Good News Israel Archive from the week of October 9, 2016: Israeli scientists have designed new peptides that act as decoys, stopping the bacteria from binding with the receptors; Israeli aid organization IsraAID and local partner Prodev rushed to help survivors of Hurricane Matthew that devastated Haiti, and much more.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Fighting bacteria with decoys
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered how bacteria bind with immune system receptors to cause an immune storm, leading to sepsis or fatal toxic shock. The scientists have designed new peptides that act as decoys, stopping the bacteria from binding with the receptors.
Preventing painful operations
The US FDA has just approved the Aqueduct 100, from Israel’s Aqueduct Medical. The device alleviates the pain and potential complications that millions of women experience from cervical dilation prior to intrauterine procedures. It avoids anesthesia or an operating room environment.
Europe approves suturing system
Israel’s Gordian Surgical received CE clearance for its TroClose1200™, an innovative system for inserting surgical instruments into the abdomen and for the stitching of abdominal wall incisions during keyhole surgical procedures.
Israelis win Columbia U’s Horwitz prize
Columbia University’s 2016 Horwitz Prize goes to Howard Cedar and Aharon Razin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and America’s Gary Felsenfeld for their work on how molecules can regulate the structure, behavior, and activity of DNA. Their research formed the epigenetics field of biology. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217497
Echocardiogram project wins research award
Israel’s DiaCardio and South Carolina’s VidiStar have won a South Carolina-Israel research and development award. They will jointly develop a fully-automated echocardiogram (echo) examination and reporting system.
Recognizing autism in the genes
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have discovered that autism genes have the distinct characteristic of being exceptionally long. The study provides a tool to help identify additional autism genes, and from there hopefully to be able to diagnose autism earlier.
Mayo Clinic and IDC entrepreneur program
US nonprofit medical practice and research center Mayo Clinic is joining forces with the IDC Herzliya to develop new medical technologies. The one-year full-time IDCBeyond graduate program includes studies in technology, biomedicine, globalization and sustainability.
Treating selective mutism
The charity Ezer Mizion organized a workshop into the subject of selective mutism – where children refuse to speak or only with their immediate family. Hundreds of parents, teachers and therapists attended, hearing from experts who achieve results using unique or tailored methods. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/selective-mutism/
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Ethiopian-Israelis bring their dreams to life
In 2002, there were only four Ethiopian-Israelis working in the Israeli high-tech scene. Today, over 400 young Ethiopian-Israeli professionals are pursuing careers in Israeli high-tech firms, thanks to training by Tech-Career – an NGO founded on Kibbutz Nachshon.
Perlman inspires $2 million for disabled
When Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman donated his $1 million Genesis Prize to disabled projects, it inspired a matching $1 million grant from the “Breaking Barriers” program of the Jewish Funders Network. Another $1 million was donated by Roman Abramovich.
Druze school comes top again
For the second year in a row, the Galilee Druze town of Beit Jann achieved the highest rate (99%) of students passing the high school matriculation exam. The Arab village of Abu al-Hija, outside Karmiel, came in second.
BBC features Haredi in hi-tech
The BBC has highlighted the increasing number of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews who are proving successful in Israel’s tech start-up sector. Quite positive for the BBC.
Citi invests NIS 1.5 million in Israeli-Arab startups
The Citi Foundation is investing around NIS 1.5 million in PresenTense Israel, a company that encourages social entrepreneurship and technology in Israel’s minorities and the disabled. It will help PresenTense’s programs for Israeli-Arabs in Haifa and Jaffa.
Getting together – over backgammon
Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs participated in a 4-night backgammon (or “shesh besh”) tournament in Jerusalem. 150 attended the first night and even more on the second. Different perceptions of the rules caused endless light-hearted disputes, but no conflict.
A Palestinian Arab doctor shares his experiences
Wisam al-Jamal, a Palestinian Arab doctor from Hebron, writes about his work in an Israeli hospital.
How an Afghan baby came to Israel
Yehia (nicknamed Yaya) is the 16-month-old son of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and is a walking miracle. Pediatric cardiologists from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart performed a complex eight-hour operation on Yaya on July 31. The story of Yaya’s journey to Israel is fascinating.
