Living to 200 and beyond, Top multinationals invest in Israeli fund, US-Israeli stamps for Chanukah, and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Living to 200 and beyond
Israeli biotech Cellect is developing stem cell technology that may extend individual human life far beyond what currently can be conceived. And a new international study forecasts Israeli life-expectancy to rise to 84.4 by 2040, giving Israel a world ranking of 7 (currently 13).
New heart center doubles treatment capacity
A $10 million cutting-edge heart center has been dedicated at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. The center more than doubles the department’s capacity to treat heart patients with 32 extra cardiac beds, 11 post-catherization beds and 11 intensive care private rooms.
I reported previously (Feb 2015) on the recovery from muscle injury of hip-replacement patients treated with PLX-PAD stem cells from Israel’s Pluristem. Follow-up data has now confirmed the results and expanded Phase III trials are being supported by the European Horizon 2020 program.
A map of good and bad proteins
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have identified certain proteins in the human body that are key to progressing or preventing diseases such as cancer. They have mapped protein to protein interactions and are confident they can develop new treatments for those diseases.
Successful 2nd heart op for Syrian baby
I wrote previously (31st Dec) about a seriously ill baby boy, born to Syrian refugees in Cyprus being flown to Israel for emergency heart surgery. He is now making a good and steady recovery in Israel’s Sheba Hospital after a second heart operation.
Stay healthy, the Israeli way
This video highlights seven ways that Israelis exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Think positively to beat cancer
I reported previously (24th July) that Israel Technion researchers have proved that positive emotions have the ability to shrink tumors. Here is another couple of articles about their research.
Smartphone urine tests
I reported previously (22 April) on Israeli start-up Healthy.io that allows patients to test their urine at home, using a smartphone camera. Patients with kidney disease (for example) can closely monitor their condition. Siemens Healthineers is now partnering Healthy.io to provide testing kits.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Support for families of a cancer patient
Israel Cancer Support Network (ICSN) offers cancer patients and their families the support they need to meet the challenges of suffering through painful cancer treatments. ICSN and its 2,000 volunteers have helped over 11,000 families from giving lifts to helping to access top doctors.
Bedouin woman joins Israeli police rescue unit
I’ve included articles previously (see here) about Bedouin Muslim women integrating into Israeli society. Now Rana Jaboua, a resident of the Bedouin Negev village of al-Fara’a has become the first female Bedouin in Israel to join the Israel Police Rescue team.
Israeli Arab woman goes to Stanford
Israeli Arab Mira Shalah gained her BSc at the University of Haifa and her PhD in Computer Science at Israel’s Technion Institute. She is now doing post-doctorate research into Computational Geometry at Stanford University, California. http://web.stanford.edu/~mshalah/home
IDF helps Jordanian flood rescue
The Israel Defense Forces sent its elite 699 search-and-rescue unit to Jordan to assist the rescue operation after a tour bus was hit by flash flood near the Dead Sea. They deployed rescue equipment, established a ground command team and illuminated the area from the air.
Israeli embassy in Rwanda
Israel is to open an embassy in the central African state of Rwanda in its capital, Kigali. Although the two countries have maintained diplomatic relations for years, previous contacts have been held via the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/10/15/deepening-diplomatic-partnership-with-africa-israel-to-open-rwanda-embassy/
Chinese VP visits Israel
China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan made an important visit to Israel. After meetings with Israel’s President and Prime Minister, he addressed the fourth meeting of the Israel-China Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. He also signed eight joint science and technology agreements.
Thank you for helping save Thai boys
Thailand’s Ambassador to Israel Penprapa Vongkovit, thanked Israel’s Maxtech for its communication technology used in the rescue of the Thai boys earlier this year. She also thanked Israel for “its special navy team and specialized diving helmets to assist the operation.”
Guatemala’s new Ambassador
The Friends of Zion Museum hosted newly-confirmed Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel Mario Bucaro following his official presentation to President Reuven Rivlin. Guatemala has been a strong supporter of Israel in the United Nations in recent years and moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
Israeli PM visits Oman
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, made a “not so secret” visit to the Gulf nation of Oman – the first by an Israeli leader in 22 years. He discussed the peace process with Sultan Qaboos bin Said. See the extra-ordinary video of the event on the official Oman TV channel.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Rent an Israeli space lab. For a tiny fraction of the development budget for a new treatment, you can now rent one of the orbiting “minilabs” of Israel’s SpacePharma for up to six months. Clients run experiments in zero gravity by remote control from Earth. SpacePharma has two tiny milk-carton size minilabs already in operation.
Using AI to find a job
Israeli-founded startup Stellares helps tech companies find talented workers using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Tel Aviv R&D center has developed a questionnaire plus an algorithm that crawls the web and matches a candidate’s digital footprint with the job specification and company’s ethos.
