SANITY Report from Israel
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Discovery may lead to treatments for Huntingdon’s disease. Tel Aviv University researchers have found that protein clusters are not the long-believed cause of Huntingdon’s disease. Instead, their formation protects cells damaged by the brain’s stress response. Tackling the stress response itself may cure Huntingdon’s.
Optical scanner warns of foot ulcers in diabetics. Israel’s Chief Scientist’s Office has awarded NIS 100,000 to Dr. Assaf Shachmon and Hagai Ligomsky of Tel Aviv University. Their optical scanner identifies diabetics at risk of developing foot ulcers that precede 84% of all diabetes-related lower-leg amputations.
Dr Sagie will get your child dry at night. (Thanks to Israel21c) The clinics of Israel’s Jacob and Tal Sagie have cured 27,000 children who suffered from enuresis (bedwetting). Tal Sagie has now launched Therapee – the world’s first online interactive program for treating enuresis – for kids aged four and over.
MobileOCT’s melanoma detector is featured by the BBC. And it mentions it is based in Tel Aviv! In the video clip, CEO Ariel Beery says that the hardware can be 3D-printed anywhere, in order to save life.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Preparing the next generation of water experts. Israel encourages young water experts with its program “Youth, Water & Knowledge”. It involves 700 middle graders from 18 schools across all sections of Israeli society. This year’s first prize went to the Arab middle school Al Mutanabi of Kfar Manda.
Palestinian Arab doctor lauds Israel for saving children. Palestinian Arab anesthesiologist Wafiq Othman told a Montreal audience that Israeli doctors at Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) saved his younger brother’s life. He then trained for six years with SACH and returned home to coordinate the skills updating for Arab doctors.
Europe recognizes four excellent Israeli schools. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) For the first time, the European Foundation for Quality Management recognized 4 Israeli schools – in Acre, Tamra, Mas’ade, and the ORT school in Ma’alot – for implementing its Excellence Model for organizational management.
The world’s first child-friendly wheelchair. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israeli NGO Wheelchairs of Hope has designed the world’s first affordable wheelchairs built especially for children. They have received backing from the UN, the World Health Organization and Israeli Nobel Prize winner Aaron Ciechanover.
Building bridges in Turkey. Shosh Kaminsky of Israeli non-profit and provider of therapies for disabilities Beit Issie Shapiro presented and gave a workshop at the International Play Association’s 19th Triennial World Conference in Istanbul. The theme was building social bridges – how inclusive playgrounds create community.
UK’s largest farming company looks for Israeli partners. Keith Norman, technical director of UK’s Velcourt, met 35 experts from 13 of Israel’s agritech companies on his first visit to Israel. Velcourt holds 54,000 hectares of UK farmland. Norman’s trip was organized by the British Embassy’s UK-Israel Tech Hub.
SANITY Report from Israel
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s greenest building is ready. Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies has been inaugurated. The ultimate eco-friendly building features recycled gray water, solar-powered air-conditioning, a green roof, bio-climatic technology, only six car parking spaces (to encourage cycling) and much more.
Mastercard contest to find Israeli technology ideas. For the third year running, Citi’s Mastercard is running a competition to find the best new financial technology ideas and apps in Israel. The winner gets $25,000, a spot in the Citi accelerator, plus $10,000 for a trip to Citi’s and Mastercard’s innovation labs in Dublin.
Diagnosis from a distance. (Thanks to Hazel) A new article about the Optophone, developed by Israeli Professor Zev Zalevsky of Bar Ilan University. It can pick up conversations, heartbeats, even blood pressure and blood glucose levels from hundreds of feet away, without a microphone, using a laser beam with a camera.
Israeli sensors ensure water safety in Beijing – China’s capital. Beijing Water is installing 100 high-precision water quality analyzers developed by Israel’s Blue I Water Technologies for Beijing’s water distribution network. The sensors measure chlorine, pH, turbidity etc. and control pumps to safeguard quality.
New variety of Israeli melon named after Justin Timberlake. (Thanks to Israel21c) Ein Yahav agriculturists have honored singer Justin Timberlake with a melon named for him. They say the Justin fruit – a cantaloupe-like melon – shares the singer’s sweetness and performance power. It has a long shelf life of three weeks.
Israel rides out drought with desalination. After its driest winter on record, desalination and recycling means Israel has no water shortage. “We have all the water we need, even in the year that was the worst year ever regarding precipitation,” said Avraham Tenne of Israel’s Water Authority. “This is a huge revolution.”
The TWEAK for your sink. (Thanks to Uri) When Israelis Nitzan Shafat & Aviv Rozenfeld graduated from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design they devised the TWEAK. It keeps the kitchen sink draining smoothly, and solves the problem of scooping cold leftovers out of the sink with your bare fingers.
Did you see Israeli technology on the BBC? (Thanks to www.BBCWatch.org) On 31st May 2014 BBC World News featured Israel’s innovative technology on its “Click” program. If you live in the UK you can watch it on BBC iPlayer here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0465p7b/click-31052014
If you live outside of the UK, here is a 4-minute preview http://bcove.me/52zne77u
miLAB – where students are developing the next red-hot startup. miLAB is a research and prototyping lab based at Herzliya’s IDC Sammy Ofer School of Communications. Students explore the future of technology, media and human-computer interaction, building real, working prototypes. See the videos of some of the ideas.
