102-year-old receives pacemaker; Securing the perimeters; High flying deliveries; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
HBOT is effective for fibromyalgia
Tel Aviv University researchers have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is more effective than medication in reducing fibromyalgia pain caused by a traumatic head injury. 40% of the HBOT group were cured of fibromyalgia, compared to none receiving standard medication.
Health monitor is a lifesaver
Israel’s BioBeat (see here previously) has just completed a study of its wearable chest monitor in use on 521 patients. It reported a 77% success rate for detecting those at high risk of deterioration. This compared with 20% monitored using current alternative methods.
AI emergency system saves more lives
A unique, artificial intelligence-based system is helping paramedics in Israel save lives by transcribing poor-quality emergency phone calls to save precious time. The technology was developed by Israel’s AudioCodes (see here previously) and is now installed at MDA’s 101 dispatch center.
US approval for PTSD brain modulator
Israel’s GrayMatters Health (see here previously) has received US FDA clearance to market its Prism system, for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The patient wears Prism’s cap fitted with special electrodes. Software plus an audio-visual interface then helps calm emotions.
Shortening the healing time for dental implants
The implant activation device, Active+ from Israel’s Nova Plasma gives dental implants a 30-sec deep-cleaning cold plasma bath immediately before they go into the patient’s mouth. Clinical results show a 50% improvement in integration and healing time.
mRNA vaccine center for Jerusalem
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion has announced that the German company BioNTech intends to open a factory in Jerusalem where mRNA vaccines will be developed and produced. BioNTech partnered Pfizer in developing its mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine.
Grant for autism research
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Haitham Amal has received a $400k grant from the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation to develop treatments based on his nitric oxide research for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Amal is the first researcher outside the US to be awarded the grant.
102-year-old receives pacemaker
Doctors at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya implanted a cardiac pacemaker in Rachel Kafri who was born in Tel Aviv under the British Mandate 102 years ago. Rachel said. “I have been through so much in my life, but I am probably not ready to say goodbye to the world yet.”
Is there a doctor on the plane?
On a flight from Tel Aviv to Chicago? – of course there is! A pediatric doctor from Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, and a United Hatzalah EMT, treated a 60-year-old man who fainted and fell over. Then they were called to stabilize a woman suffering from dehydration. All in a day’s work!
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Foreign Minister hosts Iftar meal for Muslim diplomats
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen hosted Muslim diplomats from Turkeye (Turkey), Egypt, Morocco, Albania, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Tanzania, Azerbaijan, and Chad for the traditional Iftar break-fast meal. He spoke about expanding the 2020 Abraham Accords.
First Iftar in Israel for UAE Ambassador
UAE ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, hosted Iftar for the first time in Israel. Leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze communities also attended the event.
Israeli doctors save Palestinian Arab girl
4-year-old Ayla from PA controlled Kalkilya suffered a stroke after many brain events. She was admitted to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center where advanced brain catheterization saved her from a life-threatening cerebral aneurysm.
SACH saves children’s lives everywhere
Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad describes how Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart performs free surgery to repair the hearts of children everywhere. 50% are Palestinian Arabs. SACH has just received children for the first time from Guinea Bissau and Gabon – its 67th and 68th countries.
Middle East & Africa conference in Jerusalem
The 3-day Jerusalem conference “Trusted Regional Partnerships at a Time of Shifting Alliances” included representatives of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Djibouti, Tunisia, and Mauritania – countries that do not have diplomatic ties with Israel.
UK influencers visit Israel
Vibe Israel brought six British non-Jewish social media influencers to see Israel and document their 7-day trip. As Luke Vernon explains to his millions of followers – it is not possible to understand what’s going on here without seeing it for yourself. “It’s nothing like you see in the media.”
Thai Princess visits Israeli hospital
The Princess of Thailand, a.k.a. Prof. Dr. H.R.H. Chulabhorn Mahidol, visited Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem to get to know first-hand technological developments and innovative and advanced treatments in the field of cancer. The Princess holds a PhD in biochemistry.
Drip irrigation system for Indian children’s park
On World Water Day (22 Mar) Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon donated and inaugurated a drip irrigation system at the New Delhi India Gate Children’s Park.
The oldest copper fishhook
An ancient copper fishhook, found in 2018 excavations in the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, has been dated to at least 5,000 years old – one of the oldest in the world. It was exhibited for the first time at Israel’s 48th Archaeological Congress, along with rare Roman-era jewelry discovered in 1971.
