A new genetic test for aging; Palestinian farmers attend Tel Aviv agrotech event; the best time to come to Jerusalem, and more!
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
A genetic test for aging
The WizeAging study at Israel’s Weizmann Institute has enrolled 150 volunteers who take a blood test once a year to check for genetic mutations that indicate abnormal aging. Their target is 10,000 volunteers over the age of 50, to help with the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of age-related diseases.
Instant blood tests from a pin-prick
I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Sight Diagnostics and its Malaria blood test. Now Sight Diagnostics has launched a “lab-grade” desktop blood count analyzer called OLO, that digitizes blood images into complete blood count (CBC) tests from only a finger prick of blood.
Re-engineering the immune system to fight cancer
I have reported nearly 20 articles (see here) about Israeli scientists using immunotherapy to tackle cancer. Now Israel’s Cancer Research Fund and US Cancer Research Institute are partnering to decide which, of 160 Israeli research projects, could make the next big breakthrough.
Positive emotions can shrink tumors
Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have linked positive emotions with cancer remission. In laboratory tests, increased levels of the pleasurable neurotransmitter dopamine helped the immune system to reduce tumor size by 50 per cent.
Palestinian Arab baby saved
Israeli Border Police in the city of Hebron saved the life of a nine-month-old Palestinian Arab baby. Hearing shouts from a house, they found an unconscious baby boy and distraught parents. They administered CPR until an Israeli medical team arrived to restore the baby’s breathing.
Mobile dental clinic for Kenya
Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID set up a mobile dental clinic for one week in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The four-person dental team treated many of the 190,000 refugees in the camp, many of whom had never received dental care in their lives.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
PA farmers attend Tel Aviv agrotech event
More than 350 Palestinian Arab farmers (60% of the delegates) joined together with Israeli farmers at an agriculture technology event in Tel Aviv. At the fair, Israeli companies demonstrated technology and products to help the farmers.
60,000 Syrian refugees seek Israeli help
Following the battle of Deraa, 60,000 Syrian refugees have fled to the Israeli border. Many had horrific injuries and the IDF used trucks and helicopters to transport them to Nahariya’s Galilee Medical Center where Israeli surgeons reconstruct skulls, faces, limbs and perceptions.
Syrians thank Israelis for help
Israel’s aid and treatment of wounded Syrians doesn’t go totally unrewarded. Expressions of gratitude stretch from warm handshakes to an Israeli flag drawn by a 9-year-old Syrian girl. And a letter that in Arabic expresses “hope that the borders between us will one day be purely geographical”.
The Israeli humanitarian mindset
Thai officials leading the cave rescue operation ordered $100,000 worth of innovative communications devices from Israeli startup Maxtech, but CEO Uzi Hanoni donated them free of charge. “That’s the Israeli contribution to this rescue effort”, he said.
Aid to flooded Japanese
Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP), has sent an emergency response team to the Okayama prefecture in western Japan where the heaviest rainfall in decades has caused flooding, landslides and loss of life. The JISP team are Japanese professionals who have received training in Israel.
Jump-starting education in Nigeria
Civil war has ravaged Nigeria for decades, afflicting the lives of children in the West African nation. To help alleviate the situation, the Embassy of Israel in Nigeria has donated Israeli-flagged tablet computers to young students. See how these (Muslim) children’s lives are being transformed.
Wonder Woman visits children’s hospital
Israeli actress Gal Gadot took a break from filming the sequel to the 2017 movie “Wonder Woman” to visit a children’s hospital in Virginia in full costume. Gadot visited children on the wards at Inova Children’s Hospital in Annandale.
Cybercrime agreement with Europol
Israel Police and the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol are to collaborate in battling cybercrime, terrorism, and fraud. They will joint plan operational activities and exchange strategic information. It is the Europol’s first such agreement with a non-EU country.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Soaring up the Innovation Index
Last year (2017) Israel rose 4 places to 17 in the United Nations’ Global Innovation Index. This year, Israel jumped six further places to number 11, leaping over Japan and France. Israel came top in Researchers and talent, R&D spend, VC deals, Innovation linkages and ICT services exports.
60 years of aid to developing countries
Growing lettuce in Senegal, child education in Ghana and Nepal, combatting human trafficking, courses to empower women, a neonatal clinic in Ghana. Just some of the 60th year of activities of MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
For a country that is over 60% desert, Israel is tremendously GREEN.
“The epicenter of magic”
REALITY Experience, an initiative by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, brings inspiring influencers from around the globe on a transformative journey through Israel to reignite their passion and potential for repairing the world. Here they describe some of what they have learned.
Weizmann in top ten for research quality again
The Leiden University of the Netherlands has issued its latest ranking of the 1,000 best Universities (CWTS Leiden Ranking). Israel’s Weizmann Institute was awarded ninth place for its Research Quality. It has risen from 19th in 2008 and from 10th in 2017.
400 graduating innovators
Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is unveiling this year’s innovations by more than 400 graduating industrial design students. Highlights – a field blood supply kit for medics, a home dialysis machine, artificial fruit to fight global food and vitamin shortages, and a mosquito control system.
