Good News Israel Archive from the week of February 28, 2016: Scientists at Israel’s Technion have discovered how to use proteins to suppress unwanted gene activity; a Kuwaiti reporter praises Israel, and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Detecting the dangers in ICU
Israeli startup Intensix is trialing an Intensive Care Unit patient monitoring system at Tel Aviv Sourasky (Ichalov) hospital. Using data collected from 8,000 patients over the past 8 years, the system gives an early warning of impending sepsis and organ failure that kills 30% of ICU patients.
Control disease – deactivate genes
Scientists at Israel’s Technion have discovered how to use proteins to suppress unwanted gene activity. It could lead to a cure for cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia, as well as more common diseases that are caused by gene activity or mutations, such as many forms of cancer.
Protecting USA from radiation sickness
I previously reported (here) on the therapy from Israel’s Pluristem for treating patients exposed to lethal radiation doses. Pluristem is to join the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases program designed to protect people from catastrophic incidents.
Keeping hip and spinal surgeons on target
Another great invention from the students of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s BioDesign Medical Innovation program. Their BendGuide system monitors and detects minute changes in guide-wire trajectory during hip and spinal surgery. Surgeons can correct drilling trajectories, prevent guide-wire breakage and significantly reduce operation time while increasing safety.
Another test for Alzheimer’s
Researchers from Tel Aviv University, the Technion and Rambam Medical Center propose testing the blood biomarker ADNP for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease. ADNP is essential for brain formation and cognitive function. I reported another blood test in January (here).
Alzheimer’s therapy is available
I reported previously on the neuroAD transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and cognitive training from Israel’s Neuronix (see here). NeuroAD now has CE approval and is commercially available in Israel, Europe and Asia. US FDA approval is subject to results of latest trials.
Exercise and dance to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms
I reported previously (in August) that dancing can treat Parkinson’s. Now Israeli Alex Kerten has developed a mind-body therapy for Parkinson’s called Gyro-Kinetics. It includes breathing exercises, relaxation and dance.
An app to check your eyesight
Israeli startup 6over6’s GlassesOn smartphone app helps check your latest lens prescription without having to visit an optometrist. It can also help those buying spectacles on-line and in developing countries. The app won the startup contest at the mHealth Israel Conference in Tel Aviv.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Ethiopian-Israelis get top IDF roles
Derech Kfar (The Village Way) Educational Institute operates preparatory programs that helps Ethiopian Israelis to be assigned as IDF medics, social services NCOs, drill instructors and intelligence NCOs. In its first class of 14, three recruits became commissioned officers.
Empowering women in workplace and home
Three Israeli groups, Ima Kadima, Women In Wireless and Digital Eve Israel, held their first joint event at Tmol Shilshom Cafe in Jerusalem. The room was crowded with women eager to network with others they had only ever communicated with on the Internet.
Disabled can type in Hebrew
The IssieBoard is an adaptive Hebrew iPad keyboard that makes typing easier for children and adults with learning disabilities, visual impairments, developmental and intellectual disabilities, and can even assist immigrants who wish to learn Hebrew. It was developed by a collaboration of SAP and the Israeli charity Beit Issie Shapiro. http://en.beitissie.org.il/new-at-the-app-store-issieboard/
Israelis under cover to save Syrian lives
Some 200 or so Israeli volunteers working for the nonprofit Il4Syrians have been secretly operating in Syria since the civil war began in 2011. They have delivered food, medical supplies, sanitation kits, baby powder, survival kits and even 3000 protective suits for doctors treating victims of chemical attacks.
Egypt’s new Ambassador is proud to be here
Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel, Hazem Khairat, told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin that he was very happy and very proud to be in Israel and that he hoped for a situation in which the friendship between Jews and Arabs will be such that they can live in peace. And in a first, a new Egyptian schoolbook teaches about the peace treaty with Israel.
Kuwaiti reporter praises Israel
Ahmad Al-Sarraf, of Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, wrote on Israel’s advantages over the Arabs in democracy, military, science, technology, human rights, freedom of worship and economics. He called on the Arabs to look at the reasons for Israel’s success and superiority, instead of viewing it as a political-religious foe.
