This Week’s Sanity Report from Israel July 14 2019
The highlights include:
- An Israeli scientist has developed a new way to lure and destroy cancer cells.
- An Arab Muslim represents Israel in women’s Euro high-jump championships.
- Israel is designing an innovative water system for India’s Maharashtra state.
- An Israeli startup has truly “re-invented the wheel” for electric cars.
- Israeli businesses benefit Philippine hospitals and US visually handicapped.
- Israel’s premier dance and theatre center is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
“Ghost” decoy cells kill cancer. Israel Technion Professor Marcelle Machluf has developed tumor-shrinking technology using normally “good” mesenchymal stem cells that tumors hi-jack to help them grow. Machluf’s team removed the cells’ contents and filled the membranes with chemotherapy. They lure and destroy tumors.
Colon capsule has further positive trial results. I’ve reported previously (see here) on the C-Scan colon diagnostic capsule from Israel’s Check-Cap. In its latest (post CE approval) study, C-Scan detected 76% of small (potentially cancerous) polyps as opposed to only 28% using currently approved non-invasive techniques.
Surgical navigator approved. (TY OurCrowd) The Israeli Ministry of Health approved marketing of the Surgical Navigation Advanced Platform (SNAP) and SuRgical Planner (SRP) systems from Israel’s Surgical Theater. The VR systems help surgeons plan and perform complex operations including brain, heart and spinal.
Pain relief without pills. Israel’s Solio has developed Alpha Plus – the world’s first US FDA and European CE approved radio frequency (RF) topical pain relief device. It combines bipolar RF to increase blood circulation, infrared to heat and ease pain and stiffness, and low-level laser to relieve the skin. All in a simple external unit.
Anti-bacterial tooth fillings. Tel Aviv scientists have developed dental fillings made of resin-based composites enhanced by antibacterial nano-assemblies. It can hinder bacterial growth on dental restorations, the main cause of secondary tooth decay that can lead to root-canal treatment and tooth extractions.
Paramedics cross the seas. Israel’s Magen David Adom has inaugurated its new ‘Sea-Bulance’ service to assist people in need of critical medical treatment and rescue while at sea. It currently operates in the Sea of Galilee equipped with advanced medical tools and can carry up to six people at speeds of up to 35 knots.
Paramedics scale the heights. Israel’s Magen David Adom paramedics treated a Haifa crane operator who lost consciousness, 50 meters above ground. Using advanced medical equipment, they provided treatment before harnessed firefighters and security guards extracted and evacuated him to hospital in stable and good condition.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Power women. Forbes Israel has released its annual list of 50 Israeli women who are making an impact in business, government, tech, journalism, culture, sports, and entertainment. They “control huge companies, manage thousands of employees, invent breakthrough technologies and shape Israeli culture and society.”
Happy hour is cholent and challah. I reported previously (Apr 2018) on the shared workspace “Ampersand” for Haredi entrepreneurs in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv. Its success means it is now looking for larger premises. This article, however, focuses on the end of the working week, when no-one lets their hair down!
Female Muslim athlete competes for Israel. (TY TPS) Arab-Israeli high-jump champion Hanin Nasser, 22, intends to represent Israel in the current 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships in Gävle, Sweden. Hanin won the recent Maccabi championship with a personal best of 1.79m – the ninth highest score in Israel’s history.
Giving a hoot. (TY Diana) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the use of barn owls to control rodent pests in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority areas. Newsletter subscriber Diana Bletter has published this article about Israel’s National Barn Owl Project that has reduced the amount of toxic rodent poison used in agriculture.
Popstar promotes Jaffa co-existence nursery. (TY UWI) Chris Martin, front-man of British rock band Coldplay, visited Bustan Yafa, Jaffa’s bilingual kindergarten network for Jewish and Arab children. Martin contributes to “The Orchard of Abraham’s children” Foundation, which promotes coexistence in the network.
Indonesian visit is worth diamonds. A seven-member delegation from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce visited the Israeli Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. Yoram Dvash, president of the Israeli Diamond Exchange, stressed the importance of strengthening the ties of Muslim companies and businessmen with the State of Israel.
Empowering Yazidis. Dr. Yaakov Hoffman and Prof. Ari Zivotofsky, from Bar-Ilan University have brought 15 women (mostly Yazidi Kurds persecuted by ISIS) to Israel to share Israeli knowledge of how to help victims recover from the trauma. https://unitedwithisrael.org/yazidi-survivors-empowered-by-the-israeli-experience/
US delegation tours Israeli anti-terrorism startup. A bipartisan high-level delegation of US House members visited Israeli cybersecurity company Cobwebs Technologies during their visit to Israel. They saw how, with one click, authorities can identify connections between criminals or terrorists on social media and the dark web.
