Technion scientists make discoveries on AIDS virus by researching feline equivalent; two Israeli companies won a counter-terrorism technology competition; 92-year-old Holocaust survivor makes Aliyah, and much more.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Cells go into a huddle before fighting infection
Weizmann scientists have discovered that cells in the immune system cluster together to decide tactics, before being sent out to battle infections. These “helper T-cells” resemble American football and basketball teams that frequently go into a huddle during their games.
Cats (no not Katz!) can help fight AIDS virus
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute are learning more about the human AIDS virus from discoveries made researching the feline equivalent (FIV). They have uncovered a protein that is resistant to treatment. Breaking this resistance will help fight human AIDS.
More accurate radiotherapy
Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center is the first hospital in the Middle East to install the state-of-the-art Spine SRS software from Germany’s Brainlab. It allows doctors to give a single dose of higher level radiation to patients suffering from spine cancer without damaging nearby healthy tissue.
Tailored rehabilitation solutions
Innovators at Pele, a tech-innovation program at the Jerusalem-based ALYN Hospital, develop personalized solutions for children with special needs. For 8-year-old Arab boy Yusuf, who cannot bend his joints, it is a structure that allows him to feed himself.
Rambam trauma training
22 participants from 16 nations attended the 19th “Developing and Organizing a Trauma System” and Mass Casualty Management Course at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus. To date the center has trained more than 3,000 health care professionals and officials from 61 nations.
Your medical questions answered
Israel’s Medint Medical Intelligence collects and analyzes information from medical websites, social platforms, blogs, and forums to help patients with cancer and chronic illnesses make informed medical decisions. E.g. find doctors treating similar conditions, or relevant clinical trials.
Neurosurgery saves two children
It was a busy week at Israel’s Schneider children’s hospital. First 10-year-old Ilai had emergency minimally invasive surgery to remove a large colloid cyst in his brain. Then doctors performed a 13-hour operation to remove a huge brain tumor from 13-year-old Maxim. Both are now home.
Ex-NYC Mayor and terror victim reunited
In 2002, 13-year-old Dvir Musai was blown up by a terrorist’s mine. At Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital he was visited by then NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Now employed at Hadassah Herzstein Heritage Center, father-of-two, Dvir received another visit from Mr Giuliani.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Subsidized English tuition for children
Israel’s Education Ministry and the Association of Community Centers’ Shalem volunteer organization are to provide 4th to 8th-graders with after-school spoken English lessons. Fees will be just NIS 4 ($1.10) an hour, far less than current private tuition fees.
77,100 academic degrees
77,100 Israeli residents received academic titles from institutions of higher education in Israel during the 2016/17 school year – a 1.4% rise compared to the previous year. Israeli Arabs gaining first degrees rose to 11.9% of the population from 11% last year.
Arabs & Jews celebrate together at SodaStream. (TY WIN) Israel’s Sodastream is using its employment model to show that coexistence between Jews and Arabs is possible in the region.
Israel’s Ramadan Responders
On June 13th, the penultimate day of Ramadan, five Muslim United Hatzalah emergency medical volunteers responded to a huge fire in Umm al-Fahm. Despite fasting, they treated many children who suffered from smoke inhalation and light injuries. United Hatzalah has 400 Muslim volunteers.
Educating for co-existence
Eran Schwartz, director of Beit Yigal Allon, went on ILTV to explain the purpose and program of his organization based at Kibbutz Ginnosar, by the Kinneret (Sea of the Galilee). It educates Israeli youth in how Jews and its minorities can live together in harmony.
World Day to Combat Desertification
Although 60% of Israel is desert, it is the only country in the world where the desert is receding. Thus, the UN designated Israel an expert in combating desertification -the process by which drought, deforestation, and inappropriate agriculture turns fertile land into desert.
More Israel-Asia Center graduates
I wrote previously (30 July) about some of last year’s graduates from the Israel-Asia Center’s Leaders Fellowship. This recent article features three graduates from the current program. They are from Indonesia (which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel), Vietnam and India.
