ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Breakthrough discovery about pancreatic cancer
An international study let by Hebrew University researchers has discovered that pancreatic cancer spreads (metastasis) due to reduced levels of the RNA controlling protein RBFOX2. The finding provides a new target for pancreatic cancer treatments.
How the gut impacts cancer treatment
A Weizmann Institute-led international team of researchers has found how bacteria in the gut microbiome affects the body’s response to cancer immunotherapy (see also here previously). Also, patients treated with specific antibiotics had a poor response to CAR-T cancer treatment.
Diagnosing pre-diabetes from gut microbes
Bar-Ilan University scientists have been able to early diagnose gestational diabetes – glucose intolerance that 10% of women suffer during pregnancy. Analysis of gut bacteria highlights inflammation even in the first trimester, giving vital time for treatment and lifestyle changes.
No-pill treatment for acid reflux
Specialists at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Centre have performed a simple endoscopic procedure, for the first time in Israel, that successfully treats patients suffering from heartburn acid reflux. It reconstructs a valve, avoiding more complex surgery or pills.
Hereditary disease treatment may cure statin pain
Researchers from Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center developed Methylmevalonolactone to save sufferers of a rare deadly hereditary muscle disease. They are now testing it as a treatment for tens of thousands of sufferers of chronic muscle pain due to statins.
Researchers at Rambam hospital and Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a biological receptor to treat heart rhythm disorders. If arrythmia is experienced, the patient takes medication that triggers the receptor to awaken the cells that regulate electrical activity in the heart.
The Waze of dental implants
The Image Guided Implantology (IGI) system from Israel’s Image Navigation uses a CT scan and LED motion tracking to fix dental implants, even when a patient is moving. Red and green lights tell the dentist exactly where the drill tip is, thus reducing surgical treatment time.
Laser treatment for jaw pain
The cold laser therapy device from Israel’s B-Cure Laser treats many forms of pain due to inflammation. Two clinical trials in Italy proved its ability to treat pain in the jaw, known as chronic TMD and TMJ. Laser light promotes blood circulation to bring nutrients to affected muscles.
Remote lung analysis device approved
The US FDA has approved Tyto Insights™ for Wheeze Detection from Israel’s TytoCare (see here previously). The device uses a database of lung sounds to help clinicians accurately diagnose respiratory conditions remotely in adults and children aged 2+.
Pioneering brain cooling saves Philippine woman
Doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital saved Philippine caregiver Nurila, who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Medication, catheter, and surgery didn’t stop blood flow, so her brain was cooled to 33 deg C for 8 days. The bleeding stopped and Nurila is now well.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The impact of English-speaking volunteers
In 2022, the Israeli NGO ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association) benefited over 4,700 Israeli schoolchildren, special needs and students. Its 18 projects enhance education achievements, strengthen personal skills, and create opportunities for the less privileged in Israel.
Accommodation for 120 students
Israel’s Technion Institute has inaugurated the Marc Hamon Anières House – a dormitory designed to house 120 male and female students studying at the Technion in the Anières program, which supports students from the geographic and socioeconomic periphery in Israel and lone soldiers.
100,000 Muslims pray on Temple Mount
100,000 Muslims enjoyed freedom of worship in the Temple Mount Al Aqsa complex on the first Friday of Ramadan -an increase of some 20,000 compared to the previous year. https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-735311
Israeli Druze trained Syrians to remove landmines
Part of Syria is free of ISIS and Iranian influence but landmines prevent it returning to agricultural use. On Zoom, Israeli Druze Majd Thabet teaches Syrian civilians including how to build robots that pinpoint landmines for removal. Very positive video below.
Promoting space science to girls
Dr. Shimrit Maman, Director of Israel’s Ben Gurion University Earth and Planetary Image Facility, created She Space International – a program that encourages girls to get involved in space science. Eight countries participate in educational programs for girls 14 to 16 years old.
