Good News Israel Archive from the week of June 14, 2015: Israeli shrub treats diabetes; Israeli researchers discover that pulsed light kills bacteria in milk and much more.

By: Michael Ordman



Israeli shrub treats diabetes

Israeli researchers at the Judea Research and Development Center have discovered that the Israeli shrub Chiliadenus iphionoides increases sugar absorption and reduces blood sugar levels. They are now trying to isolate the active ingredient in order to make an accessible diabetes treatment.

Blocking receptor prevents diabetes

Professor Ofer Mandelboim of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has won the 2015 Kaye Innovation for discovering that blocking the NKp46 receptor on Natural Killer cells delays or prevents the onset of Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes. Israel’s BioLineRX developed BL-9020 to target NKp46.

Trials for dry-AMD treatment begin

Israel’s Cell Cure is commencing a Phase I/IIa study of its OpRegen treatment for geographic atrophy (GA), the severe stage of the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD). Cell Cure has received another NIS 6.24 million grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist.

Israeli & Irish scientists join up to fight cancer

The 2nd Joint Symposium took place last week between Dublin’s Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and Israel’s Weizmann and Technion Institutes. See the pdf report on last year’s event and joint Israeli-Irish research into cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Study neuroscience for free online with the Hebrew U

Here’s another chance to take the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s free nine-week introductory course by Professor Idan Segev on neuroscience. Over 60,000 took the original “Synapses, Neurons and Brains” course, including many from Arab countries.

Not for the first time

BBC and Sky TV headlines hailed a first for a baby born after ovarian tissue taken from the mother was transplanted back. Readers (see newsletter 31/5/15) will know that Israeli doctors also have done this, without any international media fanfare.



Israel’s Trade Consul to Canada is a Christian Arab

Michael Khoury is Israel’s trade consul to Canada. He hails from the predominately Arab city of Shfar’am, in Israel’s north, near Haifa. He is in the second year of a four-year posting in Toronto. He promotes Israeli exports, companies and investors to Canada.

Gaza deliveries

I haven’t reported this for some time, but every day Israel facilitates the delivery of over 500 trucks containing some 14,000 tons of goods into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

UN to co-operate with Israel in Outer Space

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs has signed an agreement with Israel for cooperation in space. It was signed in Vienna as part of preparations for a world conference on space that will be held in Jerusalem in October.

Why Israel matters to America

Great article summarizing the truth about Israel, from former Arkansas Governor and US President candidate Mike Huckabee.

US-Israeli Fulbright scholars

This year, 65 students from Israel and the US will study in each others’ countries under the auspices of the Fulbright Program, which awards scholarships to top students from undergraduate to post-doctoral as well as to teachers, professionals, scientists and artists.

Israeli technology in New York cabs

Israel’s Mobileye car safety system is being installed in New York City taxicabs. NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has launched its Vehicle Safety Technology (VST) Pilot Program with Mobileye alerting drivers if they tailgate or veer out of lane without signaling etc.

A “Roof for All” in Nepal

Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID has launched its “A Roof for All” program to provide safe and sturdy transitional shelter for thousands of displaced families who have lost their homes as a result of the last two devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

A medical clinic for Ecuador

María Angela Serrano, a graduate of the Young Leadership: Tools and Methodologies course organized by Israel’s MASHAV, together with members of a rural community in Ecuador utilized recycled materials to build a much needed medical clinic for the local population.

Irrigation for Kazakhstan

Israel and Kazakhstan have launched the Israel-Kazakhstan Irrigation Demonstration Center in the Almaty region. The Israeli Foreign and Agricultural ministries are implementing the project, together with the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry and the “KazAgroInnovation” group.



Pulsed light kills bacteria in milk

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have shown that pulsed light kills the listeria bacteria that cause many deaths each year in consumers of infected milk products. In fact using pulsed light once a day, means that milk no longer requires refrigeration.

Research patents rise by 20%

In 2014 856 inventions were registered by Israeli universities and research institutes – a 20% increase on 2013 figures.

Celebrating Einstein’s centenary

On the 100th anniversary of Einstein publishing his theory of relativity, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has unveiled a new statue to the renowned physicist. Albert Einstein was one of the founders of the Hebrew University, a true Zionist and was nominated to be the first President of Israel.

Phree yourself from paper

I featured Phree previously here, but here is a new video of the amazing Israeli digital pen. Phree has raised over a quarter of a million dollars on Kickstarter – the target was $100,000.

Training Watson to think

Scientists at IBM Israel have been upgrading IBM’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) system known as “Watson”. After winning TV’s “Jeopardy” in 2011 and turning into a master chef in 2014, it is now at AI med-school. The Watson Health Cloud can evaluate medical data and make recommendations.

Israeli security for Dropbox

Israel’s Adallom is taking the vital role of ensuring cyber security on the Dropbox for Business platform, the company’s high-end product aimed at enterprise customers. Dropbox has over 300 million users around the world, who upload and store documents, photos, videos, and much more.

