New Israeli treatment for head lice; Israel’s Rafael protects UK and Australia; powerful new film could save Israel’s PR, and much more!
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Another Israeli treatment for head lice
I reported previously (see here) on two innovative Israeli treatments for removing head lice. Now there’s a third – Israel’s Sphinx Smarthead Technologies is developing a device that destroys lice and their eggs in a 5-minute procedure that can be performed by children aged 7 and over.
US approves Teva’s generic EpiPen
The US FDA has approved Israeli biotech Teva’s generic version of the EpiPen auto-injector for emergency treatment for those suffering with “anaphylactic” allergic reactions. Frantic parents in the US have been reporting a nationwide shortage of the original Mylan NV “brand” EpiPen.
Another leukemia success
I reported previously (see here) on new Israeli treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Now the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and US biotech BioTheryX are developing a single molecule that attacks multiple leukemia proteins simultaneously. Lab tests show a 50% success rate.
Breathalyzer for Parkinson’s and much more
I reported previously on the breath analyzers to detect cancer developed by Ben Gurion University (see here) and Na-Nose from Technion’s Dr Hossam Haick (see here). Now Dr Haick’s team has a handheld device to detect early Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and 16 other diseases.
Soil bacteria cures fungal infections
Researchers at Israel’s Technion have cured fungal infections using bacteria commonly found in the upper layers of soil. They used a gel and an innovative “factory” formula to produce Bacillus subtilis bacterium, more commonly found on plant roots, to rapidly heal infected skin.
An app to help you sleep
Israeli startup Dayzz is launching an app for self-insured employers to offer their employees. The app uses big data and an algorithm to diagnose each user’s specific sleep problem and devise a personalized sleep-training plan. The employer enhances the sleep quality of its staff and reduces healthcare costs.
New medical school inaugurated
I reported previously (10th Sep) when the building of Ariel University’s new medical school began. It has now been officially opened in a ceremony attended by the Israeli President and several ministers. 70 students enrolled in its first class which is open to all citizens and Palestinian Arabs.
Glucose meters for Vietnam
I reported previously (7th Jan) that Israel’s GlucoMe was shipping its glucose monitors to 200,000 Indian diabetics. Now Germany’s Merck KGaA is trialing GlucoMe’s monitors to help many of the 3.5 million Vietnamese suffering from diabetes – some 5.5% of the entire population.
UK PM honors fundraiser of 11 MDA ambulances
Retired UK surgeon Norman Rosenbaum received the Points of Light Award from UK Prime Minister Theresa May for helping to buy 11 ambulances for Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom (MDA). I was lucky to be present at the dedication of the 10th one.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Protecting UK and Australia’s armies
The UK Ministry of Defense has bought six of the latest anti-drone systems developed by Israel’s Rafael for $20 million to protect sensitive facilities from drones. The Australian Defense Force has bought Rafael’s Trophy Active Protection System for its armored vehicles.
UN honors Israeli woman
I reported previously (10th Dec) on Israeli startup ECOncrete, which develops eco-friendly concrete products. Its founder, marine biologist Shimrit Perkol-Finkel won the Western Europe nomination for the United Nations’ first “We Empower” competition for female entrepreneurs.
Freedom of worship for all
As Israel’s Muslim and Druze communities began celebrating the Eid al-Adha festival, PM Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video wishing them “Eid al-Adha mubarak”. He was proud that in Israel we have freedom of worship for all: Muslims, Druze, Christians, Baha’is, Jews – everyone.
Co-existence at summer camp for cancer kids
The summer camp run by Camp Sunrise for children with cancer in Beit Yehoshua has 20% Arab children. The ones in Beersheba and Ramat Yochanan are nearer 50% Arab. The Jewish and Arab children forget their illnesses and differences and interact – just like kids do.
Bringing sweet music to a Muslim state
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra performed at the Gabala International Music Festival in the Muslim state of Azerbaijan. The JSO was warmly received by music lovers during their second performance in one of the most important classical music events in Azerbaijan.
Israelis aid Indian flood victims
Israel’s government and NGO IsraAID have sent teams to the South-Indian state of Kerala to help victims of the floods that have displaced 725,000 people. The teams are providing urgent relief items and assessing the long-term needs of affected communities.
The first Israeli PM to visit Lithuania
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Vilna, Lithuania to attend a summit of the Baltic states and meet with Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis, Latvian PM Maris Kucinskis and Estonian PM Juri Ratas. The four leaders will discuss the deepening of cooperation between their countries.
