Good News Israel Archive from the week of June 19, 2016: Israeli research into bio-ink could potentially print human organs; Israel’s SkyFi aims to launch a network of tiny satellites to bring the Internet to remote parts of the planet, and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
UK NHS funds melanoma treatment using Israeli discovery
The BBC has just reported that the UK’s National Health Service has approved the funding of patients receiving the pioneering melanoma (skin cancer) treatment developed by Israeli Professor Jacob Schachter. The approval was one of the fastest in NHS history. The anti-Israel BBC doesn’t mention the Israeli connection, so please read Sheba hospital’s article for details.
75% reduction in added surgery
Surgeons at Mercy Medical Center at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have reported that MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical has reduced the number of repeat breast-cancer operations by 75%. MarginProbe checks accurately that all cancerous tissue has been removed first time.
Osteoarthritis pain and hypertension treatment by end of year
Israeli biotech Kitov has announced that it will be ready at the end of 2016 to launch its KIT-302 treatment for osteoarthritis pain and hypertension simultaneously. Dexcel will mass-produce and market the treatment.
Digital Health incubator is launched
IBM, Medtronic, Pitango and Rambam Medical Center planned a digital medicine incubator at the Life Sciences Park being built in Haifa. “MindUP” is up and running, and ready to build technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery.
An ingredient to win your heart
The supplement Cardiomato, from Israel’s Lycored, beat hundreds of high-quality competitor products to win the NutraIngredients Award for Best Finished Product of the Year – Heart Health. Cardiomato reduces oxidized LDL cholesterol and lowers systolic blood pressure.
What will they print next?
Israeli research into bio-ink could potentially print human organs. Now two Israeli companies, Nano Dimension and Accelta have successfully lab-tested a proof-of-concept 3D bio-printer. It may even be able to print stem cells!
ALS solution wins $32k from public votes
The communication device for ALS and other “Locked in” patients from Israel’s EyeControl, reached the final in the on-line competition “The Venture”. The public voted $32,683 of the $250,000 prize fund to EyeControl – the second highest of the 27 finalists (from 3000 entries).
Microsoft health analytics conference
Microsoft’s Israeli Research & Development Center in Herzliya is the venue for the company’s first ever health analytics conference on Jun 22. Subjects include Internet data, wearables, big data and IBM Watson,
Sleep scientist wins $100,000 prize
The Adelis Award for groundbreaking research by a young scientist has been presented to Dr. Yuval Nir of Tel Aviv University for his work in the field of sleep. The $100,000 award aims to encourage excellence among young Israeli scientists performing brain research in Israel.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Disabled welcomed at Tower of David
The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem ran programs in the Purim and Passover holidays exclusively for families with children with disabilities. The museum closed to the public and ran art projects, games, puppet shows and imaginative play for the special needs children and their siblings.
Beach wheelchairs now available
Netanya beach had a special day when disabled were able to enter the sea using special wheelchairs. Now Michmoret’s banana beach (a few miles north of Netanya) has wheelchairs available to hire that disabled can use to enjoy the sand and surf.
Israeli-Arab is Israel’s smartest student
Mohammed Zeidan, from the Arab community of Kafr Manda in northern Israel scored an 800 on Israeli’s Psychometric Entrance Test, the highest possible score. Zeidan plans to study electrical engineering at Israel’s Technion Institute.
Israeli food aid for Syria
Israeli produced food aid has reached the frontlines in Syria’s civil war. Chairman of the Free Qunietra Provincial Council, Fahad a-Musa, said “since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, we have been unable to get our wounded to any Arab country. There is also a large amount of medicine, baby food, and other foodstuffs which get into the province from Israel.”
Israeli chair of UN Legal Committee
Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was elected chair of the United Nations Legal Committee (the Sixth Committee). It is the first time that an Israeli will head a permanent committee. One responsibility is the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
A better crop for Ethiopian farmers
Here is another feature about Israeli NGO Fair Planet which is giving Ethiopian farmers access to high-quality seeds and training. With the best seeds for the climate and soil, a farmer can increase his yield by five times.
Increasing Israel-Ethiopia cooperation
Trade and political links between Israel and Ethiopia have been improving steadily recently. Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister will lead a high-level delegation to Israel in June and Israel’s Prime Minister will visit Ethiopia in July.
World Bank seeks Israeli edtech advice
The World Bank has just completed a mission to Israel’s ORT and its network of 200 Israeli Sci-Tech Schools – to seek advice on how to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
Israel is 30th member of European IBD federation
Israel has become the first country outside Europe to be accepted as a full member of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA). The EFCCA advances legislation to benefit patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
You can take a horse to water
Just prior to Israel-South Africa Water Week, Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa offered to help alleviate South Africa’s water crisis. But will South Africa’s leaders listen?
