The first 3D printed heart; Tech solutions to overcome disabilities; Energy from the depths to the heights; and much more!
by Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
The first 3D printed heart
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have unveiled the world’s first 3D-printed heart using human tissue that contains cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. Although there are still many challenges ahead, fully working 3D printed hearts will one day be available for transplant into patients.
First bone transplant using 3D printed implant
Surgeons at Israel’s Hillel Yaffe Medical Center performed the first reconstruction of a bone segment with a custom titanium implant, printed on a 3D printer. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/455124
You’re full, so don’t binge eat
Israel’s Epitomee Medical is developing an orally administered “shape-shifting” capsule that works on the stomach through mechanosensory stimulation. It is intended to prolong the gastric emptying process of prediabetics and moderately obese patients, giving them the sensation of being full.
Why Parkinson’s patients are unstable
Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered why Parkinson’s patients have difficulty transitioning from walking through turning around to sitting. It has led to new advice for patients that when turning to sit down, they should first turn, briefly stop, and then sit down.
A partnership to beat cancer
Israel’s Weizmann Institute is partnering Institut Curie in Paris to advance knowledge and discovery in life sciences, physics and chemistry, focusing on cancer research. The new partnership also extends to cellular biology, epigenetics, genetics, immunology, single-cell sequencing.
Blocking cancer-spreading proteins
Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have designed molecules that stop cancer-promoting proteins from accelerating tumor growth. These molecules (called oligonucleotides) bind with the proteins, preventing them from binding with RNA molecules in cancer cells. The tumors then die.
Certification for cancer radiation treatment
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Alpha Tau and its Alpha DaRT radiation therapy for cancer patients. It has just obtained UK certification following an audit by the British Standards Institution – the UK’s independent compliance body.
Early detection of colon cancer
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Medial EarlySign’s and its use of AI to search the data of Israeli health company Maccabi to detect patients with colon cancer. In the last 18 months, Medial’s algorithms have flagged 67 patients with colon cancer and 250 in a pre-colon cancer state.
The best antidepressant
Israel’s Taliaz is partnering with Psychiatry UK to deliver artificial intelligence-driven genetic testing to depression sufferers. Their Predictix service aims to reduce patient suffering by helping psychiatrists better identify the right antidepressant medication earlier.
A factory for gene therapies
Israel’s Stem Cell Medicine (SCM) uses gene therapy to develop new treatments for neurological indications and rare diseases. Israel’s Ministry of the Economy is funding SCM’s new gene therapy facility in Jerusalem. SCM’s first product is to treat neuropathic pain.
Bacteria can “sense” pregnancy
Scientists at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have proved that the bacteria Bifidobacterium in a woman’s intestine can “sense” her pregnancy. It then grows quickly, to assist babies in breaking down the sugar in mother’s milk. The bacteria’s growth is triggered by the hormone progesterone.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Tech solutions to overcome disabilities
I’ve reported previously (see here)on Israeli NGO ALYN. At Alyn hospital’s annual make-a-thon, 120 participants created prototypes of products to help children with disabilities. They included a musical organ for a paralyzed boy and a wheelchair controlled by a switch and a joystick.
An orthodox Jewish teacher in an Israeli-Arab city
Ital Levy is the sole Jewish educator in the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. For the last three years, she has been teaching Hebrew at three different schools in the city. She is determined to build bridges and has won over her students and their parents.
Israel’s Bar-Ilan University runs a Jewish-Arab interreligious dialogue course, bringing together 30 students of all backgrounds to learn about each other’s religion. Well over 1,000 of Bar-Ilan’s students are Arab – mostly undergraduates studying fields such as economics, English and accounting.
The first Druze woman member of Knesset
Gadeer Mreeh of the Blue and White party is the first woman of Druze ethnicity to become a Member of Israel’s Parliament. The 34-year-old mother of two from the Israeli Druze town of Daliyat al-Karmel was a former news anchor. Likud’s Ayoob Kara was the 3rd Druze male MK.
Israel helped Sri Lanka prepare for mass-casualty event
I reported previously (14th Jan) that Israeli emergency rescue organization United Hatzalah trained Sri Lankan first responders in mass casualty incidents and disaster management. It was just in time.