Disaster aid to Malawi
There’s not much international news about the cholera epidemic in Malawi that has been compounded by the aftermath of hurricane Freddy. Israeli NGO IsraAID has sent an 8-person team there to set up cholera prevention points, including water filtration systems and hygiene kits, in the city of Blantyre.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Technion’s Summer School
SciTech 2023 (17 Jul – 10 Aug) at Israel’s Technion Institute offers international high school students in grades 11 and 12 a unique opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in fields at the frontier of science and technology, including robotics, space, biotechnology, and food!
$100,000 prizes for top Israeli scientists
This year’s $100,000 Blavatnik Awards (see here previously) for Young Scientists in Israel went to Shai Carmi (IVF egg screening for diseases); Rina Rosenzweig (protein misfolding); Zvika Barkerski (data encryption).
Technion in Space
The Adelis-SAMSON nanosatellite mission successfully launched in Mar 2021, thanks to the partnership between Israel Aerospace Industries and Israel’s Technion Institute (see here previously). See the launch in the first video, a video overview of Technion’s space projects, plus an update of the partnership.
We speak your language
Finally, Israel is using its own AI systems to enhance (some may say begin) its PR. The Foreign Ministry has engaged Israel’s D-ID (see here previously) to enable its staff and Ambassadors to give out messages in languages they do not know. The embedded video has an avatar speaking fluent Persian.
What we want, what we really want
Israel’s Tastewise (see here previously) has launched TasteGPT – an instant AI response to any questions from food innovators about what eaters and drinkers are ordering, cooking, and eating right now. No need to waste time and money developing products that are not currently popular.
Securing the perimeters
The V-Alert perimeter intrusion detection system from Israel’s GM Afcon (see here previously) protects borders, airports, ports, database servers, industrial sites, power plants, and more, in Israel and internationally. Its sensors activate a pinpoint precision alarm when moved by an intruder.
Designing safer roads
Israel’s RDV (Rapid Design Visualizations) Systems is a 3D design visualization firm specializing in planning highways and is now focusing on road safety. It has worked with around 20 US state departments of transportation. It also fixed six design deficiencies on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.
Sustainable non-plastic packaging
Israel’s Melodea (see here previously) has launched VBseal™, its new sustainable packaging solution to cut back plastic waste in consumer-packaged goods. The green coating solution is resistant to water vapor, oil, aroma and has heat-sealing properties.
Plants emit sounds
Tel Aviv University researchers have recorded and analyzed sounds distinctly emitted by plants. The click-like sounds resemble popping popcorn, emitted at frequencies beyond the hearing range of the human ear. The sound varies according to the plant species and stress factors – e.g., lack of water.
Another plant-based egg protein
Israel’s PoLoPo is developing a plant-based alternative to ovalbumin, the main protein in egg whites. PoLoPo’s product will be identical to ovalbumin from eggs, which means that no food technology adjustments are required. See also Israel’s Fabumin, and other vegan egg substitutes here.
Identifying on-line gambling addicts
Israel’s Optimove (see here previously) has developed AI software that helps betting websites identify users with a potential gambling addiction. These users then receive messages encouraging them to take a break, reduce their bet, or get help. The online betting company is also alerted.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
UK & Israel sign landmark agreement
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and the UK’s James Cleverly signed “the 2030 Roadmap for Israel-UK Bilateral Relations.” It covers trade, cyber, science and tech, R&D, security, health, and more. It includes around £20 million in joint funds for technology and innovation projects.
Free trade with Vietnam
Talks about a Free Trade Agreement between Israel and Vietnam have been in progress since 2013 (see here previously). They have now concluded, and an agreement will be signed later this year. During the 10 years, Israeli exports to Vietnam have risen from some $350 million to $1 billion.
Tel Aviv – 2nd most valuable ecosystem outside the US
According to Intelligence company dealroom.co, Tel Aviv tech startups had a combined value of $393 billion at the end of 2022 – second only to London among Europe, Middle East, and Africa. In the last 5 years, Tel Aviv businesses have more than tripled in total value.
Israel in Texas
Israeli entrepreneurs made a big impression at the SXSW (South by Southwest) tech and music festival in Austin, Texas. They included NeuraLight, which beat 1,000 startups to win the Innovation Award for Health and Med Tech. The festival covered technology, education, film, music, and comedy.
A Quantum alliance
KPMG’s Global Quantum Hub announced its partnership with Israeli quantum software company Classiq (see here previously) to bring innovative quantum solutions to clients. They will target financial services, automotive, medical, energy, telecommunications, and logistics.
