ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Insulin pumps for type 2 diabetes. Israeli biotech Valeritas has developed a cheap, disposable mechanical pump for delivering insulin to type 2 diabetes patients. The device is important as health insurance companies are not prepared to cover expensive insulin pumps and cheap pumps previously were easily damaged.
We don’t have to start from scratch. A research team led by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Dr Alex Binshtok has isolated the neurons that carry the signals of itching to the brain. The findings can lead to therapies for previously largely untreated dry skin itch and allergic dermatitis itch.
Israeli researchers uncover Arab genetic disease. An Israeli-led international research team has discovered a rare bone marrow mutation, called congenital neutrophil defect syndrome. It affected five Palestinian Arabs at Sheba Hospital and two Moroccan Arabs in Munich. Israeli doctors are now working on a potential treatment.
Too much medicine. Israel’s Dr Doron Garfinkel is a pioneer of intervention to prevent elderly patients taking many treatments. The complex interactions due to “polypharmacy” can lead to alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Dr Garfinkel visits patients to review and agree which medicines are essential and which can be stopped.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Gaza weekly deliveries: In the week ending 1st June 2013, 1300 trucks carried 35,996 tons of goods into Gaza from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing. They included 156 trucks of food and 436 trucks of construction materials.
Blood brothers. At Haifa’s Rambam hospital, Israeli-Arab Mohammed Eckert received a kidney from David Ben-Yair’s son whilst simultaneously Israeli-Jew David Ben-Yair received a kidney from Mohammed’s wife. “We bonded both physically and mentally,” said David. “Here, in our country, and in the world at large, we have to realize that we have the power to save people, all people.”
3-year-old Israel’s kidney saves PA Arab boy. When young Noam Naor fell out the window and was pronounced clinically dead, his parents decided to donate his organs. Doctors at Schneider’s children hospital transplanted one kidney into an Israeli child and the other saved the life of a 10-year-old Palestinian Arab boy.
A tablet for every child. Israel’s “Computer for Every Child” project is designed to close the digital gap and allow Israeli boys and girls from families with reduced means to receive the latest technology, such as computer tablets. Over 55,000 computers have been distributed in approximately 200 localities, in all sectors of Israeli society: Ultra-orthodox, Arab, Bedouin, Druze, new immigrants, special needs children, etc.
Aid to victims of Oklahoma tornado. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID is providing disaster relief to tornado victims in the Oklahoma towns of Moore, Bethel and Little X. They have been clearing debris from homes, helping families salvage possessions and providing specialist trauma counseling.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli schoolchildren develop Apple apps. Apple Inc. will inaugurate the first entrepreneurship development center of its kind at the interdisciplinary arts and sciences Amal High School in Hadera next week. The students will develop iOS-based apps for iPads and iPhones. Sixty 9th and 10th grade students will join the project.
Safely deleted. (Thanks to NoCamels) When old computers are disposed of, sensitive personal information recorded in them may still be readable by malicious individuals and organizations. Israeli start-up Sure Erasure removes the data completely, allowing equipment and parts to be recycled without compromising security.
Using personal smartphones for work. Israeli hi-tech Red Bend’s systems allow employees to use their own mobile devices to check company emails and do other work while protecting the company from exposing sensitive information. In the video, my cousin Roger describes Red Bend’s TRUE (TRUsted) solution for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) at Mobile World Congress. (Warning – it’s a bit technical!)
WIZO’s agricultural high school. Teenagers from the WIZO Nachlat Yehuda School and Youth Village in Rishon Lezion, an agricultural high school that specializes in life sciences, took their agriculture matriculation exam last week. The curriculum covers animal care and dairy cow production
Obama and the Technion. Here is a new video of US President Obama seeing a selection of Israel Technion’s innovations during his recent visit to Israel. It features robots, ReWalk and nano-technology.
Israeli frog ‘is a living fossil’. This is essentially an old story, but I’ve included it mainly because it is rare that the BBC includes any good news from Israel.
A fifth of global biotech originates in Israel. 20.5% of the global biotechnology industry’s turnover – $24.6 billion out of $120 billion – is based on products that originated in Israeli research. This figure does not include several very important products by Israeli researchers who are currently abroad.
