ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Preventing cancer from spreading
Researchers from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed a peptide (small protein) that prevents the triggering of metastasis – secondary cancer. In the laboratory, it had 90% success on solid cancers and could be used in combination with other therapies.
Heat treatment for terminal cancer patients
Very positive video featuring the groundbreaking cancer treatment of Israel’s New Phase (see here previously). 12 patients at Israel’s Beilinson (Rabin) Medical Center in Petah Tikva are undergoing Phase 1 human safety and tolerance trials.
Promising cancer treatments
Israel’s Purple Biotech has two promising treatments for solid tumors in clinical (human) trials. CM24 has completed Phase 1 and is in Phase 2 for Pancreatic cancer. NT219 is in Phase 1/2 in the USA. Purple is also partnering Mor, the technology transfer subsidiary of Israel’s Clalit.
Electrical fields extend cancer patients’ survival
Israel’s Novocure (see here previously) announced that using its TTFields (Tumor Treating electrical Fields) technology in combination with other therapies, improved overall patient survival compared to standard therapies alone.
US approval for portable dialysis
Israelis liberDI has received clearance from the US FDA for its Digital Dialysis Clinic. The 3kg device allows patients to perform a 90 min dialysis at home or at work, by themselves, monitored by their physician using the advanced telemedicine capabilities of the system.
(5 years ago)
(4 years ago)
Device to treat chronic pain
A detailed article about Israel’s Healables (see here previously). The wearable AI device is undergoing clinical trials at Israel’s Wolfson Medical Center. Interesting background on the CEO of Healables – a Lubavitcher Chasid whose motivation was his own brain tumor and the pain after its removal.
Contactless vital signs monitor
Two articles about the biosensors of Israel’s Neteera (see here previously). They uniquely use safe, very high-frequency radar to penetrate clothing but not skin, programmed specially to monitor human vital signs. No cameras, no wearables, accurate up to 5 feet away. US FDA approved in 2022.
Nutrition not steroids
A 15-year study by researchers at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center showed that children suffering from Crohn’s disease and treated with nutrition had a lower chance of needing surgery in the first two years of the disease than those treated with steroids. There were many other benefits.
Genetic cause of Williams Syndrome
Tel Aviv and Hebrew University researchers have discovered an abnormal genetic process responsible for the brain disorder known as Williams Syndrome. A molecule known as a ‘methyl group’ disrupts healthy gene production. The findings could lead to future treatments.
Diagnosing ADHD with the eyes
Back in 2014 (see here), Tel Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center and Haifa University scientists diagnosed ADHD using the Test of Variables of Attention – tracking a patient’s involuntary eye movements. Now Israeli startup MindTension is using the Moro reflex test in the same way.
Mental health therapy center
The Jerusalem Therapy Center for mental health has been inaugurated. The JTC will benefit patients suffering from a variety of mental health issues such as depression, trauma, and certain addictions. It will be staffed by senior clinicians, plus post graduate Yeshiva University therapists.
UK, Irish & French Olim can donate blood
Israel’s ban on immigrants from the UK, Ireland and France donating blood has been lifted after 24 years. The epidemic of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in cattle in those countries raised the possibility of causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.
Israeli emergency volunteer organization United Hatzalah has begun a new video series UHTV. In its inaugural video, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and Ambassador Rachel Holzer spoke to students at Israel’s Reichman University to see what the next generation knows about CPR.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
3 beautiful faces
Three Israelis were included in TC Candler’s 2022 list of the World’s 100 most beautiful faces. They are (2021 ranking) Yael Shelbia 7th (6); Gal Gadot 12th (15); and Eden Fines 72nd (97). TC Candler’s list began in 1990 and also has a 100 Most Handsome Faces list (but no Israelis yet).
Israeli Arab to be Israel’s youngest medical professor
Dr. Abdulla Watad (35) of Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is set to become Israel’s youngest medical professor at Tel Aviv University. A resident of the Israel Arab town of Jatt, senior rheumatologist Dr Watad has written 200+ scientific papers.
