No more blood shortages; Mission to aid Ethiopia; A virtual model; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
A good place
The latest Coronavirus wave is over as far as Israel is concerned. Experts say the reasons include immunity from the previous Omicron wave, plus behavioral factors such as protecting the elderly. If there are no significant variants on the horizon, Israel is in a good place (and is a good place to visit!)
Protection against Covid-19
Experts from Tel Aviv University have shown that common dietary supplements can help protect us against the Covid virus as well as several common winter illnesses. They include Zinc and Copper, combined with flavonoids – polyphenolic compounds found in vegetables such as pumpkins & peas.
Smart sensors to ensure vaccine safety
Tel Aviv University researchers used smart sensors from Israel’s BioBeat to measure physiological reactions of 160 subjects to the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. They showed that side effects increased over a 48-hour period, often contradicting reports of the patients themselves.
Severed ear reconstructed
Doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center saved the severed ear of a carpenter who suffered a serious work accident. To prevent rejection, they used tissue from his scalp and leg to create an artificial cartilage mold of the severed part of the ear and grafted it onto the remaining part.
AI finds source of mystery heart problem
Israeli Meidan Schwartzman faced life-altering surgery to trace a mystery heart arrhythmia. Then he read about Dr. Itzik Biton, a senior cardiologist at Hadassah’s Heart Institute who subsequently used Artificial Intelligence to locate and fix the problem in the sinus area of Meidan’s heart.
Getting under the skin of an autoimmune disease
Researchers from Weizmann, Hadassah and Rambam medical centers have discovered a significant drop in a specific type of fibroblast (cell scaffold) occurs with the onset of scleroderma – a rare autoimmune disease. The research can shed light on the origin of other diseases.
Stethoscope detects sounds that no human can hear
Israel’s Sanolla (see here previously) has received US FDA approval for its VoqX, the first and only stethoscope that can listen to infrasound – acoustic sound waves (3 to 40 Hz) that aren’t detectable by the human ear but provide important diagnostic information.
US approval for steerable microcatheter
The Bendit21 microcatheter from Israel’s Bendit Technologies (see here previously) has just received US FDA approval. The device has already been used to save two lives in the US and is described as a game-changer in endovascular medicine.
No more blood shortages
Israel’s RedC Biotech is developing a process for mass-production of red blood cells for transfusions. Working with Accellta, a spin-off startup from Israel’s Technion Institute, they use stem cells from O-negative donors to mass-produce red blood cells for most humans, even without testing.
Relief for swollen legs
The Robotic stocking from Israel’s ElastiMed (see here previously) for treating lymphatic and venous leg diseases is being tested in a clinical study at Sheba Medical Center. It already shows a 5-fold improvement in leg volume reduction, compared to the hospital’s standard compression bandages.
Field hospital uses VR to treat refugees
Medics at Israel’s Kohav Meir field hospital brought Virtual Reality goggles and telehealth devices when they visited a refugee camp for Ukrainians. They used the VR goggles to diagnose patients remotely. And the goggles also provided relief for the trauma-affected refugee children.
Physician cure thyself
Six years ago, Israel’s ex-Chief Scientist Dr. Orna Berry was diagnosed with cervical, ovarian, and thyroid cancer with six-months to live. Israeli startup Curesponse used genome sequencing to find her best treatment. Dr Berry is now cancer free and at the age of 72 is Google Cloud’s Director of Technology.
A very good spot
15-year-old MDA volunteer Ido spotted a bus strangely stopped in the middle of the road. He then noticed that the bus driver was clutching his chest. Ido immediately alerted his colleagues who spent 20 minutes administering CPR and 11 defibrillator shocks until the driver regained consciousness.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Upgrading properties to house refugees
The Israeli government is offering cities and regional councils grant money to upgrade housing projects for immigrants from Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in the region. Some 10,000 new immigrants have arrived in Israel in recent weeks, of which two-thirds are from Ukraine.
Israelis host Iftar meals for Muslim Arabs
Some 200 guests attended Israel’s President Herzog’s annual Iftar dinner, the traditional meal to break the Ramadan fast, at his official residence. And Yossi Dagan, Chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, hosted local Palestinian Arab leaders for the Iftar break-fast.
100,000+ Muslims pray on Temple Mount
Over 100,000 Muslim worshipers took part in mass prayers on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif / Al-Aqsa complex) in Jerusalem on the night of Apr 27, for Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny) during Ramadan.
