General News from Bar-Ilan University

A Hearing Aid that Isolates Background Noise

Bar-Ilan University is developing a novel hearing aid that will utilize input from the brain to allow users to focus on a specific sound source within a cacophony of stimuli. Modern living is full of stimuli competing for our attention. Focusing attention on a single speaker while ignoring various disruptions is not easy, particularly for people with hearing impairments.

But what happens in a “cocktail party” scenario with several speakers in one room? For people with normal hearing, the brain helps direct attention to the right speaker. But what about people with hearing impairments who use technological aids? Read More

Humanitarian Medical Assistance

Following the civil war outbreak in Syria nearly 10 years ago, Israel began admitting wounded Syrians into the country for humanitarian medical treatment. Most of the wounded were brought to the Galilee Medical Center (GMC) in northern Israel. Some were admitted within 24 hours of injury. For others, it took as long as 14-28 days to reach Israel from the combat zone.

The delay in the commencement of treatment provided medical professionals and researchers from GMC’s Ear, Nose, and Throat Ward and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with a rare window of opportunity to observe and evaluate how this lapse in time impacted the outcome of treatment. Read More

Inaugural Medical Research Forum with the UAE

A first for BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine – an international forum convening some 50 physicians and researchers from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the United States. The online inaugural meeting of the Bar-Ilan University/Galilee Medical Center and Gulf Medical University departments of surgery held on February 17, featured a talk by Dr. Terrah Paul Olsen of Emory University School of Medicine on surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Read More

Bar-Ilan Professor Honored by B’nai B’rith for Rescuing Jews during WWII

Prof. Simon Raymond Schwarzfuchs, a Bar-Ilan University emeritus professor who rescued Jews and fought the Nazis as a member of the Jewish underground in France, has been recognized by B’nai B’rith International for human rights efforts during World War II. Schwarzfuchs was one of 18 heroes who received a Jewish Rescuers Citation from B’nai B’rith this year. Read More

IDF Soldier Finds Rare 1,800-year-old Coin

A rare coin bearing the head of the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius and dating from 158–159 C.E. was found during a training exercise by an Israel Defense Forces soldier on the southern end of Mount Carmel.

“The coin discovered is one of the municipal coins minted in the city of Geva Philippi, also known as Geva Parashim,” said Dr. Avner Ecker, a lecturer in classical archaeology at Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology. In the Roman period, cities (poleis) were granted the right to mint their own coins. The year marked on the coin is the year when the municipal council was evidently established and its citizens were allowed self-government under the Roman Empire.” Read More

Sonic Energy Turns Liquid Mercury into Solid Nanoparticles

Scientists have surprised even themselves by creating a solid form of mercury at room temperature. They used a technique called sonochemistry to create solid nanoparticles from one of only a few elements on the periodic table to exist as a liquid at room temperature.

Sonochemistry uses sound waves to activate chemical reactions. By sonicating liquid mercury drops in water, Prof. Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University and his team dispersed the metal drops into nanospheres. Read More

Commentary: A Pragmatic Peace for Israelis and Palestinians

For more than 70 years, peace between Palestinians and Israelis has eluded the most dedicated and experienced negotiators, and the conflict continues to claim victims on both sides. Therefore, before plunging into another attempt, the Biden administration would be well advised to take a step back and learn the lessons of this bleak history. Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, emeritus professor of Political Science and Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University, shares his opinion in this article. Read More

What Makes People Want More Self-control?

The desire for self-control (DSC) reflects a wish to have an improved self-control ability. This desire is influenced by societal or cultural demands, as well as internal motivations. In a new study led by Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, Australia’s University of Queensland, and Texas Tech University in the US, researchers sought to discover the elements that drive people to experience greater DSC. Their findings were recently published in the APA journal Motivation Science. Read More

Israeli, US-based Scientists Create Molecular ‘Google Map’ of Brain

A collaboration of researchers from Bar-Ilan University, Harvard University, and MIT have created a molecular “Google map” of the brain. The newfound technology will now enable scientists to enlarge tissues and detect the precise location of RNA molecules within them. Read More

Neonatal Antibiotic Treatment Could Make Boys Grow Smaller

A new study from Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine has linked reduced weight and height in boys until age six with antibiotic treatments in the neonatal period (within 14 days of birth), though girls did not exhibit this quality. Read More

Youth from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Gaza Join Israeli Startup Program

A group of young entrepreneurs from Arab countries is participating in weekly zoom meetings as part of a unique Israeli program for the development of startups and social initiatives. The group includes young men and women from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The unique Starting Up Together program is a collaboration between the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, the eBay Israel Development Center, and the Center for Smart Cities at Bar Ilan University and is funded by the Edmond de Rothschild Israel Foundation. Read More

Rare Purple Dye from King David’s Time Unearthed in the Desert

Groundbreaking research conducted by Israeli archaeologists enabled them to recover scraps of fabric dyed in royal purple from the time of King David and King Solomon, some 3,000 years ago, the first time that purple-dyed Iron Age textiles have been found in Israel, or indeed throughout the Southern Levant.

The research was carried out by Dr. Naama Sukenik from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and Prof. Erez Ben-Yosef, from the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with Prof. Zohar Amar, Dr. David Iluz and Dr. Alexander Varvak from Bar-Ilan University and Dr. Orit Shamir from the IAA. Read More

Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology Graduates Lead Community Cleanup

A joint project of the Nahal Zimri community – led by Moran Babayan and Netanel Hochner, graduates of Bar-Ilan University’s Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology (LISA) – with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Pisgat Ze’ev community director, along with environmental and civic organizations, and especially the active involvement of local residents, has resulted in Nahal Zimri being declared an urban-community nature site by the Jerusalem Municipality. Read More