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Training orthodox women for hi-tech; A giant technological leap; Israeli cybermedia; and much more!

by: Michael Ordman

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Targeting a cause of ALS

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have developed an experimental molecule that breaks down the protein TDP-43, a key cause of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). TDP-43 causes motor neurons to degenerate. The new molecule enabled motor neuron activity to be restored and opens the door to an ALS cure.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/tel-aviv-university-breakthrough-touted-as-key-to-reversing-als/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-27221-8#Sec46

Slowing dementia

Tel Aviv University scientists have made progress in developing a treatment using the NAP peptide to counter Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions (see here previously). Their new compound dramatically decreased the excessive buildup of the protein tau, which misfolds in Alzheimer’s patients.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-drug-candidate-slows-alzheimers-causing-protein-in-mouse-brains/
https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(21)01630-9/fulltext

Blood test for early cancer detection

An Israeli-led team of scientists have developed a blood test that analyzes fragments of DNA to determine the impact of the immune system. The test is like a liquid biopsy and can detect cancer early in remote tissues, e.g., bone marrow, lymph nodes and other organs.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-say-new-test-can-gauge-vaccine-response-before-antibodies-form/

https://elifesciences.org/articles/70520

Smart bandage to heal wounds

Professor Hossam Haick’s lab at Israel’s Technion Institute (see here previously) has developed a smart suture-less dressing that binds the edges of a wound together, wards off infection, and even digitally reports on the wound’s condition to the surgeon.
https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/11/25/israeli-innovation-novel-antibacterial-surgical-cut-band-aid-monitoring-healing/

https://www.israel21c.org/a-smart-polymer-that-would-heal-wounds-without-sutures/

Preventing glaucoma

Israel’s Ophthalmic Sciences has developed IOPerfect – the world’s first AI-based contactless intraocular pressure (IOP) measuring device. It allows those at risk of going blind from glaucoma, to measure their eye pressure anytime and anywhere and communicate the results to their doctor.
https://www.jpost.com/business-and-innovation/tech/israeli-company-says-novel-ai-device-could-help-prevent-adult-blindness-688544

https://op-sci.com/

 

 

Less antibiotic wastage

An AI tool from Israel’s Technion Institute helps combat antibiotic resistance. It reduced ineffective antibiotics prescribed for urinary tract infections by 35%. The tool was trialed by Israel’s Maccabi Health Management Organization (HMO) and will now be used for other infection types and HMOs.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/35-fewer-patients-given-wrong-medicine-thanks-to-israeli-ai-tool/

“Alexa – watch my mother”

The home monitoring system Vayyar Care (see here previously) is soon to be available as part of Alexa Together, a new subscription service from Amazon.  If Vayyar Care detects a fall, it contacts an urgent response emergency helpline. Alexa will also send a notification to the designated caregiver.
https://www.israel21c.org/vayyar-teams-with-alexa-to-aid-seniors-who-fall-at-home/

We are not mice.

Excellent article about Israel’s Quris (see here previously) which has developed the ability to test new medical treatments on a human simulation chip. Watch the video where Quris founder (Israeli Nobel Prize winner) Aaron Ciechanover explains the problem with previous “mouse model” testing methods.
https://www.israel21c.org/no-animals-harmed-in-new-chip-drug-tests-that-are-faster-and-cheaper/

A 3D-printed ear

The mouse model is still useful for developing groundbreaking medical innovations. Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute combined organ printing and tissue engineering to create a mouse implant that replaced ears that failed to develop in the womb. Can’t wait to hear if it works in humans too!
https://www.jpost.com/health-and-wellness/israeli-researchers-create-an-ear-from-nothing-688471

Doctors restore sight of blind Israeli-Arab woman

60-year-old Hanan Awad from Nazareth had been blind for 20 years due to a severe corneal disease. Doctors at Israel’s Beilinson hospital restored her sight with an implant combining an artificial cornea and a piece of her shin bone. After 3 months, the bone was removed.
https://www.algemeiner.com/2021/12/15/blind-woman-regains-eyesight-at-israeli-hospital-using-artificial-cornea-carved-from-her-shin-bone/

