Israeli vaccine can defeat variants; 80 Latin Americans discover Israeli tech; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israel’s oral Covid vaccine
Israel’s Oramed will shortly commence clinical trials of its Oravax vaccine – the world’s first oral Covid-19 vaccine (see here previously). Phase 1/2 trials will take place at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center with Phase 3 in countries desperate for a vaccine.
Israeli Covid vaccine can defeat variants
Israel’s IIBR-developed BriLife vaccine (see here previously – now in Phase 2 testing) has advantages over vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna. It recognizes the whole of the spike protein and can be easily adjusted to protect against mutations.
Existing treatments combat Covid
Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have lab-tested 3 existing therapies successfully against SARS-CoV-2. Darapladib, Flumatinib and an HIV medicine target the virus’ other proteins, which mutate far less than the spike protein. The study is now to be peer-reviewed.
Anti-viral nasal spray launched
Israel’s SaNOtize has now begun sales of its Enovid Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) at pharmacies in Israel and Bahrain. It is effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and variants Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Final tests for the Delta variant look good.
Israeli doctor advises Canadians about Covid
Israeli-born bioethicist and public health advisor Vardit Ravitsky is Chair of the COVID-19 Impact Committee of the Montreal-based Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. A key influencer was her uncle and Israel Prize laureate philosopher Aviezer Ravitzky.
Home Covid tests
The latest tool to be adopted by Israel against the coronavirus pandemic, rapid home virus-testing kits, is being made available to purchase in Israeli pharmacies as part of a pilot program.
Remote monitoring patients in Alabama
Alabama Regional Medical Services (ARMS) has selected the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) system from Israel’s DarioHealth to improve the management of ARMS’s hypertension patients, including large numbers of underserved and uninsured patients.
Effective burns treatment for children
Israel’s MediWound successfully completed Phase 3 clinical trials of its NexoBrid treatment on children with severe thermal burns. The study evaluated 145 pediatric patients, from newborn to eighteen years of age, across 36 burn centers worldwide.
EU funds for Israeli alternative insulin therapy
Israel’s Betalin Therapeutics is to receive capital from the European Innovation Council (EIC) fund. The funding will advance human trials of its biological pancreas that can produce insulin in the body independently, thus making injections unnecessary.
Reprogramming the immune system
This article describes the latest progress of Israel’s Immunai (see here previously) which is mapping the immune system to help develop new life-saving treatments. It acquired US-based Dropprint Genomics and has launched into the development of cancer and autoimmune disease therapies.
Support for the immune system
Solabia-Algatech Nutrition based at Kibbutz Ketura has launched BioGlena from whole Euglena gracilis algae grown on the Kibbutz. BioGlena contains over 55% β-glucan polysaccharides, touted as nature’s immune-modulator, helping to prime and support natural immunity.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Upgrading animal refuge
Israeli non-profit For the Wildlife rescues, treats and rehabilitates injured wild animals – more than 70,000 in 2020. The clinic accepts all animals including porcupines, jackals, wild boar and bats. The organization recently launched a fundraising campaign to finance a state-of-the-art animal hospital.
IDF Intelligence unit’s first female deputy commander
Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate (MID) has appointed the first female deputy chief of Unit 8200, the directorate’s main information-gathering unit. Lt. Col. G. will be promoted to full colonel and lead the MID’s artificial intelligence revolution.
More Muslims join the IDF
There has been a sharp rise in Muslim recruitment to the IDF. Some 606 Muslim Arabs were drafted to the IDF in 2020, compared to 489 in 2019 and 436 in 2018. More than half of the new recruits opted for combat roles. Dropout rates and unauthorized leave rates have also decreased.
100,000 Muslims pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Arab media stated that some 100,000 worshipers prayed at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Israel’s President, Prime Minister and Defense Minister issued festival greetings to all of Israel’s Muslim and Druze populations.
A tale of two communities
The Israeli city of Yerucham and Bedouin village of Rachme show what true coexistence and peace looks like.
Cybersecurity agreement with Morocco
The Israel National Cyber Directorate has signed a cybersecurity cooperation agreement with Morocco in Rabat – the first cyber-defense accord between the two countries since the start of relations last year. It covers operations, R&D and the sharing of information and knowledge.
