Hebrew University's efforts against the coronavirus

 

As we confront the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus, issues of health—our individual health, the health of those we love, and the health of our community—are uppermost in our minds. Doctors and researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are working with colleagues in the United States and beyond to defeat the pandemic. Here is a roundup of Hebrew University experts on the coronavirus pandemic:

Hebrew University recently launched a webinar series featuring HU professors on a variety of subjects relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. To view recordings of the webinars, check out our YouTube playlist below:


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLx1LaJUamY2EY2mzpgMiubSj_IlZvDOXY

 

CNN: Yuval Harari: This is the worst epidemic in ‘at least 100 years’

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/03/15/yuval-noah-harari-amanpour-cnn-coronavirus.cnn

 

The Washington Post: Singles say they’re better prepared to self-quarantine, but many fear getting shortchanged in medical treatment

“Elyakim Kislev, a sociologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, agrees. “Singles might have an advantage in this crisis, but it really depends on how they treat their singlehood,” he said in an email. “I found in my research that those who accept and embrace their singlehood also know how to turn aloneness into solitude instead of loneliness.”

Read the entire article 

 

The Jerusalem Post: Rothschild Foundation gives NIS 15 mil. to Hebrew U. for COVID-19 research

“Hebrew University President Prof. Asher Cohen noted the effort that is going into coronavirus research, saying that, “since the outbreak of the pandemic, many researchers and laboratories at the Hebrew University have been working tirelessly to develop a scientific solution to the corona challenge.  Several of these efforts are already close to market.”

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Hebrew University Researchers Develop COVID-19 Diagnostic Test that is 10x Faster

“Professor Nir Friedman at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Institute of Life Sciences and School of Engineering and Computer Science and Professor Naomi Habib at HU’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science have developed a faster and cheaper way to test of COVID-19 using materials commonly found in diagnostic labs.”

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Fox News: Coronavirus social distancing buying valuable time for scientists in hunt for cure

“Effective social distancing is buying valuable time for the medical community in its hunt for a coronavirus cure, according to Isaiah “Shy” Arkin, professor of Structural Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.”

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Haaretz: Israel’s Lesson From the Coronavirus Crisis: Prevention Is the Best Medicine

“But a crisis is also an opportunity. This crisis is an opportunity to strengthen the public health system, in Israel and worldwide. And it must not be wasted.”

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Jewish Journal: Experts Say Israel Is Ahead of Curve on Coronavirus

“A team of scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute analyzed current data and forecast that 1,000 Israelis will become critically ill from coronavirus by mid-April. As of Tuesday, more than 150 Israelis were listed in serious condition.”

Read the entire article

 

Forward: Israeli Haredim, blamed for COVID outbreaks, could see their communities forever changed

“Benjamin Brown, a professor of Jewish thought at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says that the coronavirus — and the religious tensions that it has brought — won’t necessarily slow these processes. He predicted that it may actually accelerate them.”

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Jerusalem Post: Can we both save lives and the economy? Israeli scientists say ‘Yes’

“Can an anti-coronavirus strategy that saves lives and safeguards the economy at the same time be implemented? According to two computer scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the answer is yes.”

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BBC Newshour: Do face masks actually work?

Historian Yuval Noah Harari says we have stark choices to make about our post-pandemic future.

Listen here (at 45:00)

 

Jewish News: How Israeli universities are at the forefront of defeating coronavirus

“At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem there are more than 50 projects related to the novel coronavirus ranging from diagnosis to vaccine production to the identification of genetic components impacting the body’s response to the disease.”

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Times of Israel: Research predicts Israel could see 1,000 serious COVID-19 cases by Passover

“It’s a wake-up call, and we have to listen to it,’ says Nadav Katz of Hebrew University, whose study indicates the lockdown is failing to protect the elderly.”

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Times of Israel: ‘Science will conquer this’: Inside the race for a coronavirus treatment

“In a small lab on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Professor Shy Arkin and his team of three are “throwing chemicals” at some of the proteins that constitute the coronavirus, hoping that one or more of them will stick.”

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Times of Israel: High-tech mogul to present pandemic exit strategy to Knesset committee

Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua and computer scientist Shai Shalev-Shwartz claim their solution can wrap up the current public health crisis in a matter of months

Read the entire article

 

ISRAEL21c: 30 Israeli medical tech solutions to fight coronavirus

“As you read below about Israeli medical technologies for the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that each one is about people – people striving to protect themselves, their loved ones and all humankind against this terrible pandemic.”

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Jerusalem Post: Coronavirus: How to avoid eating all day when confined at home

“However, if treating oneself with a little comfort food can be a good idea in a moment of difficulties, approaching the issue of food and meals with awareness is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as nutritionist Debra Waldoks, an adjunct lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explained to The Jerusalem Post.”

