Dead Sea, Israel
The actress Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she announced she was having a double mastectomy. As a carrier of the BRCA1 gene, she had an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer and chose the surgery to reduce her risk. Now, new research from Israel points to better outcomes for those being treated or who are at risk.
They focused on a protein called Erbin that seems to be linked to heart disease – specifically an abnormally enlarged heart, as Rachmin and her team reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
“We were the first one to publish about Erbin’s role in the heart, not only in mice models but in humans,” Rachmin tells ISRAEL21c. “There was only one article that showed expression in cell lines but didn’t show any physiological function like we did.”
Here is how this new research links to breast cancer: the HER2-positive cancer, which accounts for up to 30% of all breast cancers, mainly is treated with Herceptin. The problem is that 10% of all women taking this drug have to stop using it because Herceptin carries a serious risk of heart abnormalities.
“Our research has given us some insight into why Herceptin may be toxic to the heart,” says study co-author Gillian Kay.
Says lead researcher Razin: “Erbin is a very important inhibitor for an abnormal enlargement of the heart. When we grew mice without Erbinand stimulated their hearts, they developed a pathological enlargement.”
The research project’s collaborators include the lab of Prof. Roger Foo at the National University of Singapore.
“The Singapore group is looking at mutations in this gene in humans and is drawing correlations for diagnostics and therapy,” says Razin.
Knowing more about the heart
An enlarged heart is not always bad sign, Razin points out. Erbin and enlarged hearts work together somehow in normal pregnant women and in athletes. In both cases, the heart must grow to take care of pumping the extra blood in the system.
Rachmin tells ISRAEL21c that she would like to look at this phenomenon in pregnancy for more clues: “We want to see if there is a difference in the way Erbinfunctions in pregnant women and in athletes and compare this mechanism to pathological conditions. This link is extremely important –– how proteins interact with their environment.”
If she had an unlimited budget, Rachmin says she would focus on breast cancer as it is still hard to measure the real effects of drugs like Herceptin.
“I want to study women who have developed cardiotoxicity to measure the Erbin in their hearts and find any correlations to these levels and other signals we are getting from the heart,” she says.
Additional researchers in this study include Prof. Dan Gilon, the director of the Echocardiography/Non-Invasive Cardiology Unit of The Heart Institute at the Hadassah University Medical Center, and Dr. Eli Golomb from the pathology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Support for the terrorist organization Hamas has skyrocketed in Judea, Samaria and Gaza according to a new poll, after Hamas “skyrocketed” Israel with a massive missile barrage and terror war in Operation Protective Edge.
A full 61% of Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would pick Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for unity government president if elections were held today, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll reported Tuesday by Associated Press (AP).
By contrast, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was found to have dropped sharply to a mere 32% in support.
The survey also found a “grass is greener” effect, with support for each of the two higher in the area under the other’s control; Haniyeh received 53% support in Gaza and 66% in Judea and Samaria, while Abbas got 43% in Gaza and 25% in Judea and Samaria.
The poll also suggested that a majority of Arab residents of the region support appropriating Hamas’s active terrorism against Jews in Judea and Samaria as well, a trend that accompanies a recent rise in terror incidents there.
The polling agency said Haniyeh gained a majority of support for the first time in eight years; the survey included 1,270 respondents and had a 3% margin of error.
Just in May a similar poll found jailed arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti of Abbas’s Fatah faction was favored for president of the new unity government, outpacing both Abbas and Haniyeh.
In an open letter last month, Barghouti called for a Fatah revolution, urging the group to further unify with Hamas and reject negotiations with Israel in preference of “resistance.”
The new poll also confirms another survey last Wednesday conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), which found 89% of Gazans support indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel civilians.
On the other side of the Arab support for the terror war, an Israeli poll late last month after the ceasefire found a 59% majority of Israelis felt Israel did not win Operation Protective Edge, signalling the frustration over a perceived lack of decisive military action against Hamas.
The poll likewise found that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval rating has taken a nose-dive during the operation, plummeting from a high of 82% at the time of the IDF ground entry to an abysmal 32% after the ceasefire with Hamas.
This week, Italian paper Il Tempo reported that Pope Francis was “in the crosshairs” of the Islamic State (IS), with the jihadi group calling him the “bearer of false truth.”
Il Tempo reported that according to their sources within Italy’s intelligence services, the Islamic State plans on “raising the level of confrontation” with Pope Francis because he is the “greatest exponent of the Christian religion.”
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said to Catholic News Agency, after catching wind of the IS threats: “There is nothing serious to this. There is no particular concern in the Vatican.”
Earlier this week, however, Italy issued an official terrorism alert, largely because of increased concern about the threat posed by the radical Islamist group. Rome cautioned that IS could hit “sensitive targets” throughout Italy and its embassies abroad, including that of the Holy See. Deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico warned that churches, mass transit stations, seaports, and airports were all at risk. “ISIS poses an international and European security threat, and we in Italy feel particularly exposed,” said the deputy interior minister.