Building horticulture in Rwanda
Israeli Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV (Agency for International Development Cooperation) is constructing the Rwanda-Israel Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development near Kigali. It will serve as a hub for agricultural training, using Israeli farming technologies.
Israelis in Haiti rush to help victims of Hurricane Matthew
Responders from Israeli aid organization IsraAID and local partner Prodev rushed to help survivors of Hurricane Matthew that devastated Haiti. They were the first to provide food and water for 200 children at Cite Soleil in Port-Au-Prince.
Thanks from Louisiana flood victims
The ten-person team from IsraAID was the only foreign organization in Louisiana aiding flood victims. They related the gratitude of Louisianans for Israel’s role in recovery efforts, especially that they had come such a long way to help them.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Iron Dome to protect US forces
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, its US partner for Iron Dome production, are working to transform the combat-proven Israeli interceptor into a fully US system defending forward-deployed US forces from cruise missiles, UAVs, rockets, artillery and mortars.
Your phone can save your life
When a Tel Aviv garage collapsed, rescue workers used Res-Q-Cell from Israel Aerospace Industries to detect trapped victims by locating their cellphones. The system sends out signals that activate and detect cellular devices, even when cellular networks collapse.
Making sense of security
Israel’s Lisa Dolev of Qylur Intelligent Systems, is the inventor of the Qylatron – a security scanner with multiple sensors that was used at the Rio Olympics. Visitors scan their ticket and put their bag into one of five cubbyholes. If the bag is safe, they collect it at the other side of the barrier.
360-degree body scanner
Meanwhile, the EasyCheck system from Israel’s Camero will detect any illegal objects concealed on a person. No need to remove coats, shoes etc.
Purifying water in the Philippines
The San Fernando Water District in the Philippines supplies clean and safe water after it adopted Israeli ultraviolet water technology worth $4 million. The UV systems from Israel’s Atlantium purify water far better than chlorine at lower cost with no chemical residue.
Smart lighting in Montreal
The T-Light communications platform from Israel’s Telematics has been selected to be implemented for a control and monitoring solution for 132,500 street lights in the city of Montreal. In addition to lighting control, its sensors will detect snow, water pipe leakage and sewage overflow.
Speeding up fast food delivery
The Algo Dispatching System from Dragontail Systems is a “super manager” used by Pizza Hut and Israel’s Burgeranch chains. It determines when orders should be made and delivered, rather than purely on a first come first served basis. Dragontail intends to list on the Australian ASX market. http://www.afr.com/technology/israeli-restaurant-tech-company-dragontail-systems-targets-asx-ipo-20160824-gr0cc4
More effective drone photography
Drones are increasingly being used for aerial photography and Israel’s Datumate has developed the tablet app Datufly to save up to 80% of field surveying time and eliminate follow-up site visits.
Two million better eyes
I reported on Israel’s GlassesOff several times previously. The number of users of the GlassesOff’s app has just reached 1 million users globally. The app reduces “vision-age” on average by 8.6 years.
IBM Alpha Zone’s 5th class
I included previously articles about IBM’s Alpha Zone accelerator. Its fifth class offers a 20-week program to help Israeli startups build solutions for the enterprise market. It will focus on cloud, big data & analytics, mobile, Internet of Things and solutions powered by cognitive computing,
100 schools to study space science
Ramon Space Lab program, which ran as a pilot in 12 Israeli schools last year, will be rolled out to 100 Israeli schools in the current year. Thousands of Israeli middle school students will study space science and some will launch experiments at the International Space Station.
Global STEM conference in Jerusalem
The Israel Sci-Tech Schools, a network of science and technology educational institutions in Israel, will hold an international conference in November in Jerusalem to focus on correcting global deficiencies in the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Hydrogen from algae
Israelis produce hydrogen fuel. Now Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Iftach Yacoby has genetically altered single-celled algae, which naturally emit hydrogen throughout the day, allowing the organism to increase its efficiency to five times its natural ability.
