Palestinians, Israelis work together to clear medicines from waterAug. 22, 2013
For a group of Palestinian and Israeli researchers investigating methods to completely purify water from medicinal materials, working together is nothing short of critical.
The joint Palestinian-Israeli research team from Al-Quds University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is working to assess the use of advanced membrane and bio-degradation technologies for eradicating pharmaceutical materials from treated waste-water. Organized by the Peres Center for Peace and sponsored by the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, the two-year project aims to investigate the degradation and removal processes of certain drugs found in aquatic environments that come from both domestic and industrial sources.
Dr. Rafik Karaman, of Al-Quds University’s College of Pharmacy in Abu Dis, who is the principal researcher on the Palestinian side, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday: “In order to facilitate and progress with the research, we need the expertise of the Israeli side. “We can learn from them and they can learn from us, and this way you can do good research in Palestine.”
Over the course of the collaborative project, both leading researchers and graduate students from each institution are to meet regularly to discuss their findings.
Thus far, the researchers have achieved a 100-percent success rate and have been able to complete removal of all traces of paracetamol, cortisone, ibuprofen, diazepam (known by the common brand name Valium) and cholesterol-lowering statins (such as Lipitor), Karaman explained.
From the Israeli side, the Technion research team is led by Prof. Carlos Dosoretz, head of the environmental, water and agricultural engineering division at the Technion’s Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Like the Al-Quds lab, the Technion researchers are testing their technologies with paracetamol and ibuprofen, but they are also using carbamazepine (an epilepsy drug), iopromide (a radiography contrast medium), dexamethasone (a steroid), ketoprofen (an anti-inflammatory drug), clopidogrel (a blood thinner) and spiramycin (an antibiotic).
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