Good News from Israel

This Weeks Good News from Israel Jan. 28, 2013

images      Israeli innovative treatment improves the health of stroke victims long after the original attack. An Israeli hospital has cured a genetic disease causing paralysis in children. An Israeli company has developed a device to eliminate noise in public places. India’s eighth largest city has a new Israeli security system to monitor roads and detect crime. Israel had a record date harvest and provides 50% of the world’s Medjool dates. Israel’s elections confirm a US report that Israel remains the only free country in the Middle East.


Oxygen enrichment helps treat strokes.  Dr. Shai Efrati, of Tel Aviv University tested his theory on 72 stroke victims.  Even those treated 3 years after their strokes showed significantly increased neuronal activity following a two-month course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Israel welcomes the “father of fertility”.  Britain’s Lord Professor Robert Winston gave a lecture entitled ‘Manipulating Reproduction’ at Haifa University’s January conference on regenerative medicine.  Attendees included British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, plus leading British and Israeli scientists.
Israeli fertility treatment for New Delhi IVF center.  Cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), developed by Benjamin Bartoov of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, is bringing a hope to childless couples in India’s capital city.
UK-Israel partner stem cell research.  British Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX) will grant NIS 25 million over five years for seven joint Israel-UK stem cell research programs.  Stem cells have unique reproductive, renewal, and regenerative capabilities for organs.
US doctors get automatic Israeli license.  US physicians who have passed American MD exams (USMLE) in the past ten years, and who want to settle and work in Israel, will receive exemption from the local licensing exam.  This is the first time that Israeli health authorities have accepted foreign test results for an MD license.
Hadassah breakthrough saves 4 children.  Doctors at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem have discovered the reason for, and a medication to cure, Peripheral neuropathy – a genetic brain disease that causes paralysis in children.  Three infants suffering from the disease are already showing signs of improvement.
Cyclist healed by Israeli cartilage regeneration.  An Agili-C implant from Israel’s CartiHeal has repaired the cartilage of a 47-year-old Slovenian former athlete whose knee cartilage was damaged due to a volleyball injury over seven years ago.  Six months after receiving the Agili-C implant, the patient was on the ski slopes. A year from his surgery, he completed a 180 km cycling marathon.
Genetic causes of mental retardation.  Researchers at Israel’s Schneider Children’s hospital and in Germany have identified mutations in genes EIF2S3 and UBE3B as responsible for the development of genetic mental retardation.  The discovery improves the pre-natal diagnostic tool for prevention of genetic diseases.
Israel hosts international IBD conference.  Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital was the venue for a conference of 300 Israeli and international experts in the field of diagnosis and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  “Challenges in IBD Across Ages” brought together experts from the USA, Canada and Scotland.
Helping Gaza civilians while under fire.  Nira Lee made Aliya from Arizona and became an officer in the IDF.  She joined COGAT and provided support to Gaza civilians during Operation Pillar of Defense.  She writes about the work she did and the amazing efforts the IDF made to avoid civilian casualties.
Israeli law school helps the disadvantaged.  The Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University has established eight legal clinics, providing legal assistance and counseling to the general public; all free of charge.
India’s air chief flies in.  The Chief of the Air Staff and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, made his first visit to Israel in his current position. He previously served as the first Defense Attaché of India to Israel, from 1997 to 2000.
Israel signs the Kiev Protocol.  Israel has become only the second Middle East country (after Cyprus) to agree to the UN’s Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR). The international environmental treaty demands that governments exercise freedom of information and transparency regarding emissions data.
The work of the NIPI.  Since 1971 the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel has funded over 400 Israeli scientists.  Dr. Bernard Lerer, a psychiatry professor at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center told a Florida audience about some of the medical breakthroughs that the NIPI has helped develop.
The news is that Israeli cleantech is not new.  People are discovering that the roots of Israel’s innovations in water technology, and renewable energy go very deep.  Netafin (drip irrigation), IDE Technology (desalination) and Chromagen (solar heaters) were established in the 1960’s – and they are still innovating.
We all want a quiet life.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) With Israel’s Silentium, you can now create a “bubble” of silence at home, office or in public places.  Silentium’s anti-noise systems eliminate noise by capturing it and canceling it out by reversing the phase.  The system was demonstrated at CES Expo in Las Vegas.
A new dimension for computers.  (Thanks to Uri and Israel Defense Club) Israel’s PrimeSense developed the movement sensing technology for Microsoft’s Kinetic.  But just look at some of the other amazing ways that PrimeSense’s innovative 3D sensors and microprocessors can be used.
What about a Twizy?  The Israeli city of Kfar Saba is to trial the Renault Twizy – a two-seater car with an electric motor powered by a rechargeable lithium battery.  The 2.3m long Twizy carries two people, one behind the other. The more powerful model with the 17bhp engine can travel 100 km at up to 80km/hr.