The largest cookie flag
Using 117,000 cookies laid out to form a giant Israeli flag, the Jewish community of Atlanta, Georgia not only shattered a world record, it also raised considerable funds for worthy charities all over Israel. Afterwards, the cookies were donated to local Georgia food banks.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
8,000 at cybersecurity conference
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu opened the 2018 Cyber Week International Cybersecurity Conference at Tel Aviv University by telling delegates from 60 countries, “you couldn’t have come to a better place for cybersecurity” than Israel. His speech included a simulated cyberattack.
International sports science conference
Dr. Devora Hellerstein of the Academic College at Wingate went on ILTV to report on the fifth bi-annual international congress of exercise and sports science. The conference, organized in conjunction with the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, attracted delegates from 25 countries.
Innovate Israel 2018 on 3rd July in London highlights the most exciting Israeli innovations. Over 20 leading Israeli thought leaders will give 10-minute talks covering artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cybersecurity, digital health, machine learning and Satellite technology. El Al frequent fliers get 15% discount.
Israel wins the debate
Did you hear about the fascinating debate between two humans and an IBM computer, that many said the computer won? Did you hear or read any of the global media organizations mention that it was an IBM Israel project or that the two humans were two Israeli international debating champions?
Israeli startups win counter-terrorism competition
Two Israeli companies won a counter-terrorism technology competition sponsored by the Israeli and U.S. governments. CardioScale won $100,000 for its survivor vitals monitoring device. Colugo Systems won $10,000 for its hybrid quadrotor & fixed-wing drone.
The drone company to watch
I reported previously (30th July) on Israeli drone developer Airobotics. The startup has just been chosen as one of the Wall Street Journal’s 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018. Israeli cybersecurity startup Claroty was also included in the list.
Deep learning chip for automobiles
Israeli startup, Hailo Technologies, has developed a deep learning chip designed to run AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications. Hailo’s first target is the driverless car market.
Award-winning ATM security
I reported previously (Nov 2014) on Israeli cybersecurity startup Thetaray – a billion dollar company in the making. Thetaray has just won the 2018 ATMIA Global Award for ‘Next Generation ATM Security’. Its systems detect illicit and suspicious ATM activity using machine learning.
Protecting a million endpoints
I reported previously (27th Feb) on Israeli cybersecurity startup Morphisec, which protects against new threats (e.g. ransomware and trojans) like no other company. In just two years, Morphisec now protects one million endpoints – the fastest growth of any subscription B2B security company.
Protecting pedestrians from automobiles
I’ve reported previously (see here) on the Eye-Net collision prevention technology from Israel’s Foresight. In a recent trial in Ashdod, Eye-Net was integrated with the smart traffic light sensors of Israel’s NoTraffic, proving that many accidents could be avoided.
Startup uses its own tech to buy properties
Israeli-founded Skyline AI has developed a machine learning algorithm that identifies real estate opportunities and calculates an asset’s current market value and potential future value. It has just used the algorithm to purchase two residential building complexes in Philadelphia.
Keep an eye (or a bracelet) on your children
I reported previously (May 2017) on Israel’s Barkid that has launched a smart bracelet that enables parents to supervise their children. Chaim Messika, VP of Barkid, explains the latest about the product and discloses that it has already saved the lives of two Israelis.
Automated planting of crops
Israel’s Superplanter has developed technology to revolutionize one of the most difficult of agricultural activities – the large-scale planting of vegetables, grains and field crops.
Making a video of Wikipedia. Israel’s Kinedio has developed technology that brings online encyclopedia pages to life. It transforms Wikipedia’s static information into a cool video platform, appropriate for today’s audience.
Improved desalination technology
Israel’s Hydrop has developed an innovative fabric that when applied to reverse osmosis desalination membranes reduces energy consumption, making the resulting water purification cheaper and more efficient. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xslngtLL_k https://www.hydropm.com/
Model farm shows latest technology. (TY UWI) The Neve Ya’ar Research Center in Israel’s Jezreel Valley, is run by Israel’s Volcani Center-Agricultural Research Organization. The full-scale sustainable educational farm will be an international showcase for cutting-edge Israeli technologies in precision agriculture.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Tourism from US up 39% in 2018. (TY WIN) Israeli tourism has seen increases of nearly 40% so far in 2018, giving the Israeli economy a $577 million boost in the last five months alone. North America Israel Tourism Commissioner Uri Steinberg explains the latest trends and events on i24NEWS.
