Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 06/10/2011



Yissum Research Development Company LTd. Of Hebrew University has introduced a solid organic electric battery based on treated potatoes. “The ability to provide electrical power with such simple and natural means could benefit millions of people in the developing world, literally bringing light and telecommunication. . . in areas currently lacking electrical infrastructure” said Yaacov Michlin, Yissum’s CEO. This cheap, easy to use green power source could substantially improve the quality of life of 1.6 billion people.

Researchers discovered a new way to construct an efficient battery using zinc and copper electrodes and a slice of your every day potato. The scientists discovered that the simple action of boiling the potato prior to use in electrolysis, increases electric power up to 10-fold over the untreated potato and enables the battery to work for weeks. Cost analyses showed this to be 5 to 50-fold cheaper than 1.5 volt D cells and Energizer E91 cells, respectively. It is also at least six times more economical than kerosene lamps. Potatoes are a good energy source since they are produced in 130 countries and are the world’s number one non-grain starch food commodity, now accounting for over half of the world’s harvest. Yissum has made this technology freely available to economically disadvantaged parts of the world. Go to for more information.

“The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3

From a Yissum press release
And this. . .

New Citrus Supplement Busts Cholesterol and Sugar

Imagine an ice-cream sundae topped by a special chocolate sauce that will never let that blessed moment on your lips stay forever on your hips, or a pizza topping that you sprinkle over the cheese like oregano, made from a secret ingredient that will help your body break down all the fat, so that it won’t clog your arteries. These are some of the very real possibilities coming out of a Hebrew University-Harvard University team working on extracting naringenin, a compound from grapefruit, and using nanotechnology to make it into a complex absorbed 11 times better than normal. This may forever change the way our metabolisms deal with fatty and sugary food. The research on this citrus extract is led by Dr. Yaakov Nahmias from the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Maria Shulman, his graduate student. They have isolated the molecule that creates the bitter taste in grapefruits, and have strong clinical evidence that if developed as a dietary supplement, it could change the way our bodies deal with fat and sugar.

The studies hold significant implications for the drug market, particularly in relation to diabetes, obesity, arteriosclerosis and even hepatitis C, Nahmias tells ISRAEL21c while bouncing his new baby on his knee. In his study reported in the scientific journal PLoS One, he explained how under regular conditions the absorption of the fat-and sugar-busting molecule naringenin is quite low. You’d have to ingest a lot of grapefruits for it to work-probably more than you’d ever want to eat. To improve absorption capabilities, the researchers applied new tools from nanotechnology and engineered a form of naringenin that includes an extra ring of sugar attached to the molecule. It is this extra ring that improves the absorption of naringenin and turns its bitter taste to sweet. According to the researchers, this is the world’s first dietary supplement that affects our body in a positive way as it reacts with the food we eat. The new complex is not a difficult pill to swallow; Nahmias predicts it could best be applied directly to food before it hits the market. But as a pill, it could potentially wipe a few other leading drug formulations off pharmacy shelves. It could be taken as a natural preventative measure against the buildup of lipids before cholesterol levels get high. Based on clinical studies now underway in Massachusetts General Hospital, it could even revolutionize the approach to the hepatitis C virus.

As Nahmias explains, “Type II diabetes patients need to take drugs to make their body more sensitive to insulin. They also have problems with elevated lipids. Our clinical trial is for hepatitis C, which assembles on the LDL triglycerides. We’ve found [our molecule] can block the production of the virus.” In earlier studies, the scientists found that one dose of their new molecule given to rats before a high-sugar and high-fat meal reduced the creation of “bad” cholesterol, or very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), by 42%.

“Instead of treating the symptoms, we are treating the cause. The cause is food. It all starts and ends with food, and the way our body reacts to it.”

Grapefruit article by Karin Kloosterman, Israel21c, June 5, 2011)


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