Yoseph stuns Irish Parliamen
Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad made a brilliant speech to the Irish Parliament. Members of the Oireachtas were stunned by Haddad’s eloquence and rhetoric. His talk included his childhood, army service, freedom of religion and speech, Israeli Arab leaders, democracy, the judicial system, and the PA.
Abraham Accords brings global benefits
An international delegation visited the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel to see how the Abraham Accords model can spread economic benefits far and wide. They include new ties between the UAE and both Paraguay and Liberia. And between Bahrain and the Central African Republic.
Mission to aid Ethiopia
Most of the world has forgotten the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. Not Israel, though, which has sent a medical team to Gondar and Addis Ababa to create a program where Israeli hospitals will adopt, train, equip, and support hospitals near the 2-year ongoing Ethiopian civil war zone.
Israel’s Magen David Adom has responded to the Ukrainian crisis with six more ambulances to add to the four it had already donated (see here previously). MDA has also set up an emergency field clinic in Moldova.
Ukrainian boy brought to Israel to save his eyesight
Corridor – Israel Aid for Ukraine has brought 7-year-old Mykhailo from Ukraine to Sheba Medical Center, together with his mother and twin brother. Mykhailo suffers from an aggressive form of retinopathy and Israeli doctors will try to save his eyesight.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Four medals at Math Olympiad
Israel’s four competitors in the 2022 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) in Hungary won a gold medal and three bronze medals. Overall, the Israeli team came nineth out of 56 countries. Gold medalist Nogah Friedman is now ranked third in the world.
Addionics wins ecology award
Israeli smart battery developer Addionics (see here previously) has won a BloombergNEF award (see here previously) for pioneering technology for a low carbon economy. Addionics was one of 12 winners from 270 applicants from 27 countries.
Lightening up Tel Aviv
Visitors to Tel Aviv’s Atidim hi-tech park will benefit from the innovative Lumiweave fabric created by Israel’s Anai Green (see here previously). The environmentally friendly system will provide shade during the day and serve as a lighting installation once the sun sets.
Saving the bee and its honey
Israel’s Bee-IO (see here previously) makes bee-free honey in the lab, removing the bee from industrialized honey production. The busy creatures can now focus on pollinating plants so that humans can continue to eat the real “fruits” of their labor. This Nas video has over 4.4 million Facebook views.
Interesting short video featuring some of the Israeli startups that are revolutionizing the transportation arena. Plus, the Navon railway station and the new Jerusalem to Modiin line have turned Jerusalem into a transportation hub that provides access to the whole country.
A virtual model
Fashion designers work with Israel’s Styletech to showcase their designs using an AI virtual model. No need for stylist, makeup, hair, photographer, or location. Select from a database of 20,000+ AI models plus the appropriate gender, shape, age, height, weight, hair color, skin tone, and even expression.
Speeding up blockchain transactions
Israel’s bloXroute increases the processing speed of blockchain transactions by a factor of one hundred. It solves the scalability issue that is preventing blockchain’s secure trading mechanism from being more widely adopted.
The story of Ariel University
Israel’s 8th and latest University began as a college in 1982. Its school of Architecture opened in 1995; the Particle Accelerator Center (1999); Wine Research Center (2010); University status (2012); School of Medicine (2019); Autonomous Vehicle Lab (2020) and Satellites launched (2022).
The oldest star ever seen
Ben-Gurion University Professor Adi Zitrin was a key member of the US-Israeli team that identified Earendel – the most distant star ever seen. Light from Earendel has taken 12.9 billion years to reach Earth, via the Hubble space telescope.
Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe and his Ax-1 colleagues safely landed off the Florida coast after an extended 17-day mission, including 15 days on the International Space Station. Read also about some of the Israeli Rakia Mission’s experiments and activities that he conducted and managed.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
$5.6 billion raised in first quarter
Israeli tech companies raised $5.6 billion in 212 deals in the first quarter of 2022 – slightly more than the $5.4 billion raised in the same quarter last year. There were also 39 exits (including 7 IPOs) that raised nearly $9 billion.
The skies are open
Over 50 countries participated in Tel Aviv’s 28th International Mediterranean Tourism Market. At the expo, Israel’s President Herzog declared, “Israel offers a truly unmatched experience of ancient holy sites, cities that never sleep, exquisite natural beauty, a mosaic of cultures, and an innovative society.”
Lab-grown meat industry partnership
Israeli-based Tnuva is investing $7.5 million in partnering Israeli biotech Pluristem Therapeutics. They have formed a joint company NewCo to create meat and dairy products from animal cells, using sustainable technology.