Israeli device conquers snow and ice.  Israel Zahavi’s new invention, “Power Wheel” is a removable disc that fits on the hub of the vehicle’s tires. Inside are twenty metal bars that can be manually or automatically telescoped out beyond the circumference of the tire to raise the vehicle slightly and grip the road.
A WiFi security camera.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli WiFi chip manufacturer Celeno has teamed up with Quanto – the world’s largest notebook manufacturer – to build a home wireless IP camera network for security, surveillance and home monitoring applications.
Security for Indian city.  Project “Safe City Surat” will install over 5000 security cameras to monitor traffic and crime in Gujarat’s major city.  The architectural software of the project is of Israel-based Verint company. The center includes a 280-square foot video wall and a city mapping capability that provides reports on physical security, fire alarms, water levels, evacuation and disaster recovery plans.
Natural pesticide from strawberries.  The Yissum R&D Company at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has developed a non-toxic, environmentally friendly agent that controls fungus and bacteria in agriculture.  It is derived from yeast isolated from strawberry leaves, and is effective for a large variety of plants.
From Finland to Tel Aviv.  Finnair, the national airline of Finland, will start flights from Helsinki to Tel Aviv from June 7. The flights will run twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, and are likely to have a great impact on increasing tourism to Israel from Finland during the summer months.
And from Kenya.  Israel’s Ambassador to Kenya, Gil Haskel, says they are working to restore direct flights between Tel Aviv and Nairobi before the end of the year.  Flights were suspended 10 years ago due to security lapses at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  Resumption will boost tourist trade between the two countries.
Free translation earns more money.  Israeli translation company Babylon has seen its revenue double to $121 million thanks to moving from a paid-for service to a free service with advertising.  Net profit has tripled.  Babylon intends to list on NASDAQ during 2013.
Mobile TVs for Chinese cars.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Siano is to integrate entertainment systems powered with its Multimedia Broadcasting receiver chipset into cars built by BYD – China’s foremost independent automobile manufacturer.
Israeli healthcare start-ups on US road-show.  At the end of January, nine of the most promising, early stage start-ups from Israel in the medical devices and life sciences arenas will arrive to the U.S. for an intensive road-show to meet with potential investors.  They visit New York, Boston, Chicago, Silicon Valley and San Diego.
Cisco acquires Intucell.  (Thanks to Michael H) Some months I featured Israel’s Intucell, when AT&T used its technology to prevent cell-phone overload.  Well Cisco couldn’t resist it and have just bought the Ra’anana-based company for $475 million.  I bet that set the phones ringing!
Date growers celebrate hearty 2012 harvest.  As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Tu Bishvat – the New Year for Trees, agriculturalists around Israel are celebrating the increasing global success of one of Israel’s most fruitful trees.  Israel supplies 50% of the world’s demand for Medjool dates.
Preparing for Israel’s natural gas.  Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) has completed construction of a marine liquefied natural gas receiving buoy. The Submerged Turret Loading buoy will be used to deliver imported LNG until Tamar comes on-line and then will provide a backup entry point for Israel’s own natural gas.
Revealing Herod the Great.  The Israel Museum is opening a landmark exhibition “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey” It will present archaeological finds from the recently discovered tomb at Herodium, as well as from Jericho and sheds new light on the impact of Herod’s reign from 37 to 4 B.C.E.
Portuguese Ambassador to visit Secret Jews Institute.  The International Institute for Secret Jews (Anusim) Studies of Netanya Academic College and Casa Shalom (IISJAS)—Institute for Marrano-Anusim Studies is honoring HE Miguel de Almeida e Sousa, Portuguese Ambassador to Israel on 31st January.
Life’s a beach.  The travel guide “Lonely Planet” ranks Tel Aviv’s beach as the seventh best in the world, rated after Barcelona, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney but ahead of Dubai and Miami.  It wrote that Tel Aviv beaches are safe and clean, and there are changing rooms and freshwater showers scattered along its length.
 “Positive news for 2013”.  This recent article in has interesting comments on Israel’s demographics, its economy, the Arab “spring”, gas and oil discoveries and the international political scene.
Islam is pro-Israel.  Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the secretary general of the Italian Muslim Assembly and the Khalifa for Europe’s Qadiri Sufi Order, is a strong supporter of Israel’s right to exist, as well as Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem, based on his interpretation of Islam.
The only free state in the Middle East.  The US-based Freedom House’s annual report entitled “Freedom in the World 2013” stated, “Israel remains the region’s only free country”, defined as having open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civic life, and independent media.
And “the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East”.  The highest ever number of Israelis has voted for a Parliament of political parties that span Left, Center, Right, Men, Women, Arabs, Druze, Jews (secular, reform, orthodox and ultra-orthodox).  PM Netanyahu now intends to form a “broad-based coalition”.
And to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.  “I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.”
The “magic” is still there.  Operation “Magic Carpet” brought the majority of Yemen’s 60,000 Jews to Israel in the 1950s.  Sixty years later, the last remnants of that ancient community are taking their enchanted flights.
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