ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
A gel to repair massive nerve damage. Tel Aviv University researchers have invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. A biodegradable implant and a new Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) to increase nerve growth and healing can repair a torn or damaged nerve, relieving pain and restoring mobility.
A supercomputer replica of the brain. It sounds like science fiction, but the European Commission has granted 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to Weizmann Institute graduate and ex-faculty member Henry Markram to simulate the entire human brain on a supercomputer. 6,000 researchers are expected to work on the project.
Research into Mental Health. Ben Gurion University is dedicating its new Center for the Advancement of Research on Stress Related Disorders (CARES) to the promotion of awareness and understanding of depression, anxiety and other related disorders. Its team includes six professors and many doctors.
Reduce stress to fight autoimmune diseases. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Ben-Gurion University researchers have shown that chronic stress increases the susceptibility to an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis, which is characterized by damage to the nervous system in the brain.
The Operating Room of the Future. Another terrific video from Israel’s InSightec, which is using non-invasive ultrasound surgery to cure Parkinson’s and essential tremors, to destroy tumors and fibroids and perform hysterectomies. InSightec’s founder Dr Kobi Vortman learnt many of his skills at Israel’s Technion.
IATI-BIOMED 2013 – a conference with a difference. Delegates at the Israeli Advanced Technology Industries’ June 2013 Biomedical Conference chose the topics in advance. Participants of the Israeli Life Science industry’s premier event sent in their suggestions, voted, and the top 250 subjects formed the program.
Weizmann scientist’s idea is now curing cancer. In the 1980s, Zelig Eshhar, an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, conceived a cure for cancer: combine monoclonal antibodies with T cells in the immune system. Today, the treatment has cured 20 cancer patients in Pennsylvania and at other US centers.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Gaza weekly deliveries: 862 trucks containing 23,447 tons of goods entered Gaza from Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing in the week to 18th May 2013. The crossing was closed two days for the Shavuot holiday.
Ethiopian teen program grows. The Malkat Shva Youth Program is expanding to include over 100 Ethiopian teens in two Jerusalem neighborhoods. Malkat Shva promotes self-esteem with traditional dance, instrument and theater. Late night summer programs keep them busy and safe. Please help them raise funds.
UK female Muslim doctor/writer praises Israel. British author Dr. Qanta Ahmed spoke about the difficulties for minorities in Islamic societies and how Israel is the only country in the Middle East that tolerates them. On her first visit to Israel, she was asked to prove she was Muslim only when she visited the al-Aksa Mosque.
Kids kick for peace. 300 Israeli and Palestinian Arab children from the Peres Center for Peace’s “twinned Peace Sport Schools” project took part in the 2013 Mini World Cup at Kiryat Gat. All the kids played in mixed teams, representing different countries of the world.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Tel Aviv to be the world’s first ‘digitalized’ city. This summer, “Digi-Tel,” will allow Tel Aviv residents to do all municipal business online. Via free wifi, you can receive event information and buy tickets for the shows and sports you are interested in.
Weizmann’s lab of tomorrow. This exciting site allows you to explore science at the Weizmann Institute and its impact on the world. Open up each section of Tomorrow Lab to view a branch on an ever-growing “Tree of Humanity” and share in Weizmann’s ongoing efforts in pursuit of science for the benefit of humanity.
Agriculture and Health. Technological progress must be balanced against its impact on health and the environment. This Hebrew University International Symposium illustrates the importance that Israeli scientists place on this issue.
No debris at Tel Aviv’s airport. (Thanks Uri) Israel Airports Authority has installed the automated Foreign Object Debris detection system FODetect developed by Israel’s Xsight, at Ben-Gurion airport. The system identifies material on the runway that could cause a disaster like the one involving an Air-France Concorde jet.
Go-faster stripes for Israeli hi-tech. In a twist on the usual scenario, Israeli networking equipment manufacturer Mellanox has bought California-based silicon-photonics technology pioneer Kotura. The acquisition provides Mellanox with Kotura’s 100-megabit data transmission capability and perhaps even more.
More leaks detected. Haifa-based IBM Research Lab scientists have developed “Big Data” algorithms that can interpret utility meter readings and sensors to detect water leaks. Israel’s Arad Metering Technologies will integrate IBM’s new consumption pattern analytics program into their smart metering system.
These lampshades are really green. (Thanks to NoCamels) Israeli designer Nir Meiri’s Marine Light project uses seaweed to make lampshades. He writes that seaweed is harvested on a commercial scale, “as a result of a growing interest driven by environmental concerns.” Meiri presented his creation at Milan Design Week.
Through the looking glass. (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Dip-Tech has an innovative digital glass printing solution that turns ordinary-looking buildings into extraordinary landmarks. Examples of Dip-Tech’s glass designs can be found on a Moscow Mall, Harlem Hospital, Barclays France HQ and Exeter University.
