Thursday, June 04, 2020

From Ian:

Yehudah Glick beaten while leaving home of killed Palestinian's family
Former MK Yehudah Glick was severely beaten on Thursday when he visited the bereaved family of Iyad al-Halak, a Palestinian man who was shot by Border Police last Friday.

Halak was autistic and, according to his family, had the mental capacity of a child.

Glick was beaten when he left the bereaved family, who lives in east Jerusalem, and taken to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center, N12 reported.
The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Stern visited the mourning tent on Tuesday.

The shooting of an autistic man, leading to his death, led to wide condemnation across the country.
Norway Withholds Funding to Palestinian Authority Over Antisemitic and Jihadist Content in School Textbooks
Norway’s foreign minister on Thursday announced that funds earmarked for the Palestinian Authority’s education sector would be withheld until changes were made to schoolbooks that promoted antisemitism and terrorist violence against Israelis.

The decision followed a vote last December in the Norwegian parliament to demand such changes after the publication of a report by IMPACT-se — an NGO that analyzes school textbooks around the world for signs of intolerance — that demonstrated systematic insertions of violence, martyrdom and jihad across all grades and subjects in the textbooks used by the PA.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said that when she met with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah in February, she had “communicated the government’s views on the matter, stressing that lack of improvements in the school curriculum could have budgetary implications for future Norwegian aid.”

Søreide expressed optimism that changes to the textbooks would be implemented. “We feel that there is a good and close dialogue with the Palestinian education authorities on the issue,” she said. “Some of the curriculum changes have already been made by Palestine’s own textbook quality control committee.”

A statement from IMPACT-se praised Søreide for her “unprecedented decision.”

“This remarkable pronouncement is a clear message that Norway’s elected leaders will not allow their generosity to be abused, to deliver a daily diet of violence, bigotry and incitement against Jews and Israel in Palestinian schools,” the NGO declared.



Spike in coronavirus in Israel’s capital spreads nationwide
The number of coronavirus cases in Israel is exponentially rising as the government pushes to keep schools open.

The Health Ministry reported 118 people tested positive for coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of patients since the start of the pandemic to 17,495. At last count, there were 2,191 active cases, an increase of 88 cases from the day before, and 291 people had died.

Most of the newly infected people likely are schoolchildren and their parents. The number of serious and intubated patients is still on the decline. Thursday night, there were 30 people in serious condition, including 23 on ventilators.

For perspective, between Sunday and Thursday last week (May 24-28), the average number of new cases daily was 29. This week, between Sunday and Thursday, the average number of new cases was 80.

In one day, 6,865 students and teachers entered isolation, according to the Education Ministry, bringing the total number to 13,691. Moreover, some 301 students and teachers have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, an increase of 57 since Wednesday.

The cases are spread across the country, with the greatest number still in Jerusalem (53 in the last three days), according to the Health Ministry. Other places with high infection rates include Tel Aviv (25 in the last three days), Beersheba (17), Bnei Brak (15) and Ashdod (14).

Some 87 schools are closed, more than double the day before. Among them are schools in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Givatayim, Jaffa, Petah Tivka, Sderot and Tel Aviv. They include elementary schools, high schools and religious and secular institutions.

The spike in infections has led to an increase in the number of people asking to be tested, which has put a strain on the health funds, whose labs handle the screenings.
Israeli Knesset Sessions Suspended After MK Gets Coronavirus
Israel‘s parliament suspended sessions scheduled for Thursday after a lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, while some schools shut down anew amid worries about fresh outbreaks.

Having moved aggressively against the global pandemic in March and seen a tailing-off of new cases, Israel has eased curbs in recent weeks. But officials warn that public complacency could lead to a resurgence in cases.

The 120-seat Knesset said non-essential staff have been asked to stay home and all of Thursday’s committee meetings were postponed “pending an investigation of the ramifications” of lawmaker Sami Abou Shahadeh having contracted the coronavirus.