Israeli drones to protect Dubai
Following an agreement with the Dubai Police, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems plans to install and operate its “DRONE DOME” C-UAS system in Dubai, to protect the Gulf city from incursions from unmanned aerial vehicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPkdOis1p_Y
World Water Day
Coinciding with World Water Day (22 Mar) the Dead Sea Revival Project launched eco-educational boat excursions in the Dead Sea. Earlier, The Atlantic Council’s N-7 Initiative hosted a conference in the UAE to promote cooperation between Israel and the Arab world in finding solutions to water scarcity.
Gone but not forgotten
Israel’s National Sea Turtle Rescue Center has released two more brown sea turtles (an endangered species) back into the Mediterranean six months after rescue and treatment for injuries. One now wears a transmitter to track its journey. A previously released turtle swam to Italy, France, and Sardinia.
Baby saved by SACH is now a pediatric nurse
Aklil Woldegiworgis from Ethiopia was treated by surgeons from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart in 2001 as a 2-year-old. Now 24, she is a pediatric cardiac nurse and has returned to Israel, accompanying 10 Ethiopian children needing urgent cardiac procedures.
Azerbaijan opens embassy in Israel
Azerbaijan is the first Shia Muslim country to open an embassy in Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said he plans to lead an economic delegation to Baku in April. 114 Israeli companies operate in Azerbaijan, which provides Israel with 30% of its oil.
The 4th happiest country!
Well, what do you know? The U.N. affiliated Sustainable Development Solutions Network rated Israel fourth happiest in the world based on 2020-2022 data of social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption. Israel’s rating rose from 9th in the previous report.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Eye in the sky
Israel successfully launched the “Ofek 13” reconnaissance satellite into space from an Israeli launch site using an Israeli “Shavit” launcher. The SAR (synthetic-aperture radar) observation satellite has advanced capabilities to provide better-quality images than its predecessors. Initial testing has gone well.
Micro robot can capture cells
Tel Aviv University scientists have developed a tiny robot, only 10 microns across, that can navigate within a biological sample, identify different types of cells, capture them selectively (e.g. damaged ones), and transport them for further analysis.
Israel’s AI language
Israel’s AI21 Labs (see here previously) has launched Jurassic-2, its next generation Artificial Intelligent language that can be understood by computers. It is a rival to Open-AI, the developer of ChatGPT, and can be used as a basis to answer questions, rewrite an essay, summarize text, or write a poem.
AI to reassemble the past
Ohad Ben-Shahar of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University is one of the founding scientists of the RePair (Reconstructing the Past AI) program to reconstruct fragments of ancient broken relics, similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle. RePair is now helping Italian archeologists reassemble frescos from Pompeii.
The fully automated Israeli Pizza Hut store in Bnei Dror (see here previously) is now fully open. Customers order on-line and the pizza is ready in nine minutes. No human intervention is necessary; however, fascinated customers often stand outside the store to watch the robots make the pizzas.
Powering AI cameras
Israel’s Hailo (see here previously) has launched its new Hailo-15™ family of high-performance vision processors, designed for integration directly into intelligent cameras. It will enable smart city operators to detect and respond to incidents and even locate lost children and misplaced luggage.
Another Quantum leap
Chip giant Nvidia has teamed up with Israel’s Quantum Machines to develop the Nvidia DGX Quantum. The new hardware system will connect a quantum computer with classical computers and is expected to be deployed at Israel’s quantum computing research center at the end of 2023.
Less red tape, more solar panels
Israel’s Energy Ministry has removed a key barrier to installing rooftop solar panels – the need to present “Form 4” proving completion of construction. Many older buildings pre-dated Form 4 but now want to install solar. The removal of bureaucracy could add hundreds of megawatts to the grid.
Recycling lithium-ion batteries
The Israel Electronics Recycling Corporation (M.A.I.) has started rolling out recycling receptacles for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in electric bicycles and scooters. They will be sent to Europe where the lithium cobalt, aluminum, nickel and copper components can be re-used.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute have enhanced seaweed to double its antioxidants and triple its natural sunscreens while purifying seawater. The results will benefit the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food, and nutritional supplement industries.