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Award for helping hands

Professor Alon Wolf, of the Israel Technion Institute Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, has won the Variety Israel Prize for Breakthroughs in Science and Technology award. His lab’s Helping Hands Project provides disabled children with bionic hands (see here previously).
https://austechnion.com/2020/05/18/helping-hands-technion-students-develop-3d-printed-bionic-hands-for-children/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGoSEgk8ank

First responders with disabilities

Dec 3rd was International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021. Israeli emergency service United Hatzalah has highlighted some of the inspiring men and women who, despite their disabilities, continue to rush out and save lives in an effort to help those around them whenever they are needed.
https://israelrescue.org/blog/overcoming-disability-as-a-first-responder/

Training orthodox women for hi-tech

The Adva program, initiated by Israeli non-profit Scale-Up Velocity, (see here previously) trains female Jewish seminary students to become software engineers. After 2 years at the Jerusalem College of Technology, the women are recruited by Apple, IBM, Mobileye, Facebook, or Google.
https://www.algemeiner.com/2021/12/03/israeli-program-trains-haredi-women-for-coding-jobs-to-meet-high-techs-human-capital-shortage/

Gaza boy is 6,000th child saved by SACH

11-year-old Mazen from the Gaza Strip became the 6,000th child saved by the Israeli humanitarian organization Save a Child’s Heart (SACH). As Mazen grew, his complicated congenital heart condition required multiple medical procedures. To survive, he needed emergency surgery.
https://www.jns.org/gaza-boy-11-becomes-6000th-child-saved-by-israeli-humanitarian-group/

Free health clinic for underprivileged in Dehli

The Embassy of Israel, in partnership with a medical delegation from Tel Aviv Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Centre, organized women’s health clinics in urban slums of South Delhi and North Delhi. The clinics provided free tests, check-ups, and medicines.
https://www.news18.com/news/india/israel-embassy-organises-free-health-clinic-for-underprivileged-women-in-delhi-4450133.html

Israeli drone tech protected the Pope

Israel’s D-Fend (see here previously) used its EnforceAir technology to remove a rogue drone that was interrupting a mass held by Pope Francis with 60,000 worshippers in Slovakia in September. There were also 90 bishops, and 500 priests present during the incident at the event.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/exclusive-israeli-tech-removes-drone-threat-from-pope-mass-688639

First Israeli Leader to visit the UAE

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett concluded a historic first visit to the United Arab Emirates. In addition to his meeting with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, he met with the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE Minister of Culture.
https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/pm-bennett-concludes-visit-to-the-uae-13-december-2021
https://unitedwithisrael.org/splendid-welcome-bennett-on-1st-visit-by-israeli-leader-to-united-arab-emirates/

Aid to victims of Kentucky tornadoes

Volunteers from Israeli NGO SmartAID are helping to set up a coordination center for emergency workers in Mayfield and Benton, Kentucky, which were hit hard by recent tornadoes. Another Israeli NGO, IsraAID, is helping with the recovery and clean-up efforts.
https://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-ngos-send-aid-to-kentucky-in-wake-of-tornadoes/

A million vaccines for Africa

The Israeli government is donating 1 million AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines to the UN-backed COVAX program, which distributes shots to poorer countries. (N.B. Haaretz say it’s 2.5 million vaccines.) The government stated that the vaccines will reach close to a quarter of African countries.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-to-give-1-million-coronavirus-vaccines-to-african-countries/
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/318707

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Breakthrough of the Year award

Dr. Shlomi Kotler of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of the winners of UK Institute of Physics’ “Physics World’s 2021 Breakthrough of the Year Award”. The work of Dr Kotler’s team advances the development of quantum networks – the future of computation and communication.
https://themedialine.org/mideast-streets/hebrew-u-physicist-wins-physics-worlds-2021-breakthrough-of-the-year-award/