Detecting water leaks in Finland
The cloud-based technology of Israel’s TaKaDu (see here) is now operational in 13 countries. Jyväskylä Energy Group, the water utility of central Finland’s largest city, will deploy TaKaDu’s central event management solution to improve network efficiency and customer service.
Broadband satellite communications
Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks is to develop fast, secure broadband data transmission via the Phase-1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite from Canada’s Telsat that was launched earlier in 2018. https://www.gilat.com/pressreleases/telesat-and-gilat-join-forces-to-develop-broadband-communication-modem-technology-for-low-earth-orbit-leo-satellites/
You can fly
Israeli startup XTend has developed drone-based extended reality technology to simulate the experience of pilots or race car drivers. They say users will realize their dreams of flying. XTend’s founders previously launched 3D company Replay Technologies which they sold to Intel for $170 million.
Protecting Brazilian cotton against pests
Israel-based Evogene is partnering with Instituto Matogrossense do Algodão (IMAmt) to test its pest-resistant genes in Brazil’s cotton crops. Annual damages caused by the Cotton Boll Weevil is estimated at $468 million just in Brazil.
The other Israeli tech in Thai rescue mission
In addition to the radios from Israel’s Maxtech, the comms systems from Israel’s Radwin were used to coordinate rescue operations by the various forces in the area. A team from Radwin’s office in Bangkok established a wireless network in an area with little to no connectivity.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Dutch Christians sell Israeli products
John Farenhorst, a member of Netherlands’ Christian Friends of Israel, sells Israeli products at the Israel Product Center in Nijkerk, near Utrecht. IPC’s store has a mail order department with a network of over 200 volunteer salespeople who sell the products from their homes.
OurCrowd is five years old
In its first five years, Israel’s leading global investing crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, has helped 160 startups raise $750 million. It supports 25,000 small investors from 120 countries.
Maritime accelerator makes a splash
Of 6,000 active startups and companies in Israel, just 50 are in the maritime category. But now TheDOCK Innovation Hub has begun working with Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk to co-create the next billion-dollar success in next generation logistics, trade and supply chains.
$125 million to improve its image
I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Trax with its image recognition and analysis technology. Trax has just received an injection of $125 million to help it continue to enhance its vision technology at its Tel Aviv development center and explore engineering options in China.
2,000 SoftWheel wheelchairs for veterans
I reported previously (Sep 2015) on the plan for US Army veterans to receive revolutionary wheelchairs from Israeli startup SoftWheel. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has since approved 361 of the wheelchairs and a new deal makes that into a total of 2,000.
Riding the high seas
Israeli shipping giant Zim is to jointly operate lines between Asia and the US East Coast with vessel operators Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). The accord will run for seven years. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-zim-strikes-alliance-with-global-shipping-giants-to-share-routes/
Skoda invests in Anagog
I’ve reported previously (here) on Israeli sensor company Anagog. Now Skoda, Volkswagen’s Czech subsidiary, is investing $1.5 million in Anagog. Porsche (Skoda’s sister company) and Daimler are already invested in Anagog.
Lufthansa start two routes to Eilat
German airline Lufthansa is starting twice-weekly flights from Munich and Frankfurt, in Germany, to Eilat, Ovda Airport, in Southern Israel, starting from 28 Oct 2018. They will be the first flights to Eilat by Lufthansa.
$30 million Pentagon contract for Orbit
The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $30 million contract to Israel-based Orbit Communications. Orbit will provide repairs and upgrades to communication technology aboard the U.S. military’s aging KC-135 refueling jets over a 5-year period.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The best time to come to Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) has launched a series of “iTravelJerusalem” services to make the city more accessible and convenient for tourists. A new Jerusalem City Pass entitles the holder to discounts on main attractions and includes a free bus ride from Ben Gurion airport.
The culture of Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Season of Culture Festival (Mekudeshet) is an innovative art initiative from Aug 8 to Sep 4. Events encompass music, art and extra-sensory experiences.
I publicized previously (3rd Sep) this documentary of the 1970 attempt by 16 Jews to steal a plane and escape the Soviet Union. The film is going to be shown again on 29th July in Rishon Lezion.
Explore Tel Aviv by bike
Tel Aviv offers many bike pathways and is relatively flat, making it easy to enjoy a casual cruise along the beach and one of the best ways to see this dynamic city. Several bike-share companies offer 24-hour eco-friendly rental programs to grab a bike when needed and park it when finished.
European chess champion
Israel’s Liel Levitan, who just turned 7, won the Girls U7 category at the 2018 European Schools Chess Championships in Krakow, Poland. Liel is now eligible to compete in the World School Championship 2019 to be held in Tunisia.
THE JEWISH STATE
Where Jews hid 2,000 years ago
Pottery vessels dating back to the Hellenistic era, over 2000 years ago, were retrieved in a complex rock-climbing operation from a cave on a cliff along the Lebanon border. Large wine jugs, cooking pots and other crockery indicate that those who brought them planned to live there for a while.
The Dead Sea Scrolls – a window to Jewish history
The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest copy of the Jewish Bible. Sophisticated technology deciphered some of their contents. The scrolls are now accessible online, offering a window to the deep roots of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland, the Land of Israel.
Click HERE for the previous Good News from Israel archive.