ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Israelis discover cancer signal. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered protein S6K1. If this protein mutates it turns into a signal for cells to proliferate and cause breast cancer. The researchers are now working on reversing the mutation as a form of anti-cancer therapy.
15-year-old girl’s donated organs save four lives. Liel Naomi, who died as a result of edema of the brain, donated organs that saved the lives of four people, aged seven to 68. Her family said saving lives was foremost, and that the organ donations would commemorate Liel’s life.
Teddy Bear hospital. Bar-Ilan University’s School of Medicine in the Galilee opened a “teddy bear hospital” in December designed to reduce anxiety about health care among young children. 150 preschoolers learnt not to fear hospitals and doctors by watching simulated treatment on their teddy bears and dolls.
Live long and prosper. The latest life expectancy figures from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics show that Israelis have among the highest life expectancies on the globe, with an overall life expectancy of 81.7 years – two years more than the OECD average. Israeli men normally reach 79.9 years, second only to the Swiss.
When nothing else works. This personal story illustrates how important the new FitNeS epilepsy treatment from Israel’s BioControl Medical will be to those sufferers for whom medication has no effect on their seizures.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
A Swiss Bedouin Jew in the Israeli Army. Sgt René Elhozayel’s Arab Bedouin father met his Jewish wife in Switzerland. Renés grandfather had 39 wives and most of René’s 5,600 extended family members in the Israel-Arab city of Rahat served in the IDF. As a medic, René treats anyone from soldiers to illegal African migrants.
Promoting R&D for Arabs. Israel’s Ministry of Science sponsored a conference on “The Role of Research & Development in Economic Development in the Arab Community”. The conference was organized by the NGO Triangle Research & Development Center, which addresses topics affecting the Arab community in Israel.
Gaza farmers attend Israeli agricultural exhibition. Thirty farmers from Gaza were given permits to enter Israel in order to attend an agricultural exhibition. Ramadan Abu Naja from Gaza said, “We came here to learn about Israeli agriculture. We will take some of the types of produce that we like back with us into Gaza.
The sky is not the limit. Besides defending the Jewish State, Israel Air Force pilots perform a major service to Israel’s youth. Children with difficult home lives, spend quality time with IAF pilots as members of the “Squadron Club,” where they learn tools for self-expression, coping mechanisms and leadership skills.
Esra project for underprivileged children. ESRA encourages talented underprivileged teenagers to fulfill their potential by providing them with a challenging program of enrichment and leadership training. The weekly program benefits 36 children. The video shows them studying Marine Science at the Mikhmoret center.
JDC-Israel expands project for the disabled. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC-Israel) has received an additional NIS 50 million to expand its Israel Unlimited project, which focuses on the development of services for the advancement and integration of people with disabilities in the community.
Mongolia seeks Israel’s environmental help. A delegation from Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Green Development visited Israel in December to learn about water pollution management and prevention, and land rehabilitation. Population migration has caused heavy pollution levels in the capital Ulan-Bator.
Bringing smiles to kids in Nepal. Israeli David Barashi (“Dush the clown”) holds a degree in medical clowning from Haifa University. He is currently in Nepal working to help cheer up sick Nepalese children before they have surgery. David previously worked with orphans in Ethiopia and tsunami survivors in Asia.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Haredi women develop spaceship microchip. Two ultra-Orthodox women graduates of the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Lustig Institute have helped develop a microchip for a space vehicle. Verisense -a leading Israeli semiconductor design company – ran the project, for a defense industry company.
An app to help local businesses. Israeli start-up KitLocate has built a location system that lets retailers find shoppers in their area and offer them deals and coupons. The innovative software won KitLocate $25,000 in a competition sponsored by MasterCard Israel and Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATA).
Size does matter. The Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) has launched a new research and development (R&D) and commercialization partnership in nanoscale technologies with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, New York.
Olive trees in the desert. Researchers at the Faculty of Agriculture at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have confirmed that planting ten of thousands of olive trees in arid areas in Israel is highly beneficial. The trees require little water, protect animals and birds, reduce CO2, discourage jackals and make excellent olive oil.
Pushing back the desert. Israel’s Fourth International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification (DDD) held at the Sde Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, drew more than 500 participants from 60 countries. One of its sponsors was the UN, which aims to halt land degradation by 2030.
Israel is switching to cleaner fuels. Israel’s Transportation Ministry is compiling an outline of the necessary safety measures required for the use of compressed natural gas to fuel the country’s buses. The ministry will prepare a similar outline for private vehicles within the next six months.
Israeli expert’s mission to save India’s rivers. Renowned water expert Dr Yoram Oren has been developing nano-filtration membrane separation to purify two of India’s mighty rivers. The Noyyal and the Bhavani have been polluted due to the large scale discharge of toxic effluents from dyeing units along the river shores.
