Israeli scientists in universities across the country have been forging ahead in recent months with new innovations in medicine and technology that could lead to breakthroughs.
Professor Shimon Efrat of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, along with graduate students Holger Russ and Yael Bar, have developed a way to cultivate healthy human beta cells in the laboratory and implant them into diabetes patients. They are now working to convince the body to accept these cells — a move that could pave the way to a new and simpler form of diabetes treatment.
As a prisoner swap for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was said to be closer than ever this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly poised to declare a 10-month settlement freeze.
“Netanyahu is set to announce in the coming days that he will accept a construction freeze in the West Bank settlements for 10 months but will exclude [Palestinian east] Jerusalem,” Yossi Beilin, a former leader of the left-wing Meretz party, was quoted as saying.
A new and more serious indictment — possibly including rape charges — may be filed as early as next week against Israel’s disgraced former president Moshe Katsav after his withdrawal Tuesday from a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail.
“I want to fight for my innocence,” Katsav told a three-judge panel in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and it was finalized in my mind today.”
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