Something To Watch

The Times of Israel posted the following headline yesterday:

Hezbollah denies border attack, says response to fighter’s death yet to come

Yesterday The Jerusalem Post reported:

Tensions remain high in the North after the IDF thwarted a Hezbollah terrorist attack Monday afternoon near Mount Dov along the border with Lebanon. The defense establishment is concerned Hezbollah might still carry out an attack against the military.

A Hezbollah cell, which numbered between three and five operatives, crossed the border, also known as the Blue Line, several meters into sovereign Israeli territory and was identified by the IDF, which opened fire on them with machine guns and tank shells.

The cell fled back into Lebanon without firing at the soldiers, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said, denying reports that anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) were fired during the incident.
“We have some tense days ahead,” he said.

While the condition of the Hezbollah cell members was unclear, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen news outlet reported that no Hezbollah fighters were killed during the failed attack. The soldiers were unharmed, the IDF said.

Hezbollah later released a statement saying there had been no clash along the border, and soldiers had fired on empty fields, making up the entire incident due to their “extreme fear” over a Hezbollah retaliation.

News from the Middle East generally resembles propaganda more than news, but the important thing to remember here is that both of these articles indicate that tensions are rising on the Israeli and Lebanon border. Please follow the links to read both stories for more information.

Good News From Israel

On January 1, 2020, Interesting Engineering posted the following:

Israeli firm Alpha Tau Medical has developed a new cancer treatment that attacks tumors while sparing healthy tissue. The treatment is called Alpha DaRT (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Treatment), according to The Jerusalem Post.

Alpha DaRT uses, for the first time, alpha radiation for solid tumor treatment. But it does so in a way that the body can tolerate it.

Most cancer treatments out there are simply not tolerable. Our bodies were not made to be exposed to them.

Alpha particles have a high capacity to destroy cancer cells without causing side effects on healthy cells. However, they have extremely short path length in tissue, meaning that up to now they could not get across the entire volume of a tumor.

ALPHA DaRT technology uses the radioactive decay of an isotope called radium-224 to power the spread of alpha particles across entire tumors. This makes ALPHA DaRT technology a powerful cancer-killing agent with minimum side effects.

This limits collateral damage during cancer treatment. Studies done on the treatment are very promising showing a very high level of safety for patients.

The article concludes:

In one recent study, the treatment showed tumor shrinkage in 100% of cases and delivered total tumor destruction in over 78% of cases.

…And other cancer centers are also exploring Alpha DaRT. Trials are being undertaken in Israel, Canada, Japan, Russia, Italy and in the United States.

This is fantastic news for anyone or any family that has been touched by cancer.

Amazing News From Israel

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that a group of Israeli scientists believe that they have found a cure for cancer. If their clinical tests prove what they believe, this is fantastic news.

The article reports:

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

…Aridor, chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, say their treatment, which they call MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order.

The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.

In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins – in particular, for the production of antibody therapeutics.

AEBi is doing something similar but with peptides, compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain. According to Morad, peptides have several advantages over antibodies, including that they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate.

The article concludes:

The MuTaTo cancer treatment will eventually be personalized. Each patient will provide a piece of his biopsy to the lab, which would then analyze it to know which receptors are overexpressed. The individual would then be administered exactly the molecule cocktail needed to cure his disease.
However, unlike in the case of AIDS, where patients must take the cocktail throughout their lives, in the case of MuTaTo, the cells would be killed, and the patient could likely stop treatment after only a few weeks.

The company is now writing patents on specific peptides, which will be a large bank of targeting toxin peptides wholly owned and hard to break, said Aridor.

Morad said that so far, the company has concluded its first exploratory mice experiment, which inhibited human cancer cell growth and had no effect at all on healthy mice cells, in addition to several in-vitro trials. AEBi is on the cusp of beginning a round of clinical trials which could be completed within a few years and would make the treatment available in specific cases.
Aridor added: “Our results are consistent and repeatable.”

Wow. Just wow.

Some Good News From The Middle East

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that Egypt will be sending its first full-time Ambassador to Israel in three years.

The article reports:

Netanyahu said this is something Israel appreciates and is “deeply welcomed,” and that he believes it is “very good for cementing the peace that exists between Egypt and Israel.”

Israel appointed Haim Koren as its ambassador to Egypt in 2014. On Friday, Koren made history in being the first ever Israeli ambassador to deliver a Ramadan greeting to the Egyptian people.

In the video message uploaded by the Foreign Ministry, Koren said in Arabic, “On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Israel ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, we wish the Egyptian people Ramadan Kareem,” referring to the traditional Ramadan blessing.

America‘s Middle East policy (whatever it is) is not working. As a result of our failure to bring peace in the area, alliances between countries that are looking for stability are forming. That is a good thing. Hopefully, this is simply the beginning of good things to come.