Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hebrew University Professor Researches the "Humble Potato"

Tel Aviv CleanTech 2010 Expo

CleanTech 2010The annual international event for clean technologies opened today in the Tel Aviv Fairs & Conventions Center and will continue until June 30.

Tel-Aviv CleanTech 2010 will focus on environmental quality, infrastructures and green building, renewable energy and water technologies. Participants will discuss energy, water and recycling issues and will be presented with the newest developments in the area in Israel and abroad. Delegations from across the globe, together with ministers and leading public figures in the area of ecology in Israel and worldwide are attending. The expo will also host a special convention on environmental quality and clean technologies, comprising dozens of pavilions.

The expo features hundreds of leading Israeli companies from various CleanTech areas, including government bodies, green organizations, technological greenhouses, venture funds and educational institutions active in this field. In recent years Israel has been concentrating on the interdisciplinary industry aiming at preserving the earth's resources: energy, water, and air. In the last two years, over 300 million dollars have been invested in the CleanTech industry; 320 companies in Israel specialize in the CleanTech field, especially water purification and solar energy. The scope of water technologies exports in Israel this year will stand at 1.2 billion dollars.

The 14th "CleanTech" focuses on four major areas:
- Israel's transition into a state of energetic independence on the basis of developing renewable energies;
- Coping with the global water problem as a result of population growth and the pollution of ground water reservoirs;
- Solutions and innovations in the area of energy conservation and energy efficiency improvement, including green construction and grey water solutions;
- Innovations in the areas of recycling associated with ground water pollution as well as recycling of paper, glass, plastic and nylon products in Israel and worldwide.

Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Collagen Manufactured From Transgenic Tobacco Plants Instead Of Animals

Collagen StructureA scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment has succeeded in producing a replica of human collagen from tobacco plants – an achievement with tremendous commercial implications for use in a variety of human medical procedures.

Natural human type I collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the main protein found in all connective tissue. Commercially produced collagen (pro-collagen) is used in surgical implants and many wound healing devices in regenerative medicine. The current market for collagen-based medical devices in orthopedics and wound healing exceeds US $30 billion annually worldwide.

Currently, commercial collagen is produced from farm animals such as cows and pigs as well as from human cadavers.

Source: EurekAlert

Friday, June 18, 2010

French fries or batteries?

PotatoesIsraelis have developed a way to generate a battery using the energy of boiled potatoes, creating an ecological and economical way of bringing technology to developing nations.

"The ability to provide electrical power with such simple and natural means could benefit millions of people in the developing word, literally bringing light and telecommunication to their life in areas currently lacking electrical infrastructure," Yaacov Michlin, chief executive of Yissum, said in a statement.

Kind of makes you crave latkes, doesn't it? After all, who knows about all the uses for the common spud! Read the whole article here.

Shabbat Shalom, everyone, till next time!


Oil Spill Exercises in Israel

Oil Spill Exercise in the Gulf of EilatIn recent weeks, in the shadow of the dire news concerning the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, two major oil spill exercises and training sessions took place in Israel. The drills were held with the framework of a program run by the Marine and Coastal Environment Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which simulates the treatment and prevention of marine pollution by oil in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Eilat for training purposes. They are part of a series of exercises carried out within the framework of Israel's "National Contingency Plan for Large Scale Oil Spills."

Marine Pollution Prevention Training in Ashkelon

The first training session, carried out at the end of May 2010, at the Eilat Ashkelon Oil Pipeline site in Ashkelon, covered the following subjects:
- Types of oils and fuels;
- Environmental impacts of marine pollution by oil;
- Treatment methods for oil spills at sea and shore;
- Alternative methods for biological and chemical treatment of oil spills;
- Practical exercise on deploying equipment at sea and the coast.

The training session was targeted at:
- Organizations dealing with the transport, production or maintenance of oils and fuels;
- Position holders in coastal local authorities;
- Israeli Electric Corporation personnel;
- Enforcement bodies in the Ministry of Environmental Protection including the Marine and Coastal Environment Division, the Green Police, the Nature and Parks Authority, volunteers and more.

Oil Spill Exercise in the Gulf of Eilat

On June 7, 2010, teams of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Nature and Parks Authority and Eilat Underwater Observatory Marine Park successfully completed an oil pollution combat exercise in the Almog Beach in Eilat. The aim of the exercise was to test and operate the emergency plan of the Nature and Parks Authority for protecting the coral reserve from oil spills. As part of the exercise, oil containment booms were deployed around the marine reserve in order to prevent oil stains from reaching this sensitive site. In addition, fuel pumping equipment was operated and the system for the transport of the fuels to receiving tankers was activated.

Source: Israel Ministry of the Environment - News

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Israel gears up for eco-tourists!

Cycling in IsraelThe Israeli government is seeking to make Israel a cycling destination hotspot. Already popular in Europe, cycling tours enable travelers to visit a country on a bike. Israelis are seeking to create a bike path spanning the entire country, enabling a whole new level of eco-friendly travel.

It gets hot in the Middle East, especially in the summer but the absence of rainfall keeps away mosquitos so it's possible to sleep outside at night while spending days cycling around the Negev and Galilee.

Read the whole story here.

Sounds tempting to me and I think I may look into booking my cycling tour already.

Till next time,