ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
“Elderly” Israelis save eight lives. In the past week, eight patients received organs from people aged 70 to 80. Israel Transplant reported that since January, eight elderly Israelis, some of whom are over 75 and nearing 80, were the source of life-saving organs. With improved lifestyles and hi-tech scanners, fewer organs are rejected.
Water lily extract combats inflammation. (Thanks to NoCamels) Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered that the leaves and roots of the yellow water-lily (nuphar lutea) have an inhibitory effect on a protein that causes inflammation. This could lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease medication and cancer prevention.
Another Israeli wonder treatment? During trials by Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma of its anti-inflammatory CF101 medication, the company discovered that the active ingredient is suitable for treating impotence. Can-Fite only found this out when they noticed that patients were not returning all the drugs at the end of the trial.
US funds Israeli research into Juvenile Diabetes. The US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is funding five Israeli researchers up to $130,000 per year each for up to three years toward investigations into Type 1 diabetes (T1D), which affects an estimated three million individuals in the United States alone.
Revealing the cell replication process. Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have isolated rare replicating cells from the livers of mice. This may eventually help develop treatments to increase the cells that produce insulin for diabetics and reduce cell proliferation in cancerous tumours.
The Pluristem story. (Thanks to NoCamels) Here again are the details of the stem cell transplants performed by Israeli doctors using PLX stem cells from Israeli biotech Pluristem. Two of the patients were cured completely and one survived for four months until she contracted an infection in her Romanian home.
Vecoy’s Decoy method to fight viruses. An excellent article explaining the unique technology that Israel’s Vecoy Nanomedic employs to trick viruses to self-destruct. Vecoy’s anti-viral system mimics human cells to entice the virus and then kill it. If the virus mutates, it can no longer infect humans.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Proud IDF soldier’s mum is a Muslim Israeli-Arab. Anet Haskia who was born and raised in Acre is openly vocal about her support for the Jewish state of Israel. “I am proud to live in Israel,” she says. “I am even prouder that both my sons have served as soldiers for this country.” Please read Anet’s message.
Saving hearts of Gaza children. At least these kids may not grow up to fire rockets at Israeli towns. Thanks to the Israeli charity Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), 11-year-old Mohamed Ashgar, six-year-old Salah and twin babies Remas, and Leen all from Gaza are at Wolfson Medical Centre, having heart surgery and follow-up care.
The University of the People. Foreign Policy magazine has selected Israeli educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, founder of the University of the People, as one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers. The online university allows students from all over the world to study for free, to obtain a recognized bachelor’s degree.
Hebrew U starts program for Haredim. Following on the heels of Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has launched a special pre-academic preparatory program for the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) population. It will increase haredi society’s access to higher education.
Israel funds teaching hospital in Ghana. This Israeli Government has lent $217 million to the University of Ghana to construct a 600-bed teaching hospital at Legon. It will be have a trauma and emergency service, a heliport and internal medicine including Surgery, Obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, cardiology, heart surgery and medicinal imaging.
Light unto the nations. Jerusalem-based global solar firm Energiya Global is transforming developing countries from burning fossil fuels to running on solar power. Projects are underway in Romania, Rwanda and the Galapagos Islands.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
iPad App To Assist Autistic Children. (Thanks to NoCamels) Israel’s Center for Educational Technology and Singapore’s Dynamics Speech are developing VTAMIC (Visual Task Manager in a Calendar), which is designed to help children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) to deal with daily activities.
Alcohoot: the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer. (Thanks to NoCamels) Alcohoot’s application and smartphone add-on turn a user’s phone into an accurate BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) tester. It can also show you a list of nearby taxi companies and has other useful features.
Israel builds another electricity wind farm. The Israeli company Epcon will build eleven wind turbines on land owned by Kibbutz Degania, to power electrical generators that will produce ten megawatts of power. On Israel’s first wind farm in the Golan Heights, built in 1992, ten turbines produce six megawatts of power.
David’s Sling hits target. Israel completed a successful test of the David’s Sling missile defense system (also known as Magic Wand) by intercepting a medium-range missile. The system is estimated to be operational in 2014 and will provide Israel with additional layer of protection against ballistic missiles.