Israel to showcase its innovations to the UN. At the week-long United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) the Israeli Mission to the UN will hold an event recognizing Israeli innovation. It will showcase Israel’s revolutionary patents in the areas of water technologies, agriculture, social issues and more.
Rescuing Maharashtra from drought. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s work to help the Indian state of Maharashtra with agriculture and smart city tech. Now Israel’s national water company Mekorot is helping Maharashtra implement a looped water grid, linking 11 dams to ensure that its reservoirs never run dry.
Israel’s talented ambassador. Israeli Ambassador to Macedonia Dan Oryan impressed the crowd at a capoeira belt (hand-standing) ceremony. He has previously performed in Tel Aviv and Moscow to support special needs projects. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/265831
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Tackling plastic pollution. Good video on Israeli technology designed to reduce the impact of plastic garbage. It features TIPA, UBQ, Ben Gurion University research, Sodastream, Hiriya’s Refuse Derived Fuel plant and Haifa University’s Jellyfish project. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcYtoXg8ZvY
Use www.IsraelActive.com to search for them in previous newsletters.
Free fast WiFi for Jerusalem. The municipality of Jerusalem has introduced free wireless internet in Israel’s Capital city center for residents, business users and visitors. It boasts speeds of 16Mb, much faster than that of Tel Aviv’s free service.
Endor wins innovation program. I reported previously (May 2017) on Israel’s Endor Software and its predictive question and answer system. Endor has just won MetLife Korea’s innovation program, Collab 5.0, and a $100,000 contract to pilot their technology with multinational financial services company MetLife Inc.
Smart homes become personal. Israeli startup RoomMe has developed a smart-home super controller that operates a home’s intelligent devices according to an individual’s personal preferences. E.g. when entering a room, you may want the TV to show the news, while your spouse wants your Sonos speakers to play music.
AI chips are now even faster. I reported previously (18th Nov) on the Artificial Intelligent microprocessors developed by Israel’s Habana Labs. Habana has launched its Gaudi AI Training Processor. Training systems using the new processor will be up to four times faster than those built with competitors’ graphics chips.
Reinventing the wheel for electric cars. Israeli startup REE has designed a new flat and modular chassis for electric cars of the future. The motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensors, brakes, thermal systems and electronics are now in the wheels, lowering the center of gravity, increasing stability, agility and performance.
Solar-powered wireless smartphone charger. Israel’s Benny Mengesha is developing the Multi-Functional Case (MFC), It will fit snuggly round your iPhone or Android but on the back are solar panels which charge your phone without USB or leads. The MFC debuts on 24th July at TheMarker Tau Innovation Summit.
Communicate with your dog through its vest. Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University have developed dog vest that allows canine owners to transmit communications and commands to their pets via haptic (vibrations) technology. It has immense potential for search & rescue operations and assisting disabled owners.
Giving voice to the silent majority. (TY WIN) Israeli startup ZenCity helps municipalities identify the true opinion of its residents rather than the more vociferous views of a noisy minority. It analyses virtually any publicly shared information generated by residents and can save a city huge costs of erroneous investment.
Security device gets even better. I reported previously (Sep 2016) on Israel’s SayVU when it was deployed at the Rio Olympics. When it is unsafe to speak, shaking the device alerts emergency services. There are now new versions for smartwatches and for areas where there are no cellular networks or GPS. It has saved many lives.
Google’s graduates. The five graduates from Google’s first Israeli Startup Residency incubator are Saillog (AI agritech), Gaviti Akyl (payments software), Agamon (medical data analysis), Mona Labs (QA for AI) and Dattor/Pairser (data compliance). They were given workspace, mentoring and access to Google facilities.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Record currency reserves. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency hit another record level at the end of June of over $ 120 billion. https://www.boi.org.il/en/NewsAndPublications/PressReleases/Pages/7-7-19.aspx
BIRD invests $8.2 million. The US-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) foundation is to invest another $8.2 million in 9 new joint R&D projects (see previous). Israeli startups (seven new to this newsletter) include 3PLW, Igentify, IAI, MyndYou, Netafim, Novelsat, Shamaym, Snappers and WizeCare.
Direct flights to the Seychelles. For the first time in 20 years, Israelis will be able to fly non-stop to the 115 islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to the fuel- and cost-efficient engines (with Israeli parts) on its new Airbus A320neo planes, Air Seychelles will begin the six-hour, 20-minute service on 27th Nov.