Israeli conservation of endangered species
22nd April 2019 was Earth Day. This video illustrates Israel’s work to increase the numbers of some of the world’s most endangered species. They include the griffin vulture and the Persian (Iranian) fallow deer. The deer have grown into two of the very few herds left in the wild.
The 8th most influential country
In its 2019 list, US News & World Report has ranked Israel as the world’s eighth-most influential country. The report describes Israel as “the only Jewish nation in the world… a small country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea” that has had a large influence on global affairs.
First overseas trip is to Israel
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had previously promised that the first international trip in office would be to the State of Israel. He has just announced that will lead his first delegation to Israel in May, bringing business, academic and political leaders to strengthen Florida-Israel bonds.
Fighting fires in Ethiopia
On 14th Apr, 11 Israeli experts landed in Ethiopia to assist local firefighters fighting a complex forest fire in Simien Mountains National Park for the past two weeks. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to several rare animal species. By Apr 17 the fire was under control.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
US-Israel scientific alliance
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the American National Academy of Sciences and Humanities have signed a cooperation agreement. It includes provision for two annual scientific conferences one in Israel and one in the US for eminent scientists in various fields from both countries.
Changing the future, today
21 April 2019 was World Creativity and Innovation Day but, as this video highlights, here in Israel that’s EVERY DAY!
Driverless cars can “feel” the road
Israel’s Tactile Mobility uses artificially intelligent algorithms to analyze big data from sensors on multiple vehicles. The results are downloaded to autonomous cars, which contain software to help them to “sense” the road grip level. The car then can feel the road like a human driver.
Three Israeli Edison awards
The annual International Edison Awards promote technological innovation with over 3,000 judges. This year’s Israeli winners were Foresight (see here), Temi Global (see here) and SolarEdge (see here). https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3760001,00.html
An app to help breed protein-rich foods
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Equinom which is developing non-GMO seeds that produce high-yielding, protein-rich crops. Equinom has just launched its new Product Profiler app to help food companies select plant protein sources from a bank of available traits.
Energy from the depths to the heights
I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israeli-founded geothermal company Ormat Technologies. Ormat has just won a tender to build a geothermal plant pilot in Potosi, Bolivia. At nearly 5000 meters above sea level, it will be the highest geothermal plant in the world.
World’s tallest solar tower is operational
I’ve reported previously (see here) on the 240 meter-high Megalim solar power plant at Ashalim in Israel’s Negev Desert. The world’s tallest solar tower is now up and running, producing up to 300MW – enough to power up to 150,000 homes.
An Israeli electric road in Sweden
I reported previously (19th Jan) on the wireless vehicle road charging technology developed by Israel-based Electreon Wireless. Sweden has just selected Electreon’s technology for the construction of the world’s first dynamic electric road system – a 1.6km section near Visby, Gotland.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy still gets an A+
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Israel’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A+’ with a Stable Outlook. It highlights robust macroeconomic performance, solid institutional strength, low external debt, high financing flexibility and low government deficit.
More natural gas discovered
Greek energy producer Energean has discovered a new significant natural gas reserve off Israel’s coast. Preliminary estimates of the latest discovery in the Karish North exploration field is 28 to 42 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas.
Israeli company part-owns US oilfield
Israeli energy company Delek Group has signed an agreement to acquire 22.45% interest in the Caesar Tonga oil field, one of the ten largest deep-water resources in the Gulf of Mexico. It gives Delek exploration, development, and production rights for oil and gas.
An even taller skyscraper
I reported previously (Apr 2017) that plans had been approved for Israel’s tallest building – a 100-storey skyscraper near Tel Aviv’s central railway station. It has already been superseded by the 120-storey (520 meter) high-rise Tower 120, just approved for construction in Tel Aviv’s Ramat Gan suburb.
Cisco partners Carbyne
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Carbyne and its emergency services apps. Now, Cisco Systems is partnering with Carbyne to deliver cloud-based technology for emergency dispatch centers. Carbyne’s technology will be offered as an integrated part of Cisco’s IoT data platform.
An all-Israeli IT takeover
It’s good to see two Israeli IT companies getting together. Nasdaq and TASE-listed cybersecurity company Safe-T is to acquire Tel Aviv-based IP proxy network startup NetNut. The aim of the takeover is to “introduce opportunities in new markets and industries while increasing revenue and cash flow”.
