do the same thing? Revealed this week in Nature Nanotechnology journal, the “cancer breathalyzer” can detect lung cancer with 86 percent accuracy. It can even detect cancers that are not even large enough to show up on X-rays or CT scans. Detecting cancer that early could really save lives. The wonders of affordable technology!

HossamHow does it work? It tests for chemicals that are produced in cancer cells. They are ethylbenzene, decane, heptanol, and trimethylbenzne.

From what I remember from my organic chemistry days, these are all very flammable, but no, the detection does not involve attempting to set a patient’s breath on fire. There isn’t enough of it for that. Decane is a very long chain of hydrocarbons (ten carbons long actually) found in jet fuel, and heptanol is a 7-carbon chain with a hydroxide group at the end, making it an alcohol. Ha, college. The alcohol we drink, ethanol, is a 2-carbon alcohol. Don’t drink heptanol. It won’t make you any more drunk, but it will likely cause you, in drinkable amounts that is, to become dead.

The chemicals are detected using gold nanoparticles and an electric circuit. If the breath contains heptanol etc, the circuit goes off.

The research team was led by Hossam Haick, an Israeli Arab, pictured here, also the inventor of the electric nose.

Haick and his team have patented their device, but will continue to work to perfect it. The device must pass further clinical trials before being put to use. Good job Hossam!

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