A Google map of brain RNA; World Cancer Day; The earliest edible olives; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Vaccines for everyone over 16
Israel is the first country to offer vaccines to any citizen over the age of 16. It aims to vaccinate 90% of the over-50s within two weeks. Nearly two million Israelis (20% of the population) have now received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine with just 0.066% re-infections.
Good Phase 2 results of Covid-19 treatment
Allocetra from Israel’s Enlivex Therapeutics (reported here previously) has cured the majority of the 37 seriously and critically ill Covid-19 patients in its Phase 1b and 2 trials. 33 patients were discharged from hospital an average of under 6 days after treatment.
Preventing Covid-19 outbreaks in schools
Israel’s Thermoguard has developed special data-gathering thermometers that flag small-but-significant peaks in body temperature. It has been testing them in kindergartens to alert staff to take early action to prevent mass classroom outbreaks from unvaccinated children.
Remote tech for cardio care
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center’s partnership with Israel’s Datos Health (reported here previously) is transforming the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation programs. Datos has also partnered Israel’s Vaica Medical to add patient management facilities into its remote cardiac telemedicine app.
A Google map of brain RNA
Scientists from Bar Ilan University, Harvard and MIT have produced a detailed map of the genes inside the main memory center of a mouse brain. The researchers say the same technology will work in humans and could help treat diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s, and others including cancer.
How stress moves through the body
Amazing new research in which scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have studied how the body responds to stress on a cell-by-cell basis. They have mapped the “stress axis” and the production of the hormone cortisol. The research opens up avenues to new treatments for chronic stress.
Migraine treatment device gets US approval
Israel’s Theranica (reported here previously) has received US FDA clearance to market its Nerivio therapeutic device for the acute treatment of episodic or chronic migraine in people 12 years and older. Theranica’s migraine patch was approved by the FDA in 2019.
Acne treatment gets FDA approval
Israel’s Sol-Gel (reported here previously) has had its Twyneo acne treatment US FDA-approved following successful Phase 3 testing.
Stronger and safer than morphine
Israel’s Therapix Biosciences (reported here previously) is working with the University of Calgary to evaluate the pain relief effect of its THX-160 analgesic. In pre-clinical studies, THX-160 was in some instances even more effective than high-dose morphine.
The seasons of our hormones
Anonymous big data in the systems of Israel’s four medical companies (HMOs) is providing researchers with the information they need to solve medical problems. In the latest example, scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute used data from Clalit to document the seasonal pattern of hormones.
Cancer treatment from camels and sharks
Israel’s Ben Gurion University Professor Niv Papo discovered that tiny antibodies called nanobodies, found only in camels and sharks, can penetrate hard cancerous tissue to release chemotherapy treatments. BGU has bought a camel and have now begun trials on prostate cancer.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel – melting pot in the Middle East
Great video featuring Yoseph Haddad showing how Israel’s minorities live in the Jewish State.
Time not wasted
Israel’s Welfare Ministry listed its achievements during the current government’s 11 months as disability benefits, early childhood legal reform, a historic social workers agreement, refuge centers for women, special needs centers for toddlers, safety nets for the welfare of older population, and much more.
Startup training across the Middle East
Israel’s Starting Up Together weekly zoom program helps young entrepreneurs from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Gaza, and the PA. Its topics include market research, business plans and raising funds. 40% of participants are women.
Yad Sarah inspires US charity
American Elliot Sloyer was chaperoning an Israel trip for 8th-grade students in 2018. When one of the students suffered an injury, he borrowed a wheelchair from Israeli charity Yad Sarah. He was so impressed with the charity that in Oct 2020 he launched Wheel It Forward in Connecticut.
International cyber defense exercise
In a cyber defense exercise, organized by the US Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence, five IDF teams competed against nearly 60 teams from 13 countries. It was Israel’s first exercise coordinated by the IDF’s Cyber Defense Directorate and proved to be a vital learning experience.
Kosovo establishes diplomatic relations
Israel and Kosovo officially signed an agreement to normalize ties. Kosovo’s Foreign Minister called the occasion “a golden page in the history of the people of Kosovo”. It will be the first Muslim-majority country and European nation to establish an embassy in Jerusalem.
World Cancer Day.
o mark World Cancer Day 2021 on 4th Feb, Israel’s Ben Gurion University published a several articles about students and alumni who are working to eliminate cancer in Israel and across the world. Also, latest published (2018) figures show that Israel’s cancer mortality rates continue to drop.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israeli astronaut reaches for the sky
When Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe launches into space in 2022, he will be aiming high. The Israel Space Agency and the Ramon Foundation announced that the name of the Israeli part of the mission would be “Rakia,” Hebrew for sky. It was chosen by 60% of Israelis in an online poll.
Click on real world objects
Israel’s PointMe has developed technology that can transform any object in the world into a clickable one – billboards, buildings, statues, museums, trade shows, restaurants and much more. It could transform the way we interact with things around us in the physical world.
Chewing gum to help resist sugary foods
Israelis Gitit Lahav and Shimrit Lev have developed Sweet Victory, a patented mint-flavored chewing gum that blocks the sugar receptors on the tongue for up to two hours. Based on the Indian Gymnema Sylvestre plant it is being sold in the Philippines and New Zealand.
Autonomous solar panel cleaning
Israeli startup Bladeranger is developing a robotic solar panel cleaning system. It recently listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and rocketed to a valuation of $1.5 billion. It is also developing a cloud-based management system. (See also Israel’s Ecoppia, reported here previously)
Israel’s Stratasys has enhanced its J750 Digital Anatomy3D printer with advanced bone capabilities that are biomechanically realistic. The system mimics porous bone structures, fibrotic tissue, and ligaments for medical professionals to print models that behave just like human bone.