1-hour delivery with AI and robots
Israel’s CommonSense Robotics has launched a service that enables even small retailers to offer one-hour, on-demand grocery deliveries to consumers. Robots at CSR warehouses in urban areas use Artificial Intelligence to retrieve produce for humans to pack. Robots then dispatch orders.
Tel Aviv & Chicago pair up to innovate
Tel Aviv University is partnering with the University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Northwestern University to establish the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in central Chicago. The DPI will focus on research and innovation into cyber security, AI, big data and food security.
Punjab seeks Israeli help to recycle water
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh held extensive talks in Jerusalem with Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Yuval Steinitz, on the issue of water management to boost water conservation in Punjab. Four Memorandum of Understanding were signed.
SodaStream’s “holy turtle” cleans sea of plastic waste
Israel’s SodaStream (now part of PepsiCo) has launched “Holy Turtle” – a 300m contraption that recovers plastic waste from open waters. During the 4-day pilot, the device captured tons of waste floating in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras.
Israeli tech used in Florida rescue missions
I reported previously (10 Mar) on Israel’s Edgybees whose First Response app saved lives after Hurricane Irma and the California wildfires. Edgybees’ Augmented Reality (AR) system was used recently during Hurricane Michael, by response teams in Florida and Missouri.
Alexa – vacuum seal my strawberries
Israel’s Silo Kitchen is developing an Alexa-controlled food vacuum container system that extends food-life up to 5-times. Silo aimed to raise $80,000 on Kickstarter but after just 10 days it had pledges worth over half a million dollars. Very informative video.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
New Jersey Governor’s first Israel mission. New Jersey Governor Philip Dunton Murphy visited Israel on his first commercial mission to strengthen economic and technological ties between his state and the State of Israel. A new agreement was signed that aims to triple the current $1 billion annual trade between the two states.
OBE for Israeli businessman
Israel’s Haim Shani, who chairs the UK Israel Tech Hub, is to be appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). British Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey said, “Haim has helped transform the tech partnership between the two countries.”
Top multinationals invest in Israeli fund
Israel’s Team8 (formed from ex-IDF security unit 8200) has setup a second $85 million fund for technologies and startups focused on big data and artificial intelligence. It has attracted 14 multinationals including Walmart, Softbank, Airbus, Microsoft, Moody’s, Cisco and Barclays.
Best Israeli workplaces
Google is still the best company to work for in Israel, with Facebook second as per last year. But Microsoft jumped ten places to 3rd, displacing Intel which dropped to 7th. The Dun & Bradstreet list analyzes wages, benefits, career development, support provided, employment stability, and wellness.
Tech salaries keep rising
High demand for Israeli tech talent continues to push up local wages. The average pay for software professionals in Israel in the third quarter of 2018 increased by 6% year-to-year. Algorithm developers are the highest paid, but data scientists had the biggest pay rise (15%).
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Open houses and busy streets
Jerusalem’s annual Batim MaBefnim, (Houses from Within) are free open houses, with over 100 options in all parts of the city. This article highlights the Art Museum in Heichal Shlomo, Beit Kadima, the Miffal, Hansen House and especially Villa Mamilla.
Come aboard for Eurovision
Tens of thousands are set to visit Tel Aviv in May for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. To address the increased demand for accommodation, the Tel Aviv Municipality has hired a cruise ship with 500 cabins, which will dock near Tel Aviv and provide low-cost beds for many of the visitors.
Israel’s 95-year-old skydiver
Walter Bingham, broadcaster on Arutz Sheva (Israel National Radio) waited until the grand age of 95 before he took to the air for his first skydiving experience. From 13,000 feet, he witnessed some amazing views of the Holy Land.
Youth Olympics Israeli medal winners
At the Youth Olympic games in Buenos Aires, swimmer Anastasya Gorbenko won gold in the women’s 200m individual medley while Denis Loktev won bronze in the men’s 200m freestyle. Yonatan Fridman and Noa Kazdo Yakar won the acrobatic gymnastics mixed pair silver medal.
Israel’s Alon Day wins NASCAR Euro again
Israel’s Alon Day had an impressive start to finish win at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder on the last day of the season to win the Euro NASCAR championship for the second consecutive year. Day’s seventh victory this year matches the record for the most wins in a season.
THE JEWISH STATE
Look what they’ve done to the synagogue
The ancient synagogue at Ein Keshatot in the Golan is now open to the public, nearly 1200 years after it was destroyed by an earthquake. 15 years of reconstruction involved 3D laser scanning technology and the numbering and positioning of each displaced brick.
US-Israeli stamps for Chanukah
US Ambassador David Friedman and Israel Cultural Minister Ayoub Kara, unveiled new Hanukah stamps at the American Center in Jerusalem. A parallel ceremony held in the Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island was live-streamed to the Jerusalem location.
For last week’s Good News from Israel archive, click HERE.