Israel in Space. This new video shows Israel’s satellite development. Israel is working with NASA, Italy (the Shalom project) and France (Venus satellite to study environment and vegetation). It features Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit, Rafael & Space-IL (Israel’s moon mission). In memory of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut.
UK and Israel to double co-operation. UK’s Foreign Secretary and Israel’s Minister for Science signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under the British-Israeli Research Academic Exchange, to double existing cooperation in regenerative medicine, increasing the number of research scholarships to 300 within five years.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Exports to Turkey at all-time high. The total amount of Israeli exports to Turkey, not including diamonds, reached $560 million in the first three months of 2013, 44% higher than a year earlier. Chemicals and processed petroleum products accounted for 75% of all Israeli exports to Turkey and these rose 67% from Q1 2012.
UK utility buys Israeli water treatment system. (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s Mapal has just sold its advanced sewage treatment system to UK’s Anglia Water. Mapal (Hebrew for “waterfall”) uses a unique form of “fine-bubble aeration”, which decomposes waste using only 70% of the energy of other treatment systems. Mapal’s system already operates in South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Angola and Congo as well as in Israel.
Traffilog signs $40m Chinese deal. Israel’s vehicle fleet management solutions developer Traffilog Ltd. has signed a $40 million deal with China’s biggest bus company Jiao Yun. Traffilog’s Traffimech detects mechanical problems and TraffiSafe warns of dangerous and inefficient driving, helping to reduce accidents.
IKEA kitchen tops are Israeli. Kitchen buyers at American outlets of the Ikea furniture chain will have their countertops covered by an Israeli product – Caesarstone, an engineered stone marble and granite substitute made in Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Caesarstone will serve as IKEA US’s exclusive non-laminate countertop vendor.
Making trains safer. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Tel Aviv’s Radwin has announced its unique solution geared for online video surveillance on board trains. “Wireless broadband in motion” transmits HD video in real-time from multiple CCTV cameras onboard trains back to a control center while the train is on the move.
And securing the Dutch railway. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) ProRail, the government agency responsible for rail infrastructure in the Netherlands, is deploying Situator from Israel’s NICE Systems to manage security, safety and operations. ProRail will be able to manage on-track malfunctions, fire incidents and other crisis situations.
Israeli wines win prizes in UK. Israeli wineries won awards at the 2013 DECANTER competition in Britain. A record 14,362 wines from 52 countries were entered. The Adir Winery in the Galilee and the Yarden Golan Heights Winery both took regional trophies. The Har Bracha boutique winery in Samaria won two medals.
More gas. Noble Energy has announced a natural gas discovery at the Karish prospect in the Alon C license, with a gross mean of 1.8 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas. Total discovered gas in the Levant Basin is now estimated at 38 TCF.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Israel wins Schoolovision 2013. Children from the Savyon-Ganei Yehuda School in Israel won first place at Schoolovision 2013. 41 schools from all over Europe took part in their very own version of the Eurovision contest. Israel’s song “I’ll Remind you to Fly” was inspired by the late Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.
The Masada Project. This tribute to Israeli Performing Arts takes place at the foot of Masada at the Dead Sea from May 30 – June 1, 2013. It begins with a Shalom Hanoch concert, then a Mayumana performance and finishes with legendary Israeli singer Shlomo Artzi.
Tel Aviv Jazz Festival. Tel Aviv’s 24th Jazz Festival brings the world’s best jazz musicians together for one of Israel’s most revered and important music events. The world-class lineup at the new Tel Aviv Cinemateque on May 29th – 31st includes Ester Rada, Daniel Zamir Quartet, Corey Wilkes Quintet, and Gary Bartz Quartet.
THE JEWISH STATE
1st Temple era pillar found near Bethlehem. More ancient Jewish archaeological remains have been discovered in Judea, providing additional proof of the unbreakable connection between the Jewish people and the land East of Jerusalem.
The best views in Israel. You mustn’t forget your camera if you visit any of these 10 sites.
High school supporters. Some young friends in New Jersey are sending out Israel’s positive message.
Stamp(s) of approval. Jacob Richman has “posted” images of Israel’s new stamps issued during May. They include the Israel National Trail, (10 stamps make up a map), Australian Light Horse Beersheva 1917 and the late Yitzchak Shamir – the Israeli Prime Minister who helped make Israel into an economic success.
Only in Israel. Two lottery stories to report. In March, A woman from the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya won in the Israeli lottery for the third time, bringing her total winnings to NIS 625,000 (some US $170,000). And last week a couple won NIS 28 million and said they are going to …. invest it in a textile business.