Keeping an eye on your loved ones; Cocoa in Israel; Israel and Taiwan tech ties; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
A new target for protection against Alzheimer’s
Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University found a new approach for treating Alzheimer’s disease. The developed a new molecule VBIT-4 that prevents the over-expression of the protein VDAC1, which controls mitochondrial activity and cell life and death.
Protein trigger for brain cancer
Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that the secreted protein LCN2 facilitates the formation of aggressive brain metastases (secondary cancers). In lab tests, reducing LCN2 in the blood halts the advance of the inflammatory process that causes tumors in the brain.
Medication that gets directly to the problem
Israel’s LDS Biotech has developed the Lyotropic treatment delivery system. Medications can be applied directly to the problem area without causing damage to organs such as the liver. It was successful in compassionate use and clinical (human) trials are being planned.
AION Labs, the Israeli innovation lab for startups (see here previously), has helped launch DenovAI – a startup that will harness artificial intelligence and biophysics to build a platform for computer-designed antibodies from the start, geared to the development of new treatments.
A virtual dentist
Israel’s Grin is literally changing the face of dental visits. Why waste time with a face-to-face appointment with your dentist or orthodontist when they just want to see your teeth. Sign up; send off for the Grin Scope; download the Grin App; scan your teeth; and schedule a virtual meeting with your dentist.
Scanning the eye in Massachusetts
Israel’s AEYE Health (see here previously) is trialing its AI-based retinal camera on 500 patients at UMass (University of Massachusetts Amhurst) medical school. The camera detects retinopathy (eye disease) and is operated by a family doctor or nurse, without the need for an eye specialist.
AI to help you live longer
Several Israeli startups are involved in helping people to live longer. Longevity.AI has developed a comprehensive system for hospitals, health funds, and other medical organizations that allows them to track and monitor the health of their patients in real-time. It says it is never too early to grow younger.
Keeping an eye on your loved ones
Israel’s SenterCare claims to have the only un-obstructive technology that can differentiate between people in the same home. It notifies about safety incidents, with AI to predict falls and recommend interventions. Its aim is to preserve and prolong the senior’s quality of life and reduce health costs.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Special help for rescue teams
The speedy response of Israel’s teams sent to rescue victims of the Turkish earthquake was primarily due to members of the IDF Special In Uniform program. The highly trained soldiers with physical and mental disabilities and autism worked all hours to prepare medical and emergency equipment.
AI English lessons for Jerusalem Arabs
The Jerusalem Municipality has engaged Israeli AI language platform MagniLearn (see here previously) to teach English to its Arab residents. MagniLean’s “linguistic engine” understands a student’s weaknesses (e.g., grammar, reading, etc.,) and adapts its lessons accordingly.
PA Arab woman plays in Israeli basketball league
Mirna Sayeh, 22, from Bethlehem becomes the first female Palestinian Arab basketball player in the Israeli Premier League. She joined the ASA Jerusalem women’s basketball team and was expected to play in the match against Elitzur Ramla.
The humanitarian work of Sheba hospital
If you thought all Israeli medics had left Turkey and Ukraine, this video will inform you otherwise. Sheba has mobile medical units travelling around Ukraine. Sheba staff are working in Turkish hospitals. They are also bringing back wounded and injured to Israel for rehabilitation.
Saving the African wild donkey
Around 500 African wild donkeys exist in the world, and Ramat Gan Safari Park in Tel Aviv is a key player in keeping the species from extinction. The park recently celebrated the birth of Broko, which translates to “blessing” in the Amharic language.
On your bike, Tel Aviv
Normally anti-Israel CNN has ranked Tel Aviv one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. It says, “Israel’s sophisticated, Bauhaus-styled city on the Mediterranean Sea has the makings of a bicycling paradise.” Meanwhile, the Israel21c article lists Yalla Bike’s favorite bike-lane routes.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
For the first time ever, Israel has exceeded 10% in connected renewable energy production facilities. The Electricity Authority reported 4,765 megawatts of renewable energy facilities installed at the end of 2022 – an annual production capacity of 11.8% compared to 9.4% in 2021.