Fixing program bugs super-fast
One for the real techies. Israel’s Rookout has developed a solution for system developers to quickly pinpoint and diagnose the cause of problems with their software. They can do this without stopping the program or changing it in any way. It makes fault analysis so simple.
Dyed fabrics with less water
Israel’s NILIT (reported here previously) now offers clothing manufacturers its Sensil WaterCare pre-dyed fibers and fabrics, produced using sustainable, water-saving processes and environmentally- responsible pigments. Colors will not wash out, even at high temperatures.
Israeli scientists win an Oscar
Tel Aviv University Professor Meir Feder and Israeli startup Amimon have won a Scientific and Engineering award by the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Their wireless video technology plus Amimon’s chipset have made a substantial impact on the global film industry.
Technology for top winery
Israel’s Trellis (reported here previously) has been chosen by Pernod Ricard Winemakers to support its operations across Australia and New Zealand. Trellis’ AI-powered platform predicts quality, yield, timing of harvest and associated expenses for fruit growers across USA, Europe and Australasia.
The flowering of wind energy
Dr. Daniel Farb is the inventor of the Israeli-developed Wind Tulip, now owned by Flower Turbines in the US with a Dutch subsidiary. Its main engineering team is still in Israel. The turbines are quiet, efficient and generate 50% more electricity when placed in clusters.
Recycling plastic and feed the world
Engineering students from Tel Aviv University have built self-watering micro farms from plastic waste. Their startup PotsFarms markets plant containers with a standalone hydroponic irrigation system made from recycled plastic bottles. They are looking to grow their budding green enterprise.
Growing saffron indoors
Israel’s Saffron Tech (part of Seedo Corp) is testing a system for growing high-quality, high-yield saffron anywhere. One of most expensive spices in the world, 90% of the world’s saffron is currently grown in Iran. Saffron Tech have licensed the technology from Israel’s Growin Ltd.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record month for investments
January 2021 saw an unprecedented record $1.2 billion invested in Israeli companies. It included the generating of five new Israeli Unicorns (value over $1 billion).
Trade with Dubai tops $270 million
The Dubai Media office reports that since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties in September, trade between the Jewish state and Dubai has reached 1 billion dirham ($272 million). Figures for the other seven states in the UAE were not yet available.
Another digital health fund
Israel’s OTV (formally Olive Tree Ventures) has closed a new fund totaling $170 million. OTV focuses on digital health products that have the potential to work in different countries, make healthcare more affordable and fill gaps in overwhelmed healthcare systems.
Record exports for Intel Israel
Detailed accounts have just been released for Intel Israel. They show that the Israeli operation increased exports in 2020 by 14% to $8 billion. Intel is responsible for 14% of Israel’s hi-tech exports, and its 13,950 employees generate 2% of the country’s GDP.
Saving the Australian almond crop
Israel’s Edete (reported here previously) is to trial its artificial pollination technology in the Australian state of Victoria. Its machinery that can be deployed both day and night, and at extreme temperatures. While Israel is busy saving the world’s honeybees, this is Plan B!
Tesla launches in Israel
Tesla officially launched its official sales in Israel for its electric vehicle on a new website. It is also building a sales agency at Ramat Aviv Mall in Tel Aviv.
A new sports partner
Israel’s Pixellot (reported here previously) is now partnering with NBC Sports Group company SportsEngine to launch Pixellot YOU. SportsEngine’s clubs can record their games via a virtual camera operator and receive highlights for each player. It will also help coaches improve team performance.
India’s unofficial Israeli trade ambassador
Saket Agarwal of India’s Onnivation Ventures, markets the services of 15 Israeli hi-tech companies to India’s largest corporates. His “portfolio” of Israeli expertise in cloud, data science, AI, cybersecurity and marketing, attracts millions of dollars in annual business.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Archeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa have discovered what may be the earliest-known use of symbols on earth. They were found on a bone fragment in the Ramle region in central Israel and are believed to be approximately 120,000 years old.
The earliest edible olives
Olives are one of the seven species, mentioned in the Bible as produce of the Land of Israel. Israeli researchers have discovered evidence of table olives from 6,600 years ago at a submerged site off the Haifa coast. They pre-date the earliest known edible olives by some 4,000 years.
Israel’s Olympic marathon hope
Ethiopian-Israeli Girmaw Amare runs the marathon in just over 2 hours 7 minutes and is aiming for a medal in the summer Olympics in Japan. Here he talks about his life, why he enjoys the sport, his training and his pride in representing Israel.
THE JEWISH STATE
Wedding for Bnei Menashe couples
Eleven Bnei Menashe couples, who recently immigrated to Israel from India, were wed in a festive and emotional group ceremony at Shavei Israel’s absorption center in Nordia, near Netanya. They were remarried after their formal conversion to Judaism and return to the Jewish people.
Emotional hotline for new Olim
New immigrants can find coping in the pandemic more difficult than veteran Olim (Vatikim) and sabras (born in Israel). A new call center has now been setup, providing access 5 days a week to mental health professionals who speak English, French, Spanish, Amharic and Russian.
Warm weather kits for the elderly
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, plus Government agencies are to distribute 10,000 winter kits to elderly residents in public housing across the country. The kits, costing a total of $1 million, include a heated blanket and scarf, plus around $100 of vouchers for essentials.
Every Jew is responsible for one another
When Covid-19 hit Israel, Tal Ohana, mayor of the southern town of Yerucham, personally saw to everyone’s needs, checked those tested, called those infected, and brought education to children’s homes. Yerucham has had only one Covid-19 case in the last month.
(Great message at the end)