This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel Aug 28 2017
The highlights include:
- Israeli researchers can detect early cancer using high-powered MRI.
- Israeli doctors performed the first transplant of lab-grown bone.
- An Israeli charity has bought land to grow crops for the poor.
- Israel was the first country to help flood victims in Sierra Leone.
- Israel’s Weizmann Institute is the top non-US research facility.
- Fiat-Chrysler has joined the Israeli-based driverless car project.
- The grand-daughter of a WW2 Nazi mayor now serves in the IDF.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Detecting cancer early via hyper-MRI. Researchers at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center have made a breakthrough in non-invasive scanning. Using high-power MRI imaging they illuminate nuclei of Phosphorus atoms in body tissues. It reveals tissue pH (acidity) levels that can indicate the early formation of tumors.
Cause of rare children’s disease discovered. Dr Orly Elpeleg of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center has identified the genetic mutation responsible for a rare and devastating pediatric neurological disease that has baffled doctors for years. Discovery of the DNA flaw can help early diagnosis and treatment development.
A bracelet to monitor vital signs. Israel’s BiPS Health is developing a medical bracelet that constantly monitors blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration rate and heart rate. The bracelet incorporates two short inflatable finger cuffs with sensors. It will benefit both nurses and patients.
Preventing kidney damage during surgery. Israel-founded biotech Quark has announced success in a Phase II trial of its treatment for preventing kidney damage during open-heart surgery. 300,000 such operations are performed annually in the US alone. Quark is now in Phase III trials to use the treatment in kidney transplants.
Brain center dedicated. I reported previously (Mar 2013) on the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Brain Sciences Center. Construction is now complete and the $58 million building, scheduled to open in October. Another $92 million has been allocated for future research projects.
Emergency medical training for Gap Year students. Thanks to United Hatzalah, Israel gap year students can now participate in Israel’s first officially recognized NREMT (national registry for emergency medical technicians) program – the most recognized accreditation for medical first responders in the United States.
First transplant using lab-grown bone. Medical history was made at Emek Medical Center in Afula when semi-liquid live human bone tissue grown in a lab from a 40-year-old patient’s own fat cells was transplanted into the patient’s arm by injection. The early-stage trial used technology by Israel’s Bonus Bio (see here)
More innovative Israeli bandages. (TY Hazel) Israeli border police medics have been testing Israeli-made Woundclot bandages that clot the blood fast (even on stomach and artery wounds) and then dissolve in a week.
Also, Dr Amir Bakar (co-founder of Israeli startup Nurami) explained his post-brain-surgery patches on ILTV.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israeli charity buys land to grow food for the needy. (TY Lorraine) Charity Leket Israel has purchased a field near Binyamina for the sole purpose of growing food for the poor. Leket plans to grow some 500 tons of produce per year, to feed around 2,700 people daily. Leket distributes 15,000 tons of unsold crops to the needy.
Summer camp for special needs kids. 130 children come every day to Ezer Mizion’s day camp for special-needs children. They travel from the entire Southern region (Netivot, Ofakim, Sderot, Beesheva, and all the surrounding towns). 250 volunteers entertain the kids with activities from chocolate-making to dog-training.
Special marriages. Ezer Mizion and several other Israeli organizations have been instrumental in arranging matches between people with medical issues, including Downs Syndrome. And you don’t have to understand Hebrew to be moved by the associated video.
Every guide dog has its day. A feature article on the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, located near Moshav Beit Oved in central Israel. It is the country’s only accredited guide dog training school. Read why the dogs have English names; why students adopt the dogs for a year, and why there are cats at the center.
Druze IDF chief medic is sworn in. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Jul 2016) of the naming of Brig. Gen. Dr. Tarif Bader, a member of Israel’s Druze community, as the next IDF Chief Medical Officer. Dr Bader has just taken up his new position. In the video he describes his command of Israel’s rescue forces in Nepal.
Treated in Israel – a Syrian’s story. You’ve probably heard that Israel has treated thousands of Syrians wounded in their civil war. The video focuses on just one of them, and literally brings the situation to life. And more praise for Israel’s work with Syrians from US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Ratney.
Israeli innovation at European Parliament. Israeli “water from air” startup Water-Gen (see here) and cyber security specialist Cymmetria (see here) presented their innovative systems at the European Parliament’s ‘Innovation across borders’ conference. Since 1996, 3000+ Israeli projects have been approved by EU programs.
Sharing water tech in Montana. (TY Nevet) A delegation of Israeli water experts met with Montana US State leaders to explain the leading Israeli technologies developed to address the global water shortage. The Israelis observed Montana’s varied water practices from irrigation to municipal consumption.
Helping African communities survive. (TY Hazel) Luba Mayekiso, the National Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in South Africa, explains how Israeli innovation can revolutionize Africa. While other countries have exploited South Africa, Israel has established itself as a partner, rather than colonizer.
Food aid for South Sudan. Israel’s foreign aid agency and several Israeli humanitarian NGOs have distributed six tons of food supplies to villagers in a drought-stricken area of South Sudan.
