Treatment for eating disorders; The food-waste solution; Selina opens more Israeli hostels; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Disrupting tumor’s defenses
Researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed nanotechnology that prevents tumors from disabling the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells. They used RNA molecules to stop the NK cells from expressing the gene that the tumor attacks. The NK cell is then free to destroy the tumor.
Infecting gut bacteria to treat IBD
An international team of researchers led by Israel’s Weizmann Institute, has used macrophages (good viruses) to kill inflammation-causing gut bacteria that cause inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s. “Good” bacteria are not harmed.
Saliva bacteria highlights PTSD
Tel Aviv and Haifa University researchers have discovered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers share a similar microbial picture in their saliva. It can help future diagnosis of PTSD and may even lead to micro-biotic-related therapies.
Helping to breathe
Israel’s Synchrony Medical has developed LibAirty™ – a wearable vest that applies chest compressions on the patient’s thorax which is synchronized with the patient’s breathing cycle. It was conceived during the pandemic when patients with chronic lung conditions stopped coming to hospitals for treatment.
Getting the heart to heal itself
Israel’s HeartPoint Global has developed a stent for patients with congenital heart conditions. The HeartPoint Global Implant System (HPGS) regulates the flow of blood coming in and out of the heart. For children, fixing the blood flow and pressure can heal the heart without surgery.
Treatment for eating disorders
Israeli biotech Short Wave Pharma is to conduct a clinical trial of its novel treatment for anorexia nervosa at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center for Eating Disorders. The phase II study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is the first of its kind in Israel.
IDF thermal imaging adapted for medical use
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is partnering Opgal, a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, to repurpose thermal imaging technologies previously reserved for military and security purposes. Energy and heat analysis can reveal many physiological processes in the body.
Record number of transplants
Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem recently performed 6 liver and 6 kidney transplants in less than 14 days – a record for an Israeli hospital. The transplants were led by Israeli Arab Dr. Abed Khalaileh, Israelis’ altruistic kidney donations are also at a record level.
World’s largest wellness conference
Tel Aviv is to host the annual Global Wellness Summit, the largest conference of its kind in the world, from Oct 31 – Nov 03. Participants include entrepreneurs and executives in hospitality, tourism, health, beauty and spa, food tech, fitness, medical tech, manufacturing, and more.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Making music together
The Israel Integrative Orchestra comprises 40 musicians with and without disabilities who regularly rehearse together. It is a joint project of the nonprofit SHEKEL – Inclusion for People with Disabilities and the Yizhak Navon Community Unit of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Thousands to receive free baby formula
The National Food Security Initiative, funded by the Israel Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs and Colel Chabad, is to deliver baby formula to the homes of families in need. Beginning with 3,500 families, it will grow to 36,000 families who will receive 3.5 kg of formula per month.
Women at the top of Mossad
Israel’s Intelligence Agency, Mossad, has appointed a woman, known as “A” as Director of the Intelligence Authority. She joins “K”, another woman, who serves as head of the Iran Desk, the chief concern of the organization. It is the first-time women have held two senior positions in the agency.
Developing ties with Indonesia
An Israeli delegation of tech professionals, investors, and trade officials recently returned from a trip to Indonesia to foster connections through technology ventures, social impact initiatives, and investments. The most populous Muslim country has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
World Humanitarian Day
To mark World Humanitarian Day on Aug 19th, the Society for International Development (SID)-Israel compiled images to show the faces behind some of Israel’s humanitarian organizations. See the many NGOs featured previously in this newsletter.
UN recognizes Zionism
The United Nations awarded NGO Special Consultative Status to the American Zionist Movement (AZM). The AZM can participate in UN events and debates, plus hold events within the framework of the UN. Israel’s UN Ambassador and AZM’s President hailed it as a great day for Zionism.
International Math competition winners
Students from Tel Aviv University won first place in the International Mathematics Competition for University Students (IMC) in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. The TAU students beat prestigious teams including from Cambridge UK and University College London.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Turning non-recyclable trash into Hydrogen
Israeli-Swedish-Polish startup Boson Energy uses Israeli technology to harvest hydrogen continuously from non-recyclable waste and biomass. Plasma Assisted Gasification (HPAG) generates hydrogen, captures CO2, and turns residual ash into usable glass material.
