Tel Aviv U scientists discover new pathway for treating hearing loss; Israeli technology paves the way for diplomacy; Israeli vegan meat startup wins European Food competition, and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
New pathway for treating loss of hearing
Tel Aviv University scientists have produced the world’s first map of “methylation” (natural gene manipulation) that impacts development and ultimately loss of function of the entire inner ear. They have revealed many new genes that may help restore hearing to deaf children and adults.
FDA designation for solid tumor treatment
I reported previously (28 Jan) that the AGI-134 solid tumor treatment from Israel’s BiolineRX showed promise. The U.S. FDA has just granted Biological Product Designation for the novel immunotherapy compound. Early trials show complete regression of tumors.
Restoring the digestive system
Israel’s E-Motion Medical has just received the CE Mark (i.e. European approval) for its E-Motion System, providing stimulation therapy that restores the natural motor function of the digestive system for patients with acute gastrointestinal dysmotility (GID).
Going bats to understand spatial awareness
Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found that humans are more like bats than rats in how our brains help us navigate the environment. Rat neurons only emit predictable. rhythmic oscillations, whereas bats and primates additionally use far more complex mechanisms.
New program for treating eating disorders
Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has set up a new daily program to treat young people up to age 30 in Northern Israel with eating disorders. Each patient receives an intensive, personized plan plus access to doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians and social workers.
Sleeping sickness parasite genome decoded
Dr. Noam Kaplan of Israel’s Technion Institute is a member of an International team of scientists that has decoded the genome of the fatal parasite Trypanosoma brucei – the cause of human “sleeping sickness”. It should help in the development of techniques to block the fatal disease.
Gut microbiome-analysis startup’s $5 million lab
I wrote previously (19th Aug) that Israeli startup DayTwo will provide members of health care provider Clalit with personalized nutrition plans based on DNA analysis of gut microbiome. DayTwo is now setting up a $5 million lab in Rehovot, working with the Weizmann Institute.
Of mice and men
Israeli biotech CytoReason and Israel’s Technion Institute are analyzing the immune system at the cell level. As a result, they have just published a groundbreaking new mouse to human model. It will help scientists develop treatments faster that work both in clinical and human trials. Great video.
New treatment for heart failure
Israeli-founded Irish-Israeli startup Whiteswell has developed a minimally invasive solution for acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). It involves a catheter to drain excess fluid. Whiteswell has just raised $30 million of funds to support development and trials.
Patient motoring guidance system
I reported previously (Dec 2011) that the universities of Haifa and Ben Gurion were building MobiGuide to monitor patients outside clinically controlled environments. MobiGuide is now the first AI system for the automated management of atrial fibrillation and gestational diabetes patients.
See the new migraine relief device. I reported previously (21st May) that Israel’s Neurolief was developing a non-invasive brain neuro-modulation interface system that could relieve migraine headaches. This Israel21c article shows the device, describes the technology and plans. The device is also in trials to treat depression.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israeli technology is paving the way for diplomacy
I reported previously (6th May) that Israeli diplomats were to receive training in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship prior to going overseas. They are now being trained how to “talk tech”, show off Israel’s innovation and use it to promote the nation. About time too!
Israel advocates for people with disabilities. Israel’s parliament marked International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3rd Dec. Israel’s 8 million citizens include 1.6 million people with disabilities who are an integral part of Israeli society, and this short video publicizes it.
President hosts 60 diverse mayors
Following Israel’s recent mayor elections, President Reuven Rivlin emphasized shared interests when hosting 60 new mayors at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem. The mayors represented every section of Israeli society, secular, ultra-orthodox, religious and Arab, Bedouin and Druze.
Israeli-Arab doctor is youth angiology representative for Asia
Dr. Rashad Abusaleh, of Rambam Medical Center has been appointed by the International Union of Angiology (IUA) to be its International Youth Young Committee Vice Chairman. Dr. Abusaleh will represent Israel and Asia for the next three years.
Schoolhouse for migrants
I reported previously (9th Dec) on the Israeli NGO teaching computer skills to some of the 38,000 African migrants in Israel. This article describes the Schoolhouse at Minshar School of Art in south Tel Aviv where Israeli volunteers educate migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
Please can we have some more water?
A Jordanian delegation has traveled to Israel to request an increase in water allocation to the kingdom, which is plagued by severe shortages. Israel already sends 50 million cubic meters to Jordan as part of peace agreements.
Look who’s taking Israeli on-line Bible archaeology course
An online course at Bar-Ilan University, titled Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah, has drawn more than 1,000 students from around the world, including from Pakistan, UAE and Oman, who have no ties to Israel.
Joint research with Brazil
Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Research and Innovation. Each authority will allocate $5 million over five years to support R&D projects leading to solutions to technological challenges relevant for both nations.
Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs
In 2010, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, said “Israel is the most isolated, lonely country in the world”. But in the last eight years, the Jewish state has had extraordinary diplomatic breakthroughs in India, China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Gulf.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Vegan meat startup wins European Food competition
Israeli startup Jet Eat, which developed a technology for 3D printing of vegan meat substitutes, was selected as one of the winners of the 2018 Food Accelerator Network Program competition. The contest is hosted by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.