“I appeal to all of those who have been in my immediate vicinity to self-isolate and get tested,” Abou Shahadeh said on Twitter. “The virus is still among us and a return to so-called routine helps the virus spread with greater magnitude and speed.”
Some 200,000 Israelis Have Had COVID-19, New Study Shows
According to a new study by Tel Aviv University in conjunction with Magen David Adom and the Israeli Health Ministry’s Center for Disease Control, some 2.5 percent of Israel’s population, or some 200,000 people, have had COVID-19, most of whom may not have developed symptoms.

As of Tuesday morning, the official number of Israeli COVID-19 cases was 17,219.

The numbers are based on tests for coronavirus antibodies conducted among 1,700 people throughout Israel. The tests examined data from samples of blood donations taken from the Magen David Adom blood bank as well as the blood bank of the Center for Disease Control.

Representative sampling conducted in other countries has found that rates of exposure to coronavirus are between 1 percent and 6 percent.

Interestingly, higher rates of exposure were found in Israelis ages 40-60, with some 3.5 percent of that group testing positive for coronavirus antibodies. Over 3 percent of tests from the Jerusalem area were positive for coronavirus antibodies, while only some 1 percent tested positive in the Haifa region.

The data from the study covers the cumulative exposure of the Israeli population until mid-April. Additional testing will be carried out later this month and at regular intervals.


Now, a corona facemask that doesn’t hurt the environment
Textile manufacturing is one of the most polluting industries in the world. And the staggering amount of one-use personal protective equipment (PPE) getting thrown in the trash daily is another growing environmental problem.

Israeli family-owned textile manufacturer Ofertex specializes in recycled cleaning and home textile materials. Now it has launched an ecofriendly antibacterial PPE line.

“Unfortunately, most protective face gear, such as surgical masks for example, is single use, which makes it extremely damaging for the environment,” said Zvi Meir, CEO of Ofertex.

“We are proud to offer a responsible alternative to conventional facemasks, without compromising on its quality and protection level that we maintain through the ergonomic design of our mask and our antibacterial copper nanotechnology.”

The outer layers of the Ofertex Antibacterial EcoMask are 100 percent high-thread-count cotton.

The mask’s inner filter fabric, developed with the support of The Israel Innovation Authority, is non-woven viscose and polyester processed from recycled textiles and embedded with antimicrobial copper nanoparticles.
Israel Donates Medical Aid to Philippines to Fight Coronavirus
Israel donated a large shipment of medical supplies to the Philippines on Tuesday to help the southeast Asian nation cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The shipment included 50,000 medical gloves, 30,000 surgical masks, 4,500 medical gowns, 3,000 N95 filtered face masks, 1,500 face shields and 500 non-contact thermometers.


According to the Philippine Health Ministry, there have been 19,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 974 deaths.
Only 2,300 foreign visitors arrived in Israel during May
Only 2,300 foreign visitors arrived in Israel during the entire month of May, according to official data published on Thursday, reflecting the impact of strict government restrictions on international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Other than cases deemed exceptional by the Foreign Ministry, all foreign nationals have been denied entry to Israel since March 18, even if they can prove their ability to remain in home isolation for 14 days upon arrival. The entry ban is currently valid until June 15.

According to the data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), visitors are defined as individuals entering the country with either a tourism visa or a temporary residence visa, including students.

Among the visitors arriving in May, approximately 2,200 were considered tourists – remaining more than one day in the country – and another 100 were day visitors.

The figures represent a dramatic drop compared to previous years, with about 466,000 visitors arriving in May 2019 – including 440,000 tourists.
Jewish Group Calls on Swalwell to Apologize Over Nazi Comparison
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) called on Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) to apologize for comparing Richard Grenell, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany, to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

After Grenell tweeted about the National Park Service's denial of using tear gas against protesters in front of the White House, Swalwell wrote on Twitter that Grenell "is Goebbels with a Twitter account."


RJC called on Swalwell to make a "genuine apology" to Grenell, to Swalwell's constituents, and to the victims of the Nazi regime "whose suffering he minimized by this comparison."

Swalwell took to Twitter Wednesday to tell RJC he is not sorry, claiming that one day his children would ask him, "Dad, what did you do when Trump gassed peaceful protestors for a photo-op at a church?"

Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence and the first openly gay man to occupy a cabinet position, resigned his position as ambassador to Germany on June 1 after serving there since 2018.

"While political rhetoric can get heated, there is no excuse for ugly comparisons to one of the worst monsters in human history," RJC said in its statement.

"It demeans the important work that Ric has done — getting Germany to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, starving the terrorist regime in Iran of funds that would be used to finance terror against Israel and the Jewish people, and speaking out in defense of German Jews who were targets of antisemitic attacks."
NYT Editor Who Sent Anti-Semitic Tweets Says Cotton Op-ed Endangers Blacks
A New York Times editor who was forced to delete and apologize for anti-Semitic statements is expressing concern that the paper’s publication of an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) puts black lives at risk.

Newsletters editor Tom Wright-Piersanti retweeted the NewsGuild of New York union's statement criticizing the Times for Cotton's op-ed, which calls for the military to quell violent uprisings in American cities. Wright-Piersanti also retweeted a message shared by dozens of Times staffers and editors about the piece: "Running this put Black @nytimes staffers in danger."

Wright-Piersanti apologized last August after Breitbart exposed tweets he sent in 2009 and 2010 referring disparagingly to Jews. In one, he wrote, "I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So… HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews." In another, he referred to the "Jew-police." New York City experienced a record number of hate crimes against Jews in 2019 and its most since 1992.

He also deleted tweets where he said he hated "mohawk Indians" and "Indians with mohawks."

Wright-Piersanti has only six tweets on his profile, and five of them are retweets. None of them weighed in on the Times decision last year to publish an anti-Semitic cartoon portraying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a seeing-eye dog for President Donald Trump. He did not reply to a request for comment.
BBC Panorama investigation into Labour antisemitism nominated for BAFTA TV award
BBC Panorama has been nominated for a BAFTA Television Award in the category of ‘current affairs’ for its programme titled “Is Labour Antisemitic?”, which explored antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The programme, which was televised in July 2019, showed former Labour Party employees speaking out publicly to reveal Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s personal meddling in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism. The programme explained how senior Labour Party staffers, some of whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has known for years, used to run Labour’s disciplinary process independently, but soon after Mr Corbyn’s election as Party leader found themselves contending with his most senior aides, who were brazen in their efforts to subvert due process.

During the programme Labour’s press team made claims that the staffers featured had political axes to grind and lacked credibility, and it is understood that they and John Ware, the maker of the programme, commenced libel proceedings against the Labour Party. The libel cases are being brought by Mark Lewis, a highly esteemed media lawyer who is also an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The Labour Party also submitted a 28-page complaint to the BBC, claiming the programme failed to meet the BBC’s standards, but the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit, which is the top level of the broadcaster’s internal complaints process, decided to back the makers of the episode. Labour then took its complaint to Ofcom but withdrew it earlier this year.
CAA applauds Labour suspensions in Wavertree and elsewhere under new General Secretary, but Party needs to implement independent disciplinary process immediately
The Labour Party has reportedly suspended the four members of the executive of the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Wavertree who criticised their local MP for expressing regret that her predecessor, Luciana Berger, felt she had to leave the Party.

The CLP chair, Nina Houghton, CLP secretary, Kevin Bean, CLP women’s officer Helen Dickson, and CLP BAME officer Hazuan Hashim, have apparently been suspended from Labour pending an investigation. They criticised new MP Paula Barker for an article in the Jewish Telegraph in which she tried to reach out to the Jewish community.

They were in turn criticised by other CLP members for acting without authority, but there are suggestions that the entire CLP may be suspended from the Party.

Other CLPs are also reportedly being investigated, including Hampstead and Kilburn, a constituency with a sizable Jewish community and about which a 98-page report on antisemitism and bullying was submitted to the Labour Party. Dame Louise Ellman’s former constituency of Liverpool Riverside is also apparently being investigated, as is Hastings and Rye and also High Peak, where there have been claims of antisemitism.

The announcements come shortly after the selection of David Evans as Labour’s new General Secretary.

While Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the belated investigations, there is concern that these suspensions are haphazard and still leave other cases outstanding. Moreover, suspension is not in itself a sanction, and an independent disciplinary process must be established immediately to ensure that these cases are dealt with swiftly, fairly and transparently.


MEMRI: MEMRI YouTube Channel Passes 10 Million Views
The MEMRI YouTube channel has passed the milestone of 10 million views since its launch in December 2017.

MEMRI TV clips have had over 300 million views on all platforms.

The channel also now has 33,340 subscribers viewing MEMRI TV clips as they are released. To date, the MEMRI YouTube channel has posted 1,395 clips and had 10,059,511 views; it reached the one-million views mark in November 2018 and the three-million views mark in April 2019.

Join over 500,000 daily readers who are subscribed to MEMRI content on social media – follow us now on YouTube for all the latest MEMRI TV clips by visiting the MEMRI TV Videos channel on YouTube and clicking on "Subscribe."
BBC WS interviewer asks Entebbe rescuer about ‘reservations’
One particularly noteworthy aspect of this interview is the attempt made to present the operation to rescue the hostages held at Entebbe (but not the actual hijacking) as “controversial”.
Webb [20:25] “The raid had been controversial and questions were asked in the UN about Israel’s response. […] In Israel the raid was still seen as a huge achievement…”

In fact the UN did not merely ‘ask questions’ – as the JTA reported at the time, a UN Security Council session was convened.
“The four-day angry debate at the Council ended with a stalemate last night after the African states withdrew their resolution that called for the condemnation of Israel for violating Uganda’s sovereignty, and a rival British-American resolution condemning hijacking and international terrorism received only six votes, three short of the number necessary for adoption.

The Africans withdrew their proposed resolution – jointly sponsored by Libya, Tanzania and Benin –after it became clear that the one-sided resolution would not receive the minimum nine affirmative votes needed for adoption. In addition, had the resolution received the required votes. It would certainly have been vetoed by the U.S.”


Emily Webb however chose to echo the sponsors of that anti-Israel resolution when she asked the person who took part in a mission to rescue Jews held hostage by terrorists and threatened with death merely because of their ethnicity:
[09:59] Webb: “Did you have any reservations about the operations? I mean, knowing that you’d be violating Uganda’s territory by taking part in it, by going into the country without permission.”

Mr Sherman’s response to that peak BBC question was “not really”.

As we have seen in previous BBC attempts to report on that hijacking and rescue operation, not only does the corporation have considerable difficulty telling that story accurately and without politically motivated euphemisms but its 2007 conspiracy theory promoting article on that subject is still available online.
Shock in Germany After Neo-Nazi Gunman Who Attacked Synagogue on Yom Kippur Attempts Prison Escape
Jewish community leaders in the eastern German city of Halle expressed shock on Thursday after learning that the neo-Nazi gunman who attacked a local synagogue on Yom Kippur last year had attempted to escape from prison last weekend.

“It is incredible that he almost made it. I have no words,” Max Privorozki — chairman of the Halle Jewish community — told the dpa news agency.

The incident involving the gunman, 27-year-old Stephan Balliet, occurred last Saturday, when he briefly managed to dodge the gaze of prison guards during a recreation period in the courtyard of the Halle correctional facility.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Justice in the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Balliet then jumped over an 11-foot-tall fence before being captured by guards about five minutes later.

A spokesman for the ministry said that Balliet’s intention to escape had been “evident.” He has since been transferred to a high-security facility in the town of Burg, in western Germany.

More than 50 worshipers were attending services for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, at the Halle synagogue on Oct. 31 last year when Balliet’s attempted gun massacre was foiled by the synagogue’s security doors.




Report finds anti-Semitism on the rise in Czech Republic
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Czech Republic doubled in 2019, the Jewish community said Wednesday.

In its annual report, the Federation of the Jewish Communities said there were 694 anti-Semitic attacks in 2019 compared with 347 in the previous year.

A majority of the attacks – 95% – were registered on the internet, often on disinformation websites, far-right media and produced by activists involved in an international campaign to boycott Israel.

The Jewish community said there were three attacks on Jewish property last year and six other incidents involved anti-Semitic threats, harassment and verbal insults. No physical attack was registered in 2019.