More sustainable Lycra
The Lycra Company of the US has partnered with Israel’s Browzwear (see here previously) to produce garments without wasting samples or failed designs. Browzwear’s Fabric Analyzer ] ensures the 3D versions of Licra’s fabrics result in true-to-life simulations of the garments.
Pepsico’s pallets from recycled plastic
PepsiCo is ordering 30,000 eco-friendly shipping thermoplastic pallets from Israel’s UBQ (see here previously) that makes them out of household waste. PepsiCo used 830 UBQ pallets in a March trial as part of a pilot to reduce the carbon footprint of its shipping pallets.
The food-waste solution
Israeli startup Microbiome keeps food fresh longer by replacing harmful bacteria with good bacteria. Microbiome’s natural probiotic compound protects food from mold, fungi, and pathogenic bacteria over long periods of time.
Buried lithium discovered from space
The technology of Israel’s Asterra (see here previously) has led to the discovery of an underground reserve of lithium, vital for the electronics market until replaced by safer, more common materials. Asterra’s algorithms and AI use satellite synthetic radar (SAR) data to locate buried lithium.
Another Israeli 5-minute EV battery recharger
Israel’s EExion is developing “Energize-N’-Go” – an energy-storage technology that can rapid-charge e-mobility vehicles in just five minutes. It uses chemically manipulated supercapacitors, eliminating the need for the rare and hazardous metal lithium. (See also StoreDot)
Air-con without electricity
Israel’s Green Kensho has developed an outdoor air conditioner that needs no electricity. It silently blows out a jet of freezing (easily available) nitrogen gas at -10C (14F) that cools the surrounding area with no pollution. The first models are to be piloted in August at six Tel Aviv restaurants.
Revolutionizing online restaurant booking
Israel’s Ontopo has developed a restaurant seating management system that allows customers to reserve a table online. It works with 730 out of 1,300 restaurants in Israel. Some 5 million people have searched for a place through Ontopo, making about 1.6 million reservations.
How the Iron Beam works
Interesting video about Israel’s new Iron Beam laser defense system and how working with the US can help improve its life-saving capabilities.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
The first annual fiscal surplus in 15 years
Israel’s fiscal surplus in July 2022 was NIS 2.6 billion, resulting in a cumulative surplus of NIS 9.7 billion for the year. It is the first annual surplus since 2007, resulting from reduced Covid-19 expenditure and higher tax revenue from increased economic activity.
Advancing technology in factories
Israel’s Ministry of Economy is providing another NIS 20 million to the Advanced Manufacturing Institute to implement innovative technologies and advanced production methods in factories and improve productivity. It is in addition to funds already allocated to establish the institute.
International supermarkets will bring down prices
French supermarket giant Carrefour is on track to open its branded shops by the end of this year (see here previously). Now Dutch-owned international supermarket chain SPAR has also signed agreements to open branches in Israel.
More intelligence for Europe
Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems has been awarded a $660 million contract to provide intelligence systems to a European country. The contract will be undertaken over four years, plus 10 more years’ maintenance. In June, Elbit Systems won contracts worth $838 million.
Israeli software company Nice just reported second quarter total revenues up 16.1% to $530.6 million on the same period in 2021. Gross profit for Q2 was $365.7 million compared to $306.3 million last year.
Even better for Amdocs
Israel’s Amdocs (see here previously) reported record revenues of $1.16 billion in the second quarter of 2022 8.8% more than the corresponding period in 2021. It also has a record orders pipeline of nearly $4 billion.
Growing kids in South Korea
Israel’s Nutritional Growth Solutions (NGS) – see here previously – has launched its Healthy Heights growth formula in South Korea through a deal with Coupang, Korea’s largest retailer with 18 million customers. Healthy heights helps children ages 3 – 9 reach their maximum height.
Students develop transportation drones
Engineering students at Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design have developed the Dronet system – 4 network-connected drones to transport loads efficiently. It includes an app to control a drone’s flight path and transport cargo in a safe and stable manner.
Wave energy for Los Angeles
Israel’s Eco Wave Power (see here previously) is installing its first US deployment in September at the 35-acre campus AltaSea eco-friendly business center in Los Angeles – the busiest seaport in the US. The Israeli startup has a total projects pipeline of 327.7MW.
