ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
New treatment for liver cancer. Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem performed the first operation of its kind on liver cancer sufferer Louis Saznovsky. ‘Irreversible electroporation’ – a direct flow of high-voltage electrical currents – was applied to the malignant tumour, leaving only a few scars where the tumour once was. Since Hadassah’s first use of the new method, more than 200 such operations have been performed worldwide.
Saving the limbs of diabetics. World Diabetes Day was marked in Israel by the announcement that leg catheterisations performed at Haifa’s Rambam hospital over the last two years have prevented 521 diabetics from having amputations. The procedure is available in only a few medical centers in the world.
Another Israeli medication shows promise. Israeli biotech Kamada announced positive results in pre-clinical trials of its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) protein. AAT has potential for treating bacterial lung infections and also to prevent implant rejection. AAT is the active ingredient in Kamada’s Glassia , used to treat emphysema.
Israel’s medical marijuana industry. Cannabis is administered without much controversy to over 10,000 Israeli patients, among them aging Holocaust survivors who struggle to cope with disease. Marijuana is illegal in Israel, but medical use has been permitted since the early nineties for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Recovery system for stroke victims. Israeli Medical Device Innovations on display at Medica 2012 in Dusseldorf included Motorika’s ReoTherapy. Stroke victims retrain their brains using this unique robotic rehabilitation device, which has been achieving amazing results in recovering limb mobility.
A smart pill-box. (Thanks to Israel21c) About 125,000 people die each year because they failed to take their medication correctly. Israel’s Vaica has a programmable “smart” pillbox called SimpleMed that sends flashing light and sound reminders when a pill needs to be taken, and can alert a call center when a pill is skipped.
Give a standing ovation for this bed. Israel’s Vitalgo Systems’ first product is the state-of-the-art Total Lift Bed™ which is the only hospital-grade bed in the world that can elevate someone safely from a lying to a fully standing position – with zero lifting on the part of the caregiver. (The youtube is a bit unusual.)
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s Arab Bedouin soldiers. Significant numbers of Bedouin continue to join the IDF and put the age-old Bedouin tracker knowledge in the service of Israel’s national security. Kasem Juamis, of the village of Zarzir, has just completed the basic training, and was cited by his commanders for being the most outstanding recruit.
Encouraging Israeli-Arab entrepreneurs. Start-up Weekend Nazareth was sponsored by companies including Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Cisco and Google. “There is huge potential for creativity and innovation amongst youth from the Arab sector”, said Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP.
Israeli Arabs study Yiddish. About a quarter of the 400 students studying Yiddish at Bar Ilan are Arabs, says Ber Kotlerman, academic director of Bar Ilan’s Center for Yiddish Studies. According to Kotlerman, some of the Israeli Arabs are searching for a way to connect to Jewish culture. (Translated from Yediot Aharonot)
New generation of researchers. The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities has established a separate science and humanities academy for young researchers up to age 45. President Ruth Arnon said that integrating young people was very important in its work as official adviser to the government on research and planning.
Fighting hunger in Senegal. Italians and Israelis are working together to eradicate hunger and poverty in Senegal. The program aims to provide the country’s poorest farmers with the technological know-how for integrating irrigation technologies. It expands an initiative of the local Israeli Embassy begun in 2006.
“It’s our job.” Those were the words of outgoing commander of the Israel Air Force International ”Desert Giants” Squadron, responsible for the humanitarian aid delegations sent by the IDF abroad.
The Dream of Success: How Israel and the United States make it happen.
These “Dreams” are the promise that with some blood, sweat, and tears, a person can make him or herself into a success. Also, hateful speech is met not with violence, but with counter arguments, moral suasion, and sanction. Both countries see freedom to speak one’s mind as a natural right, and the best cure for hatred and ignorance is sunlight. Please read Part 1
and Part 2
of this analysis by James Legee, on the shared values of the USA and Israel.
Strategic alliance with Azerbaijan. Major discussions between Israel and the Baku government are opening up diplomatic, economic and tourism opportunities between the two friendly countries.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Twenty of the best. This year, at the EnergyVest Summit in Eilat, twenty of the most innovative renewable energy start-up companies in Israel will present their technologies to investors from around the world.
A better fingerprint. The problem with analysing fingerprints is that sweat interferes and low contrast images are formed. Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have re-engineered the process. Now the gold nanoparticles stick to the oily substances in the fingerprints, producing a crystal clear negative image.
Some new hi-tech ideas. This Canadian magazine has found some innovative Israeli companies that I hadn’t previously heard of. Interlude allows you to choose the direction that a video takes – thus increasing viewer retention. Wibbitz actually creates a youtube video from the text on a website.