In June 2019, an unknown attacker damaged a monument in Prague's main train station which children saved by Sir Nicholas Winton from Nazi death camps unveiled in 2017 to honor their parents.

The Briton arranged eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain just before the outbreak of World War II in 1939. He died in 2015 at age 106.

The children were sent to foster parents. Back home, most of their parents died in the Holocaust.
Supreme Court Expected to Rule on Whether to Hear Case of Nazi-Stolen Art
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on hearing a case about a German arts museum and whether or not a treasure trove, known as the “Guelph Treasure,” should be returned to the heirs of four Jewish art dealers in Germany. The dealers have argued that they were forced to sell it to the Nazi-controlled Prussian government in 1935 in what they called a “genocidal taking.”

The collection, worth around $224.45 million, consists of medieval church relics and was owned by the House of Guelph in 1671 until it was sold to a group of art dealers in 1929. The items currently sit in the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Applied Arts Museum) in Berlin.

In a May 26 filing, US Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that the heirs have failed to make the case, in accordance with the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, that the collection was confiscated “in violation of international law” in that the Nazi seizure was domestic. That law includes limitations as to whether a foreign sovereign nation may be sued in US courts—state or federal.

Francisco also noted that although the 2016 Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act “demonstrate Congress’s concern with art seizures that occurred as part of the Holocaust,” that law doesn’t “create a cause of action in US courts” for the heirs’ case.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the last day of the court’s term, June 29, or in early October, following its summer recess.
Growing Calls to Expel Penn State University Student Over Swastika Photo
More than 30,000 people have signed a petition urging Penn State University to expel a student who posted a photograph on Twitter displaying a hand-drawn swastika on her shoulder.

The photo was posted on Monday and showed the student, named in the petition as Ryann Milligan, with two unidentified friends, one of whom also wore a swastika, looking over their shoulders and smiling at the camera.

Penn State authorities swiftly responded to the image and said that contact had been made with Milligan.

“The reported anti-Semitic post is deeply disturbing and sickening,” Penn State wrote on Twitter. “The [university] is contacting the individual alleged to be involved…We will continue to speak out against hatred and intolerance.”

Signatories to the petition insisted that the university needed to take tougher action against the student, who was said to be pursuing a degree in rehabilitation and human services.

“Allowing her to remain a student of Penn State is a disservice to all Jewish people, living or dead,” the petition stated. “It sends the message that antisemitic actions and ideals are accepted by the university, and that Penn State doesn’t care about protecting its Jewish students, as well as other oppressed and underrepresented minorities.”
Red Dot is red hot: Israeli VC raises $200 million for its second fund
Israeli venture capital fund Red Dot Capital Partners is close to raising $200 million for a new fund, according to filings submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday. Among the partners in the new fund are Yoram Oron, one of Israel’s most veteran VC investors and the founder of Vertex Ventures Israel, Barak Salomon, and Yaniv Stern, who co-founded Red Dot together with Oron. The fund invests in late-stage companies to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for every investment.

Red Dot launched its first fund in 2016, raising $151 million. Several people with knowledge of its activities told Calcalist that the fund offered its investors handsome returns and has already achieved 40% realized returns.

Among its success stories are the investment in Israeli cyber company Armis Security, which was sold to Insight Partners and Google’s investment fund for $1.1 billion. Red Dot had led one of Armis’s first rounds, to the tune of $30 million, and registered a high return on its investment. Its other successful investments include Team8’s Claroty, which deals with industrial cyber operations; E-commerce company Global-e; Wi-Fi application chip and tech supplier Celeno, in which Red Dot led a $38 million round; computer vision start-up Trigo, and CTERA Networks, which offers a private cloud IT-as-a-Service platform for storing, syncing, sharing, protecting, and governing data, for which Red Dot led a $30 million investment round in 2018.
NetApp to Acquire Israeli Company Spot.io for $450 Million
Nasdaq-listed hybrid cloud data services company NetApp announced Wednesday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Israeli cloud services company Spot.io. A person with knowledge of the deal who spoke to Calcalist under condition of anonymity said it was priced at $450 million.

