Good News from Israel

This Week Israeli Highlights – Sept. 15th 2013

blowing shofar Man blowing shofar after rehabilitation. Photo: Courtesy Beilinson highlights include: Four Israeli advances in fighting cancer include discovery of a protein that destroys cancer cells. Israel’s Technion scientists have developed a molecule that reduces cholesterol.  Five youth charities received a major windfall following Google’s takeover of Israel’s Waze. A new recycling plant will produce 160,000 tons of fuel per year, from garbage. Tel Aviv now has free Wi-Fi for everyone.  After a 40-year gap, an Israeli lung transplant patient can blow the shofar again.


Thanks to Michael Ordman and Good News From Israel

A protein to kill cancer stem cells.  (Thanks to Dr. Sarit Larisch of the University of Haifa has discovered a protein called ARTS that triggers cell death.  It is found to be lacking in cancerous tissue. The research can lead to a pre-cancer marker and development of similar molecules that can stop tumors forming.
Further success in leukemia treatment trials.  Israeli biotech Gamida has successfully transplanted just its manipulated NiCord stem cells into patients with blood cancer.  The impact is to reduce recovery times even further from the two years achieved from using NiCord combined with non-manipulated stem cells.
USA promotes Israeli leukemia treatment.  The United States FDA has granted orphan drug status to Israeli biotech BioLineRX’s BL-8040 treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.  Because there are limited alternatives, BioLineRX will now receive US Federal support, financial assistance and market exclusivity.
Trial of anti-lymphoma technology.  Israeli biotech KAHR Medical plans to trial KAHR-102, one of its groundbreaking Signal Converting Proteins (SCP), for the treatment of lymphatic cancer.
New molecule reduces cholesterol – and more.  Researchers at Israel’s Technion have developed an antioxidant 1-FE that lowers cholesterol. It also eliminates oxygen free radicals that cause organs and tissues to age.  The compound could be an important alternative to statins in the fight against heart disease.
Get your knee fixed.  Active Implants, whose R&D center is in Netanya Israel, is looking for patients in Israel and Europe willing to join the trial of its NUsurface Meniscus Implant.  The novel, composite polymer implant is for osteoarthritis patients who have pain and disability but are too old or young for a total knee replacement.
Israel’s hi-tech emergency service.  Magen David Adom used its technology and skills to save a 3-month-old baby.  First, MDA’s sophisticated C4I dispatch system allocated the closest first-responder to the call.  Then the dispatch operator advised the responder on CPR for the baby. All telephone operators are medics or paramedics.
Bone regeneration with a “magic” membrane.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  I reported on Regenecure in June when it was promoting its safe dental bone augmentation procedure.  But it appears that the company’s BoneCure membrane has been healing animals for some time and is working on a similar product for humans.
Waze exit benefits thousands of young Israelis.  The Israeli Public Service Venture Fund, Tmura, has distributed NIS 5 million of funds that it received when it sold share options following Waze’s takeover by Google.  Tmura split the proceeds among five charities specializing in helping Israeli youth.
Muslim woman is top Technion graduate.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Dr. Mais Ali Saleh is the newest Israeli-Arab obstetrician-gynecologist at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa. She recently graduated No. 1 in her class at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, one of the country’s top medical schools.  (More minorities at link)
It’s all over the news – Syrians treated by Israelis.  Here are two recent NBC and CNN reports on the wounded Syrians being treated free of charge at Israel’s Western Galilee and Ziv hospitals.
Two young Syrian brothers treated at Ziv.  Israel’s Ziv hospital treated its 89th and 90th victims of the Syrian civil war – two brothers aged 12 and 15 years old who had been wounded by a land mine.  Plus more news.
Israelis feed Syrian refugees.  Here is an update on the work of Israeli NGO IL4Syrians.
Plenty of water for PA swimming pools.  Those who say Israel is depriving the PA of water need to read this.
Israeli Health Care of Palestinian Arabs.  (Thanks to Stuart Palmer) For those on the receiving end of recent anti-Israel propaganda, here is a timely fact sheet on Israel’s amazing humanitarian work for Palestinian Arabs.
5 Israeli start-ups quietly changing the world.  (Thanks to Margaret) has reviewed Marcella Rosen’s “Tiny Dynamo” about Israeli start-ups and says it’s “a must-read for anyone passionate about entrepreneurship and technology. Acre-for-acre, person-for-person, no place is innovating more than Israel.”