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A roof-top farm
Israel’s Aleinu aeroponic farm sits on the rooftop of the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. It employs some 20 people – Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, Israeli-born and immigrants. The herbs and lettuces grow in humid air, without soil or water.
A Waze for walkers
The Israeli app Sidekix is marketed as the fun way to find your way – without a car. The urban on-foot navigation app customizes routes based on the interests and needs of its users.
Seeding space with nanosatellites
Israel’s SkyFi aims to launch a network of tiny satellites to bring the Internet to remote parts of the planet. Here is more info of Israeli satellite developments. Also a new video from SkyFi with a nice pro-Israel touch at one minute 30 secs.
Proteins to control insects
Israel’s Evogene has demonstrated the ability of certain proteins to act against pest insects. These can be developed into new varieties of insect-resistant seeds or as spray-able bio-insecticides.
Find the chords for any song
Israeli music platform Utab has developed an algorithm that can analyze a chord from a recording of any song in just 15 seconds. It simplifies the task of finding the most accurate chords to play.
See it, scan it, buy it
Israel’s Mobilibuy has developed a free, simple to use, iOS and Android app that allows users to scan product images from magazines or screens and then instantly buy the product. The app is now available for download and is compatible with the entire June issue of COSMO magazine.
Protect your GPS system
Focus Telecom has developed GPSDome – the first low-cost protection against GPS jammers. GPS jamming is used by rogue governments and criminals to disrupt industry and security. GPSDome’s algorithms streamline the deflection of radio-frequency interference from the jammers.
Drone tech for North Dakota farmers
Israeli-developed Hermes 450 unmanned aircraft are being tested by farmers in North Dakota. The images from on-board cameras will provide a real-time aerial view of how their fields are progressing, allowing them to make fast agricultural management decisions.
Merging architecture and biology
A group of Israeli scientists and architects, including Nobel Prize-winner Professor Dan Shechtman, have created “Life Object: Merging Architecture and Biology,” a large-scale structure inspired by a 3D scan of a bird’s nest. It is displayed at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
Jerusalem hosts Wikimedia Hackathon 2016
Jerusalem was this year’s hosting city for the annual Wikimedia Hackathon. 120 participants from 17 different countries gathered for a weekend dedicated to developing new features in Wikimedia technology, to help reach more countries and more languages.
Gibraltar turns on wave energy system
Gibraltar’s wave-energy plant built by Israel’s Eco Wave Power has now been officially “switched-on” by Fabian Picardo – Chief Minister of Gibraltar. The project is Europe’s first grid-connected wave energy array.
A formidable array of Israeli speakers will be presenting at this year’s Cybertech conference and startup exhibition in Beverley Hills on June 30.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli startups take-off in June
In the first week of June alone, 13 Israeli startups raised an impressive $237 million. They include WalkMe ($50 million), Trax ($40 million) Weka.IO ($32 million), SundaySky ($30 million), Zimperium ($25 million) and EarlySense ($25 million).
HP launches Israeli investment arm
US technology and printing giant HP is launching HP Tech Ventures in Israel and the US. This corporate investment arm will focus on areas such as 3D printing, virtual reality, hypermobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and smart machines.
Technology can help you sell
AffiliaTech is holding a day conference of lectures, seminars and a job fair, in Performance Marketing, Sales & Advertising Solutions on July 5 at the Cinemateque in Tel Aviv.
Help your wedding guests bloom
Israeli Omer Polak has designed beautiful hand-blown glass boutonnieres containing fresh flowers that can be worn by the most important guests at a wedding. No need to worry about your carnations wilting in the summer heat – these flowers come with their own water supply.
Techcrunch’s first Tel Aviv
Techcrunch reports technology news and runs events to help startups raise funds for their innovations. It is to hold its first formal Israeli event in Tel Aviv on Jun 22. 10 Israeli startups will pitch to a panel of Venture Capitalists and compete for trips to Techcrunch Disrupt London.
JP Morgan hires new Israeli team
Global bank J.P. Morgan is hiring technical developers in Israel for its “next generation pricing, risk management, analysis and trade management platform” known as Athena.
Fewer flight delays
Israel has been admitted into the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol). Eurocontrol provides advanced control and navigation aviation services for managing and planning air traffic flows over European airspace to reduce delays in flight times.
