Good News Israel Archive from the week of April 10, 2016: Israel’s Eximo has successfully completed a multicenter clinical trial of its laser system and unique catheters for treating peripheral artery disease; young Muslim girls are joining the Israel Defense Forces, and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Successful trial of blocked artery treatment
Israel’s Eximo has successfully completed a multicenter clinical trial of its laser system and unique catheters for treating peripheral artery disease (PAD). Doctors cured 20 patients, some of whom otherwise required bypass surgery or leg amputation.
Prostate cancer treatment goes live
I reported on Weizmann Institute’s groundbreaking prostate cancer treatment previously. After 100% successful Mexican and European trials it has now been approved by Israel’s Ministry of Health and administered to a patient at Beilinson Hospital.
Nanotech antioxidant protection
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel’s Technion have activated the body’s natural defense against free radical damage. Enhanced micro-emulsion liquids produce a powerful antioxidant protein called Nrf2 and nanotechnology delivers it to the skin and organs.
Detecting diseases at cell level
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a disease diagnostic method called methylation which identifies the source of fragmented DNA caused by cell death. In tests on 320 patients it has identified pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, diabetes, traumatic brain injury and MS.
Bionic heart patch unveiled
Tel Aviv Professor Tal Dvir has unveiled his remote-controlled, bionic heart patch, which researchers say could become a revolutionary alternative to heart transplants for patients whose hearts have been damaged by heart attacks or cardiac disease.
Sleep apnea solution goes global
At the 13th International Dead Sea Symposium on Innovations in Technology, Treatment & Prevention of Cardiac Arrhythmias, Israel’s Itamar Medical announced that 60 international hospitals have now adopted Itamar’s Total Sleep Solution.
An implant to treat spinal degenerative disc disease
Israel’s Rainbow Medical is working with with Medos International Sarl (part of Johnson & Johnson) to develop a minimally invasive implant to treat spinal degenerative disc disease – which has no current cure and leads to acute chronic back pain.
The lengths Israel goes to save Syrian girl
Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center healed a 5-year-old Syrian girl from her civil war wounds but then discovered she had cancer. Israeli security services mounted a secret operation to smuggle a relative with matching bone marrow from “an enemy state” into Israel.
Fighting the Zika virus
One of the Grand Challenge Israel winners is Israeli startup BioFeed. It will use the 500,000-shekel prize money to advance its solution in the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, carrier of the Zika virus. Biofeed uses odor to attract insects to poison that eliminates the pest without spraying crops.
Fish virus identified
Israeli scientists have helped isolate a deadly virus that is killing both wild and farmed tilapia fish – an important global food source. Tilapia eat algae and are essential for freshwater quality. The tilapia lake virus is related to the influenza virus and the research will help the development of a vaccine.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Riding therapy for special kids
The Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding School, in Israel’s Arava desert, each week takes 200 special needs children and adults into another dimension. The therapists, volunteers and 22 beautiful horses give the riders increased control of muscles and helps their emotional development.
Good Deeds Day 2016
Israel founded Good Deeds Day in 2007. In 2016 1,300,000 Israelis took part. It involved 99% of the local authorities, more than 1,500 business groups, 200 youth groups, and hundreds of schools. 14,000 projects included blood donations, volunteering with the needy, second-hand markets, helping out in animal shelters, and much more. http://www.shariarison.com/en/content/good-deeds-day-2016-0
The voice of an Israeli-Arab doctor
Faiza works in the intensive care unit at a major Israeli private hospital. She lives in Shuafat, an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem where there are frequent disturbances. She has ten siblings – most of them graduates of Israeli universities. Here she shares her vision about life in Israel.
Israeli-Arab kids win national tech prize
Three students from Bustan El-Marj Sci-Tech High School (part of the ORT Sci-Tech network of Israeli high schools) won 3rd prize at Israel’s Young Engineers’ Conference. It is the first time that Arab-Israeli schoolkids have won a prize – this for an app to direct firefighters to the nearest hydrant.
Arab girls join IDF
Young Muslim girls are joining the Israel Defense Forces. Together with a growing number of Christian Arab girls, they are breaking new ground joining ranks with the Israeli army.
Lebanese “refugee” studies at Israeli university
Dr. Carol Jahshan is the daughter of a Lebanese refugee from Haifa who grew up in Beirut before moving the USA. She has just completed a 3-month working collaboration at Israel’s Bar Ilan University. Here is her story.
From Bondi beach to Ashdod
Life-guards from Australia have come to Israel to help train Israelis in water-safety. It was their response to several drowning incidents in 2013. The first two sessions at Ashdod beach attracted 117 children and resulted in the setting up of a new organization Surf Life Saving Israel.
French seek help treating terror victims
French Minister of Health Marisol Touraine visited Israel in an effort to learn from the Jewish state’s medical expertise on treating victims of terror attacks. Touraine visited Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center on Thursday and met Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.