London’s police are learning from Israel.  Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations at the London Police, Cressida Dick, spoke at the IDC, Herzilya, Israel about London Police’s determination to fight terrorism with the same virtues as Israel – endurance, determination and courage.
Half of Tel Aviv’s garbage to be turned into fuel.  When complete, the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant at the Hiriya Recycling Park will transform 1500 tons of waste into usable fuel every day.  The “green” fuel will power the kilns at Nesher’s cement works in a method that does not emit any pollutants or toxins.
Made in Israel.  Here is an opportunity to view CBN’s excellent series by Gordon Robertson about Israel’s remarkable innovation and ingenuity to produce breakthroughs in products and processes that affect the way we live our every day lives. The 5 parts feature Agriculture, Water, Medicine, Clean & Green and Technology.
Netafim receives Stockholm prize.  Israeli drip irrigation pioneer Netafim has just attended the ceremony to collect the prestigious Stockholm Industry Water Award. Netafin won because it helps farmers in developing countries live better.  I reported the story when the award was announced in June, but it’s good to enjoy it again.
Thousands to attend Night of the Scientists.  Thursday night (before Yom Kippur) is Researchers’ Night, a celebration of all things scientific, with hundreds of events taking place at over a dozen Israeli universities and colleges.
Tel Aviv deploys free Wi-Fi network.  The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality has completed deployment of its Wi-Fi network, with the establishment of 60 hotspots in the city.  The network covers 3,660,920 square meters and includes commercial centers, main commercial streets, boulevards, parks, and the beach.
12 more years of geothermal power.  Israel’s Ormat Industries has extended its agreement to supply California with electricity from its 46MW geothermal power plant at the Heber complex in Imperial Valley.
A million customers GetTaxi.  The popular Israeli smartphone application GetTaxi now has over a million users in Israel, London and Moscow with an average of 20,000 daily orders.  GetTaxi has just launched in New York, for business customers to order luxury black cars in advance at a pre-arranged price.
The impact of Israel’s hi-tech industry.  Yoram Ettinger provides some detailed examples of multinational companies that benefit from their Israeli research and development centers.
The next big Israeli business?  Although it may not reach a value of $1 billion, Israeli content recommendations company Outbrain reckons its advanced algorithmic engine will raise $100 – 200 million when it goes public later in the year.
UK mutual likes its Israeli software.  LV= Ltd., the UK’s largest friendly society and leading financial mutual, has extended its services contract with Israeli financial services software developer Sapiens International in a $10.5 million deal.
Jerusalem railway station – old and new.  Trains no longer run through to the Old railway station in Jerusalem, but the reconstructed Ottoman buildings are a center for tourists and residents, young and old.
See who’s coming to Israel.  Creative Community For Peace supports all the artists and entertainers who visit the Jewish State and refuse to be intimidated by BDS campaigns.  Thanks to Rhianna, Jose Feliciano, Earthdance Zion (due here soon) and to all those who have performed here recently.

King Solomon’s mines are genuine.  Excavations by Tel Aviv University archaeologists in Israel’s Arava desert reveal that copper mines in Israel (previously thought to have been built by the ancient Egyptians in the 13th century BCE) actually originated three centuries later, during the reign of King Solomon.

Entering the New Year with optimism.  Member of Knesset Rabbi Dov Lipman seems to have a positive outlook for Israel’s internal issues.  He highlights initiatives for Haredi army service and employment, support for Jewish values and education, building of low-cost housing, hi-tech high schools and electoral reforms.
Sri Lankan-born student wins prize, defending Israel.  Winner of the Blankfeld Award for Media Critique is Sri Lankan-born, Dutch student Timon Dias. He started defending Israel when he realized that one side had always rejected peace and that the conflict was not about territory but about ideology.

Lung transplant patient blows shofar.  Meir Tzan’ani blew the shofar in his synagogue until he was 17 years old when his lungs were burnt in a schoolboy prank.  Following a transplant and rehabilitation at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson campus in Petah Tikva, Meir (now age 57) can blow the shofar once more.


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