Israelis are saving more
Israel is ranked 7th of 29 OECD countries for saving. In 2014, the net savings rate from disposable income rose to 12.1 percent, a 20-year high. The increase holds true across all levels of income and is linked to the increase in percentage of Israelis participating in the work force.
Much more gas down there
Israel’s Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz told the Conference of the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Herzliya’s IDC that Israel has undiscovered offshore natural gas worth four more Leviathan fields (about 2,200 billion cubic meters). New exploration licenses are planned in the fall.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Heroes of the Jewish People
The new wing at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hatfutsot (Diaspora) museum is showing an exhibition for children entitled “Heroes – Trailblazers of the Jewish People”. Its 144 top names include Maimonides, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Henrietta Szold, Theodor Herzl, Sigmund Freud and Bob Dylan. There is also a separate Dylan exhibition. And the exhibition of miniature synagogues gets a hi-tech makeover.
A good read
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Hebrew University’s Yuval Noah Harari was included in Bill Gates’ “5 Books to Read This Summer”. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also included Harari’s book on his widely followed “A Year of Books” blog.
Telling Israel’s Story
Israeli filmmaker Eyal Resh produced this 4-minute film for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet. It seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective.
Baby whale visits Israel
In a rare event, what is believed to be a 10-meter baby fin whale has been spotted just 20 meters off the Israeli coast near Caesarea.
The secret fortress
The mountaintop Belvoir Fortress, a 13th-century Crusader stronghold near the Sea of Galilee, is the best-preserved Crusader fortress in Israel. Belvoir is based on the same concentric castle layout as the Tower of London. But unlike in London, you won’t need to fight through the crowds.
The new Jerusalem aquarium
The Sea Israel: Gottesman Aquarium at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is due to open in 2016. It focuses on Israel’s four large water bodies – Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea. The environmentally-friendly building will also feature many environmental topics.
Queen to come to Israel
The first visit to Israel of the rock band Queen will be on Sep 12 at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon. “This is an amazing opportunity at last to bring Queen music live to thousands of folks who have been devoted to our music for years. Can’t wait,” said original band member, guitarist Brian May.
If you don’t know Simply Red by now
Videos of the Tel Aviv concert by top band Simply Red. In contrast, Rock icon Alice Cooper attempted to “raise the dead!”
World’s best cookbooks
Israeli cookbook authors won four awards at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016 including top prize, Best in the World Wines & Drinks book. Mira Eitan’s Bar Stories and Cocktail Recipes book (in Hebrew) won the Drinks category.
Silver at Euro swimming championships
Israeli swimmer Gal Nevo took home the silver medal at the European Championships in London. He completed the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.69 minutes. Nevo and five other Israeli swimmers have already qualified for the Rio Olympic Games.
THE JEWISH STATE
Thousands learn together on Shavuot
The Tzohar Rabbinical Organization hosted some 8,500 people at Shavuot learning-together sessions at 22 different venues in major cities throughout Israel. The Tel Aviv program included discussions on social issues, halachic challenges, cultural and personal growth.
He survived two bullets in the head
Assaf Bar – one of the dozen injured in the deadly Sarona Market terrorist attack – clearly described events that evening when a gunman shot him twice in the head.
Terror survivor proposes
Asael Shabo barely survived the deadly Itamar 2002 terrorist attack that killed his mother and 3 brothers. But thousands of fans cheered as Asael stepped out onto the court at half-time in the Israeli basketball semi-final between Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Eilat to propose to his girlfriend, Saray Cohen.
10 Cuban Jewish mothers visit Israel
Ten Cuban-Jewish women visited Israel for their first time on a trip sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs. (see also here.) New life has recently been infused into Cuban Jewry, especially since the release of Alan Gross.
How did they escape?
Shellie Grafstein tells the dramatic story of how her house in Bet Shemesh went up in flames and all the miracles that saved their lives.
Swing for life
Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion hosted its annual Golf and Tennis Tournament to benefit its International Bone Marrow Registry. The attendees met Josh, who thanked Ezer Mizion for enabling his two young children to grow up with a father. Josh then met his bone marrow donor Ran for the very first time.
NY’s umbrella parade celebrates Israel
If you missed New York’s latest annual parade on Jerusalem Day to celebrate Israel’s 68th birthday, here is a 3-hour video featuring some of the thousands of participants in the event.
Busking for blind Arab’s medicine money
Two religious Jewish boys in Jerusalem heard a blind Arab man say he didn’t have enough money to buy his medicine. So they played their guitars and raised the required 70 shekels. They then went to the pharmacy and bought him his medicine.
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