Monitoring pollution in the Kinneret
Israel’s Olive Diagnostics (see here previously) is to develop an optical system for online analysis of chemical and biological pollutants in water. The system will be used by Mekorot – Israel’s national water company, which is also investing in Olive Diagnostics.
New air purifier launched
Israel’s Tadiran (see here previously) has launched the air purifier for wall-mounted air conditioners that it has been developing for the last five years. The Airow converts moisture to hydrogen peroxide, which kills 99% of viruses (e.g., Covid), bacteria and mold. It requires no maintenance.
Cheese from chickpeas?
Israel’s ChickP (see here previously) has created prototypes of chickpea-powered cream cheese and firm cheddar cheese. The new innovations match real dairy cheese in appearance, flavor, and are said to be highly nutritious. The hard cheese works well on sandwiches, melts on toast, pizza, and in sauces.
A digital genius
Israel’s Jacob Ziv (see here previously) just passed away at the age of 91. He created many of today’s digital technologies, co-inventing the mp3, PDF and zip formats. He studied at Israel’s Technion Institute (later becoming a professor) and MIT. His career included Bell labs and Israel’s Defense Ministry.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment falls to 3.9%
Israel’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, fell to 3.9% in Feb 2023 from 4.3% in Jan. https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-unemployment-fell-below-4-in-february-1001441734
Innovating with Bahrain
300+ Bahraini and Israeli business leaders attended the opening ceremony of the three-day Connect2Innovate forum in Manama, capital of Bahrain. The conference focused on challenges in fintech, logistics, supply change, water, energy, and climate.
New factory for cultivated meat
Plurinuva / NewCo, the partnership between Tnuva and Pluristem (see here previously), is now rebranding itself under the name Ever After Foods. It has built a production capable of supplying cultured meat products to the market on an industrial scale.
A super supermarket revolution
Food prices in Israel are expected to fall thanks to the imminent opening of new supermarkets SPAR, 7-Eleven and Carrefour. US giant Costco has also been invited to join the party. Israeli supermarket Shufersal has invested NIS 28 million in SPAR and will sell its lower-priced products.
Israeli tech to wirelessly charge Toyota EVs
Israel’s Electreon (see here previously) is partnering Toyota Motor Corporation and automotive component manufacturer DENSO to develop Electreon’s wireless charging kits for Toyota Electric vehicles. The EVs will eventually have the charging technology built in.
In-car cultural navigation
Israel’s Mappo is an AI-powered voice-based software that integrates cultural landmarks, songs, movies, and podcasts into the car’s navigation system. It uses the car’s location to play material according to driver preferences. It has been installed by Ford and now Volkswagen are adding it.
Personalizing financial healthcare benefits
Israel’s Zorro is a financial management services provider for employees, employers, and brokers. It offers a mobile application to help employees manage their expenses, track their bills, and receive financial guidance. It enables employers to offer personalized schemes to staff.
A marketplace for hospitality
Israel’s Reeco has developed a marketplace that connects hospitality buyers and suppliers. Hotels and other buyers order anything from food and beverage to cleaning supplies. Reeco’s AI system fulfills the order from its network of hundreds of suppliers, based on price, availability, and timescale.
Automated procurement for contractors
Israel’s StructShare develops a construction procurement and inventory platform for specialty contractors. It aims to solve chronic inefficiencies across the supply chain using digital tools and data analysis to simplify materials purchasing and associated accounting processes.
One dashboard to rule them all
Israel’s Jigso helps filter out unnecessary notifications and irrelevant organizational information by aggregating and mining the business’s applications, enterprise systems, and data. After removing all the noise, it then presents employees with only the specific information they need.
Deloitte launches 10 more
The Deloitte Launchpad accelerator (see here previously) has named 10 Israeli startups for its fifth cohort. Alison.ai (video analysis), Browsi (customer views), Datricks (risk mining), Medasense, Mine (privacy), Nimble (KPIs), Ox Security, ReturnGO, Sedric, and Wizdome (cyber risks).