Eilat-Eilot energy conference
The 2018 Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference is Israel’s leading energy event. From Dec 2 – 4, thousands of participants from all over the world came to Eilat. The event launched Eilat Eilot’s East Africa Off Grid Technologies Hub, bringing Israeli innovation to Africa.
Renewable energy program
Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA) is launching a $7 million annual pilot program to fund and support companies requiring R&D in renewable and efficient energy fields. Up to NIS 2.5 million is available for projects in solar, geothermal, fuel alternatives, smart grid, storage etc.
TAU-China research center unveiled
I reported previously (29th Sep) on the joint Tel Aviv University project with China’s Tsinghua University to set-up a new research center in Shenzhen. The two universities began their plans in 2016 and have just presented them at the China Israel Innovation Forum in Shenzhen.
Hebrew U launches fintech center
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has opened a new fintech center, funded by a $1.3 million donation from Israeli entrepreneur David Gershon. Its goal is to grow Israeli fintech startups and increase overseas sales. It also aims to help raise a new generation of Israeli fintech entrepreneurs.
Vegan products from chickpea protein
I reported previously (19 Aug) on Israel’s InnovoPro, developer of a 70 percent protein concentrate from chickpeas. It has now produced prototype products like puddings, meat alternatives, high-protein snacks and vegan mayonnaise. It has also just raised $4.25 million of funds.
Airports for drones
Israeli startup Highlander Aviation has developed software that manages and coordinates the activity of autonomous drone fleets. It has just raised $1.5 million to help it expand globally. Highlander intends to build specialized airports for commercial drones, where the flyers can land and recharge.
Self-healing software accelerates in Japan
I reported previously (Dec 2017) on Israel’s Aurora Labs whose systems fix problems in connected cars. Aurora has just been chosen to participate in the Batch 2 Acceleration Program of Plug and Play Japan. Aurora’s software platform is valuable to vehicle manufacturers
Israeli technology makes London buses safer
London bus operator, Abellio, launched a trial in Oct on 66 of its buses of Israeli collision-avoidance technology from Mobileye (now part of Intel). Findings to date show it has reduced avoidable collisions by 29% and reduced injuries from such collisions by 60%.
New concept steering wheel is 3D printed
Global automobile products company Techniplas has used a DragonFly Pro 3D printer from Israel’s Nano Dimension to design a new steering wheel that incorporates its proprietary cognitive lighting technology with 3D printed electronics in a single step.
Smart pool cleaner
Israel’s Maytronics, was co-winner of the 2018 Pool Innovations Trophy Smart Pool award for its Dolphin iO robotic pool cleaner powered by self-learning AI technology featuring 3D digital mapping of the pool. Piscine Global, in Lyon, is Europe’s leading swimming pool and wellness event.
Put them anywhere you want
I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Wi-Charge and its innovative WiFi (10-meter range) charging system. Wi-Charge now turns specific Amazon and Google smart speakers into wireless speakers. Wi-Charge is also expanding with new partners for its OEM program.
Dying wool online in any color
The technology of Israel’s Twine Solutions continuously dyes a single raw off-the-shelf white thread to any requested length and in any one of millions of colors and shades and gradients. It eliminates the inefficient conventional bulk dyeing of thread in use today. Twine has just raised $22 million.
Systems for U.S. Coast Guard planes
The U.S. Coast Guard is to use the MilliSAT L/W system from Israel’s GetSat. Its beyond line of sight (BLOS) technology will support the Coast Guard’s intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, humanitarian aid, search and rescue and disaster relief missions.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Reckitt Benckiser partners with Israel, (TY Calcalistech) Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA), has signed a Tech Collaboration Agreement with Healthcare multinational Reckitt Benckiser (RB). The IIA will help RB locate Israeli healthcare startups focusing on AI and blockchain and match investments that RB makes in them.
Jordan buys more Israeli gas
Tamar Petroleum (owned by Israel’s Delek and US’s Nobel Energy) is to supply up to 1 BCM more Israeli gas worth $200 million to the Jordan Bromine Company and Arab Potash Company. Jordan began receiving Israeli gas in 2017 (see here) after a $500 million deal (see here)
Battery charging startup gets Chinese boost
I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s StoreDot and its innovative fast-charging batteries. Now, China’s EVE Energy Co. Ltd. has signed an agreement with StoreDot. to manufacture the Israeli company’s products for electric vehicles and mobile devices in China.
The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit
On March 7, 2019, in Jerusalem, Israel, over 15,000 people from over 120 countries are expected to attend the fifth annual OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. Its theme is “Startups: Making a Global Impact,” – their breakthrough technologies and their social impact in the world.
Morgan Freeman is so cool
Octogenarian Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman will soon be seen all over Israeli billboards and television screens as the new face of Tadiran air conditioners. Freeman signed an agreement with Tadiran to lead the company’s advertising campaigns.