Israel is first to help Sierra Leone. Just 24 hours after hearing the call for help, Israel sent supplies to provide nourishment for three days, after heavy flooding and a mudslide that buried houses on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. IsraAID workers are now helping survivors They recovered bodies and are giving survivors food, clean water, sanitation, and psychological help. IsraAID has been in the country since the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak. https://www.israel21c.org/israel-rushes-aid-to-flood-victims-in-sierra-leone/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Smart job-matching startup targets US market. I reported previously (Apr 2016) on Israeli startup Workey which uses Artificial Intelligence to match workers to open job offers. Workey has just raised $8 million to help it launch in the US and open a new office in New York City.
Which bread is better – white or whole wheat? (TY Nevet) Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Sourasky hospital and Tel Aviv University have proved that everyone can have entirely different blood-sugar reactions from eating white and whole wheat bread. It is the bacteria in the gut that determines the reaction.
Research into drought resistance. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (Apr 2012) on olive trees planted at Ben Gurion University’s Wadi Mashash experimental agricultural desert research farm. Students from 30 countries now study how to grow crops in the minimal rainfall climate where planting can only occur after a winter flood.
Quantum communications. I reported previously (Aug 2013) that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem had founded the Quantum Information Science Center. The center has just won a NIS 7.5 million Israel Government tender to lead the construction of a national demonstrator for quantum communications technologies.
The top non-US research institute. The Nature Index of Innovation 2017 ranked Israel’s Weizmann Institute sixth in its international ranking of the world’s top 200 research institutions and the only non-US institution in the top ten. Weizmann also ranks fifth in applications for patents.
One of the world’s coolest design museums. See the latest exhibits at the Design Museum of Holon – 6th on the UK Telegraph’s list of coolest museums. The video shows a recent exhibit of cool eyewear, featuring intriguing optometry pieces from the 19th century, curious contemporary glasses, and futuristic VR shades.
Squeezing out every drop of water. The Middle East is drying up. But Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute is developing solutions that can help its parched neighbors and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause. They see water as a bridge, through joint ventures. And one of those ventures is desalination.
Cutting down the size of the genome. Now that the human genome has been mapped, the problem is how to store each terabyte of an analyzed genome. Israeli startup Geneformics has developed technology to reduce the size of the data footprint by 90 per cent, helping those working on customized medicines for patients.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
1000 Jewish businesswomen. (TY Sharon) One thousand Jewish women attended the 8th annual Temech Conference at the Jerusalem International Conference Center. Temech was founded to help educate Charedi-orthodox women so they can get better paid jobs. The focus these days is to help grow existing businesses.
New Jerusalem start-up incubator. An innovation technology incubator has been set-up to support growth of early stage startups in Jerusalem. It is an initiative of Israel’s OurCrowd, Motorola Solutions and Reliance Industries. A key participant is Yissum, the commercialization arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Milk and Honey goes up for auction. The first 100 bottles of Israel’s first single malt whisky, called Milk and Honey, is being auctioned on the Scottish website whiskyauctioneer.com. Experts say that the Tel Aviv distillery produced a mature and complex whisky for its young age, thanks to aging in the warm Israeli climate.
More Israeli driverless car news. Car maker Fiat Chrysler is joining the self-driving car consortium led by BMW, Intel and its Mobileye (Israeli) subsidiary that aims to develop fully driverless vehicles by 2021. And Renault-Nissan is opening a smart-car incubator in Tel Aviv. (See also Jan 29 article)
Direct flights to Buenos Aires. The national airlines of Israel and Argentina, El Al and Aerolíneas Argentinas are to begin scheduled flights between Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires, possibly as early as Sept 2017.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Watch the desert turn green. For about two weeks every year, the Israel’s Judean Desert is transformed into a lush oasis with a green carpet and an abundance of flora and fauna.
Israel’s craft beer boom. (TY Nevet) I wrote previously (Sep 2013) about the Beer Bazaar in Tel Aviv that sells up to 93 different Israeli beers. The Beer Bazaar has now opened in Jerusalem, which is featured in this article about Jerusalem’s craft beer scene.
Golden State Warriors win, with Israeli tech. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (29 Jan) that Golden State Warriors were the first US NBA Basketball team to use the Israeli SmartCourt training system. Their “smart” move may have been partly responsible for them winning the NBA Championships in June.
THE JEWISH STATE
Unanimous US support for undivided Israeli capital. With a vote of 90-0, lawmakers of Capitol Hill’s Senate – the US upper chamber – voted through a resolution that stated, ‘Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel’. It was co-sponsored by 17 senators, including both Republican and Democratic party leaders.
Iranian blogger is safe in Israel. Hours after she arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday, Neda Amin, an Iranian-born journalist and dissident who feared being deported from Turkey to Iran, thanked the Israeli government for granting her refuge, adding that she has Jewish roots and would love to live in Israel.
180 new StandWithUs graduates. At a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, 180 students graduated the 2017 StandWithUs Israel Fellows. They join over 1,600 Alumni of the program from the last eleven years. The StandWithUs Fellowship has become the leading program in Israel for public diplomacy at Israeli universities.
Grand-daughter of Nazi mayor joins the IDF. Hans Beretele was so disgusted with his father’s Nazi past, that he came to Israel and converted to Judaism. His daughter Gaya now serves in the Israel Defense Forces.