NASA to assist Israel’s moonshot
The Israel Space Agency (ISA) has signed an agreement with NASA to cooperate on the SpaceIL Beresheet2 lunar Mission. NASA will participate in the selection of landing sites and join the mission’s science team. It is also expected to coordinate with the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA to launch Israeli space telescope
NASA will launch Israel’s first space telescope – the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite, or ULTRASAT – into high-Earth orbit in early 2026. The telescope is expected to revolutionize detection and analysis of cosmic events such as neutron star mergers and supernova explosions.
BGU’s “Remarkable 3” virtual event
Israel’s Ben Gurion University is holding a free virtual experience on 23rd Apr (1pm ET, 8pm Israel). It celebrates BGU’s latest innovative breakthroughs in the fields of 3D printed science, cancer research, biomedical engineering and much more. Hosted by celebrity Dr Mike Varshavski.
Cultivating plants in the lab
Like growing animal protein in labs instead of farms, plants can be grown from cells in labs instead of fields. They are protected from the weather, pests, diseases, and pollutants. Israel’s ReaGenics has 60 bioreactors producing valuable plants (e.g., saffron) and vital plant molecules.
Cocoa in Israel
Celleste Bio (see here previously) is another Israeli startup using cell cultivation of plants – this time cocoa. It says one of its 800L bioreactors can produce as much as one hectare of cocoa trees.
Accidental anti-bacteria discovery
Israeli Yehoshua Maor was researching natural treatments for pancreatic cancer at his Phytor lab when he discovered a plant resin that killed bacteria spores. He founded Resorcix (see here previously). Phytor, however, continues to research natural solutions for cancer and brain diseases.
Turning barren desert soil into fertile wine country
Israel’s Negev winemakers pioneer growing techniques that could be adopted widely across the Middle East. The Merage Foundation aims to create a Negev wine “appellation”. Israeli vineyards mentioned in this article include Galai and Yatir,
Purifying global water supplies
This article features Atlantium Technologies (see here previously) which has installed its patented Hydro-Optic UV technology in 3,000+ locations in nearly 70 countries. Its systems are used by Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Pepsi, Carlsberg, Tuborg, Kraft, Canada Dry, Unilever, and many more.
Handling too much water
Israel’s SMBIT (see here previously) is installing wireless sensors in the Israeli city of Herzliya to prevent flash flooding. The sensors provide the municipality with constant updates on what’s happening in its underground drainage system.
Robot window washers
Nice article comparing the two leading robotic window cleaning companies – both Israeli. Skyline Robotics (see here previously) and Verobotics (see here previously).
Lenovo Cybersecurity Center
Lenovo™ has established the Lenovo Cybersecurity Innovation Center (LCIC) in Beer Sheva, in cooperation with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It follows the launch of the Fujitsu Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Israel in 2021 (see here previously).
Israel’s most advanced data center
Israel’s Techtonic is investing over $140 million to build one of Israel’s largest data centers. The 15,000 sqm underground facility in Beit Shemesh aims to be completed by mid-2025. It is intended to be resilient against malfunction and missiles.
Israel’s Electriq-Global (see here previously) is to build a manufacturing plant in the Port of Amsterdam to turn hydrogen gas into powder. The powder can then be transported and then turned into electricity by Electriq Global’s special dehydrogenation system. The plant will cost some 50-million Euros.
Jerusalem Press Club Tour
My Real Jerusalem Streets friend Sharon went straight from the OurCrowd summit to a tour of nine Israeli startups. It included Beit Shemesh’s Bioplasmer (biodegradable plant pots); QD-SOL (Solar-powered splitting hydrogen from water); Autonomous Pivot; and Rewind.
The last word in AI
This must be the “final frontier” in Artificial Intelligent text generation. Israel’s Empathy (see here previously) has developed “Finding Words” – a tool that helps mourners honor their loved ones by composing the initial draft of a thoughtful and comprehensive obituary.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Fitch still gives Israel an A+
Ratings agency Fitch affirmed Israel’s A+ credit rating with a stable outlook citing the country’s “diversified, resilient, and high value-added economy and strong external finances”.
International tourism exhibition
The International Mediterranean Tourism Market at Tel Aviv Expo featured a record 750 exhibitors, 158 booths, ambassadors, and delegations from over 40 countries including Morocco, Dubai, Japan, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Italy, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Morocco invests in Israel
Casablanca-based VC UM6P Ventures is seeking Israeli technologies to help scale up biotech solutions in Africa. It has invested in Israel’s ClimateCrop which edits crop genes to store more carbon and energy, to produce higher yields. Also Biotic (see here) bio-plastic polymers from sea algae.