The Italian parliament recently approved a measure that would send arms to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters battling the Islamic State in northern Iraq.
Italian paper Corriere della Sera has recently reported that over 50 Italians are currently fighting for the Islamic State jihadis stationed in Iraq and Syria.
In a matter of days, IS fighters successfully cleansed the many-centuries-old Christian community of Mosul, Iraq. “They gave us four choices: Either convert to Islam or pay tax, or leaving the city, or the sword,” one refugee told CBN news. “They are using the sword to cut off the hand and also beheading others. So I don’t think this is the behavior of human beings, but wild animals do that,” he added.
Our prayers are with Joan Rivers as she battles for her life. You stood by Israel, now it’s our turn to stand by you.
As fighting intensified between Syrian army troops and Islamist rebels, the IDF increased its presence on the Golan Heights Monday afternoon. Security officials fear that the fighting could “spill over” the Israeli border.
A senior Israeli security official said that the IDF had recently changed its conception of defense on the Golan. A group of highly trained and experienced soldiers who know the terrain well are now on duty at all times, constituting a forward force ready to deal with trouble as it develops.
The fighting heated up on the Syrian side of the border on Monday, with the sounds of battle distinctly heard in Israel. The heaviest fighting is in the area of the city of Quneitra, just over the border.
From what they can tell, IDF officials say that the casualty rate was very high in the Syrian Golan, with victims on both sides of the battle. According to reports, the Syrian Army’s regional commander in the Golan was among those killed in battle.
The IDF is continuing to examine the remains of a UAV shot down over the Golan Sunday. The Israeli Air Force downed the unmanned drone over the Golan Heights as it attempted to enter Israeli airspace from Syria. Forces fired a surface-to-air Patriot missile at the drone, which came from the area of Quneitra.
According to security sources, the drone was made in Iran. Israeli officials are examining what the model for the drone was – especially if it was based on American models, specifically the US drone that was reportedly downed over Iran last year.
The fighting has been spilling over, as a mortar shell fired from Syria struck an open area on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights Monday morning, with the battle continuing to rage between pro-regime forces and Syrian rebels. No damage or injuries were reported.
Several mortar shells have fallen inside Israeli territory since the launch of a rebel offensive centered around the Syria border city of Quneitra last Wednesday.
An alliance of rebel forces, including both the western-backed Harakat Hazm faction and Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch the Al-Nusra Front, drove out Assad regime forces last week, but have been facing a concerted counterattack by Syrian army ground and air forces since.
In a release sent to the news media by the Deal for Governor Communications office, the state of Georgia, which buys millions in Israeli bonds annually, is currently engaged in cooperation with Israel on the front lines from anti-terrorism and cyber-security to trade and investment policy.
The write-up by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton also appeared in the Washington Times said that as the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship deteriorates at the national level, our states, local institutions and businesses are actually forging ever-closer relations with key Israeli institutions.
Relations between President Obama and his administration and the government of Israel has reached an all-time low to the point where Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama and his administration to back off and to stop second-guessing him on how he is dealing with Hamas.
Part of the fostering anger stems from Secretary of State, John Kerry’s proposal in calling for negotiations on Hamas demands, including opening border crossings into Gaza and relaxed boating restrictions off the Gaza coast. In addition, its language reportedly upgraded Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, to an equal plane with Israel, something that is annoying Netanyahu.
With the interference of the Obama administration, Deal and Bolton said, “Many among America’s media, university and even religious elites increasingly condemn Israel’s effort to protect its growing population, calling for sanctions, boycotts and divestitures against U.S. firms doing business with Israel. This “BDS movement” does not merely criticize specific Israeli policies, such as Protective Edge, but instead attacks the very legitimacy of Israel itself. It often masks an ill-concealed anti-Semitism, a stain we had hoped was long ago erased from American political discourse. It is reminiscent of former President Jimmy Carter’s view of Israel as an “apartheid state.”
In terms of cyber-security, Deal and Bolton referred to the growing threat of cyber-attacks against military information-technology networks, private corporations, U.S. infrastructures and against individual citizens.
For Georgia, Deal and Bolton said, “Military needs, technology, academic research and sophisticated workforces intersect in both Georgia and Israel. Georgia Tech’s Information Security Center and cybersecurity training at Fort Gordon, working closely with Israel’s new Advanced Technology Park on the campus of Ben Gurion University, are quickly becoming cybersecurity world leaders.”
Bolton said,” On a recent trade mission to Israel, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Given Israel and Georgia’s economic ties, existing technology hubs and military installations, a partnership between Georgia Tech and leading Israeli universities to combat this threat is a natural next step. Together, the “next Silicon Valley” and the “Silicon Valley of the Southeast” are joining to develop and strengthen our cyber-defenses.”