Green Roof research centre opens. The University of Haifa has dedicated Israel’s first Green Roofs Ecology Research Center. Planting gardens on roofs can lower air-conditioning and heating consumption. It can also provide an urban living space for animals and increase the amount of photosynthesis occurring within a city.
Eco-home runs on Hydrogen. Students at the Ariel Academic Center have designed a unique ecological home, based on hydrogen gas. The structure produces energy, using only sunlight and water. Architect Matithyahu Avsalomov said safe hydrogen storage technology has progressed massively in recent years.
Take an “InnovatioNation” tour. (Thanks to Israel21c) 15 New Yorkers did exactly that, with the Westchester chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel took them to see behind many of the Start-up Nation’s cutting-edge technology organisations.
NASA to build skyTran in Israel. NASA’s Ames Research Center has begun work on a futuristic rapid transport system to be piloted in Israel. Two-person modules will drive along a guide rail suspended from existing power lines. Magnets in the vehicle lift the vehicle and glide it at 60 miles per hour on a cushion of air.
Have you got a Minit? (Thanks to Israel21c) The Israeli start-up Minit has launched an app that allows users to share one-minute videos from their smartphones and then send back video comments. The app is branded as “voicemail for video”. It has commercial potential, such as to collect feedback on a business idea or product.
Make the most of your customers. Israeli start-up eDealya enables brands to engage with customers that follow them on Facebook and Twitter. eDealya spots and analyse their social communities’ activities and intentions and responds with a personalised targeted offer in real-time and real-context.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
EMC opens new R&D centre in Israel. Data-storage equipment maker EMC Corp is opening an EMC Labs in Israel aimed at developing innovative technologies for storage, security and big data. It will focus on next-generation technology to address the challenges and opportunities in the world of information technology.
Israel is outsourcing the US. Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren revealed the pace of expanding trade between the two countries. “At a time when the US is outsourcing countless jobs to China, Israel is outsourcing to the US. Many American workers are employed at enterprises of Israeli companies there.”
Canada and Israel form joint Tech Fund. The two countries have founded the Canada–Israel Energy, Science and Technology Fund to advance mutual shared energy interests.
Taste Israel. Delegates at the SIAL 2012 Exhibition in Paris were invited to do just that at the Israeli pavilion. The Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire is the largest food innovation observatory in the world. Israel’s global brands and also its family-run businesses succeeded in attracting buyers from across the world.
Secrets of start-ups. Israeli start-ups have always been known for relentless innovation. Lately, many Israeli start-ups have succeeded in growing a huge user base in the rest of the world. Ten Israeli start-up founders share tips and secrets to gaining users around the world and receiving global coverage.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Jaffa Port Street Art. Short video featuring increasingly up-market Jaffa. A special project including Designers of the Castro Fashion chain with 11 international leading street artists, who came together to bring street art into fashion.
Israel is fashionable again. Israeli non-profit organisation Kinetis has brought five of the world’s top followers of fashion to explore Israel’s fashionable side, and share it with world. Kinetis’ founder, Joanna Landau, organized the tour to demonstrate Tel Aviv’s wealth of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Showcasing the Israeli Startups Innovation. The Keshet Media Group, the production house behind most of the TV exports to the US, is hosting the INTV Conference where it’s showcasing some of the Israeli startups innovating Web-TV.
Netanya’s new stadium is a winner. Our local soccer team has moved into its brand new NIS 240 million state-of-the-art stadium. The first game ended in a 2-1 victory for the home team over Hapoel Tel Aviv and was Netanya’s first victory in the new season.
Serena Williams vacations in Eilat. The top American tennis player and World number three decided to vacation in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat. Having just beaten Maria Sharapova in the Masters Tournament finals in Istanbul, she had some free time on her hands before training for the next season.
THE JEWISH STATE
“We will stand in for you”. (Thanks to Haifa Diary) A delegation of twenty doctors from the American Physicians Fellowship for Medicine in Israel arrived in Haifa on US Election Day. They pledged their readiness to be “drafted” to help Israel in times of national emergency.
“And we are your Ambassadors”. This year marks the 8th year of the successful StandWithUs” Ambassadors Club” program, at the IDC Herzliya for Israeli public diplomacy. It will be educating 250 students who want to represent Israel to the best of their abilities around the world.
A super scientist to the end. (Thanks to Israel21c) The sad news that retired Hebrew University Professor Nathan Citri has passed away aged 90 is tinged with a fair bit of pride. This year he was still developing his medical “superbug” diagnostic kits and obtaining fast-track CE approval, as “I don’t have that kind of time”.