Environmentally friendly salt production
Israel’s Salt of the Earth has implemented an extensive (NIS 1 million plus) program to protect waterfowl of all species in its salt pools. It includes a specific island nature reserve. Since the program has started, the population of little terns (Sterna albifrons) has more than tripled.
Making it easy to get your VAT back
Waze co-founder Uri Levine is now piloting Refundit – an app that helps tourists process a VAT refund request on leaving a country. It’s simple, quick, no queues, no closed counters, no need to show the goods and the handling fee drops to 9% from the current 35 – 40%.
Wizz to fly from London to Eilat
Low-cost airline Wizz Air has taken over the London-Eilat route that was formerly operated by now defunct Monarch Airlines. Twice-weekly flights will commence from Oct 28. Wizz already operates services from Eilat’s Ovda airport to Bucharest, Warsaw, and Riga.
From Tbilisi they did it MyWay
Georgian airline “MyWay Airlines” launches its first direct flight between Tbilisi and Tel Aviv on 28th June. MyWay is a subsidiary of the China-based Hooling Group established in 1988, and is one of the youngest airlines in Georgia. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/myway-airlines-begins-direct-flights-from-tbilisi-to-tel-aviv/2018/06/21/
It’s all go for Softwheel
I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Softwheel and its revolutionary new wheel technology. The latest news is that Softwheel is partnering car-maker Ford and truck-maker Iveco. Both companies are embarking on electric vehicle projects and have chosen Softwheel to give them a smooth ride.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
London in Jerusalem
If you are in Jerusalem in the coming months, the new Tower of David exhibition “London in Jerusalem: Culture on the Streets of the City 1918-1948” could be an interesting addition to your itinerary. It examines the cultural activity of the British, Arabs and Jews during the British Mandate.
Israeli Opera events
The Akko Opera festival takes place on 2nd and 4th August. It features a special production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. And on Thursday 9 Aug, the Tel Aviv municipality is hosting a performance of Verdi’s Nabucco in Hayarkon Park. Admission is free.
White Night in Tel Aviv
On Thursday 28 June, Tel Aviv holds its annual White Night shindig. Dozens of (mostly free) events take place in cultural and art centers, commercial establishments and clubs citywide, many of which stay open late. Outdoor performances are held until the early hours of the morning.
A-ha’s first Israeli concert
Legendary 80s icons a-ha performed their first ever concert in the Holy Land on 21st June at the Amphi Park in Ranaana. Video is of their classic hit “Take On Me”.
THE JEWISH STATE
Jerusalem’s ancient cistern. (TY Avi) This new video shows the Gihon spring and Jerusalem’s ancient cistern that provided water to the city in Biblical times more than 3,000 years ago when King David ruled. Over 300 years later, King Hezekiah of Judah diverted the spring to prevent it from sustaining the Assyrian invaders.
225 Bnei Menashe make Aliya
225 members of the Bnei Menashe community from the state of Manipur in northeast India have just completed their Aliyah through Shavei Israel. 4 separate groups joined 429 members of the Bnei Menashe community who have already made Aliyah since the beginning of January 2018,
92-year-old survivor makes Aliya
Shoah survivor Jack Nasielski, 92, from Edison New Jersey, fulfilled his lifelong dream, making Aliya with his daughter Lilly and her husband Bruce. They join Lilly and Bruce’s four children and Jack’s many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who already live in Israel.
Rescuer of Yemen’s Jews honored
Capt. Elgen Long is the last surviving member of a commercial flight crew that saved 1,800 Jewish refugees stranded in Yemen in 1949 by flying them to Israel. In Shanghai, they removed the seats on their Alaska airlines DC-4 and flew 150 refugees on each of many trips from Yemen.
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