Reinforcing the new corvette. (Thanks to Israel21c) The new Chevy Corvette C7 Stingray sports car is lighter and stronger thanks to the same very dense plastic composite material that protects US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The material is manufactured by Plasan Sasa, which is based at Kibbutz Sasa in Northern Israel.
Saving water across the world. Israel’s Miya locates leaks, saving 600 million liters of water every day in Manila, Philippines. Other projects include the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico and South Africa.
Mobile communications for ships at sea. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Station 711 has launched its upgraded version of Fleetbroadband to give officers and crew a commercial, operational and personal link to the world while at sea.
WiFi in Alaska. Israel’s Alvarion is deploying its fast wireless broadband service on the North Slope of Alaska, one of the remotest and harshest places on earth. Alvarion’s rugged equipment will allow the 7500 residents, including workers on the Alaskan oil rigs, to have fast access to the Internet.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli inflation hits 6-year low. The year-end increase in the price index was 1.6 percent, well within government target projections of 1-3%. Predictions for 2013 remain low at 1.8%. Reasons included reduced prices of fruits and vegetables, mobile phone tariffs, Internet services and preschool education.
Israeli companies are on the move. Israel’s PointGrab and eyeSight have 95% of the market for Gesture technology – the latest feature for personal computers. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, revealed PointGrab’s latest deal with Samsung’s smart TVs and eyeSight’s with AMD’s new graphics chip.
More El Al flights to London. From March, Israel’s national carrier is to add four more weekly flights to Luton airport, plus a further five flights in June. By the summer 22 flights will operate from Tel Aviv into the London area every week. El Al also announced special flight prices and a new frequent flier lounge at Luton.
Hi-tech Haredi conference. Jerusalem has been hosting a first of its kind conference focusing on hi-tech entrepreneurship, innovation and employment in Israel’s ultra-orthodox sector. Political leaders, entrepreneurs and technicians discussed government programs and effective ways of raising capital.
ADHD company to make NASDAQ listing. Israel’s Alcobra will be the first launch by an Israeli life sciences company on Nasdaq since 2010. Alcobra’s MG01CI ADHD medication is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial. It is a non-stimulant treatment, which makes it safer than Ritalin and has far fewer side effects than Strattera.
China buys Israeli flat panel displays. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) China may be manufacturing the world’s TV flat screens, but their assembly lines need Israeli hi-tech equipment to build them. Israel’s Orbotech has just won a contract for $40 million of its latest generation automated optical inspection and array tester models.
And 660,000 tons of Potash. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel Chemicals will supply Chinese customers with $264 million worth of Israeli Potash during 2013. The agreement includes provision for a three-year total of 3 million tons ($1.2bn). The Potash fertilizer will help grow the crops necessary to feed China’s huge population.
The country is Israel. A financial organization has just discovered the investment opportunities in the Jewish State.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Arab belly dancers flock to Eilat. Some 950 dancers from 30 countries – including Turkey, Egypt and Jordan – are participating in the annual International Belly Dance Festival taking place in Eilat’s Club Hotel. The festival is the world’s biggest belly dancing event.
More success for “Homeland”. Television series Homeland, based on the Israeli television show Hatufim, has had another successful year at the Golden Globes, winning Best Television Drama. Homeland’s Damian Lewis and Claire Danes were honored with the Best Actor and Best Actress awards for their roles in the series.
“Fill the Void” wins at Palm Springs. The Israeli movie “Fill the Void” was named Best Foreign-Language Film of the Year at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film portrays the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Tel Aviv and beat entries from 41 other countries.
THE JEWISH STATE
The ultimate lecture. Everything you wanted to know about “International Law” but were afraid to ask. 46 minutes from Professor Eugene Kontorovich that explains the terms “illegal”, “occupation” and “settlements”.
Turkish journalist openly defends Israel. Hurriyet Daily News writer Burak Bekdil lives in Ankara and frequently attacks the Turkish leadership and defends Israel. He wrote that Golda Meir was correct in stating “there will not be peace between the Muslim world and Israelis until the Arabs learn to love their own children more than they hate the Jewish people”.
Israel’s archaeology discoveries are now online. Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched a new on-line Israel Archaeological Archive. The project consolidates 30,000 Israeli websites and 30,000 antiquity sites. IAA deputy director Dr Uzi Dahari called it “the largest and most important asset of the State of Israel.”
The Dead Sea has risen. It may sound like the title of a horror movie, but it is definitely good news. The measured water level of the Dead Sea has increased by 10cm for the first time since 2003 due to the surging Jordan River and flash floods in the area.