The Israeli Arab Christian Ambassador in a Muslim country
Please read Robert Sarner’s ToI interview (also here) with George Deek – Israel’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan since 2019 (see here previously). Ties include tourism, cultural, scientific, and Israeli help clearing around 1 million mines in the Karabakh region.
At last, Israel is to establish a Public Diplomacy Ministry, to be headed by Galit Distel Atbaryan. Maybe we will start to hear positive news from an official source.
Israel’s cyber summit at the UN
The Israeli mission to the United Nations will host the first Israeli Cyber Summit at the United Nations in New York City on 23rd Jan. “Stronger Together: Collaboration for a Cyber-Safe World” will focus on defensive cyber action to protect critical civilian infrastructure.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israeli space tech in a nutshell
As reported here previously, Israel will be investing NIS 600 million in space technology in the next five years. Here are some more details of Israel’s outer space plans.
$8.4 million for nine BIRD projects
The Israeli startups receiving funds from the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation include Amarel, Apeiro Motion, Castor, Cielo Inertial, EyeControl, Kadimastem, New Phase, Tevel Aerobotics and Xerient (pancreatic cancer).
Securing the power lines
Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has signed an agreement with Israel’s Prisma Photonics (see here previously). The PrismaFlow system will use optical fibers to monitor 1,000 km of the national transmission grid – some 20% of the total grid. It already monitors gas pipeline segments in Israel.
360-degree radar for autonomous vehicles
Israel’s Arbe Robotics (see here previously) has launched its latest feature – imaging to give a 360° radar-based perception, the first AI based integrated analysis of a complete vehicle surroundings. Arbe won a 2023 CES Innovation Award – for the second year in a row.
More details on the pilot projects for autonomous buses reported previously here. The first will be a driverless shuttle service managed by Israel’s Nateev Express at the Sheba Medical Center. Israel’s Imagry (see here previously) is to deploy its map-less autonomous driving software.
How does a robot smell?
Tel Aviv University researchers connected a biological sensor to an electronic system and used an AI algorithm to identify odors with an extremely high level of sensitivity. They believe that this technology may also be used in the future to identify explosives, diseases, and more.
Seeing in low light
Israel’s Inuitive (see here previously) has partnered Finland’s Visidon to co-develop and launch a high performing, accurate, and real-time low light enhancement to Inuitive’s NU4100 vision-on-chip processor. It will reduce the cost of systems (e.g., night drones) that relied on powerful sensors.
Cleaning up Hong Kong
Israel’s Verobotics (see here previously) has just won a $5.4 million contract for its AI-powered vertical robots to clean and inspect the exterior of high-rise buildings in Hong Kong.
Spice up your writing
Israel’s Wordtune (see here previously) has launched “Wordtune Spices”. The new AI Natural Language Processing (NLP) feature acts like a co-writer, to improve and enhance any text with a choice of 12 helping cues. These include statistics to bolster an argument, or jokes to add in a wedding speech.
Knowledge is power
Israel’s Aiola has developed state-of-the-art voice and image recognition combined with advanced AI models to digitize, automate, and streamline inspection processes. It also offers its technology to companies to capture, curate and share customer data from customer communications and business meetings.
Israeli basil resists disease
Italian seed company Fenix is extending its alliance with Israel’s Genesis Seeds, whose “Prospera” non-GMO basil (see here) leads the Italian market. It resists downy mildew (“the basil killer”) and the fungus Fusarium of basil. Genesis and Fenix will now develop new resistant hybrids.
Growing mushroom burgers
Israeli startup Kinoko (see here previously) is cultivating a high-protein food from mycelium – the thin underground fungal threads that mushrooms grow on. Kinoko uses lentils and other legumes as a nutrition source. In four days, it grows a ready-to-cook burger, sausage, meatball, kebab, or patty.
Knowing when trees are thirsty
Several Israeli companies monitor the condition of trees and crops (see here). Another is Treetoscope – its Sap Flow sensors are inserted into the tree trunk to continuously measure water flow in almond, avocado, citrus, apple trees and vines. It is now partnering global leader Toro.