Israel helps design new Intel chip. The new 4th generation Intel Core processor, codenamed Haswell, were partly developed in Israel. The Haswell extends battery life by 50 percent compared with the third generation processors, and will give ultrabooks more than nine hours working time.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
High growth, low unemployment and health costs. Israel’s growth exceeds most of the other OECD countries. Unemployment is one of the lowest at 6.9 percent. Despite having one of the lowest mortality rates and highest life expectancies, Israel spent the fifth least on health (7.7% of GDP). And then there’s the gas…
Lockheed Martin to set up Israeli development center. Lockheed Martin Company, the world’s biggest defense company, will establish a development center in Israel. With Israel’s Bynet Data Communications it is building the IDF Intelligence Corp’s technology campus in the Negev, known as the 5/9 project.
Israeli bubbles clean UK’s water. More about the deal that UK water company Anglian Water has done with Israel’s Mapal. Mapal’s bubble-spreaders will be installed in as many as 400 of Anglian’s 1,100 wastewater treatment facilities, and Mapal is in “advanced talks” with other UK water treatment companies.
“We will bring 4-5 million tourists to Israel”. Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Cawley was upbeat at meetings with Israeli officials. “Ryanair has boosted the number of tourists in 28 countries in Europe and the world, and we intend to do this in Israel too.” Cawley said. 3.5 million tourists visited Israel in 2012.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Positive Israeli art. The Arthur Szyk Prize of Disruptive Thought and Zionist Art project is a $1000 award that hopes to create a platform for those pro-Israel artists who want to express a more nuanced, intimate relationship with the Jewish State. The contest is about creating honest artwork.
Israeli Pianist Wins Prestigious Piano Competition. Boris Giltburg from Tel Aviv won the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, one of the most prestigious in the world. Giltberg won thanks to his originality, impeccable technique and emotional performance.
The Technion’s Garden of Eden. On the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology campus on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel is an ecological garden. The idea of Prof. Emeritus Zev Naveh became a reality that is beautiful and serene, providing a wonderful landscape for learning about nature.
No Clouds this summer. Cleveland Ohio-based indie-rock group Cloud Nothing will perform concerts in Tel Aviv and Haifa at the end of July.
Israeli actress is mother of Superman. The latest Superman film “Man of Steel” opens on June 14th in the USA with Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer in the role of Superman’s Kryptonian mum. Ayelet returns to Israel on June 17th for the local premiere.
THE JEWISH STATE
Mendy convinces Israel-haters that they’re wrong. I never thought it possible, but kibbutznik Menachem (Mendy) Neeman uses simple but very effective arguments to change how Israel’s opponents view the Jewish State. If you run an organization supporting Israel, please email an invite to him to teach you how to do this.
A million New Yorkers celebrate Israel. More than a million Americans came out Sunday to show support for Israel by attending New York City’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade. Hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the route of the parade along Fifth Avenue, drowning the street in a sea of blue and white.
Good show from the Brits. They couldn’t match New York for numbers, but thousands of UK’s true Blue & White supporters young and old made themselves heard in London’s Trafalgar Square at the “Closer to Israel 65” event.
Druze News. A poor report in the UK Guardian newspaper led to me finding some positive news about the Druze of the Golan. The Mayor of Majdal Shams, who says living in the State of Israel “is a privilege”. And Shefaa Abu Jabal – the first Syrian Druze woman resident of Israel to graduate from an Israeli university.
Where is Gilad Shalit? In the last three months, Gilad Shalit – former prisoner of Hamas terrorists – has been promoting Israel in Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and South America. He has raised millions of dollars for the Jewish State, telling the story of his captivity and thanking people for not forgetting him.
More Israelis are reading books. Israel’s annual Book Week is currently taking place in 45 cities. Israel’s annual survey of libraries reveals that the People of the Book increased the number of books borrowed by 25% in the last 4 years to 12.6 million books last year. Israeli Scouts are collecting, repairing and donating used books to organizations that help children in need and long-term hospitalized children.
Happy Israel. Daniel Pipes writes that Israelis have plenty of reasons to smile. GDP, birthrate, natural gas, low terror rate, US support, cultural excellence and good diplomatic relations with 156 countries. “Israel’s enemies should give up and find some other country to torment”.
A great Bar/Bat Mitzvah present – MDA training. For just NIS 120 (about $33) you can present your Bat/Bar Mitzvah celebrant with the gift of a four-session Magen David Adom lifesaving course. Jewish girls aged 12 and boys aged 13 are obligated to keep the commandments – saving life being the most important.