3rd consecutive CES Innovation award

Israel’s OrCam Technologies (see here previously) has won a CES 2022 Innovation Award – its third consecutive win at the annual awards. Orcam’s MyEye PRO voice-activated wearable device was named an innovation honoree in the Accessibility and Health and Wellness category.
https://nocamels.com/2021/12/israel-orcam-ces-2022-innovation-award/

Packing a punch

Israel’s Sufresca (see here previously) develops edible food coatings that extend shelf life, prevent food waste, and reduce plastic packaging. Sufresca has also won Fi Europe’s award for Most Innovative Processing Technology and the NexTerra Challenge for most promising new technology.
https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/11/21/packing-a-punch-startups-green-solution-takes-aim-at-food-waste-plastic/

https://www.sufresca.com/

A tech park for Israeli Arabs

Israel is to build a high-tech park in Nazareth – a first of its kind for Israel’s Arab sector. The 10-acre NIS 21 million park will be built in Nazareth’s industrial zone, house industrial plants and employ some 200 high-tech employees.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israel-to-build-first-tech-park-for-arab-sector-685209

Improvate

One of the key events in Jerusalem during Chanukah was the first Improvate International Innovation Forum on Nov 29 – the anniversary of the 1947 UN vote that led to the establishment of the State of Israel. The Forum showcased Israeli future technology to hundreds of world finance leaders.
http://rjstreets.com/2021/12/05/whats-new-in-jerusalem-for-hanukkah/
https://brightinitiative.com/blog/updates/the-bright-initiative-at-improvate-conference-in-jerusalem

 

A giant technological leap

Hebrew University Professor Oded Shoseyov (see here previously) has set up 17 companies developing super-performing materials. His most promising one is Smart Resilin which aims to produce industrial quantities of resilin – the natural material that fleas use to jump relatively huge heights.
https://nocamels.com/2021/11/smart-resilin-humans-jump-high-statue-liberty/

https://www.smartresilin.com/

Partnering the US to combat ransomware

The U.S. Treasury Department is expanding cooperation with Israel to combat the threat of ransomware. It is to set up a U.S.-Israeli Task Force on Fintech Innovation and Cybersecurity. The Treasury will also send delegates to the CyberTech Global Tel Aviv conference in January.
https://www.jns.org/us-treasury-department-partners-with-israel-to-combat-ransomware/

Exposing liars from their facial muscles

Researchers at Tel Aviv University detected an unprecedented 73% of the lies told by participants in a trial based on the contraction of their facial muscles. The technology, already commercialized by Israel’s X-trodes, uses stickers containing electrodes to monitor muscles and nerves.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/liar-liar-reading-faces-israeli-tech-spots-fibbers-with-73-accuracy/
https://en-engineering.tau.ac.il/Engineering-Faculty-Prof-Hanein-exposes-liars

Smart shopping trolleys for Israel

Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal is deploying the smart shopping trolleys from Israel’s Shopic (see here previously) at 200 of its largest stores starting 2022. Computer vision tracks when customers add and remove items from their shopping cart and allows them to skip the checkout.
https://nocamels.com/2021/12/shufersal-smart-cart-solution-shopic/

Massive indoor vertical farm

Israeli-founded, Israeli-Dutch startup Future Crops has developed the first indoor vertical farming system that grows its crops in a unique soil substrate composition. The fully automated 8,000sqm indoor vertical farm is installed in Westland, Netherlands.
https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/12/09/Future-Crops-develops-first-soil-based-indoor-vertical-farm-developed-for-greater-crop-stability-and-resistance

https://www.future-crops.com/

Protecting one million users

Israeli cybersecurity startup Guardio has developed an in-browser extension which detects and prevents Internet users from phishing and malware. It has nearly one million users (mostly private and small businesses) including some 100,000 paying customers. It has just raised $47 million of funds.
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3925009,00.html

https://guard.io/

Water-powered fiber optic Internet

Israel’s National Water company Mekorot has developed technology to use its system of water pipes as a conduit for fiber optic cables. It has sold the use of the pipes to (Bezeq, Hot, Partner, Unlimited and other communications companies to help connect Israelis to fast Internet services.
https://www.jpost.com/jpost-tech/how-is-water-powering-the-israeli-fiber-optics-revolution-684083