A positive agenda at the UN
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, is promoting “good cop” advocacy at the world body. Events such as Israeli singers, or a panel about water technology. Israel has lot to offer the UN.
How Israel benefits the US economy
From manufacturing to medical research, the Jewish state is crucial to the economic health of the US Economic ties with Israel sustain American jobs. Joint US-Israeli funding for science, industrial research and agricultural research has advanced the technology of both countries.
How to set up a field hospital in 12 hours
When it responds to an international disaster, the Israel Defense Forces can get a field hospital functioning within 12 hours of arriving at the setup site. An unbeatable, awe-inspiring feat of logistics.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli girl finds new geometric theorem
10th grade student Tamar Barbi from Hod Hasharon discovered the new “Three Radii Theorem” whilst studying mathematics at the highest level in Israel. If three or more lines extend from a single point to the edge of a circle, then the point is the center of the circle and the straight lines are the radii.
Smart cities in Brazil
Israeli startup Magos’s civil security systems won the 3C Smart Cities Challenge in Tel Aviv to develop solutions for Brazilian smart cities. Second was GreenIQ’s smart management of green spaces. Third was Pixtier, which develops an engineering system. The three startups won grants and flights to Brazil.
Breakthrough production of hydrogen from water
Professor Lilac Amirav of Israel’s Technion, has developed nanotechnology and solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen with 100% efficiency. In time for Pesach – Moses would have been proud!
Water tech in India
Israel’s agriculture minister Uri Ariel opened India Water Week in Delhi. It will feature eleven Israeli companies in the water industry who will demonstrate, through simulations, innovations in irrigation, desalination, water purification, measurement and management for municipalities and farms.
The first “reefer cargo” block train from Israel
As part of the EU project Fresh Food Corridors (FFC), the first ever “reefer” (temperature-controlled containers) block train loaded with Israeli fruit and vegetables traveled from the Slovenian port of Koper to Rotterdam. It arrived 6 days earlier than ships direct from Israel.
Ten more global winners
In the second round of Grand Challenge Israel, ten Israeli companies won government grants of up to half a million shekels for creating technological solutions to health and food security challenges in developing countries.
Inclusive school wins robotics innovation award
A team from the Jusidman Science Center for Youth won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) – a global robotics competition for young people, held for the first time in Israel. The Jusidman Team includes religious and secular Jews and Arab Bedouins.
The cleanest air
Israel raised the threshold for the six most carcinogenic or toxic substances listed in the Clean Air Law and set values for two other substances. The values are more stringent than European standards, and don’t exist in the U.S., making Israel one of the most advanced countries in terms of environmental regulation. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/InnovativeIsrael/GreenIsrael/Pages/Knesset-committee-approves-raising-threshold-of-air-quality-2-Mar-2016.aspx
The world’s smallest diode
Israeli and US researchers have made the world’s smallest diode – just one molecule small. Diodes are electronic elements that allow current to flow in one direction but prevent its flow in the other direction. They are essential for all electronic devices including smartphones and computers.
The world’s first emergency video app
Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service has launched a first-of-its-kind smartphone video distress platform, based on an app developed by Israeli startup Reporty. The service shows emergency operators an outside caller’s exact location and provides vital real-time information.
Israeli Engines to land spacecraft on Mars
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission blasted off from Kazahkstan on March 14. Israel’s Rafael Industries made the vital hydrazine thrusters for the Schiaparelli landing module, which on 19th Oct will slow the decent of Schiaparelli to just 2 meters above the Mars surface.
Smart transportation conference
The 4th EcoMotion Conference on 19th May in Tel Aviv will showcase the innovation and entrepreneurship of over 150 Israel startups in the field of Smart Transportation. Featuring presentations, workshops and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, industry leaders and researchers.
Now you can 3D print your shoes
Israel’s Stratasys, the world’s biggest maker of 3D printers, has launched the Stratasys J750 that can print anything from trainers to voice recorders in a single operation. It has 360,000 different color shades and multiple properties, from rigid to flexible and opaque to transparent.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Moody’s confirms Israel’s A1 rating
International credit rating agency Moody’s confirmed Israel’s A1 rating with a stable outlook. It highlighted the economic flexibility and great effectiveness of the government, which works to improve Israel’s debt and financing figures. Only Israel’s geopolitical risks prevents a higher rating.
Natural gas estimates tripled
Israel’s Energy Ministry has tripled its estimate of the volume of still-undiscovered natural gas in Israeli waters. The new assessment is a potential 2,100 billion cubic meters (BCM) based on a report by French consulting firm BeicipFranlab. Tamar and Leviathan gas fields have already yielded 750-950 BCM of natural gas. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4770058,00.html
A global water company
Israel’s Desalitech has reached the finals of Global Water Intelligence’s Global Water Award for Breakthrough Water Technology of the Year, for the second consecutive year. Desalitech’s water purification systems are used by several Fortune 500 companies, including Coca Cola.
