Good News Israel Archive from the week of September 20, 2015: Israel can help solve Brazil’s water crisis; Israel ranks 6th in healthy life expectancy and much more.
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Liver cancer treatment gets on the fast track
The FDA has granted fast track designation to the CF102 treatment from Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer. A CF102 trial is about to start on 78 patients with Child-Pugh Class B cirrhosis, who failed the only FDA approved treatment on the market – Nexavar.
A smarter bed
Israel’s EarlySense is launching its “smart bed” solution myEarlySense. The “under the mattress” sensors record data on how you are sleeping, such as tossing, turning, waking, sleeping, breathing and heart rates. It can also turn on heaters and make the coffee.
South Africa buys Israeli virus testing system
Israel’s Ilex Medical has won a tender issued by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) for its Panther blood testing systems to detect and identify viruses.
IBM and Teva team up to find chronic treatments
IBM Israel has granted Israel’s Teva access to its Watson supercomputing Health Cloud program. Teva plans to use the global technology platform to design treatments for millions of people who suffer from chronic conditions like asthma, migraine, and pain.
Opening up a new strategy for HIV
Technion scientists have discovered that when the HIV virus encounters resistance, it looks for detours. It then mutates and replicates itself, like a Trojan horse, exploiting redundancy in the DNA of host cells.
Detecting cancer using nanopores
Further to a previous newsletter, scientists from Israel’s Technion are the only team working for European research consortium BeyondSeq on early diagnosis of cancer. They are using tiny silicon “nanopore” scanners to detect molecular DNA biomarkers in cancer cells.
Genetic test for BRONJ
Israel’s Micromedic Technologies, has identified several new genetic markers for predicting BRONJ (necrosis of the jawbone). BRONJ is a side effect of intravenous treatments in cancer and osteoporosis patients.
Microneedles deliver vital vaccines
Israel’s NanoPass Technologies is supplying its MicronJet600 microneedle system to US-based Immune Design who will use the system to deliver vaccines to cancer immunotherapy patients.
Israel ranks 6th in Healthy Life Expectancy
The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Israel 6th in the world, with the average Israeli living without a terminal illness to age 71.5. Israeli men have the world’s fourth longest total life expectancy of 80.2 years. For women, Israel is ranked tenth with a total life expectancy of 84 years.
IBM Haifa’s diagnostic apps
More about the app developed by IBM Haifa to diagnose ADHD sufferers (see Sep 6 2015 newsletter). It won top prize at the Brain Inspired Technology for Education (BITE) Hackathon at Israel’s Technion Institute. Also describes IBM Haifa’s dementia early-detection app.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
IDF rescues kidnapped deer
The IDF’s Judea Regional Brigade a number of deer being held illegally and in harsh conditions in a Palestinian Arab village in Judea. The deer will be rehabilitated at nature reserves and later released back into the wild. Last month the IDF rescued deer whilst searching for weapons in Samaria.
Seminar for Palestinian Arab doctors
Israel’s Civil Administration organized a seminar at the Emeq Afula hospital for 8 Palestinian Arab doctors from the PA city of Jenin. The Jenin doctors learnt the workings of the hospital departments such as surgery, trauma, internal medicine and pediatric care.
Israel to host International Space legal debate
The International Astronautical Federation reports that three judges from the International Court of Justice will preside at October’s Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition in Jerusalem. International law students will argue the legal issues of a near-miss asteroid event.
Aiming to save 3 million lives
Chamutal Afek Eitam presented her Three Million Club to 200 entrepreneurs and investors at the annual ID2 (Israeli Designed International Development) conference in Caesarea. Her plan is to feed the poorest people in the world, not by donations, but by returning a profit for investors.
Israeli PM meets UK PM
Three areas were discussed when UK Prime Minister David Cameron met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Security, Peace and Technology.
Israel’s female ambassador to Jordan
Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, Einat Shlain, presented her credentials to Jordan’s King Abdullah II at a ceremony at the Basman Palace in Amman. Shlain is the first female ambassador to an Arab country.
Israelis donate baby slings to migrants
Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID has been distributing aid to Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos and on the Hungarian-Serbian border. IsraAID has also begun distributing baby slings donated by Israeli families to mothers and fathers.
Israel is a model for resettling migrants
Nice to see Israel getting credit for something connected to this global upheaval, however I suspect that the situation is not quite as similar as the Swedish official believes.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Scientists correctly predict El-Nino
In the fall of 2013, a team of German and Israeli scientists published an early warning of the “El Niño” weather phenomenon. In March 2015, the US NOAA meteorological service confirmed that El Niño had arrived. Previously only 6-month predictions were possible.
Israel can help solve Brazil’s water crisis
Beni Lew, from Israel’s Volcani Center, has been advising hundreds of Brazil’s water experts on how to deal with their water shortage. Speaking fluent Portuguese, Lew has encouraged delegations to attend Tel Aviv’s WATEC 2015 in October.
The build-up to WATEC
More details here about this major international event in Tel Aviv in October.
Training Europe’s cyber defenders
CyberGym is the Israel Electric Company’s cyber security training center and equips employees to thwart attacks on Israel’s electricity infrastructure. The IEC is now to export CyberGym to the Czech Republic where it will be the center for cyber-security training throughout Europe.
Creative Israeli toys
Keeping it simple, Israeli inventors look at the world from a child’s point of view and create new, fun toys that are produced and sold all over the world.
Your front door has just gotten smarter
The ENTR system from Yavne-based (Swedish-owned) Mul-T-Lock raises the simple door-lock to a hi-tech Bluetooth-enabled device. Using algorithms from US-owned Freescale Israel, the “combination” of global marketing and Israeli-ingenuity “opens up” huge possibilities.