Spot.io, incorporated as Spotinst, has raised a total of $52 million to date. Among the company’s investors is Highland Capital, which led its latest round of funding; Intel Capital, the investment fund of Intel; Vertex Ventures Israel, Springtide Ventures, Pico Ventures, and Leaders Fund, according to the IVC database. The company employs 150 workers in its offices in Tel Aviv, London, and San Francisco.

NetApp offers hybrid cloud data services for management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments and is traded at a company value of $9.7 billion.

This is not NetApp’s first acquisition in Israel: in May 2019 NetApp acquired Tel Aviv-based data protection and compliance startup Cognigo, registered as D.Day Labs, for approximately $70 million.

In 2017, NetApp acquired Israel-based lead storage startup Plexistor.

In 2006 NetApp acquired Topio for $160 million and in 2008 it acquired Onaros Storage service management software for $120 million. These two startups were the foundation on which the company established its development and sales center in Israel.
Israel Plans 80 Billion Shekel Investment to Increase Solar Energy Use
Israel Energy Ministry Yuval Steinitz announced an 80 billion shekel ($22.8 billion) plan to increase solar power use during the next 10 years.

The goal is to have solar power production grow 30 percent by 2030, Steinitz said according to a Reuters report on Monday. The plan is estimated to cut air pollution by 93 percent compared to 2015.

“This is a move that will change the face of the State of Israel, and it will be carried out by the private sector. There is a great deal of room for growth, innovation, and enterprise,” Steinitz said, Globes reported.

The new target, said Steinitz, is to outpace rising demand and have solar power production grow to 30 percent by 2030, or about 16,000 megawatts. That is roughly the same as total energy production today.

He said that most of the funds would pay for building solar energy facilities and other money would go to upgrading the national grid and energy storage.

More than 80 percent of the country’s electricity would be provided for by solar power according to the plan, the report noted.
Groundbreaking Israeli microscope can change the face of tech — scientists
Israeli scientists say they have developed a quantum electron microscope that gives the clearest picture ever produced of light moving inside materials.

“It’s like the moment when we went from having cameras that could capture still images to also having the power to capture video,” Professor Ido Kaminer, inventor of the new microscope, told The Times of Israel.

Standard electron microscopes produce still images, or slow-moving images, while Kaminer’s, built at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, gives what he calls a “movie view” of what is happening inside materials.

“It’s an electron microscope that takes us from frozen images or very slow frame rates to extremely fast motion, and this really opens doors, allowing us to improve the way we design technology, and helps us to push electronics to its fastest and most powerful,” he said.

Kaminer added: “This is the first time we have built something like this in Israel, and it’s one of the best microscopes in the world.” He said it is one of a handful of a new generation of microscopes, known as ultrafast electron microscopes, with other notable successes being in the US, Germany and Switzerland.

While the microscope has been in use for months — and maintained by scientists given special permission to work during the coronavirus crisis — the Technion has kept it hushed until the team could prove its accuracy and their claims were peer reviewed. It has gone public now that an article on experiments conducted using the new microscope has been published in the journal Nature.
Israel aiming to enable unprecedented DNA edits, to help cure illnesses
Israel is setting up a task force aimed at bringing a new level of accuracy to genome editing, in the hope it will pave the way to cures for various medical conditions.

The state-run Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) has allocated NIS 36 million ($10 million) for the country’s academic institutions and several companies to advance CRISPR, a technology for making edits to the genome.

The consortium, which will work on genome editing for humans, as well as agriculture and fish, will run for 18 months, after which funding may be renewed.

There is widespread excitement in scientific circles about genome editing, after CRISPR was administered, for the first time, inside a human body last month, in an attempt to treat genetic condition that causes blindness.

Genome editing, which involves making changes to DNA, normally to address a health problem, is thought to have potential for common conditions like cancer and blood disorders, but also for rare genetic illnesses for which medicines aren’t developed.

Genome editing is already used in agriculture and research, and it is widely hoped that successes with animals — like reducing the severity of genetic hearing loss in mice — will provide the knowledge that scientists need to advance human health.



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