General News from Bar-Ilan University

Wearing a mask can reduce allergy symptoms. Researchers from the Galilee Medical Center and BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine have found that masks can protect against more than COVID-19 for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. The researchers studied how much of a difference wearing a mask could make for allergy sufferers with mild, moderate, and severe symptoms, and discovered that this practice can reduce the symptoms in some people. Read More.

One of six Druze leaders changing Israel for the better

Inshirah Sgayar Shannan is a senior obstetrician in the fetal-maternal medicine unit and delivery room of Galilee Medical Center, treating Muslim, Bedouin, Druze, Christian, and Jewish women. In addition, she teaches at Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in Tzfat, does medical research, and is active in a clinic that her unit offers for women with poor obstetric histories. Read More.

Was the ‘forbidden fruit’ in the Garden of Eden really an apple?

What’s the likely identity of the “forbidden fruit” described in the Bible’s Garden of Eden, which Eve is said to have eaten and then shared with Adam? If your guess is “an apple,” you’re probably wrong.

The Hebrew Bible doesn’t actually specify what type of fruit Adam and Eve ate. “We don’t know what it was. There’s no indication it was an apple,” Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky, a professor of Brain Science at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, told Live Science. Read More.

Aspirin users may have protection against COVID-19

Healthy people taking aspirin regularly to prevent cardiovascular disease had a 29 percent lower likelihood of Covid-19 infection compared to aspirin non-users, according to an observational epidemiological study from Israel published in The FEBS Journal.

Researchers from Leumit Health Services, Bar-Ilan University, and Barzilai Medical Center analyzed data of 10,477 members of the Leumit HMO who had been tested for Covid-19 from February 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020. Read More.

A Moment in Time: Pesach in Buchenwald 1940

Pesach is chag hageulah, when we remember our deliverance from slavery in Egypt. For my father, Yechezkel (Chaskel) Tydor, it was also a reminder of his personal slavery, his five and a half years in the Nazi camps of Buchenwald and Auschwitz. Read More.

Israel Votes 2021

Bar-Ilan University experts weighed in on Israel’s fourth elections in two years. Moments before Israelis cast their ballots in last month’s elections, The Jerusalem Press Club, Israel Government Press Office, and Bar-Ilan University hosted a special webinar briefing featuring analysts commenting on a broad range of issues. Read More.

Israel Vaccinates International Students and Researchers

Israel has made efforts to ensure all international students have access to the vaccine. This vaccination drive is indicative of Israel’s commitment to internationalization in higher education. Bar-Ilan University is one of the universities that is committed to taking care of its international students. Read more.

Researchers identify non-coding RNA molecule in trypanosome parasites

Prof. Shulamit Michaeli, vice president for research and a faculty member of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University, has made significant strides in understanding the internal functions of trypanosomatids. Now, she and a team of scientists have identified a non-coding RNA (ncRNA) molecule that regulates protein translation in the parasite. Read More.

Impacting Today: Matan Abramovitz

What began as continuous professional development while pursuing an undergraduate degree at Bar-Ilan University evolved into significant career moves, which even included “wandering” in the desert. Meet BIU alumnus Matan Abramovitz, Deputy CEO of StepUp, a leading marketing agency for B2B brands. Matan, who heads digital marketing for the agency’s clients from leading Israeli industries, holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors from Bar-Ilan University’s Communication and Political Studies program in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Read More.

Israel’s 24th Annual National Biology Olympiad

Israel’s 24th annual National Biology Olympiad for outstanding high school students was recently held at Bar-Ilan University in cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Education. Despite the challenges facing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of outstanding students took part in the competition: 2,350 Hebrew speakers and 750 Arab speakers; two-thirds of all participants were girls, four of whom reached the finals along with two boys. Read More.

Defending women, legally

The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University celebrates its 20th anniversary in March. The center was founded to promote legal and social change for women in Israeli family law and runs a legal aid clinic, which offers legal advice and representation in family disputes and divorce proceedings.

With four full-time lawyers and trained volunteers who run the helpline, the center provides pro bono representation in civil and religious courts, particularly for women in financial distress or those with potential precedent-setting cases. Read More.

Health and Economic Costs of Air Pollution

Dr. Keren Agay-Shay, an environmental epidemiologist who heads the Health and Environment Laboratory at Bar-Ilan’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, and her colleagues, used medical records, information from the Central Bureau of Statistics, and air pollution data to calculate the extent to which air pollution caused by emissions from factories and transportation increases mortality and morbidity.

Calculations of the number of attributable cases to air pollution were then translated to the economic costs incurred by a loss of life, hospitalization, emergency visits, medication, the loss of workdays, and the like. Read More.

Find out what’s happening at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine

Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine has launched its own newsletter to share what has been going on in the medical school. You can read some of the news from March here.