On the other hand

October 14, 2018 by Michael Kuttner
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In Israel, temperatures are cooling as we head into autumn, (or fall if you are American), and with the Chagim over, a working week has returned to a more normal six days…writes Michael Kuttner. Unaffected by the change in seasons is the pace of positive news connected to innovation and amazing progress in many fields.

STONE SHATTERING NEWS

 Anyone who has had urinary stones can know the acute pain — sometimes compared to that of women in labour — that can accompany the condition, caused when minerals crystallize in concentrated urine restricting the flow.

Sometimes bladder stones — like their counterparts that form in the upper urinary tract, called kidney stones — simply come out with the urine. At other times, a non-surgical technique using high-intensity shock waves is used to break up the stones into fragments that are then small enough to pass in the urine. This treatment, however, is not effective for all stones; they may be too big or in a challenging location, so sometimes surgery is needed.

Israel’s largest medical devices firm, developed, some 30 years ago, the world’s first holmium surgical laser to blast the urinary stones, whether they are located in the kidneys, bladder or in between. Now, it has come up with a new technology, called Moses, that the Yokne’am-Israel based company says is even more effective than its original urology lasers.

Launched a year ago, the technology aims to help urologists perform endourology procedures — in which small internal endoscopes are used to remove stones — faster and more efficiently. A study published by McGill University in Canada has shown that technology saves 20 per cent of procedure time — meaning less anesthesia time for the patient and less surgery time for the physician, saving money.

Named “MOSES” – The new method is cleverly named. In the Bible, Moses was ordered by the Lord to take his staff and hit a rock, which proceeded to produce water for the thirsty Israelites he was leading through the desert.

 

LUNAR AMBITIONS

 Israel is aiming to be only the fourth country in the world to land a craft on the moon. Sometime at the beginning of 2019 a rocket will blast off carrying a vehicle which it is hoped will explore the moon and report back to earth. In addition it is planned to plant our flag up there. Any aliens watching should practice their Hebrew.

 

 

NOTHING FISHY ABOUT THIS

 Israel’s capital is known for its ancient history and rich culture, but now Jerusalem is also home to some of the region’s most diverse forms of marine life.

The Jerusalem Aquarium, the first and largest land-based aquarium in the region, is making waves for its extensive collection of local marine life.

The aquarium includes more than 1,080 species.

 

FROM JERUSALEM SHALL GO FORTH THE FAST TRAIN

The first phase of the new high-speed train from the Capital is now in operation. Travel time from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion airport is now just over 20 minutes, something no doubt the envy of those struggling through heavy traffic in many other countries. For travel to Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel a short ten minute wait is all it takes before transferring to a connecting train. Next year the electrified line will extend to Tel Aviv and then on to the north of the country.

Jerusalem’s new train station is also unique in other respects.

Watch this video to get a feel for this new addition to our transport system. J-Wire’s Israel correspondent has just travelled on the train to Tel Aviv and can confirm it’s a “mechaye” (pleasure in Yiddish).

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