Israeli companies have secure IT backup
Israel’s Global Data Center has just doubled the capacity of its Herzliya facility. It is the computer backup site for many of Israel’s top companies, which can relocate quickly to the Herzliya data center in the (unlikely) event of a disaster affecting their own IT systems.
Samanage exits for $350 million
Israeli IT cloud services and software company Samanage has been acquired by US IT management company SolarWinds Worldwide – service providers to more than 300,000 companies and organization. It is SolarWinds first Israeli acquisition. Samanage’s 2,000 customers include IKEA and 3M.
Blockchain for sports technology
I reported previously (May 2016) when Israel’s Hype Sports Foundation encouraged new apps for the 2016 Olympics. With 40,000 members, HYPE Sports Innovation is the largest, global ecosystem in sports innovation. HYPE has just launched an accelerator for Blockchain tech startups.
Skoda accelerates Israeli startup relations
I reported previously (see here) on Skoda’s love affair with Israel including (in December) that it was working with five Israeli startups. Now Skoda’s Digilab has teamed up with 13 Israeli startups focusing on big data, AI, cybersecurity and vehicle sensors.
Share a Tel Aviv van ride in a Bubble
Via, in partnership with Israeli public transportation company Dan, has launched “Bubble”, its new on-demand 10-seater shuttle van service in Tel Aviv. Passengers order rides through a designated app that automatically devises a route to best suit the needs of all passengers.
Nissan Chemical partners Israeli battery startup StoreDot
I’ve reported previously (many times) on Israel’s StoreDot which develops fast-charging batteries for phones, computers and vehicles. It is now partnering with Japan’s Nissan Chemical Industries to improve the technology and bring it to mass production
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tel Aviv candy festival
Tel Aviv’s Namal (port) farmers’ market hosted the first ever Candy Festival. The exotic delicacies comprised mostly hand-crafted treats made with local ingredients.
Talented Israeli hands it to them
When an Israeli appeared on Britain’s got talent, his unique musical performance impressed all four judges and got a big hand (or two) from the delighted audience.
J.Lo to perform in Israel
There have been many rumors in the past, but it is now quite likely that pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez will make her Israeli debut at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on August 1. J.Lo’s show is part of her “It’s My Party” world tour, a 25-show engagement beginning on June 7.
Celebrating 50 years after Woodstock
Israel’s annual “Almost Cut My Hair” festival commemorates the Woodstock festival at Bethel New York in 1969, known as the greatest musical event ever. Hundreds of Israelis pitched tents in the Arava desert to hear original Woodstock tributes plus new Israeli talented artists.
Israeli star helps win vital soccer game
Israeli striker Tomer Hemed as he scored twice to help his UK soccer team QPR thrash rivals Swansea City 4-0 and move them up the Championship league table.
Linoy Ashram wins 2 gold and 2 bronze
At this year’s second Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Sofia, Israel’s Linoy Ashram won gold medals with the hoops and the clubs. She also won bronze medals in the ball and the ribbon events. http://www.ueg.org/news/ashram-and-soldatova-shine-sofia
THE JEWISH STATE
Senior UK Muslim leaders visit Israel
Seven senior British Muslim scholars have just visited Israel. They laid wreaths at Yad Vashem, visited the Kotel, Al-Aqsa and villages on the Gaza border. The clergymen met senior Jewish and Christian religious leaders, as well as imams whose salaries are paid by the Jewish State.
Australia opens trade office in Jerusalem
Following Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Australia has opened a Trade and Defense office in downtown Jerusalem. It will strengthen Australia’s business ties with Israel in defense, education, high-tech and other areas.
Two tons of matzah from Jerusalem to Poland
Israeli charity Shavei Israel has sponsored the purchase and shipment of nearly 2,000 boxes of matzah for the 4,000 Jews living openly in Poland. The matzah was used at communal Passover sederim across Poland and given out for free to needy, elderly and home-bound Jews.
The answer to the big chicken-egg question
Bar-Ilan University researchers have used 3D virtual modelling to piece back together the broken shell of an egg laid 2,600 years ago. It has resolved a Rabbinic dispute over the size of Temple-era eggs, providing evidence that they were similar in size to those laid by hens today.
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