This article features Israeli agro-tech features Galacon – manufacturer of smart monitoring and control irrigation solutions, based on Kibbutz Kfar Blum. It previously won the European Irrigation Association’s “Product of the Year”.
Record gas flows
Output from Israel’s Tamar natural gas field has reached 1 billion Cubic Feet (1BCF) per day.
Oil discovered in Golan Heights
Israeli energy company Afek has confirmed it has discovered an oil reservoir in the Golan Heights. It has now requested permission from the Israeli Government to drill more exploratory wells in the area.
An app for contacting your Senator
Israeli NGO Shurat Hadin has commissioned the development of a app that allows Android smartphone users to contact their US Senator about the Iran nuclear deal.
Counting on the apple harvest
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a program and algorithm for estimating the fruit content of an apple tree. The program searches nighttime photographs of illuminated apple trees, counting glints in the foliage from light reflecting off the shiny fruit.
Start-up Nation on France24
The first 5 minutes of this France24 Tech24 program is entitled “The Start-up Nation: Israel leads in tech innovation.”
The smart City Summit
Tel Aviv hosted the sixth annual City Summit as part of its DLD Innovation Festival. The main debate was about how city residents engaged with the municipality in the Technological Age. Tel Aviv won the World Smart Cities Award in 2014.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israel’s budget deficit fell to 2.1% and inflation was negative in August, allowing the Government to cut VAT to 17% and Companies’ tax to 25%. Taxes on alcoholic beverages were also reduced.
Israel is a manufacturing and R&D powerhouse
Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s monthly summary highlights that business in Israeli technology is booming despite the latest global economic slowdown.
Where to grow your business
Israel was ranked second (to Singapore) in Grant Thornton’s Global Dynamism Index, which combines 22 indicators across five growth areas to rank the business growth environments of the 60 largest economies in the world.
US VC fund 500 Startups invests in Israel
US venture capital fund 500 Startups is opening an Israel office. The fund, which operates one of the world’s five leading accelerators, will invest up to $5 million in 10-20 early stage Israeli startups in the coming year.
What India can learn from Israeli startups
Indian businessmen are eager for their Prime Minister to adopt some of Israel’s policies that have led to the success of the Startup Nation. They include Government loans, universities embracing entrepreneurs and the acceptance of failure.
Indian accelerator includes two Israeli startups
Israel’s global reach is highlighted by two of the startups chosen to be included in India’s GenNext Innovation Hub, an accelerator program managed by India’s Reliance Industries (RIL) and Microsoft Ventures. They are Israeli – In*Q*Sec and eLoan.
Another medical incubator is launched
Following the launch of the John Hopkins / Luminox Israeli startup incubator (see last week) US giant Meditronic and IBM have won a grant from the Israeli government to open a digital medicine incubator to join an ever-growing list.
Sell your own home
Israeli startup Fisbo provides a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) facility for homeowners to sell their homes without using estate agents. Following a 2-month pilot in Israel, Fisbo has opened an office in New York. Fisbo’s database verifies FSBO homes and provides anything a buyer needs to know.
A fruitful New Year
Just a week before the start of the Jewish New Year, Israel’s Frutarom made its tenth acquisition of the year – Spain’s Nutrafur, specializing in natural plant extracts and antioxidants for food and health products. Frutarom has 31,000 products, sells in 145 countries and 2015 revenues could reach $1 billion.
More security for automobiles
I mentioned Israel’s Argus Cybersecurity last month as being able to prevent remote carjacking. There has been much interest and Argus just raised $26 million of funding.
Switzerland buys 6 Israeli drones
The Swiss Government has approved the purchase of six Hermes 900 unmanned planes from Israel’s Elbit Systems for $256 million. The Swiss Defense Minister said the aircraft would be used for surveillance by border guards.
Mini-booster seat project is fully-funded
Israel’s mifold has now closed the crowdfunding project for its tiny car-booster seat. Mifold aimed to raise $40,000 but received a massive $690,762. They received orders for 20,000 mifolds from 7,000 customers in 87 countries.
Mellanox wins Israel-America Chamber of Commerce award
Israel’s Mellanox Technologies has won the 2015 Israel – America Chamber of Commerce award in recognition of the company for “innovation and technology excellence, and developing human capital.”
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israeli beers for the festive season
Doug Greener has produced this excellent write-up of the highlights of the latest beer festivals in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In it, he reviews some excellent local brews.
First Israel visit for fashion bloggers
Pro-Israel organization Stand With Us brought 10 leading international fashion bloggers to see Israel first hand for the first time. Based at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) in Herzliya, they visited Tel Aviv Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and met leading Israeli designers.
The best beach city for expats?
A rare extremely positive article about Tel Aviv from the BBC.
Israeli rhythmic gymnasts win ticket to Rio
Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team secured its place at the Rio Olympics by finishing sixth in the group all-around final at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Neta Rivkin will represent Israel in Rio after she finished seventh in the individual all-around final.
THE JEWISH STATE
Technion robots’ New Year message
Tradition and technology meet in a new video depicting robots, developed at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, preparing for the upcoming Jewish New Year.
And from the eternal capital, Jerusalem
Israel’s Prime Minister highlights that Israel stands out like a beacon of progress and modernity, of democracy and human rights in a region of fanaticism.
New festive postage stamps
Latest Israeli stamps include of childhood memories of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Also Rivers of Israel and the 70th anniversary of the Jewish Resistance Movement.
The treasures in Temple Mount rubble
Israeli archeologists have been sifting through the rubble dumped by the Arab Waqf during their illegal building work on Temple Mount. This video reveals some of the treasures and how you can join in as volunteer sifters.
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