Look who’s working with Israel
Israeli scientists are reportedly participating with colleagues from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Jordan on a $100 million project in Amman to develop the Middle East’s new particle accelerator – the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications (known as SESAME).
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel’s economic growth and global economic integration
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s latest report makes inspiring reading. Israel’s Finance Ministry also says that 2016 economic growth is better than expected.
Another record currency reserves
Israel’s reserves of foreign currency increased in September by $789 million to a new all-time record of $98.415 billion.
More investment in Israeli Wi-Fi chips
Tens of millions of Wi-Fi chipsets from Israel’s Celeno are used by service providers in home gateways, routers and set-top boxes to deliver Wi-Fi speed, coverage and reliability. Celeno has just raised $38 million to fund R&D and raise global presence.
Underwriting cybersecurity insurance
Israeli startup Cybewrite is helping to underwrite the new business of cyber-insurance – policies that cover companies in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Cybewrite’s cloud-based platform estimates the risk to the insurer, decides the type of coverage to offer and the premium to set.
Israel wines featured
The wines of Israel feature in the October issue of The Wine Spectator.
The drone race is on
There are close to 40 Israeli commercial drone startups – most of which were established in the last three years. This excellent article summarizes the different categories and companies.
Turning pubs into offices
Daniel Rubin and Doron Maman have launched PubHub at Rosa Parks Bar in Tel Aviv. The night-time bar is converted into co-working office space during the day. Their second location at planned to open early November.
Nano Dimension to open new factory
Israel’s Nano Dimension makes amazing nano-inks and 3D printers. It is to open a new production facility, co-located at its HQ in Ness Ziona, that will increase its commercial growth.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tamar festival of music
The annual Tamar Festival (Oct 17-20) near the Dead Sea is one of Israel’s largest music festivals. It features sunrise concerts on the top of Masada and a free concert at Kibbutz Ein Gedi. There are also hikes, tours and children’s activities.
Rockefeller exhibits Ashkelon treasures
The often overlooked Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in Eastern Jerusalem is featuring an exhibit entitled “Ashkelon: A Retrospective 30 Years of the Leon Levy Expedition”. It displays, for the first time, marble statues, coins, jewelry, figurines, and pottery from the 5000-year history of Ashkelon. http://www.imj.org.il/exhibitions/presentation/exhibit/?id=1103
Jerusalem’s Hebrew Music Museum
Laurent Levy and Eldad Levy (from the tribe of Levy) both had a vision of creating an interactive, state-of-the-art museum in the heart of Jerusalem that would celebrate Jewish music. Five years ago they met and started planning the museum. Today, it attracts 1000 visitors a month.
Craig David’s comeback continues in Israel
2016 is proving a busy year for singer Craig David. In April he performed in Tel Aviv and made his first visit to Jerusalem. Craig’s manager Colin Lester is a board member of the charitable organization Creative Community for Peace that promotes the arts in Israel and counters BDS.
Fans celebrate with Stoudemire
Israeli basketball fans danced with former New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire during a practice open to the public. Stoudemire signed a two-year deal in August to play for Hapoel Jerusalem.
THE JEWISH STATE
A Native American Jew in the IDF
Benjamin Barmeyer of Texas, 22, of Native American descent, is among the diverse pool of young people from abroad who have chosen to join the Israel Defense Forces.
The cost of a Jewish education
While a top-quality Jewish education in Israel typically costs around $1000 per year, day school tuition in the US is a lot more – many over $30,000 per child. It’s enough to make you want to go on Aliya.
An inspirational encounter
A group of American Jews were visiting Mount Herzl where many young Israeli soldiers are buried. Their Rabbi explained how devastating it is for parents to lose a child. Then they came across the mother of fallen soldier Erez Deri and her story inspired them into action.
Research prize on Jews from Muslim countries
Israel is launching an annual NIS 150,000 prize for research into the history of the 850,000 Jews that fled Arab lands and Iran and settled in the newly founded State of Israel. It will be awarded on Nov 30 – the day after the UN 1947 partition plan that triggered the mass exodus.
Welcome to the home of the Jewish People
A quirky, humorous video summary of the various civilizations that have laid claim to the Land of Israel.
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