A matchmaker for tech jobs
The Layoffs Project is a non-profit website developed by Israel’s fresh.fund (see here) and US-based Angular Ventures that matches out-of-work tech workers with current tech vacancies. Some 350 people have signed up at the site to look for jobs and 324 companies have signed up to hire people.
Selina opens more Israeli hostels
Israeli-founded Selina (see here previously) has opened two new locations in Israel. The Selina Desert Garden in Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev has 20 glamping tents, a large Bedouin tent, plus family rooms with a jacuzzi. The other hostel is the Selina Metula in the Upper Galilee.
Vegan steak in London
Israel’s Redefine Meat (see here previously) is introducing its 3-D printed vegan flank steaks and other plant-based meat alternatives at several London restaurants including Mr. Whites, German Gymnasium, Chotto Matte, and Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar. It is also available at Selina’s.
Exits, takeovers & mergers
Israel’s Stratasys acquired Covestro AG for $43.8 million; Unity Software is acquiring Israeli-founded ironSource for $4.4 billion. Remitly Global acquired Israel’s Rewire for $80 million; Israel’s eToro acquired US options trader Gatsby for $50 million.
Investment in Israeli startups to 21/8/22:
Flow (Adam Neumann) raised $350 million; DriveNets raised $262 million; Guesty raised $170 million; Hibob raised $150 million; Pliops raised $100 million; Shopic raised $35 million; GrowSpace raised $25 million; Agora raised $20 million; BioAg raised $18 million; BigPanda raised $15 million; Equalum raised $14 million; Hoopo raised $10 million; SaNOtize raised $10 million; Mesh Security raised $4.5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Jerusalem under the Sturgeon Moon
“Sturgeon” – the last supermoon of 2022 – gave rise to several cultural events in Israel’s capital. Free klezmer shows, Shakespeare in the rough, and Parties in the Park. And see the new Vietnamese Ambassador present his credentials to the Israeli President in national costume.
Another friendly Iranian Judoka
Iranian judoka Alireza Bahranifard made friends with Israeli judoka Sagi Muki. Like fellow Iranian Judoka Saeid Mollaei (who now competes for Azerbaijan), Alireza has now emigrated from Iran and currently resides in Germany.
Israel wins European team marathon
Israel won gold in the men’s team marathon event at the European Athletics Championships in Munich. Israel’s Marhu Teferi and Gashau Ayale won silver and bronze respectively in the individual competition. Israel’s fastest three runners had the best combined time.
Another gold for Anastasia
Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko (see here previously) successfully defended her title, winning the gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley at the European Championships in Rome. She previously won the event in 2021 in Budapest.
THE JEWISH STATE
Just a game
Archaeologists have found a rare collection of knuckle bones used for gambling and divination in Southern Israel, dating back approximately 2,300 years to the Hellenistic period.
Happy kids heal faster
Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod has opened a pediatric playroom. Thanks to Brooklyn-based Toys for Simcha, it features a lounging area, a video game corner, a reading library, a foosball table, a play kitchen, toys and tech for patients and their families, from toddlers to teens.
AI tool transforms Hebrew texts
Many Rabbinic texts are difficult to read, even for Hebrew speakers. Rashi script, no punctuation, and abbreviations are just some of the issues. Israeli-American computer scientist and Talmud scholar Prof. Moshe Koppel has launched Dicta Maivin (dictation expert) to resolve those problems.
Kosher vegan alternatives to non-kosher meat
Israel’s SavorEat has finally done it. It has just launched kosher 3D-printed, plant-based vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free pork patties. They contain pea and other plant-based proteins with sunflower and coconut fats. (Ed – I wonder if they will be as popular as the facon-burger!)
New Olim young and old
225 new immigrants from the USA and Canada have just arrived in Israel. They included the 75,000th Oleh brought by Nefesh B’Nefesh, together with 27 medical professionals and 40 future lone soldiers. Earlier, 100-year-old Judy Neiman made Aliyah, joining her son’s family in Beit Shemesh.
Saved with his tzitzit
Shalom, an EMT with Israel’s United Hatzalah was in the vicinity of the recent fatal Jerusalem bus crash but had no medical equipment at the time. He saved a young victim with severe injuries by stemming the blood flow from one of her legs by tying his tzitzit (small prayer shawl) around it as a tourniquet.