EasyJet to fly to Toulouse. Budget airline EasyJet is starting a new route connecting Tel Aviv and Toulouse from 29th Oct. The twice-weekly service is easyJet’s sixth destination from Tel Aviv to France and its 18th to Europe.
WiFi to schools & hospitals in Philippines. Globe Telecom, the leading telecom company in the Philippines, has chosen Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks for a three-year multi-million US dollar contract, to enable WIFI service over satellite to schools and hospitals, in addition to cellular backhaul throughout the Philippines.
More help for US vision-impaired. The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has partnered with Israel’s OrCam. Under the agreement, ACB members can buy Orcam’s visual aids, such as MyEye2 and MyMe (see here) at a special discount. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3765903,00.html
A culinary platform for chefs. Non-profit organization Start-up Nation Central has opened L28 (in Tel Aviv’s Lilienblum Street) where chefs can conceive and develop Israeli foods, ingredients and menus. It will also help chefs learn how to run a restaurant, without the worries of raising enough money to survive.
New VIP terminal at Ben Gurion. If you can afford the steep price, you can avoid crowds by using the new Fattal Terminal at TLV Ben Gurion Airport. You get a nice place to chill, eat and drink as much as you want while the staff take care of your bags and passport control. Plus, a luxury car takes you direct to your aircraft.
How a bad haircut started a beauty empire. Israeli entrepreneur Sharon Rabi studied electrical engineering at Tel Aviv University. But a too-short haircut and lack of styling tools prompted her to invent the DAFNI. Her range of products now sells in 15 countries.
Google buys Israeli cloud storage company. Google is to acquire Israel-based cloud storage company Elastifile for approximately $200 million. Elastifile had already been partnering Google Cloud, plus Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/265755
Tesco tests Israeli cashier-less checkout. I reported previously (10th Jun) that Israeli supermarket Shufersal was running a pilot of the automatic checkout system from Israel’s Trigo. Now the giant UK chain supermarket Tesco is testing the Trigo Vision system as one of a range of technologies for future implementation.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Dance center celebrates 30 years. Israel’s leading dance venue, the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. From July to November, Israeli-born international artists and choreographers will return to Tel Aviv to give Israeli audiences a glimpse of their creations.
New Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob Richman) New Israeli stamps issued in July include features on the Ketubah (marriage contract), cycling in Israel, tourism, the Hiriya (Ariel Sharon) recycling park and IAF planes.
Chocolate connects nature, history & passion. De Karina Chocolate Boutique was established in the Golan Heights by Karina, who brought her passion and talent for chocolate from Argentina to Israel. The chocolatier offers breathtaking views of northern Israel, chocolate making workshops, and of course delicious chocolates.
Living statues in Rehovot. The 10th International Live Statues Festival in the central Israeli city of Rehovot saw daily circus shows and more than 100 live statues. Performance artists from Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and other countries joined Israeli artists for the festival. Over 100,000 visitors were expected to attend.
Not only J.Lo but also her fiancé. I reported previously (28th Apr) that Jennifer Lopez would be performing in Hayarkon Park Tel Aviv on 1st Aug. Not only has that been confirmed, but her fiancé, former NY Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, will accompany her on the tour and is so excited ahead of his first time in Israel.
Judoka gold in Montreal. Israeli judoka Gefen Primo, 19, won a gold medal in the under-52kg category of the International Judo Federation’s Montreal Grand Prix, becoming the youngest Israeli judoka ever to place first in her weight category. Teammates Shira Rishoni and Timna Nelson-Levy both won bronze medals.
THE JEWISH STATE
Where David fled from King Saul. Israeli researchers believe they have discovered the town of Ziklag in the Judean hills, mentioned in the Bible (Samuel books 1 & 2). Achish, King of Gat, allowed David to find refuge in Ziklag while fleeing King Saul. David also departed from Ziklag to become King in Hebron.
Secret Jews make Aliya. Many Holocaust survivors have revealed their Jewish origins as they approached their last days. It often prompts their children to seek out their Jewish roots, culminating with their emigration to Israel. Michael Freund, founder of Shavei Israel, sees it as his job to help them on their Jewish journey.
We are all One Family. (TY Sharon) For the 16th year, OneFamily, Israel’s leading organization supporting victims of terror and their families, brought together more than 300 hundred youth (age 8 to 18) to the Hermon Field School in Kibbutz Snir, for a week-long camp. Highlights included Shabbat and the final night’s concert.