First flight over Oman
The El Al pilots of the very first Israeli flight over Oman, travelling from Tel Aviv to Bangkok said, “The Israeli flag will fly over Oman for the first time. Our flight time will be shortened by two and a half hours, which is very significant. We are very happy and excited to be here.”
Israel and Taiwan tech ties
These two tiny countries pack a punch when it comes to technology. Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad explores the Israel-Taiwan tech relations in this video.
Water to Argentina
Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, has signed agreements in Argentina, worth some NIS 11 million, to build comprehensive plans for the water sector in the provinces Catamarca, La Rioja, Rio Negro, Formosa and Santa Cruz. These add to previous plans with provinces Mendoza and San Juan.
Israeli jewelry business is sparkling
Israel’s jewelry industry is on an upsurge. Worldwide exports totaled $873 million in 2022, compared with $791 million in 2021 and just $552 million in 2020. The main countries to which Israel exports are the US (65%), India, the UK, Sweden, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
Things are not as bad as the media portrays
Financial expert Aaron Katsman experienced the recent OurCrowd Global Investment Summit in Jerusalem and sums up the current investment situation.
Exits, mergers and acquisitions
US Molekule has acquired Israel’s Aura Smart Air for $8 million.
Investment in Israeli startups to 5/3/23:
Hexa raised $20.5 million; Gable raised $12 million; Quak raised $12 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Music from Kyiv to Israel
The Kyiv Virtuosi troupe brings classical music to Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Ness Ziona and Herzliya (Mar 4-10). They will perform works by Vivaldi, Grieg, De Falla and Isaac Albeniz. Also, Jewish Ukrainian composers including composer in residence Alexey Shor, who made Aliyah in 1991.
Backstreet Boys are back
The Backstreet Boys will perform in Israel for the third time at Live Park in Rishon Lezion on 13th May. Their last sell-out concert at the same venue in 2018 was to 16.000 fans.
Guns & Roses
American hard rock hall of famers Guns N’ Roses. including Slash and Axl Rose, will be returning to Israel for a show at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv, on 5th Jun. Their previous concert at the same site in 2017 attracted some 60,000 fans.
Why Israel is the most kid-friendly destination
I don’t normally include non-news articles, but this was too cute to leave out.
The Israeli city of Netanya will host the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships (4 – 9 Sep). Over 600 promising young swimmers from 100+ national federations are expected to compete at the Wingate Institute – Israel’s National Centre for Physical Education and Sport.
“King” Solomon scores in the UK
Israel’s Manor Solomon scored twice in two games to earn consecutive wins for his UK Premier League soccer club Fulham. The Israeli midfielder is on loan from Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk. He escaped last year via Poland to Israel to evade the war in Ukraine.
Israel’s Raz Hershko won gold in the 78kg women’s event at the Judo Grand Slam in Tel Aviv. The previous day, Israel’s Sagi Muki won the 81kg men’s event (see videos). Of the other Israelis, Tamar Malca won a silver and Timna Nelson Levy won a bronze.
THE JEWISH STATE
See Israel through Sephardic & Mizrahi eyes
Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) is hosting (May 29 – Jun 5) what it believes to be the first-ever trip to Israel for those who want to experience the country through the lens of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Registration is open until April 1.
Israeli-American women reconnect to Israel
Gvanim Ramon is designed for Israeli American women living in the US for several years, as well as for the second generation of Israeli immigrants to the US. It strengthens their connection to Israel and Jewish identity. It organizes delegations to Israel in Spring (15-23 May) and Fall.
Purim costumes for mobility challenged children
Israeli charity Beit Issie Shapiro and the Holon Institute of Technology have partnered to design adaptive costumes so that children with mobility issues can still celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim this coming week. Each design comes with a 3-min instruction video for parents.
Never too late to move to Israel
Last week a 100-year-old Israeli man got married. This week 101-year-old Sandy Goldstein and his 97-year-old wife Rosalie made Aliyah to Netanya from New Jersey. They join their daughter Risa, five grandchildren and their spouses, and 12 great grandchildren, all of whom live in Israel.