Smart distribution partners
Israel’s largest supermarket chain Shufersal has partnered Israel’s Via to create an efficient digital distribution system. This is the first time that Via will move from smart (ridesharing) transportation into the logistics space. It will help Shufersal reduce cost, fuel use and air pollution.
Amazon invests in Israeli robotic warehouse system
Israel’s BionicHIVE (see here previously) has received funding from the new Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, which invests in emerging technologies. Previously Elon Musk recommended BionicHIVE to his 42 million Twitter followers.
General Atlantic to open in Israel
Leading US investment firm General Atlantic is opening a Tel Aviv office. General Atlantic manages some $84 billion of assets and has invested $750 million in eight Israeli tech companies since 2019. It says Israel “stands out as a hub of global entrepreneurship and digital transformation”.
New hotel in Tel Aviv
The David Kempinski luxury hotel has opened overlooking the beach on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv. It is the 80th hotel in the Kempinski European hotel group, with 34 floors and 250 rooms. It includes 43 suites, massive, floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, to bring in the sea air and views.
More startups ignited
Intel has selected another 10 Israeli startups for its sixth Intel Ignite Tel Aviv acceleration program. Redefine.dev, Verobotics, Xyte, Senser, Predicta Med, Kahoona, Volumez, PxE, Dual Bird Technologies, and Oligo Security. This is the first mention in this newsletter for all these startups.
Takeovers and mergers
Investment in Israeli startups to 1/5/22:
bloXroute raised $70 million; Silverfort raised $65 million; FundGuard raised $40 million; Riverside.fm raised $35 million; Demostack raised $34 million; ARMO raised $30 million; RiseUp raised $30 million; Source Defense raised $27 million; Sentra raised $23 million; TULU raised $20 million; The Cultivated Meat Consortium received $18 million from the Israel Innovation Authority; Noogata raised $16 million; Loris.ai raised $12 million; Copyleaks raised $6 million; ElastiMed raised 0.85 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Art with Israel as a model
Chaya Esther Ort opened the Kiyor Studio in Nachlaot, Jerusalem in 2019 to spread the beauty and light of Israel’s land and spirit into the world. She uses the clay of the land so that her customers can have a beautiful, useable, and meaningful piece of Israel with them, materially and spiritually.
Celebrate Israel’s birthday in London
If you are in the UK and unable to get to Israel for Yom Ha’atzmaut, you may wish to join the Technion UK’s lunch event on 5th May. Click below to register.
One million hours of football
Israel’s Pixellot (see here previously) celebrated the milestone of broadcasting one million live hours of AI-automated football. The event featured retired Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho. Pixellot broadcasts 150,000+ games a month from 67 countries, without camera operators or production crew.
Israeli gymnast wins gold in Cairo
Israeli Olympic gold-medal gymnast Artem Dolgopyat took home the gold in the floor routine at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cairo. The win secures Dolgopyat’s place at October’s World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England.
Israel’s team to the Deaflympics
Israel’s President Herzog hosted the Israeli delegation to the Deaflympics at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The Deaflympics will take place in May in Brazil, with an Israeli delegation of deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes who have won medals in international sports tournaments.
THE JEWISH STATE
Luxury imports by the first Jewish kingdom
Israeli archeologists have discovered remnants of vanilla spice in wine jars bearing the symbol of trade from the Kingdom of Judah during the 7th century BCE first Temple period. The exotic spice originated in the far East and was unknown in the West until the time of Columbus.
The Haredi team protecting Iron Dome
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has a special cyber division in Jerusalem that includes 55 ultra-Orthodox employees, some former yeshiva students, that help make sure no one penetrates the air defense system.
Adelsons sponsor 500 Ukrainian refugees
Members of the Adelson family, children of Dr. Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson, recently sponsored flights for more than 500 Jewish Ukrainian refugees to find sanctuary in Israel. The flights were part of United Hatzalah’s Operation Orange Wings.
Four years ago, Eliyahu emigrated from Ukraine to Israel, leaving his parents behind. Thanks to Chabad of Kyiv the family had a long-awaited, tearful reunion at Ben Gurion Airport. Also, just before Yom HaShoah, 21 Holocaust survivors were rescued from Ukraine and flown to Israel.
Can you light Shabbat candles in space?
Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe gave fourth graders a lesson called “Lighting Shabbat Candles in Space – the Halacha and Science Challenge.” Scientists are still learning how fire behaves in zero-gravity and may use the knowledge to develop more efficient combustion engines.
Freedom in Free-fall
Eytan Stibbe, the first Jew to celebrate Passover in space, reveals how he relates to children the meaning of the Exodus story in the current technological age.