Protecting millions of cars
I reported previously (1 July) about Israel’s ERM Advanced Telematics and its systems that prevents cyber-attacks on connected cars. ERM now protects and monitors 5 million cars globally. It is now expanding in Latin America, focusing on the fleet management and stolen vehicle recovery markets.
Ex-Intel employees invest in Israeli tech
Five former Intel senior executives have co-founded investment group NextLeap Ventures. It has already invested $1.5 million in five Israeli tech startups – GuardKnox, Zuta-Core, Magentiq Eye, Montfort (see here) and TechsoMed. 80 ex-Intel employees came to its recent Pitch Night.
https://www.magentiq.com/news https://vimeo.com/224749386 https://www.techsomed.com/
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Urban art in Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Development Authority’s Cultural Infrastructures and Public Domain of Eden has initiated the painting of 11 exquisite wall paintings in the Talpiot district of Jerusalem. They are the works of an international roll call of professionals, including from China, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Israel.
Dance festival attracts VIPs from 45 nations
The 24th annual International Exposure dance festival (Dec 5 – 9) took place at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. The 178 VIP guests from 45 countries included the directors of the dance festivals of Montpellier, Lyon, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Singapore and many more.
Print fair in Tel Aviv
The Print Fair photo exhibit at Tel Aviv’s Print House photo studio that finished early Dec was so popular that it re-opened the following weekend. The event’s aim was to bring good photography to young people. 150 photographers were selected via a Facebook open call and photos can still be bought on-line
New Israeli stamps
Israel Post has issued new stamps featuring Israeli achievements in robotics; trees of Israel and simultaneous joint issues with the USA and with Poland.
Circling Mount Meron
The 100% circular nature trail in the Mount Meron Nature Reserve leads from Nahal Moran to Nahal Neria past gorgeous groves and enchanting landscapes. Check the weather first, because it requires walking inside the riverbed, which remains dry most of the year except immediately after rain.
Messi joins Beitar Jerusalem fan club
Argentine football (soccer) legend Lionel Messi has become a member of the fan club of the Israeli football team Beitar Jerusalem. Beitar’s owner and Sirin labs CEO Moshe Hogeg, presented Messi with a membership card and Sirin smartphone in Barcelona, where Messi plays professionally.
THE JEWISH STATE
Relic from the tabernacle discovered
Archaeologists excavating at Shiloh have unearthed a 20 cm-long clay pomegranate dating back well over 3000 years to the time of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the First Iron Age. It is the same shape as the pomegranate-shaped bells on the priests’ cloaks and probably decorated the Mishkan.
Archaeological evidence for Chanukah
I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the Siebenberg House Museum built on top of the remains of a 2000-year-old house in Jerusalem. Recently archaeologists discovered large stones from a Hasmonean era building, and the time of the Maccabees of Chanukah fame.
Ancient vanilla found in Israel
The first evidence of the use of vanilla has been discovered in residue from a 3,600-year-old (Bronze-age) tomb at Megiddo in Israel. Traders probably brought the spice from orchids grown in Africa. Scientists previously thought that vanilla originated in South America, several thousand years later.
http://www.asor.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018-Abstract-Book_updated_10-15-18.pdf (see page 134)
New Dead Sea scrolls?
Archaeologists are busy excavating two recently discovered caves overlooking the Dead Sea which contain 2000-year-old jars, wrappings, and possible scroll fragments. Although the cave had been plundered, the robbers hadn’t dug very deep and the archaeologists were hopeful of a new discovery.
Mystery donor give Chanukah presents to hospitalized kids
An anonymous Australian donor has sent a transport of toys to hundreds of children at Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital in Haifa. It took a special truck to transport all 1,150 toys. Leftover toys will be given to children all year round.
Award for Rescuers Without Borders
Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked presented Israel’s Rescuers Without Borders (RWB) organization with an Award of Excellence at the Arutz Sheva conference in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. RWB’s 1,000 volunteers provide emergency medical assistance in Judea and Samaria.
JNF to fund Israel education in UK Jewish schools
JNF UK is giving £1.2 million to 18 UK Jewish schools to boost Israel education programs. Its aim is to strengthen the Jewish identity and connection to Israel for over 12,000 pupils. Primary schools receive grants of up to £10,000 a year and secondary schools up to £50,000.
The first International Jewish People’s Parade
Some 6,000 Jews from Israel and around the world participated in the first-ever International Jewish People’s Parade in Jerusalem. The marchers carried Macy’s Day Parade-like floats. Characters included Chinese dragons, a Muppet, a Smurf, Ben Gurion and Herzl.
Australia recognizes Israel’s capital
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced, “Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset [Israel’s parliament] and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel.” Australia is to establish a trade and defense office in West Jerusalem.
Reali school’s ‘Chanukah Miracles’
Haifa’s Reali school magazine featured the project of its Middle School students who are translating articles from my VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter into Hebrew. Click here for the link to the magazine.
Click HERE for last week’s Good News from Israel archive.