The Israeli vulture detained in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel has been returned home after UN peacekeepers intervened.
The huge vulture, which has a 6ft 5in wing span, flew over the border from an Israeli game reserve and was caught by Lebanese villagers on January 26.
They became suspicious as the griffon vulture had a tracking device attached to its tail.
The bird is part of a conservation project to reintroduce raptors to the Middle East.
Wildlife officials say the vulture was brought from Spain in 2015 and set free about a month ago in the Gamla Nature Reserve in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Tel Aviv University is involved in tracking the bird, and as well as a GPS transmitter, it had tags on its wings and an engraved metal ring on its leg saying: “Tel Aviv Univ Israel”.
Wildlife officials in Israel were alerted to its capture when photos of the tied-up bird appeared on social media.
“In a discreet operation with the Lebanese and with the great help of UN forces and the UN liaison unit, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority was able to return the vulture that was caught a few days ago by villagers of Bint Jbeil, Lebanon,” an Israeli statement released on January 29 said.
The Lebanese media says the villagers freed the vulture after it became clear it was not on a spying mission.
After its ordeal the vulture was weak and was being treated for minor injuries, officials said.
However, it is not the first time a griffon vulture has been taken to be an agent of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.
Saudi Arabia captured one, also with a Tel Aviv University tracker, in the desert city of Hyaal in 2011, sparking rumors of a “Zionist plot” that were dismissed by Israeli officials.
ImMucin, a breakthrough vaccine that targets a molecule in 90% of all cancers has been tested on humans for the first time.
Results from the safety trial – on patients with blood cancer – found all had greater immunity to the disease after receiving the vaccine. Three of the seven patients who have completed the treatment are now free of the condition.
The therapeutic vaccine developed by Vaxil Biotheraputics and Tel Aviv University is designed to be given to patients to help their bodies fight cancer rather than the majority – known as prophylactic vaccines – that aim to prevent disease in the first place.
Researchers believe the jab could also tackle breast, prostate, pancreatic, bowel and ovarian cancers.
Even tumors that resist treatment with the best medicines on the market, including the breast cancer “wonder drug” Herceptin, may be susceptible to the vaccine.
ImMucin, a breakthrough vaccine that targets a molecule in 90% of all cancers has been tested on humans for the first time
If all goes well, ImMucin could be on the market by 2020.
Rather than attacking cancer cells, like many drugs, ImMucin harnesses the power of the immune system to fight tumors.
The search for cancer vaccines has until now been hampered by fears that healthy tissue would be destroyed with tumors.
Researchers from the drug company Vaxil Biotheraputics and Tel Aviv University have focused on a protein called MUC1 that is made in bigger amounts in cancerous cells than in healthy ones.
Not only is there more of it, but a sugar that it is “decorated” with has a distinctive shape.
The vaccine “trains” the immune system to recognize the rogue sugar and turn its arsenal against the cancer.
The misshaped MUC1 sugar is found in 90% of all cancers. There have been “dramatic” results in tests on mice with breast tumors.
Now, Vaxil Biotheraputics have announced promising results in a human safety trial.
Ten patients suffering from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, have now received the vaccine received the vaccine at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem.
Seven of the patients have finished the treatment and Vaxil reported that all of them had greater immunity against cancer cells compared to before they were given the vaccine. Of the seven, three patients are reportedly free of detectable cancer.
None of them have reported suffering side-effects apart from minor irritation.
A statement from Vaxil Biotheraputics said: “ImMucin generated a robust and specific immune response in all patients which was observed after only 2-4 doses of the vaccine out of a maximum of 12 doses.
“In some of the patients, preliminary signs of clinical efficacy were observed.”
Years of large-scale human trials will be needed before the drug is judged safe and effective for widespread use in hospitals.
It could then be used with existing drugs to boost treatment and given to prevent tumors from coming back after surgery.
Men and women known to be at high risk of cancer because of their genes could also be vaccinated in an attempt to stop tumors from appearing.
A research team from Tel Aviv University claim that a full breakfast that includes a sweet treat really can contribute to weight loss success.
Researchers found that eating pudding as part of a balanced 600-calorie breakfast that also includes proteins and carbohydrates, can help dieters to lose more weight – and keep it off in the long run.
The key is to indulge in the morning, when the body’s metabolism is at its most active and we are better able to work off the extra calories throughout the day, according to Professor Daniela Jakubowicz and her team.
Attempting to avoid sweets entirely can create a psychological addiction to these same foods in the long-term, Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz said. So adding dessert items to breakfast can control cravings throughout the rest of the day.
A research team from Tel Aviv University claim that a full breakfast that includes a sweet treat really can contribute to weight loss success
Over the course of a 32 week-long study, detailed in the journal Steroids, participants who added dessert to their breakfast – cookies, cake, or chocolate – lost an average of 40 lbs more than a group that avoided such foods. What’s more, they kept off the pounds longer.
A meal in the morning provides energy for the day’s tasks, aids in brain functioning, and kick-starts the body’s metabolism, making it crucial for weight loss and maintenance.
And breakfast is the meal that most successfully regulates ghrelin, the hormone that increases hunger, explains Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz.
While the level of ghrelin rises before every meal, it is suppressed most effectively at breakfast time.
Basing their study on this fact, the researchers hoped to determine whether meal time and composition had an impact on weight loss in the short and long term, or if it was a simple matter of calorie count.
193 clinically obese, non-diabetic adults were randomly assigned to one of two diet groups with identical caloric intake – the men consumed 1600 calories per day and the women 1400.
However, the first group was given a low carbohydrate diet including a small 300 calorie breakfast, and the second was given a 600 calorie breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates, always including a dessert item (i.e. chocolate).
Halfway through the study, participants in both groups had lost an average of 33 lbs per person. But in the second half of the study, results differed drastically. The participants in the low-carbohydrate group regained an average of 22 lbs per person, but participants in the group with a larger breakfast lost another 15 lbs each.
At the end of the 32 weeks, those who had consumed a 600-calorie breakfast had lost an average of 40 lbs more per person than their peers.
One of the biggest challenges that people face is keeping weight off in the long-term, says Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz. Ingesting a higher proportion of our daily calories at breakfast makes sense. It’s not only good for body function, but it also alleviates cravings.
Highly restrictive diets that forbid desserts and carbohydrates are initially effective, but often cause dieters to stray from their food plans as a result of withdrawal-like symptoms. They end up regaining much of the weight they lost during the diet proper.
Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz said that although they consumed the same daily amount of calories, “the participants in the low carbohydrate diet group had less satisfaction, and felt that they were not full”. She said that their cravings for sugars and carbohydrates were more intense and eventually caused them to cheat on the diet plan.
“But the group that consumed a bigger breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any cravings for these foods later in the day.”
Ultimately, this shows that a diet must be realistic to be adopted as part of a new lifestyle. Curbing cravings is better than deprivation for weight loss success, the team concluded.