Israel’s Infinidat is still growing. The data storage company (value $1.2 billion – See May 2015 newsletter) aims to compete with IT giant EMC and has quadrupled the size of its Boston US base. It is also expanding offices in Europe, South Africa, India, Japan, Australia and Canada.
Animating emails to increase business
US-Israeli PowerInbox merged with Israel’s ActivePath in 2012. It markets DynamicMail, which boosts the business of hundreds of its clients. PowerInbox saw a 2000% increase in revenue in 2015 and has now raised $6.5 million to expand its Israeli offices and enhance its product.
New airport shuttle to Tel Aviv
Tourists arriving at Ben Gurion Airport now can get to their Tel Aviv hotel other than by expensive taxi. Flo Shuttle is operating a door-to-door shuttle service between the airport and your hotel for just $17/pp that operates every hour, day and night. Pre-booking is required.
Transforming sand dunes into businesses and homes
250-acres of sand dunes in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon LeZion are to be developed into a 1.7 million sq. meter business center and 5,500 housing units. The Mayor of Rishon said that it will be the future business center of Israel.
Israeli London taxi cabs
BDS supporters can no longer use most London taxis, thanks to Israel’s Gett buying British black cab company Radio Taxis. Gett becomes the UK’s largest black cab app, with half of all the licensed taxis in London. The buyout was welcomed by London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.
Grapefruit exports to Asia up 300 percent
Israeli exports of red grapefruit this year to the Far East were 300 percent greater than they were just four years ago. In 2012 Israel sold 1,086 tons of red grapefruit to the region, compared to 4,000 tons so far this season – which is only halfway through.
Toying with VR
Israeli virtual reality (VR) tech firm WakingApp (see 20 Dec newsletter) is partnering with PPI Worldwide – that supplies novelty collectable toys to MacDonalds, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestlé. It will use WakingApp’s ENTiTi Creator to digitize its products and make “Happy Meals” even happier.
Israeli startup on Australian exchange
Israeli cybersecurity company Genome Technologies is floating on the Australian Securities Exchange. Genome’s predictive identity engine profiles each employee and determines possible cyber-attacks targeting specific employees.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Fresh Paint in Tel Aviv
Fresh Paint Contemporary Art & Design Fair, Tel-Aviv is the largest and most influential annual art event in Israel. 35,000 visitors are expected. This year, the fair pays tribute to the first international Fair that took place in 1932 in the same location.
Made of Stars
Israel’s 2016 Eurovision Song Contest entry “Made of Stars” will be sung by 29-year-old Hovi Star (real name Hovev Sekulets) from Kiryat Ata. Israel came in ninth in 2015.
30,000 run the Jerusalem marathon
A record-setting 30,000 people from 62 countries participated in the sixth annual Jerusalem marathon. They included a record 2,400 foreign competitors and 6,000 who were raising money for good causes.
40,000 run the Tel Aviv marathon
40,000 runners from around the globe took part in the 2016 Tel Aviv Marathon and fell in love with one of the world’s most attractive coastal cities, with its scenery, its lively streets and its boundless energy.
Israeli gymnasts take another gold
Israel’s national rhythmic gymnastics team continued its sensational form with another gold medal, finishing in first place in the ribbons final at the Thiais Grand Prix in France. Israel ended the all-around competition in fifth place overall.
Israeli duo make history in Qatar
Israeli beach volleyball duo Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman became the first Israeli team in the sport to participate in a competition in an Arab country.
THE JEWISH STATE
Increased rent subsidy for Olim
In February, the Israeli government nearly doubled the rental assistance benefit given to immigrants aged under 49, in the 2nd to 5th years after Aliyah.
Where anyone can make an historic discovery
Hiking is very popular in tiny Israel and you have the potential to find things almost everywhere at its 37,000 registered archaeological sites. Israel Antiques Authority chairman Yisrael Hasson has used educational programs to engage schools in archaeological activities.
2nd Temple tools discovered
A 2000-year-old incense shovel and jug have been discovered at Magdala, a 2nd Temple Jewish town in the Galilee region. The Israel Antiquities Authority has been leading extensive excavations at the site and has uncovered Jewish ritual baths and a synagogue with a mosaic floor.
Visa-free access to Filipinos
An act of Filipino hospitality – opening the Philippines to Jews fleeing the Holocaust – earned the gratitude of Israel, which now shows it by welcoming Filipino pilgrims, tourists and even skilled workers.
Honoring Italian cyclist who saved Jews
On 20th March, Israel’s pro cycling team set out on the route from Florence to Assisi that Italian champion road cyclist Gino Bartali took secretly during World War II to save Jews escaping from Nazi persecution. He hid forged documents in the handlebar and seat of his bicycle.
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