Clean water for Cameroon
I featured previously (17th Jun) the water purification technology of Israel’s NUFiltration. Now the company is to provide its unique water filtration systems to thousands of people in the Cameroon who currently have no access to clean water and are suffering a severe cholera epidemic.
Zulu King mobilizes support for Israel
Nkosi Zwelakhe Mthethwa, a Zulu king from South Africa’s Mthethwa tribe, has returned from a visit to Israel with a pledge to mobilize Christians all over the world to support the Jewish state. “because this place [Israel] is our tangible and intangible heritage site”.
Israel trains rescuers
Israeli officers from the IDF’s Home Front Command have just returned from Dallas, Texas where they conducted their fifth session training local civilians in Israeli emergency response techniques. Meanwhile in Israel, Israeli NGO ZAKA and the IDF trained 40 rescue leaders from 5 countries.
One year later – Israel is still there
Who can forget the devastation hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, José and Nate did to the USA and Caribbean? Israeli aid organizations IsraAID and the Israel Trauma Coalition haven’t. They have stayed in the region to continue healing wounds and preparing residents for the next big storm.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Nano.IL conference (9th – 11th Oct) in Jerusalem will connect companies, universities, corporate research scientists, investors and government representatives from around the world. It features cutting-edge innovations, new technologies and presentations by top scientists.
Innovation Festival – DLD Tel Aviv 2018
DLD (Digital Life Design) Tel Aviv (Sep 3 – 6), celebrates Israel’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Thousands of guests from 110 international delegations will attend the two-day digital conference and a three-day innovation festival. Here is a list of free events, mostly open to the public.
Intel’s Israeli processors go even faster
I reported previously (8th Oct) that Intel had unveiled its Israeli-designed 8th generation processors – the fastest ever. Now Intel’s Haifa-based team has announced even faster ones. The U and Y series, codenamed Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake, are for laptops and laptop-tablet hybrids.
Reading the web to the visually impaired
Thanks to AI technology developed in Israel, Google’s Go app can now read articles and web content out loud in 28 supported languages. Go is a lightweight, faster version of Google’s flagship search engine, primarily for devices with little space and unreliable internet connections.
Remote control for driverless cars
I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s LiveU whose technology streams live video for the BBC, Fox News, Sky, CNN, Facebook etc. Its remote-control technology is now sought by autonomous car makers in California who are required to monitor road testing by remote control.
Mini-firewall to protect Internet of Things
Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point is focused on protecting the Internet of Things (IoT) – any device connected to the Internet. A company photo shows CEO Gil Shwed reportedly holding Check Point’s exciting next generation security product, entitled “Nano Security”.
Really smart customer service
Israeli startup 7Twenty’s aim is to put customers and business in touch for the digital age. Whether through the phone, social media, email, chat, video etc., enterprises, such as BNP Paribas, can communicate effectively with their customers, using 7Twenty’s innovative hi-tech platform.
Startup wins Euro sports-tech award
Israel’s Track160 won the 2018 European SportsTech competition in Hamburg. Track160 is developing a fully automatic team sports analytics service using deep learning technology. The system tracks player and ball position and produces performance and tactical metrics.
Chilean cherries to China
Israeli-based StePac together with Israel’s Tadbik have developed Xgo modified atmosphere resealable lidding film to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruit and reduce waste. It will be showcased at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show in Hong Kong and used initially to ship cherries from Chile to China.
Why Israeli bees are thriving
Although I posted the video on World Bee Day (20th May), this article explains why Israel’s bee population is increasing, in contrast to that of the rest of the world. It is mainly due to the vast planting of trees that are essential for protecting the bees’ habitat.
Eye of Sauron powers up
A new 240-meter high solar thermal tower near Beersheva in Israel’s Negev Desert has been connected to the country’s electrical grid. Nicknamed the “Eye of Sauron” from the novel and film “Lord of the Rings”, the tower will generate 121 megawatts of power when completed in early 2019.
I reported previously (see here) on the book “Solution Nation” by David Wanetick, which describes 62 Israeli startups developing solutions to some of the World’s most intractable problems. David generously sent me a copy of his book which I’m finding mind-blowing. More to follow in future newsletters.
No stopping this robot
Ben Gurion University engineers Dr David Zarrouk and Liran Yehezkel have developed RSTAR (Rising Star) – a new highly maneuverable search and rescue robot. It can creep, crawl and climb over rough or soft terrain without getting stuck; through tight spaces and even vertically.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel invests record $16 billion on civilian R&D. In 2017, Israel’s national expenditure on civilian research and development increased by 5% to a record NIS 57.8 billion (almost $16 billion), or 4.5% of Israel’s gross domestic product (GDP). https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3745147,00.html
Economy continues to grow
Having just received S&P’s AA- credit rating, Israel’s rating has never dropped in the last 30 years. It has the second fastest growing economy in the OECD over the last decade. Unemployment is at a record low. Israel has over 350 R&D centers for major tech companies. And much more.