Inspecting vehicles at Haifa Port
Israel’s Ravin AI (see here previously) has partnered with Haifa Port to inspect new vehicles entering Israel, pinpoint damage during transport, offloading, and storage and help identify the responsible parties. Ravin’s customers include Avis Budget, Sixt, Mercedes Benz, and Toyota-Lexus.
High flying deliveries
Israel’s Flytrex (see here previously) has reported a huge surge in its delivery orders in 2022. It delivered more than 85,000 items across 21,350 orders – seven times the numbers in 2021. Flytrex now delivers to 140,000+ households in the United States.
Heading for the Judean hills
Michael Fertik, founder of US Fund Heroic Ventures said that his “decision to continue to invest in Israeli startups is not just a matter of principle: there has never been a better economic moment to invest in startups in the Jewish State.”
Exits, takeovers and mergers to 16/4/23:
Entain, one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, is acquiring Israeli sports results application 365Scores for $200 million. Cisco is acquiring Israel’s Lightspin for $200-250 million. BP and Abu Dhabi National Oil have offered $2 billion for 50% of Israel’s NewMed Energy.
Investment in Israeli startups to 16/4/23:
Japan’s Softbank has invested another $100 million in Cybereason; Fetcherr raised $12.5 million; Otterize raised $11.5 million; Redefine.dev raised $8.5 million; Rupert raised $8 million; Entrio raised $7.5 million; PxE Holographic Imaging raised $5.4 million; Wilk raised $3.5 million; PoLoPo raised $1.75 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Contest to perform at Israel’s 75th
A new song competition comes with a free trip to Israel for the winner, who will perform with Nicole Raviv and others at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Competitors will submit renditions of “The Whole Entire World Is a Very Narrow Bridge” in their native language.
The best archeological site
GIST, Italy’s foremost tourism press agency, has awarded the ACTA Archeological and Cultural Award for the best foreign archeological site, to Caesarea. Israel’s northern city was chosen for its coastal harbor, underwater sites and scientific and archeological studies taking place there.
The best single malt whisky in the world
Israel’s M&H Distillery (Milk and Honey – see here previously) won “Best Single Malt Whisky in the World” for its Element Sherry Cask at the prestigious World Whiskies Awards 2023 competition in Britain. It beat thousands of whiskies from the world’s top distilleries.
Only for the birds
150+ participants from as far afield as Colombia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Finland, and the UK competed in Israel to photograph as many bird species as possible in 24 hours. They raised over $35,000 to protect the illegally hunted rare, red-breasted goose. The winning group photographed 181 different species.
THE JEWISH STATE
The Way to Jerusalem
Two Israelis, Golan and Yael have revived the ancient 400km road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, used by Jewish Pilgrims in the second Temple period. They say that the route exposes the traveler to the tremendous power that comes from a long, physical walk, through history, characters, and symbols.
Helping more medics make Aliyah
Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Medex event aims to help a record number of doctors make Aliyah from the USA. Some 400 medical professionals attended the event in Teaneck, New Jersey. Some 100 of the 120 physicians were under 35. They were able to open files with Israel’s Ministry of Health.
Where did wine originate?
A recent multinational study on the genetic makeup of grapevines, suggests that the harsh climate during the Ice Age enabled the domestication of grapes in Israel and the Caucasus. Ariel University’s Elyashiv Drori says that Israeli wild grapevines are the source of all cultivated table grapes.
Bar Mitzvah celebration for 120 orphans at the Kotel
Colel Chabad sponsored and organized a joyous Bar Mitzvah celebration at the Western Wall for more than 120 orphans who had lost at least one parent. The Kotel event was followed by a gala celebration in Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
70 UN Ambassadors attend Israeli Passover Seder
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, in collaboration with Aish Global, hosted a model Passover Seder at the UN that was attended by 70 global Ambassadors. It included traditional Passover foods, Haggadah readings, and explanations of Seder customs.
Everything is Kosher for Pesach
Avi Abelow stops to fill up his car with gas at a gas station in Israel and shares his amazement that all the products sold in the shop are Kosher for Pesach. Everything!
Let’s get packing
Tel Aviv’s Chabad center enlisted the help of protestors in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square to pack food boxes for the needy before the Passover festival. Many passersby also joined in the humanitarian initiative to help and connect the entire Israeli Jewish nation.
Victims of terror saved lives
Organs donated by Or Ashkar and Lucy Dee have been transplanted into 10 patients. Their corneas have given sight to even more. The wife of one of the heart transplant patients said, “I heard that Or Ashkar had a heart of gold. I promise his family that his heart reached a man of gold.”