Arab trade via Israel
In 2015, some 13,000 trucks laden with products from Turkey and Bulgaria passed through Israel on their way to Arab states – an increase of more than 25% on 2014. An additional shipping line is to be added next month between Turkey and Israel, which will add another 150 trucks a month.
Interview with IsraAID’s founder
A recent edition of the AJC Live radio show focused on Israel’s humanitarian work around the globe being carried out by IsraAid, which is supported by AJC. AJC Live interviewed Shachar Zahavi, the Founder of IsraAid. Here is the link to the show:
California-Israel Water Summit
The JNF is presenting the first ever California-Israel Water Summit in Beverly Hills on March 2nd. Political and policy leaders, utility officials, investment executives, labor, business, and environmental leaders will discuss the future security of California’s water supply.
First visit by Kenyan President in 21 years
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta came to Israel for a 3-day state visit – the first such visit by a Kenyan president to the Jewish State since 1994. The visit focused on economic and security cooperation. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said “Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel.
International bird conservation
In mid-March, Israel will host over 30 international scientists at a 4-day meeting of the Technical Committee of the AEWA (Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds). The meeting is a vital stage in the implementation of this UN treaty.
Get a law degree in Israel and practice in the USA
Israel’s Lirom Global Education offers foreign students graduate courses in a variety of fields – far cheaper than a US degree. Eg, a 3.5 year bi-lingual bachelor of law degree (LLB), that qualifies students to practice law internationally, at the age of only 22.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Huge Israeli presence at Mobile World Congress
The largest mobile expo in the world – the annual GSMA Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona – showcased 2,100 companies, including a delegation of over 100 Israeli high-tech companies in the field of mobile solutions and apps.
Best mobile innovation
Israel’s Anagog, developer of the world’s largest crowdsourced parking network, won the ‘Best Mobile Innovation in Automotive Award’ at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Anagog can detect if a smarphone user is at home or at work, walking, driving, riding a bus, where he parked and more.
Laying the foundations for 5G networks
One of the companies showcasing at the Mobile World Congress is Israel’s Ceragon and its 5G wireless backhaul technologies. Commercial 5G services are expected to begin by 2020, bringing increased capacity, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) solutions.
A most innovative company
Fast Company magazine has included Glide – Israel’s mainstream video messaging app – in their Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Video list (#7). Glide was specifically recognized for its efforts to “provide a social communication tool for the deaf community.”
Top of the world in fire safety
Israel has invested 2 billion Shekels ($505 million) in its firefighting service since the 2010 Carmel forest fire. Hundreds of new firefighters helped reduce average response times from 14 minutes in 2010 to six minutes in 2015. There were 70 fatalities in 2010; 23 in 2011; 17 in 2013 and 9 in 2015.
Award-winning seedless papaya
The Aurora, a seedless papaya from Israel, was crowned winner of the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) 2015. It began as an accidental mutation which breeder Assaf Avizohar spent 12 years developing hybrids with better taste and color.
A better way to get a better job
Israeli job-matching start-up Woo matches the right people with the right job via an anonymous employment platform that provides tailor-made offers for each user. Woo’s platform recognizes that 75-80% of people don’t actively look for new jobs, but would accept a better job if offered.
The Israeli tech in Lady Gaga’s Grammy performance
Intel Israel showed at the Grammy Awards ceremony what the Israeli-developed RealSense 3D camera is capable of. As Lady Gaga began her “David Bowie tribute” performance, her dynamic makeup was digitally projected onto her face.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Majority of Haredi men are employed
More than 50 percent of ultra-Orthodox Israeli men are participating in the workforce for the first time in recorded Israeli history, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. In 2003, Haredi male employment was only 36%. The employment rate for Haredi women is now 73%.
Mapped in Jerusalem
MadeinJLM has produced a new interactive map with more than 500 Jerusalem startups.