The foldable car seat that turns into a stroller. Israeli industrial designer Yoav Mazar has developed the Doona – for those families with infants that want to avoid packing the car with both a car seat and a stroller / buggy. You don’t even need to detach the wheels. It is soon to be launched in Europe.
Israeli wind power for Finland. Israeli renewable energy investment company Sunflower is purchasing licenses to construct up to five wind farms in Finland each producing 20 megawatts of power. The wind farms are expected to be ready within the next two years.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli unemployment is still falling. Israel’s unemployment rate fell in April to 5.6%, from 5.7% in March and 5.9% at the beginning of 2014. This is one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the OECD.
Massachusetts sends huge delegation to Israel. (Thanks to Hazel) Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick led a trade mission to Israel of some 120 Massachusetts business leaders. At least six business deals or partnerships were announced during the visit. There are over 200 Israeli companies in the US state, providing 6.600 jobs.
MIT opens its first Israeli seed fund with BGU. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched its first Israeli seed fund in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The fund will support early-stage collaborations between MIT researchers and their counterparts at BGU.
How China can benefit from close ties with Israel. (Thanks to Herb) The recent purchase of Israel’s Tnuva by China’s Bright Foods has brought the two countries closer together. Here’s how Forbes sees how tiny Israel can help China develop both financially and socially.
Intuit buys Check for $360m. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) More than 10 million people use Check’s smartphone app to track and pay their bills. Check’s Israeli development center will join Intuit’s Consumer Ecosystem Group.
RAD opens new $32m Negev R&D center. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Global Network access solutions developer RAD inaugurated its new RAD Negev Research & Development center at Beer Sheva High Tech Park at an investment of NIS 110 million ($32 million). RAD has hired 30 software engineers and wants 60 more.
Israeli web giant ironSource opens Beijing office. IronSource, one of Israel’s most successful web companies, is expanding to China. Over 100 million people a month use ironSource’s tech services, which will expand significantly as ironSource deploys its digital delivery technology in the world’s largest market.
Ben Gurion Airport inaugurates new runway. Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport has completed a 4-year, $1 billion runway upgrade. The new runway vastly expands airport capacity, allowing simultaneous take-off and landing. It supports the Open Skies program for increased destinations and lower airfares. The news coincided with the news that May’s passenger figures were 1.3 million – 13.8% more than May 2013.
Israeli parking system for Albania city. (Thanks Atid-EDI) Israel’s On Track Innovations’ subsidiary PARX has signed a 20-year contract to help manage the parking operations for Elbasan, a city in central Albania. It will install PARX’s EasyPark system, which already operates in 45 Israeli cities.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tel Aviv and St Petersburg to swap artwork. A new partnership between the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg means some of Russia’s most important cultural treasures will be available for local Israeli audiences to view. The two museums will exchange masterpieces in 2015.
“Anachnu Ha’Avanim Ha’Mitgalgalot” – We are the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger spoke Hebrew and English to 50,000 Israelis in a concert of 19 unforgettable songs in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park. Most members of the band are older than the State of Israel, yet they never missed a beat, and Jagger was in perpetual motion.
Six best Jay Leno lines from his recent trip to Israel. US comedian Jay Leno stepped into the limelight once again to host an awards ceremony in Israel. And he brought his joke-bag. OK, 5 jokes and one serious message.
More on Israel’s blind world champion golfer. Zohar Sharon, 61, has now won the World Blind Golf Championship for the fourth time in a row (his previous victories were in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Zohar tells of the reason he went blind at age 24 and how he learned subsequently to play golf.
THE JEWISH STATE
French businessmen have idea to benefit the Jewish State. Frenchmen Didier Maarek and Gerard Ben Hamou started selling Teva products in their shops. Teva then donated a percentage of the revenues to Israeli charitable causes. Some $5.4 million has been donated so far.
35,000 march in NYC’s Israel Parade. Thirty-five thousand people marched in the fiftieth annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City. Associated Press reported “Awash in white and blue – the colors of Israel’s flag – tens of thousands of onlookers cheered the celebration that also featured a model of an Israeli spacecraft.
The land of milk and honey. It is traditional to eat foods made from milk during the Jewish festival of Shavuot just celebrated. So it was timely that Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released 2013 figures that the average Israeli cow produces 11,780 liters (3,141 gallons) of milk, making it the most productive in the world.
And this article gives the inside story of Israel’s dairy industry, plus some of the dairy foods it produces.
People of the Book – over 1 million Israelis regularly use a library. Visitors to Israel’s public libraries increased in 2013. Over 1 million of the 8 million Israeli citizens now have active public library memberships. On a particular day during August one million books were checked out.
Ancient Jewish settlement uncovered in Hebron. Remains of a Jewish settlement from the Second Temple period have been partially uncovered in Tel Hebron, near Tel Rumeida in Hebron. Finds include an olive press, cisterns, a workshop with furnace and ponds, stone tools and a stamp in ancient Hebrew.
SANITY Report from Israel