Agriculture lives around the Dead Sea
Interesting article from a Chinese media source that describes how Israel grows abundant crops in the harshest environment. It features the Vidor Center, drip irrigation, and soil sensors for smart irrigation.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record number of new companies in 2022
In the first 11 months of 2022, the Israeli Tax Authority registered 142,100 new companies – over twice as many as in 2021, when 64,900 businesses were created. Many employees laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic have now started their own companies.
A quantum leap
Israel’s Quantum Machines (see here previously) has increased its customer base to 280 facilities in 23 countries. Its technology now powers a large portion of the quantum computers operated by cloud providers, research labs, national centers, and high-performance computing (HPC) centers.
More smart interviews
Israel’s myInterview (see here previously) has now more than 10,000 customers, including 7-Eleven, Ocado, and Facebook. It has facilitated over 7 million candidate interviews since its founding in 2016. It is especially popular among young candidates applying for customer-facing jobs.
Startups to watch out for
Here are some of budding Israeli startups utilizing Artificial Intelligence that leading Israeli fund managers think deserve attention in 2023. Ask.ai; Imagen; 3D Signals; Tabnine (IT development assistant); and Fairmatic (Fleet Insurance).
Exits, mergers & acquisitions to 22/1/23:
American Express has acquired Israeli payments automation platform Nipendo.
Investment in Israeli startups to 22/1/23:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jerusalem’s Armenian Museum
The Mardigian Armenian Museum is housed in a 19th century building in Jerusalem’s Old City and has just reopened after a 5-year renovation. Jerusalem is home to a community of some 6,000 Armenians and the museum is preserving their history and culture.
Jerusalem orchestra in London
The Jerusalem Orchestra East West featuring Mehdi Nassouli & Koyos is performing at 7.30pm on Sunday 5 Feb at the Barbican in London.
The world’s ugliest building
The Nachum Tower in Tel Aviv has been voted by users of social media site Reddit as the world’s ugliest building. Built in the “brutalist” style during the post-1948 demand for high-rise buildings, it now is enjoying fame as a tourist attraction for its “beauty in the beast”.
Take a walk on Jerusalem’s streets
Israel’s capital is full of traffic, tourist buses, international conferences, and (of course) construction.
Running in Antarctica for Israeli education
Israel’s Eyal Shimoni ran the Antarctica leg of the Racing the Planet 4 Deserts Ultramarathon. He raised funds for Israeli NGO Yadid Lachinuch, with 2,800 retired Israeli volunteers helping teachers in over 490 Israeli schools. Eyal is now training to run in Chile.
THE JEWISH STATE
Archaeological evidence of King David
The Mesha Stele is a basalt stone containing chronicles by Mesha, King of Moab during the late 9th century BCE. Photographic technology has verified that references to events about the “House of David”, recorded on the stone, correspond to the historical account in the Book of Kings.
Show me the way to go home
La’aretz is a new non-profit organization with the mission to help Israelis and Jews overcome bureaucratic and financial obstacles to immigrating, returning, visiting and traveling to Israel. La’aretz complements Nefesh b’Nefesh by facilitating complex cases and funding those in need.
Grow back better
A new archeology garden was inaugurated at Kibbutz Kfar Aza. It replaces an orchard that Gaza terrorists burned down. A crowdfunding campaign and individual donors raised funds for the new garden to serve as a community gathering spot, displaying artifacts from the State Treasure collections.
This photo, of the new IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi and his wife Sharon at the Western Wall Plaza, has gone viral. The mechitza [partition] that separates women and men cannot separate their smiles and love. A picture is worth a thousand words. It also tells a thousand stories.
So positive on Jerusalem Streets
As usual, the media missed most of these. Nefesh b Nefesh’s Living Financially Smarter in Israel 2023; a shop for Ukrainian refugees; 30 years of the Naale educational program; five new foreign Ambassadors to Israel; the InPrint Art Book Fair, and a beautiful rainbow.
A nation of volunteers
A study of 500+ Israelis has determined that 42% of the population regularly volunteered, mostly in welfare, with the disadvantaged or in education. Among the ultra-Orthodox, this rose to 60%. Israel ranked 5th of the list headed by Canada (79%), the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.