New Ryanair route Bratislava to Eilat
Ryanair has launched a new route from Bratislava, Slovakia, to Eilat Ovda, Israel. The route is part of Ryanair 2016 winter plan, with two flights per week scheduled. This new route adds to the 3 routes already operating by the airline to Ovda, from Budapest, Hungary, Kaunas, Lithuania, and Krakow, Poland.
Oracle buys Israeli cloud startup for $500 million
Israeli cloud software start-up Revello Systems has been purchased by Oracle – the world’s second largest software developer – for an estimated $500 million. Ravello’s software enables the transfer of data between different cloud platforms and servers.
Nissan to use Israeli self-driving technology
Japanese car giant Nissan and Israel’s Mobileye have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to integrate Mobileye’s new Road Experience Management digital maps technology into Nissan’s fleets. The Nissan deal, follows similar ones with General Motors and Volkswagen.
Honduras buys Israeli radar to stop smugglers
Honduras is currently in the implementation stage of installing 3 radar systems developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. The systems, worth $30 million, will help Honduras combat South American smugglers.
Taxi startup wants happier drivers
Israeli ride-hailing startup Juno is building a driver-friendly business to compete against its rival Uber. Firstly, it will take only a 10% cut of each fare (Uber takes 20-25%). Secondly, Juno’s drivers will be shareholders in the startup. Juno is to launch in New York City in the spring.
A business matchmaker
Jeremy Lustman set up the Israel branch of DLA Piper law firm in 2009. Like a Jewish matchmaker, he introduces clients and builds relationships. In just the first half of 2015, he helped facilitate seven M&A (merger and acquisition) transactions that collectively exceeded $1.5 billion.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Simultaneous festival with Turkey
The Sound Ports Festival, Istanbul – Tel Aviv, is a unique music event at its first edition. Taking place simultaneously in Tel Aviv and Istanbul, from March 9 to 12, the music, lectures, exhibitions and culinary events aim to create a bridge between the two cultural capitals of the Middle East.
The first art to be made in outer space
Israeli concept artist Eyal Gever is working with NASA to produce a digital representation of a human laugh. The image will be uploaded to the International Space Station and will be the first piece of art to be made in outer space when it is turned into a sculpture using a 3D printer designed to work in zero gravity.
When the Jerusalem shuk shutters close
When the Jerusalem market closes, 300 shutters go down, to reveal one of Israel’s cultural marvels. 300 portraits of inspiring individuals that built the State of Israel. Spray-painted on the shutters themselves.
The daughters of Tzelofchad
The Rebecca Crown Auditorium of the Jerusalem Theater was filled to capacity when the talented women and girls from the Gush Etzion, Raise Your Spirits Theater (RYS) performed, “Sisters: The Daughters of Tzelofchad” to an all-female audience.
World Windsurfing Championships in Eilat
Eilat – Israel’s most southern spot – where the combination of warm tropical waters and beautiful coral reef running along the sandy shores of the Red Sea provide the perfect venue for the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships and RS:X Under 21 Windsurfing Championships.
THE JEWISH STATE
Piecing together the Dead Sea Scrolls
A German-Israeli research project is building a digital environment to connect thousands of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The project involves the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Do unto others
Volunteering at Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion often requires self-sacrifice. Eli refused his specialist’s cancellation appointment, in order to take a patient to hospital and support her when she asked for help. Just then, Eli’s father was brought in on a stretcher – and was amazed to see Eli already there to greet him.
How to beat terror – by the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Forty years ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke precisely about the current situation. Read about his solution in this article.
100 Israelis enliven wedding celebration
Only 20 invited guests were able to attend the party of Judd and Ma’ayan who came from the US to get married in Israel. Guests at a nearby Bat Mitzva party noticed and used Facebook to enlist over 100 friends to boost the numbers and cheer up the wedding couple.
Making Aliya from China
Five women, descended from the ancient Chinese Jewish community of Kaifeng, are returning to the Jewish homeland. The women have studied Hebrew and Judaism for several years in order to convert, and are being brought home by Jerusalem-based nonprofit Shavei Israel.
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