Moving assets to Israel
Australian entrepreneur and investor Kevin Bermeister announced that he will move more assets to Israel, in response to calls by some to do the opposite. Bermeister founded the Jerusalem Development Fund and was a founding investor in many successful companies such as Skype.
Investment in Israeli startups to 2/4/23:
eToro raised $250 million; env0 raised $18 million; SCADAfence raised $18 million; TripleW raised $16.5 million; Zorro raised $11.5 million; CodiumAI raised $11 million; daily.dev raised $11 million; SupPlant raised $11 million; Reeco raised $10 million; Spera Security raised $10 million; Backslash Security raised $8 million; StructShare raised $8 million; Jigso raised $7.5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Free events in the Festival of Freedom
Bank Hapoalim will once again be sponsoring over 170 sites and museums across Israel so citizens and visitors can visit them for free over Pesach 2023! (Site list in Hebrew). Many other free events and workshops – see third link below.
The Tower of David is a great place
Time Magazine has included Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum in its annual list of the 50 World’s Greatest Places. The award comes even before the museum reopens to the public on 1st Jun after a transforming 3-year, $50 million, renewal and conservation project.
Israeli product in Oscars’ gift bag
Selected nominees for this year’s Academy Awards received a gift bag worth $126,000 (if the recipient uses all the vouchers). One of the gifts was an Israeli Reflect Orb stress management device worth some $200. https://www.jpost.com/business-and-innovation/article-733431
Rare Chinese visitor spotted
The black-faced bunting – an extremely small songbird weighing roughly just 17 grams, was sighted for only the second time in Israel. It normally resides in eastern Siberia, northern Mongolia north-eastern China and was some thousands of miles off course.
The Jerusalem Marathon was more than just winning
Thousands of runners took to the streets for the 12th Jerusalem Winner Marathon races. Sharon’s photo essay shows that most of the participants were running to raise money for good causes and didn’t worry too much about their finish time or position.
Israeli woman wins world paddleboarding medal
52-year-old Diva Hatami won a medal at the World Championships for standup paddling (SUP). She overcame a serious accident, childhood disorders and many other life challenges. She helped her mother survive cancer and hopes to inspire others.
Ice hockey winners
With a 5-1 victory over hosts Iceland, Israel won the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group A, ahead of Iceland, Turkiye, Mexico, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Luxembourg. They have now been promoted to Division II in which they last competed in 2008.
THE JEWISH STATE
Where in the US to celebrate Israel 75
Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, begins on the evening of April 25 and continues the following day (5th Iyar). The new website “Celebrating Israel at 75” provides information about communal celebrations of Israel’s 75th anniversary (and more) in the United States.
The oldest coin with the menorah
A 40 BCE coin bearing the oldest-known depiction of the Temple menorah has been displayed to the public for the first time at Jerusalem’s recently renovated Davidson Center. The coin was minted during the reign of the last Hasmonean king – a century before the destruction of the 2nd Temple.
The 3 best things on Jerusalem’s streets
The Mainstream Media ignored the good events happening in Israel’s capital. Such as at the National Library where the first Jewish astronaut, NASA’s Dr. Jeff Hoffman, donated his space diary and memorabilia. Also, the Primavera designer festival and Diaspora Week.
Muslim and Haredi women form special bond
Two Israeli women – one a Haredi Jew and the other a Bedouin Arab Muslim – formed a special friendship after receiving kidney transplants from the same donor. Lilach from Be’er Sheva and Nama from near Rahat converse in Arabic and meet at regular checkups.
IDF pilot reunited with medic who saved his life
An IDF pilot whose helicopter crashed in the 2006 Second Lebanon War has finally met the Magen David Adom paramedic who raced to the scene 17 years ago, pulled him from the wreckage, and initiated medical treatment that contributed to him surviving the ordeal.