Seeing Israel clearly
Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gilad Erdan, gave 10 international ambassadors a better perspective of Israel’s situation by taking them to see key sites in Israel. Meanwhile, non-profit ELNET brought 40 French Parliamentarians to see Israel’s challenges first-hand and discuss topics of mutual interest.
80 Latin Americans discover Israeli tech
Despite travel restrictions, 80 young Central and South American Jews arrived to spend five months getting to know Israel’s tech ecosystem. The Discover by Israel Innovation Experience program aims to provide participants with skills and tools to set up their own successful startups.
Israeli drones to protect World Expo
Israeli drone startup Airobotics will help Dubai police make the city a safer place for residents and visitors ahead of World Expo 2020 Dubai beginning in October and running for six months. Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum personally unveiled Airobotics’s Drone Box.
Aid for Germany
Israeli humanitarian agency IsraAID is sending staff members to areas of Germany devastated by flooding, to provide much-needed clean-up and disaster-relief assistance.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
More US-Israeli projects
The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) is investing $6 million into six joint US-Israeli projects including cybersecurity, depression therapy and satellite tracking. The Israeli startups are Cyberint, GrayMatters Health, Over-Sat, Sensifree, Skillreal, and YonaLink.
Desert center for food security
Israel’s Ben-Gurion University has established the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Food Security in the Desert. It will focus on water conservation, treatment and recycling. President and CEO of Watergen and Vertical Field Dr. Michael Mirilashvili is a key partner for the center, named after his father.
Turning food waste into plastic
Israel’s TripleW converts organic waste into bioplastics via a lactic acid that can be used in manufacturing many products. TripleW has received a €2.2 million grant from the European Union as part of a consortium of companies that are part of WASTE2FUNC, a Horizon 2020 program.
Researchers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute have used data from NASA’s Juno space probe to reveal the mysteries of Jupiter’s massive polar cyclones. They explained why Jupiter’s storms, as opposed to the earthly variety, do not disperse and rarely change.
Moon mission for oxygen production
Japan’s ispace missions to the Moon in 2023 and 2024 plan to carry the Lunar Extractor payloads of Israel’s Helios. Helios aims to demonstrate the production of oxygen and metals on the lunar surface. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3912810,00.html
More than just space for Arab & Jewish teens
Moona – a Space for Change began as an extracurricular program for Jewish and Arab Israeli high school students to learn space technology, robotics, drones etc. It has now added advanced vision and IoT technologies, plus hi-tech job-specific training.
DNA tests to keep streets clean
Tel Aviv’s municipality will require dog owners to provide a DNA sample from their pets to be kept in a city-run database. Inspectors will match these to samples from uncollected dog droppings left on the street and offending owners will be fined. Tel Aviv is world number 3 for dog ownership.
A self-driving car in New York City
Israeli-founded Mobileye is proving “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” with an autonomous car pilot in Manhattan. A car with Mobileye’s technologies negotiates congested streets, pedestrians, cyclists, double-parked vehicles, construction, emergency vehicles and more.
Preventing male chick slaughter
A fifth Israeli startup has a technical solution to the problem of preventing the hatching of unwanted male chicks. NRS Poultry, a research group at Israel’s Volcani Institute, is developing a way to stop a hen’s male-producing Z chromosome being transferred to the egg.
High-speed fiber for the periphery
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel dedicated the first “fiber-optic connection” in Ma’alot-Tarshiha in the north of the country. Hendel said that fast Internet was vital for Zionism and that other countries would see no profit in connecting remote communities.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Big in Japan
At Tel Aviv’s “Big in Japan” conference Israeli and Japanese entrepreneurs and businesspeople looked beyond the coronavirus crisis and the potential for cooperation between Israel and Japan. Interestingly, shortly after, Japan’s Softbank appointed former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to head its Tel Aviv Office.
Managing ads for NBC
NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Israeli ad provider Innovid (see here previously) to provide ad-management solutions for its presentation of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Book travel tickets around the world
Israel’s Bookaway is confident that travelers are ready to use its platform to search, compare and book bus, ferry and train tickets around the world. Investors must also be confident, as Bookaway has just raised $35 million in funding.
Nas raises $11 million
Nas Academy, a Singapore-based platform founded and led by Israeli-Arab Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily (see here previously) has raised $11 million of funds to build tech tools. Nas Academy helps developers create their own academies. It offers courses on entrepreneurship, storytelling and editing.