Read the entire article

 

Ynet: Clear Cut Separation Strategy Can End Corona Crisis in Three Months, Says Mobileye CEO

“Amnon Shashua, co-founder and CEO of Mobileye, breaks down his exit strategy which separates high and low-risk populations to create herd immunity while allowing the economy to get back on track.”

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Ynet: New Israeli research says COVID-19 is here to stay

“Prof. Michal Linial, professor of biological chemistry at the university, together with Dr. Dina Schneidman from the Department of Biological Chemistry and the School of Computer Science at the Hebrew University and Postdoctoral Intern Ester Brail, said that each strain of the virus holds different “offensive capabilities” used to bind itself with human receptors, while the method of binding varies from virus to virus.”

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Christian Science Monitor: In Israel, pandemic tests democracy’s immune system

“Gayil Talshir, a political science professor at Hebrew University, cautions that democracies in crisis need more supervision, including by civil rights organizations and judicial systems, in order to protect the system.”

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Haaretz: Israel Predicts Up to 40,000 Coronavirus Patients May Die. What if There’s a Way to Avoid This?

“This scenario was drafted by Dr. Michael Assaf and Prof. Yinon Ashkenazy of the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics. Assaf specializes in statistical physics and particle interactions. This is what brought him to study the lifetime of illnesses – and from there, to draft coronavirus progressions for the Health Ministry.”

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Haaretz: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Kids in the Age of Coronavirus

“For her part, Nilly Mor, a child psychologist at the School of Education of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who specializes in anxiety and depression, says this is a good time for parents to apply the safety instructions given on airplanes: first, place the oxygen mask on yourself and then help your children with their own…”

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The Algemeiner: Netanyahu Recruits Founder of $15 Billion Start-Up Mobileye to Join Coronavirus Team

Amnon Shashua is a professor of computer science at Hebrew University who founded Mobileye in 1999. The company develops technologies for autonomous vehicles and was acquired by Intel in 2017 for $15 billion, the largest deal of its kind in Israeli history.

Read the entire article 

 

Times of Israel: Israeli scientist: You’re not going to see millions of people die from COVID-19

“Isaiah (Shy) Arkin is a professor of Structural Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, whose research, among other achievements, has shed new light on the inner workings of viruses. The Times of Israel spoke to him to try to understand more about the coronavirus, how it compares to other viruses, how its spread might stop or be stopped, and how worried humankind should be about it.”

Read the entire article 

 

ARK Invest: Coronavirus and the Future of Immunotherapy with Prof. Isaiah Arkin

To learn more about this virus and its implications we talked to Professor Isaiah Arkin. He is the Arthur Lejwa Prof. of Structural Biochemistry at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the former Vice-President for Research and Development at the University whose research has succeeded in shedding new light on the inner workings of flu viruses and in particular how a virus avoids anti-viral therapy.

Read the entire article 

 

Haaretz: Coronavirus crisis: In touchy-feely Israel, social distancing creates a big challenge

“The mandate to create social distancing challenges Israelis in ways they have never experienced before,” says Gad Yair, a professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at the Hebrew University.

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Times of Israel: Smokers appear to be at higher risk from coronavirus – expert

Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev, a public health physician at Hebrew University’s Braun School of Public Health and Community Health, wrote, “Here’s what we already know: In a small study of about 80 corona patients, those who smoked were 14 times more likely to have serious illness.

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Times of Israel: Psychologist: Israel now using ‘national anxiety’ to help fight coronavirus

Hebrew University professor Jonathan Huppert told The Times of Israel that generating anxiety appears to be “part of the goal” of the rulesannounced Tuesday, which told Israelis to stay in their homes as much as possible.

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Times of Israel: The ‘Big Brother’ surveillance that may put you in quarantine…or keep you out

Yonatan Freeman, an expert in emergency preparedness at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that this is realistic, suggesting that by flagging only people who were actually in proximity to each other, surveillance “provides ‘tweezers,’ in order to not require more people in quarantine than necessary.”

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The Jerusalem Post: Most Israelis say gov’t should aid Palestinians during coronavirus crisis

Almost two-thirds of Israelis (63%) think that Israel should aid the Palestinians during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a study published by the Truman Institute for Peace at the Hebrew University. “A majority of Israelis, even in early post-election days after they’re left bitter and angry, believe that when the need arises, the government must enlist preventative measures with intent to help the Palestinians during the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus,” said Vered Vinitsky-Seroussi, head of the institute.

Read the entire article

 

Financial Times: Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus

Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture.

Read the entire article