Trapping the hackers

In my previous newsletter I featured Israel’s Team8, which launched cyber security startups that had good ideas. One of these is Illusive Networks, which fools hackers to steal fake data to which Illusive Networks has attached an alarm trigger. Clever stuff.

Europe’s largest cyber-tech firm to open in Israel

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Security (SIT), the biggest private organization for applied scientific research in Europe, will establish a cyber-security innovation center in Israel. A recent attack on the Bundestag has highlighted the need for Israel’s help.

Sterile flies to save Balkan fruit trees

Israel’s BioBee has won a tender by the International Atomic Energy Agency to supply 400 million sterile flies to protect citrus trees along the border of Croatia and Bosnia. The nuclear-sterilized flies repel the Mediterranean fruit fly, a pest that has been wreaking havoc in the Balkans.



Making advertising revenue for Facebook

If you wondered where Facebook gets its income from, one of the answers is Israel’s Bidalgo. As one of the few official Facebook Marketing Partners in Israel, Bidalgo expects as much as $100 million in revenues in 2015 from selling hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of ads.

The business of conserving water

Recent article in The Atlantic entitled “Selling the Desert’s Water-Conservation Lessons to the Rest of the World” It describes the reasons for the success of Israel’s Netafim, with its irrigation system that can grow plants with much less water.

A ‘golden era’ for UK-Israel trade

“The past few years have been a golden era for Anglo-Israeli business,” said British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid during the annual British Israel Business Awards event. Mr Javid, self-described as a “proud British-born Muslim”, told the audience “I share Israel’s love for freedom and democracy.”

Banking cooperation with Belarus

Belarus’ Center of Banking Technologies (BCBT) and the Israeli consulting company Integrity will develop cooperation and exchange experience.

Israel’s antioxidant in Japan

Israel’s Algatechnologies has signed a supply and long-term collaboration agreement with Japan’s Fujifilm Corp. for its AstaPure natural astaxanthin ingredients. Fujifilm already uses Algatech’s astaxanthin antioxidant for its nutrition supplement and cosmetics product line named Astalift.

Israel’s long-term viability

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger gives a “thumbs up” to Israel’s economy. In particular, 280 global high-tech giants have established R&D centers in Israel and investment has soared.

US programs For Israeli startups

The JFE Organization of San Francisco is launching its 7th accelerator cohort for Israeli and Jewish entrepreneurs. It has also running an investor pitch for Israeli companies raising $5 – $15 million on July 1st.

$10 rides through Manhattan traffic

Israel’s app-based company Gett is offering black cab rides between Manhattan’s 110th Street and Battery Park for just $10 plus tax and tip, irrespective of traffic. Gett is expected to take much of the business from current market leaders Uber and Lyft.



Israel’s fast-moving mandolin player

The hectic May itinerary for Israel’s mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital included concerts in California, several German cities, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Salisbury (UK) and Lancut (Poland). In 2010 he was the first-ever solo mandolin player to be nominated for a Grammy award.

Welcome back Engelbert Humperdinck

British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck performed another sell-out concert in Tel Aviv. He sang all the old favorites, from “Love Story” to “The Last Waltz”.

“I’m on your side, Tel Aviv, when times get rough.”

Legendary singer Art Garfunkel made a unique addition to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water” as he woo’d the Bloomfield Stadium audience with his ephemeral voice. When he put on a kippa to bless the event, it was as if “Heaven holds a place”.

Bon Jovi is coming to Israel

Bon Jovi, one of the most successful bands to ever emerge from the US, is to perform in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, on October 3. It will be Bon Jovi’s first performance in the Jewish State.

“And there was light”

Some memorable moments from Jacob Richman’s visit to see Jerusalem’s Festival of light.

Israeli wins $475,007 world poker prize

Idan Raviv, 24, of Holon, finished first in a 2015 World Series of Poker tournament at the Rio casino in Las Vegas. Raviv, an IT professional, defeated a field of 1,650 to take the $457,007 top prize in the $1,500 buy-in event.



Jerusalem mayor breaks up fight

Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, used his hands-on approach once again to restore peace in the capital when he broke up a traffic-related street fight while pedaling on his bicycle to work. He separated two men who were hitting each other, and then waited until police arrived. In Feb, Mayor Barkat tackled an Arab terrorist who had stabbed a bystander near Jerusalem’s City Hall.

Poland parliament’s Jewish State support group

The Polish Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus was launched at the Polish parliament (Sejm) in Warsaw. An Israeli delegation from the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and the World Jewish Congress met senior Sejm members to build on shared Judeo-Christian values.

Israel’s Unity Day

Israel’s President Rivlin distributed inaugural Jerusalem Unity Prize awards to individuals and organizations that contribute to unity among Jewish communities and Israeli society. Unity Day and the awards were in honor of murdered Jewish teens Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Frenkel.

Hezbollah gets the message

A Chabad poster attached to balloons drifted from Israel into Lebanon. Members of the terrorist organization Hezbollah were seen holding up a banner displaying “We Want Moshiach Now”.


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