IntSights exits for $335 million
Israeli cybersecurity IntSights (see here previously) has just been acquired by Boston-based cybersecurity Rapid7 for $335 million. IntSights, founded by ex-IDF intelligence officers, alerts external cyber threats by monitoring the dark web, among other measures. Rapid7’s R&D will remain in Israel.
Investment in Israeli startups:
Kaltura raised $150 million (IPO); UVeye raised $60 million; Tailor Brands raised $50 million; Bookaway raised $35 million; Sweetch raised $20 million; Lightico raised $14 million; Jones agency raised $12.5 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Israeli opera season
The New Israeli Opera has announced its 2021-2022 season, with eight new operas at the Tel Aviv Opera House. They include The Magic Flute (Nov), Eugene Onegin (Dec/Jan) and La Traviata (Jan/Feb).
Israel to host Miss Universe 2021
Israel is to host the 70 Miss Universe competition in December in Eilat. The 3-hour event will be broadcast live in the US and viewed in 180 countries.
Israeli TV series
Netflix has purchased nine episodes of the new Israeli suspense series “Hit and Run”. It is Netflix’s first brand new Israeli series, having previously only hosted proven hits. Meanwhile Israel’s hit series Fauda has been dubbed into Farsi by London-based Manoto TV, which reaches 30% of households in Iran.
Twelve Israelis accomplished an exhilarating feat, plummeting at some 270km per hour to soar past Israel’s previous skydiving record of ten linked people. An Israeli was also a member of the 164-person linked skydivers world record in 2015.
Israel’s Tour de France
Israel Startup Nation finished in the top 10 on nine stages and the top five on three occasions in this year’s Tour de France cycle race. One team member, Canadian Michael Woods took the King of the Mountains jersey on stage 14. And team member, Andre Greipel came fifth in the final stage.
Euro softball medals
Israeli softball teams won medals at the European Championships held in the Czech Republic. The under-16 boys’ team finished as the European runners-up with the silver medal and the under-18 youth team made the podium with the bronze medal.
5 Golds for Linoy
Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram won five gold medals at the latest Rhythmic Gymnastics Grand Prix in Tel Aviv. Ashram won the ball, hoop, clubs, ribbon and all-around contests at the international competition. The Israeli team also picked up two gold medals – in the ball and all-around contests
THE JEWISH STATE
Underneath the Temple
Although the Jerusalem Temples have long been destroyed, some 49 underground cisterns and 42 channels beneath Temple Mount still exist. A new book by journalist and Temple Mount researcher Arnon Segal, “Habayit” (“The Home”), provides a near “virtual” visit to the cisterns.
Huge increase in Aliya from France
Israel has seen a 137% jump in the number of new immigrants from France so far during 2021 compared to the same period last year. 160 new French immigrants to Israel arrived on a special flight from Paris. They included doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers and 42 under-18s.
The IDF’s first Haredi Negev Commander
First Lieutenant Shmuel Kirsch has been promoted to Company Commander in the Negev Battalion at the Nevatim Air Force Base. Kirsch is a member of the Chabad Hasidic movement and the first Haredi commander of the Negev Company.
Israelis mark centenary of Hannah Szenes
On the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hannah Szenes, eight IDF paratroopers joined a multinational re-enactment of Hannah’s parachute jump into Slovenia during WW2. Ceremonies were also held on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl and the Hannah Szenes Museum in Kibbutz Sdot Yam.
Wrong address – neighbors help out
United Hatzalah EMT Yaeir was desperately trying to locate a woman whose son had requested emergency help but had given an incomplete address. Thankfully, local residents spotted Yaeir running up and downstairs and within 10 minutes he was administering life-saving treatment.
From sadness to love
Within the space of six days, the Jewish calendar moves from the saddest day (9th Av – Tisha B’Av) to the most romantic day (15th Av – Tu b’Av) which this year coincided with Shabbat and 15 years to the day that Sharon made Aliya to the “Real Jerusalem Streets”.
PLANT FRUIT TREES IN ISRAEL BEFORE SABBATICAL BEGINS!
TIME RUNNING OUT to make the Land even more fruitful while helping Israeli farmers offset financial losses from Covid, Hamas arson fires and the upcoming Sabbatical year.
“…the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the Land…”
“…I will ordain My blessing for you…” (Leviticus 25:4,21)