Window blocks radiation but not sunlight

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professors Shlomo Magdassi and Daniel Mandler have helped the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore develop a nano coating for windows that blocks up to 70% of infrared radiation while allowing in up to 90% of the sunlight.
https://www.israel21c.org/energy-saving-window-will-block-infrared-heat-not-views/

Touching the Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is the first spacecraft to “touch the sun”. The probe has successfully flown through the sun’s corona, or upper atmosphere. It is carrying the CMOS imagers developed by Israel’s TowerJazz, used to capture high-resolution images of the sun’s atmosphere.
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/318662

 

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record funds for Israeli tech

Investments, takeovers, and stock market offerings have netted over $107 billion for Israeli tech companies so far in 2021 – over 3 times that in 2020.
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3925086,00.html
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-tech-exits-jump-520-to-whopping-82-4b-in-2021-report/

Israeli cybermania

Tel Aviv University Professor Eviatar Matania and Israel Defense magazine founder Amir Rapapor reveal in their book “Cybermania” that 40% of global private cyber investments are in Israeli firms. Cyber accounts for 15% of Israeli hi-tech exports and every third billion-dollar company is Israeli.
https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/11/28/approximately-one-third-of-all-unicorn-startups-are-controlled-by-israelis/

$160 million to strengthen Negev communities

The Israeli government has approved a $160.8 million plan to strengthen the communities of the Negev. Projects include a new hospital and enhancement of transportation and infrastructure. The development of the South is expected to improve the prosperity of the entire country.
https://www.jns.org/israeli-cabinet-approves-160-million-plan-to-strengthen-negev-communities/

Fujitsu cybersecurity center

Japanese giant Fujitsu is partnering with the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to launch a new cybersecurity center in Beersheba. It will employ 20 Israeli researchers and focus on joint research and technologies that help secure systems based on artificial intelligence (AI).
https://www.timesofisrael.com/japans-futjitsu-taps-ben-gurion-university-for-new-cybersecurity-center/

A POWER sports business

Israel’s Pixellot has been included in the top 50 sports businesses in terms of innovation, according to the STA Group’s latest POWER List rankings. Pixellot was also named one of the top brands revolutionizing the sports broadcasting and OTT (Over the Top broadcast platform) industries.
https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/11/21/israeli-sports-analyzer-startup-pixellot-makes-the-power-50-inventive-list/

https://sportstechgroup.org/power-list/the-2021-list/

Israel’s first new bank in 4 decades

Israel’s First Digital Bank (FDB), Israel’s first new bank in over 40 years has just raised $120 million in funds. It is currently operating in pilot mode, offering banking services to its 200 employees and their families. The on-line-only bank has some 60,000 people on its waiting list.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-israeli-digital-bank-raises-120m-with-asian-european-investors/
https://en.digibank.co.il/

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3917184,00.html

Another Unicorn

Israel’s Noname Security (see here previously) has just raised $135 million in funds at a $1 billion valuation.  Its customers include some of the world’s five largest firms, and it is actively working with 20% of the Fortune 500.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3925078,00.html

Investment in Israeli startups:

Claroty raised $400 millionFireblocks raised $400 millionFuture Meat raised $320 millionTipalti raised $270 millionUBQ Materials raised $170 millionNoname Security raised $135 million1E Therapeutics raised $120 millionFirst Digital Bank has raised $120 millionErmetic raised $70 millionJustt raised $70 millionIRONSCALES raised $64 millionDazz raised $50 millionMesh Payments raised $50 millionGuardio raised $47 millionCylus raised $30 millionHisky raised $30 millionRobust Intelligence raised $30 millionPowermat raised $25 millionGrip Security raised $19 millionLynx MD raised $12 millionEdge Gaming raised $10 millionReposify raised $8.5 millionVault AI raised $8 millionAmosec raised $6 millionSneaky Panda raised $6 millionSufresca raised $3.5 million;

CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`

Walk 4 cubits in Jerusalem

This year’s Jerusalem Biennale runs until Dec 30 and is titled “Four Cubits,” – the ancient measurement that equates to some two meters. It features 300+ artists from 10 countries whose works can be seen “up close”. And the exhibit “#TakeMeHome,” allows visitors to take home art works for 6 months.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/four-cubits-the-fifth-jerusalem-biennale-takes-cue-from-pandemic/

“Miss Universe” was good PR for Israel

Hundreds of millions globally watched the “Miss Universe” pageant in Israel. Contestants gave glowing reports of their experiences, especially the winner Miss India – a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, but also Miss Morocco, Miss Turkey, and Miss Bahrain.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-beauty-on-full-display-as-india-takes-the-crown-at-miss-universe-in-eilat/

https://www.israel21c.org/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-this-years-miss-universe/
https://people.com/human-interest/miss-universe-2021-winner/

Jerusalem hosts World Flag Football Championship

A record 39 teams (900 players, coaches, etc.) from 22 countries participated in the 10th International Federation of American Football Flag Football World Championships in Jerusalem. Most of them also experienced their first Chanukah candle lighting.
https://worldisraelnews.com/jerusalem-hosts-flag-football-world-championship/
https://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=37&ARTICLE_ID=150307
https://www.israel21c.org/jerusalem-hosts-flag-football-world-championship/

World para-Taekwondo champion

Israel’s Assaf Yasur (19) won gold at the World Para Taekwondo Championships in Istanbul. Yasur, who lost both his arms below the elbow six years ago, beat Turkey’s Qli Can Ozcan by 57-42 points to win the under 58kg category. In the semi-final he beat the European champion.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-who-lost-both-hands-aged-13-takes-gold-at-world-para-taekwondo-championships/

THE JEWISH STATE

Ancient synagogue discovered

A 2,000-year-old synagogue from the Second Temple period was recently discovered in Migdal, the second synagogue from the period to be found in that location. Migdal was the main base for Yosef Ben Matityahu (Flavius Josephus) when he fought against the Romans in the Great Revolt.
https://worldisraelnews.com/2nd-synagogue-from-second-temple-period-found-in-northern-israel/

A Talmud “survivor”

A book found on the Israeli roadside has been identified as a copy of a section of the Talmud that survived the Nazis. The book (tractate Sanhedrin) will now be preserved in the archives of Yad Vashem. It is further evidence of Jewish devotion to Torah study, even in the most difficult of times.
https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/11/16/nazi-era-gemara-found-by-12-year-old-to-enter-yad-vashem-archives/

A light for the indigenous nations

Israel is an inspiration to the New Zealand Maoris. They see parallels in the two nations – specifically the revival of the Hebrew language, the genealogies in the Tanakh, the literature describing the longing for Jerusalem and the reverence for the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/light-indigenous-nations-maori-israel

3,000 Israel supporters at Florida summit

The Israeli-American Council’s (IAC) 2021 National Summit in Hollywood Florida became “little Tel Aviv” as 3,000 participants enjoyed a weekend of music, culture, and discussions. All were Covid-19 tested and the communal Shabbat dinner was held on the poolside terrace.
https://www.jns.org/toned-down-from-previous-years-iac-conference-still-delivers-israeli-spirit-in-south-florida/ https://worldisraelnews.com/this-is-who-we-are-iac-summit-delivers-israeli-spirit-and-unity-in-florida/

A prayer to take into space

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog presented Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe with a glass cube inscribed with a prayer for the welfare of Israel that he will take into space next year. The prayer is in the handwriting of its author, the president’s grandfather Isaac Halevi Herzog, Israel’s first chief rabbi.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/president-gives-astronaut-prayer-for-israel-to-take-to-space/