Good News Israel Archive from the week of November 27, 2016: Israeli researchers have found a protein that stops cancer from spreading; an Ethiopian Jew is the first to become an IDF colonel; an Israeli solar-powered system reduces desalination costs by 90%, and much more.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Protein H1.0 stops cancer cells re-activating
An international study led by scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Crick Institute in London has revealed that cancer stem cells survive even after aggressive treatments. However, they need low (or zero) levels of a DNA-packaging protein H1.0 to re-activate.
Tiny barcodes record effectiveness of cancer treatments
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed nano-packages of different anti-cancer treatments that are tagged with synthetic DNA sequences. Released into the bloodstream and collected 48 hours later, they identify which treatments are most effective.
Automatic analysis of mammograms
Israel’s Zebra Medical and its computer algorithms detect osteoporosis, cardiac disease, liver disease etc from X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. Now it has developed a new algorithm that detects breast cancer from mammograms.
AIDS treatment eliminates 97% of the virus.
Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot have developed a treatment called “Gammora” that kills between 95-97% of the AIDS virus in laboratory tests. The Kaplan AIDS clinic is the largest in Israel, caring for 1,400 patients.
A remedy for damaged knee cartilage
Israel’s Regentis Biomaterials is shortly to conduct a Phase III clinical study of GelrinC, a new treatment for focal cartilage defects in the knee. GelrinC is poured into the lesion in a minimally invasive procedure and converted into a solid implant using ultra-violet light.
A blood test for Parkinson’s
Israeli startup BioShai is developing the world’s first simple blood test for the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The PDx test measures changes in molecules associated with PD and can lead to more precise treatments and a higher quality of life for the patient.
Ultrasonic comb to kill headlice
Israeli startup Parasonic (from Nazareth incubator NGT3) has developed a comb device that destroys lice and lice eggs with ultrasound waves, without any chemicals. The device is said to produce results after a single five-minute combing and is scheduled to go into production within one year.
19 graduate Hadassah’s international medical program
19 students joined the 845 graduates of 41 courses of the International Master of Public Health program run by the Hadassah-Hebrew University Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine. They include students from 96 different countries.
$14 million for MDA
American Friends of Magen David Adom raised a record $14 million at a fundraiser in Los Angeles. Maurice Kanbar, creator of SKYY Vodka, donated $5 million. The money will help build a new-state-of-the-art, underground facility that will store and process blood donations to the MDA.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Ethiopian-Israeli beauty queen publicizes Israel’s diversity
25-year-old Yityish ‘Titi’ Aynaw was crowned Miss Israel in 2013. On her fifth speaking tour of the USA, the Ethiopian-born Israeli emphasized that the world must learn how “unique and diverse” the Jewish state is. She is currently studying international relations at the IDC Herzliya.
Ethiopian-Israeli to become IDF Colonel
Avraham Yitzhak will be the first colonel of Ethiopian descent in IDF history when he becomes chief medical officer of the IDF Southern Command. Yitzhak came to Israel in 1991, graduated in medicine at Ben Gurion University and was the first Ethiopian-Israeli combat doctor
Three women promoted to Colonel
Three IDF lieutenant-colonels have been promoted to full colonels including Olga Polyakov – the first woman to command a Home Front district (Dan) which includes Tel Aviv. Carmel Wahabi is the first Druze Israeli to lead an IDF court as head of the army’s Court of the General Staff.
Guide dogs can heal too
Noach Braun ran Nov 6 New York City Marathon to raise awareness about the lifesaving role guide dogs play in healing. Braun co-founded the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind in 1991 and ran the marathon tethered to a blind runner.
US Christian Zionists give $2 million to Israeli charities
John Hagee Ministries distributed more than $2 million to Israeli and Jewish charities at the 35th annual “Night to Honor Israel”. Keynote speaker, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said, “If Israel is not secure, the United States is not secure”.
Hollywood raises $38 million for the IDF
American Friends of the IDF (FIDF) held a star-studded gala for 1200 guests in Los Angeles to honor IDF soldiers. The event raised a record $38 million, to provide benefits and educational opportunities for IDF soldiers.
New Rio mayor celebrates by visiting Israel
Marcelo Crivella, winner of the election for mayor of Rio de Janeiro, expresses his love for Israel at every opportunity. He celebrated victory by flying to Israel with a delegation of family and friends, where he met mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and discussed cooperation.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Let’s talk to each other again
Want a phone-free family meal, or just a break from constantly checking messages and emails? Purchase an Israeli Pause. The sleek metallic box blocks Wi-Fi signals, calls, texts and emails for up to six phones. Enjoy quality family time, or an office meeting without interruptions.
Diapers from jellyfish
I reported previously (May 2014) on Israel’s Cine’al and its technology to turn jellyfish from dangerous pest into super-absorbent material. Its eco-friendly solution has now attracted the interest of normally anti-Israel UK news media The Guardian.
CNN discovers Israeli that reinvented the wheel
CNN’s Oren Liebermann has written about three Israeli Innovations that will revolutionize the planet. They are Softwheel’s wheel with built-in suspension, Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology and Aquarius’s replacement for the combustion engine. (video is of Softwheel).
Technion students win international biology gold medal
A student team from Israel’s Technion Institute won a gold medal at the iGEM international synthetic biology competition, hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their “Flash Lab” chip contains E. coli bacteria that detects pollutants, metals etc.