BBC “discovers” joint Israel-Jordan research project. BBC’s David Shukman reports on the SESAME synchrotron facility, as reported by Israel21c (and me) back in Feb 2011. Shukman doesn’t mention Israel on the video – only briefly on the BBC website. Still, it’s better than nothing and also better late than never.
Can a robot light a Hanukiah? Technically, it can – especially when designed by scientists at Israel’s Technion.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Tel Aviv – best place for start-ups after Silicon Valley. An international study – Start-up Genone – has declared Tel Aviv to be the second best place in the world for start-ups. Tel Aviv was just behind Silicon Valley as the best place in the world to establish a tech start-up.
Israel-UK Tech Exchange gets underway. (Thanks to Israel21c) 15 Israeli high-tech innovators took part in the inaugural TeXchange — the UK Israel Tech Hub’s Tech Exchange program that connects Israeli high-tech companies with UK corporations that can help them expand.
EnergyVest powers ahead. Israel’s international yearly event in the renewable energy arena, got underway in Eilat. 16 Israeli companies presented their technologies at EnergyVest – pitching to 200 participants, many of them major international cleantech investors.
Purifying polluted water at gold mines. Israel’s P2W is reported to have signed a $9 million agreement with South African gold mining giant AngloGold Ashanti, to provide water purification systems.
MyHeritage buys Genie. In the biggest genealogy takeover in history, Israel’s MyHeritage.com has bought Genie.com into the family business. MyHeritage now covers 72 million registered users — about 8 million of which came from Geni.com — 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees. A good business relationship.
650 million for Israeli software company. Global ATM maker NCR Corp. is buying Israel’s Retalix Ltd. for $650 million in a bid to expand its footprint in the retail sector. Retalix provides software and services to retailers, including supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores and fuel stations.
How low can you get? International real estate firm Bercleys today unveiled its plan to build a new mall in the area of the Dead Sea hotels at Ein Bokek. The single-story 10,000-square meter shopping center will cost NIS 200 million to build.
Security on the Internet. (Thanks to Israel21c) Ben-Gurion University is developing Israel’s first ever cyber security incubator in Beer-Sheva under the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist’s Incubator Program and in partnership with Israeli venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israeli chef wins 2 Michelin stars – in Amsterdam. The Michelin Guide awarded two stars to Moshik Roth’s new restaurant, named “&samhoud Places”. Roth was the first Israeli chef to ever receive a Michelin ranking, when his previous venture won a star in 2005 and a second star in 2009. (The video is in Dutch)
Laughter in Jerusalem. Humour is the theme of the Hamshushalayim 2012 festival in Jerusalem. Every weekend in December is filled with stand-up shows, satire, storytelling, cabaret, literature, poetry, laugh yoga, humour in art, pantomime and special theatrical tours for the whole family. All events are free.
England to face Israel in U21 Euro Championships. I could be watching Israel playing England at my local brand new Netanya stadium. In June’s European U21 Soccer Championship, hosts Israel were placed in Group A with England, Italy and Norway. There are four venues: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya and Petah Tikva.
THE JEWISH STATE
We will rebuild Jerusalem. Israel is to rebuild the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem that was blown up by the Jordanians following the 1948 War of Independence. An anonymous donor has funded the rebuilding of the three-story-tall synagogue with its iconic dome.
Thanks Glenn. When Hamas was firing rockets at Israeli civilians and the world was telling Israel not to defend itself, Glenn Beck produced this message of support.
Jews from Arab lands tell their stories. High school students and volunteers in Migdal Ha’emek are helping some of the 700,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled from their homes in Arab countries during the 1940s and 1950s. They are documenting their personal stories in a unique project called “Tell Your Children”.
Learning about life in Israel. A group of US Hispanic journalists and another of Chinese bloggers visited Israel at the height of Operation Pillar of Defense. They heard sirens indicating a rocket attack and publicised their amazement at how Israelis cope and still manage to be such a progressive and innovative country.
Israeli mother defeats terrorist. Yael Matzpun of Moshav Sdei Avraham was stabbed in the face by an Arab infiltrator from Gaza, whilst her four children were sleeping. Yael managed to push the terrorist into the adjacent bathroom and jammed the door using her child’s bed. IDF troops later chased and killed the terrorist.
Full Story (Good News From Israel: Israel\’s Good News Newsletter to 2nd Dec 2012)