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Robert Kraft-led trip to Israel has profound impact on Hall of Famers


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis bleeds Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold, but as he boarded an airplane Tuesday set to return from Israel to the United States, he reflected on spending a week with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and laughed.

“I told my wife [Trameka], he has a new fan,” Bettis said. “My phrase was ‘I’m a friend of him, not of them.'”

That’s how strongly Bettis — who played several high-stakes games against the Patriots during his lengthy career with the Steelers — felt about what transpired from June 13-21. Bettis was one of 18 Hall of Famers who joined Kraft on a trip to Israel.

“To have an opportunity for me and my wife to be baptized in the Jordan River, that was amazing. To have an opportunity, as a Christian, to see where Jesus Christ was born, was amazing. To walk in his footsteps. To go to the Church of Holy Sepulchre, those kind of things, things I read about in a Bible but to actually have an opportunity to walk and see it with my own eyes, they were amazing,” Bettis said in a phone interview.

Bettis was joined by Pro Football Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Jim Brown, Cris Carter, Dave Casper, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, Joe Greene, Willie Lanier, Joe Montana, Andre Reed, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, John Stallworth, Roger Staubach, Andre Tippett, Aeneas Williams and Ron Yary. Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker also made the trip.

This marks the second time in three years that Kraft has led an ambassador-type trip to Israel. Part of the trip’s mission involved increasing American football’s popularity in the region.

“I learned so much about him,” Bettis said. “When you play against a team, and whenever you play you don’t know who is going to win, that’s a true rivalry. That’s what you have with the Patriots.

Read More: ESPN


Tel Aviv University develops major advance against drug-resistant bacteria

Tel Aviv University develops major advance against drug-resistant bacteria

A breakthrough technology from Tel Aviv University makes it possible to manipulate pathogens by delivering DNA into drug-resistant bacteria.

The discovery is a blow to antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest threats to global health that can affect anyone, at any age, in any country. Some 700,000 people in the world die each year, on average, due to a failure of antibiotics to kill resistant bacteria. The figure, according to the World Health Organization, could rise to 10 million per year by 2050.

The research expands the range of bacteriophages as the primary tool for introducing DNA into pathogenic bacteria to neutralize their lethal activity. A single type of bacteriophage can be adapted to a wide range of bacteria, an innovation that is likely to accelerate the development of potential drugs.

Prof. Udi Qimron of the department of clinical microbiology and immunology at the university’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine led the research team, which also included Dr. Ido Yosef, Dr. Moran Goren, Rea Globus and Shahar Molshanski- Mor, all of Qimron’s lab. The study was recently published in the journal Molecular Cell and featured on its cover.

For the research, the team genetically engineered bacteriophages to contain the desired DNA, rather than their own genome. They also designed combinations of nanoparticles from different bacteriophages, resulting in hybrids that are able to recognize new bacteria, including pathogenic bacteria.

The researchers also used directed evolution to select hybrid particles able to transfer DNA with optimal efficiency.

DNA manipulation of pathogens includes sensitization to antibiotics, Qimron said. “We’ve developed a technology that significantly expands DNA delivery into bacterial pathogens. This may indeed be a milestone, because it opens up many opportunities for DNA manipulations of bacteria that were impossible to accomplish before.”

Read More: J Post

Israeli company that extracts water from air launches Florida pilot

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, second from left, Water-Gen President Yehuda Kaploun and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez toasting Water-Gen in Miami Gardens, Florida, June 20, 2017. (Courtesy of Mendy Studio)

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, second from left, Water-Gen President Yehuda Kaploun and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez toasting Water-Gen in Miami Gardens, Florida, June 20, 2017. (Courtesy of Mendy Studio)

JTA — Large parts of Florida are suffering from severe drought, and hurricane season threatens to make things worse.

Enter Water-Gen, an Israeli company, whose technology captures humidity to extract drinking water from the air.

On Monday, the South Florida city of Miami Gardens announced it was launching a pilot program with the company to address its water problems — the first US city to do so.

“As representatives responsible for the quality of life and safety of our communities, preparedness and readiness to counter crises is mandatory,” Mayor Oliver Gilbert III said at a City Hall news conference. “Water-Gen’s pilot will enable us to measure its use for clean drinking water if needed for hurricane relief and any other emergency water situation that may arise.”

Over the next two weeks, Miami Gardens will use a mid-sized Water-Gen generator to produce drinking water for its residents. Water-Gen officials said they hope the pilot leads to contracts with Miami Gardens and other parts of Florida. The company’s largest generator yields as much as 825 gallons (3,100 liters) of water per day for only 10 cents a gallon, mostly in energy costs, according to the company.

Read More: Times of Israel

Inaugurating new fields, Patriots’ Kraft puts Jerusalem football in end zone


The white paint for the 50-yard-line on the third football field was still fresh when Robert Kraft recited the Hebrew “Shehehiyanu” blessing for new things and cut the ribbon in Tuesday’s ceremony marking the opening of the new Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem.

“Okay, Robert, throw it out,” said Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, running out for a touchdown.

New England Patriots owner Kraft was joined at Tuesday’s ceremony in the Emek Ha’arazim area of Jerusalem by 18 former NFL stars, who are in Israel for a week-long trip he hosted as part of an effort to promote the sport in a country that primarily sees “football” as soccer.

The visiting NFL hall-of-famers include Roger Staubach, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, “Mean” Joe Greene and four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana.

“It’s been an amazing trip,” said Montana as he stood with Kraft, looking out over the freshly laid turf of the new field.

Kraft made a $6 million gift toward the sports complex — his second in Jerusalem, after Kraft Stadium near the center of the capital.

This larger complex was constructed with sponsorship from organizations Mifal HaPais and Toto, and built in collaboration with the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Development Company – Moriah.

Due to open in two weeks in time for the 20th Maccabiah, the complex contains two soccer fields and one dual-use US regulation football and soccer field, as well as locker rooms, administrative offices, parking, a central pedestrian thoroughfare and plans in the pipeline for additional facilities.

Read More: Times of Israel