Israel’s tourism projects
Tourists contribute over NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy. The 3.6 million tourists in 2017 was 25% higher than 2016 and 2018 is up even more. New projects include Jerusalem’s cable car, the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem train, plus Eilat’s new airport, ecological beach and education center. And in Aug 2018 alone, a record 2.7 million passengers were scheduled to travel through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.
Israel exports to Gulf states worth $1 billion
Israel’s exports to Gulf Arab states were worth nearly $1 billion in 2016, despite their refusal to recognize Israel or have diplomatic relations with it. Israeli exports outstripped those to allies and giant economies such as Russia and Japan.
Sodastream exits for $3.2 billion
PepsiCo is buying Israel’s SodaStream, producer of DIY soda makers, for $3.2 billion. Pepsi says it wants to offer healthier options in SodaStream’s environmentally friendly re-usable bottles. SodaStream will remain based in Israel and is paying large bonuses to all its 3,000 employees. Meanwhile, PepsiCo selected 3 Israeli food-tech startups for its 2018 Nutrition Greenhouse incubator program.
UK Centrica funds Israeli cyber company
I reported previously (see here) that UK Energy firm Centrica was investing in and acquiring Israeli startups. It has now participated in a $18 million funding round for Israeli cybersecurity startup Indegy, which provides cybersecurity technology for industrial control systems.
More direct flights
China’s Sichuan Airlines is launching a new direct route connecting Tel Aviv with Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China. The twice-weekly service commences on 26th Sept and flight times are just 8 hours 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is to operate a second daily direct service from New York’s JFK to Tel Aviv, in Summer 2019.
More Russian broadband connectivity
I reported (see here) on previous deals won by Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks with two Russian satellite operators. Now Gilat will install two SkyEdge II-c gateways for the Yamal 601 Ka satellite, operated by Gazprom Space Systems, to provide broadband services in remote areas of Russia.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The Hidden Scrolls
I was recommended previously (Feb 2012) to visit the Moshe Castel museum in Ma’ale Adummim. A new exhibition opens at the museum on 14th Sep (until Oct). It features the work of Israeli artist Meira Ohad Dori whose latest paintings using asphalt and salt were inspired by the Dead Sea scrolls.
See King David in Jerusalem
Join the journey along the majestic story of King David, from shepherd to king, as told through a colorful night experience in Jerusalem’s Tower of David Citadel.
We are the Natives
The Complete Jessy Cohen Museum (CJCM) in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon is housed in the Israeli Center of Digital Art. The CJCM documents the 1950s Jessy Cohen slum neighborhood and in Sept opens a “We are the Natives” exhibit of bronze-age artifacts found during 1965 excavations of the area.
Israeli gymnast wins two golds and breaks world record
Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram, scored a world record 20.65 in the clubs-handling round at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Minsk. She went on to win the gold medal in the all-around category and a second gold in the rhythmic gymnastics.
THE JEWISH STATE
No stone unturned
Hundreds of policemen, canine rescue units, and volunteers searched for an 84-year-old man who was last seen on Herzl Street in Haifa. A police chopper pilot spotted a man lying down in the Haifa forests. Using new location tracking systems, the elderly man was rescued – exhausted but otherwise unharmed.
Pulling out the stops
A Bnei Brak policeman chased a speeding MDA paramedic who jumped red lights and ignored his calls to pull over. However, the policeman recognized the address where the paramedic eventually stopped and was saving the life of an unconscious 64-year-old heart attack victim – the policeman’s own father.
Defending the Jewish State
The Jerusalem Stone
This powerful film, in production, could solve Israel’s PR problem … once and for all. Ancient secrets buried beneath the Dome of the Rock have the potential to bring humanity together in the most positive and profound way imaginable. And YOU can be a part of it.
The NGO Honest Reporting has been leading the fight against media bias for many years. On 26th Aug it opened its new international headquarters in the heart of downtown Jerusalem.
400 new Olim from the Ukraine
400 new immigrants from Ukraine have just arrived in Israel via two special flights coordinated by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).
The inspiration for SodaStream’s CEO
At the event to announce the $3.2 billion takeover of his company, SodaStream’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum honored his father. Ervin Birnbaum survived the Shoah, sailed on the infamous Exodus and founded the award-winning She’arim Netanya charity supporting Russian Olim.
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