Safer, cleaner fuels
Tel Aviv’s 2016 Israel Fuel Choices Initiative Summit featured silent electrical, cars, buses, bicycles and even airplanes. It was organized by Israel’s Fuel Choices Administration whose NIS 1.5 billion ($400 million) government budget supports over 200 research groups and 500 fuel-related startups.
Car mechanic app expands to US and UK
Engie has just received $3.5 million of funds and the U.S. and UK versions of the product have been added to Google Play.
Now Israelis have reinvented the spoon
Two graduates from Israel’s Technion developed a spoon that their child with motor co-ordination problems could use without spilling its contents. Now anyone can buy it. Useful also for the elderly or anyone suffering from tremor.
Award-winning aid to analyzing scan results
The imaging analysis technology and algorithm from Israeli startup Aidoc streamlines the workload of radiologists struggling to review the increasing number of medical scans performed today. Aidoc has just won the 2016 Geektime Techfest startup competition.
System to avoid mid-air collisions
Israel Aerospace’s new Collision Warning System (CWS) alerts pilots of military aircraft of an imminent potential collision with commercial aircraft. The system gives a voice warning and two separate visual display warnings.
Israeli startup Tethys has developed a direct solar-powered desalination system that produces drinking water using energy from direct sunlight.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment hits another record low
Israel’s employment rate for October dropped to an all-time low of 4.5%. The number of Israelis usually working full time (35 hours per week or more) rose 9% from the previous month.
Israeli exec becomes new Google VP
Meir Brand, CEO of Google Israel since 2005, has been promoted to Vice President of the company. Google, one of the world’s largest technology companies, purchased Israel’s GPS app Waze in 2013 and has a large R&D center in Israel. Brand’s responsibilities include the entire Middle East, Africa, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. http://www.timesofisrael.com/google-taps-israeli-exec-as-new-vp/
The sixth fastest growing software firm in the USA
WalkMe has now been rated the sixth fastest growing software company in North America by the Deloitte accounting firm, and the 13th fastest growing overall. It is growing at a rate of 8,085%.
HearMeOut to list on Australian Exchange
One of the two Israeli startups planning Australian IPOs this year is voice messaging specialist HearMeOut. It hopes to become the equivalent of Twitter for 42-second voice-clip messages on social media.
RBS looks to Israel for ideas
The Royal Bank of Scotland held a 3-day hackathon (hi-tech development exercise) in Tel Aviv to seek out Israeli financial technologies that will enable the Edinburgh-based retail bank to boost services to customers. The “fintackathon” also involved Google and Intel.
Daimler to open Israeli R&D center
Germany’s Daimler (which includes car manufacturer Mercedes Benz) is to open a Research & Development center in Tel Aviv which will focus on car mobility and information services.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Discovery of the month
Each month, the Temple Mount Sifting Project publishes details of one of the items discovered whilst sifting through the debris that the Muslim Waqf discarded whilst digging under Temple Mount. October’s find was the leg of an Iron-age figurine (8th – 6th Century BCE).
Hummus the movie
Oren Rosenfeld’s film “Hummus!” focuses on the colorful owners of three Israeli hummus restaurants and their personal stories. Jalil Dabit, a Christian Arab from Ramle; Eliyahu Shmueli, a Jew from Yokneam and Suheila al-Hindi, a Muslim Arab from Acre.
Justin Bieber to perform in Tel Aviv
For the second time in five years, international pop sensation Justin Bieber will be coming to Israel for a performance at Park Hayarkon, Tel Aviv expected to take place in May 2017.
Rock legends Yes have confirmed that they will perform at the Menora arena in Tel Aviv, on March 7. The concert will feature three of the band’s original lineup – vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
BeerSheba does the double on Inter Milan
Ben Sahar’s 93rd-minute winner completed an unforgettable comeback for Israeli soccer champions Hapoel Beersheba, securing a 3-2 win at home over Inter Milan to keep their Europa league hopes alive. In September, BeerSheba beat Inter 2-0 at the San Siro stadium.
THE JEWISH STATE
Record number of Brazilians making Aliya
700 new immigrants are scheduled to arrive in Israel from Brazil in 2016 – a 45-year record and over three times the annual average. Better economic prospects is a main reason. Since Israel’s establishment, more than 15,000 Brazilian Jews have immigrated to Israel.
Another 250 arrive from Ukraine
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has brought another 250 Ukrainian Jews to Israel. Many of them had spent months in shelters or forced to live on the streets.
Israel welcomes Jewish family from Ivory Coast
One of the Jewish families escaping rising anti-Semitism in France is that of Amy and George Camara and their four children. Originally from the Ivory Coast, they heard much more anti-Semitic abusive remarks from friends who didn’t realize they were Jewish.
Forget those aches and pains
One of the services that the charity Ezer Mizion provides to some of its 660,000 “customers” is its program for the elderly with depression. It relieves not just the patient, but sometimes also the volunteer caregiver – as this example shows.
Egged bus driver stops at nothing to save a life
Haifa Egged bus driver Ro’e Levy turned his #40 bus filled with passengers into an ambulance after a woman passenger lost consciousness and collapsed. He closed the doors and ‘flew’ to Rambam Hospital. Doctors said Levy’s actions saved the 43-year-old patient’s life.
Customer finds and returns lost savings to Eritrean worker
Eritrean employee of the Bet Shemesh Osher Ad supermarket, Barak Tofsei, lost the $4700 he had saved up for his future wedding. A customer in Osher Ad found the packet of money and, together with the security supervisor, traced the owner. He refused a reward.
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