In the 22nd Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· An Israeli biotech has successfully transplanted lab-grown bone into 11 patients.
· The President of Sierra Leone thanked Israel for helping to eradicate Ebola.
· Israel has appointed its first Druze Arab cabinet minister.
· Top ministers from 12 West African states attended a conference in Israel.
· The Super Bowl will be broadcast using Israeli 360-degree video technology.
· Israeli technology has saved an Italian power station from a massive outage.
· Oracle is the latest multinational to open an Israeli R&D center.
· A 17-year-old Israeli motorcyclist won a 6,500km race in the Sahara Desert.
· An American and an Israeli are joint winners of the International Bible Quiz.
· Click here to see the 15th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness and Economy. Also (TY Sandra) available in German. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking readers.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Successful bone transplants. I reported previously (often) on the revolutionary method from Israel’s Bonus BioGroup for growing bone in the lab from a patient’s own fat cells. Latest trials show that bone, injected into the jaws of all 11 patients, successfully fused to existing bone and filled gaps in their deteriorating jawbones.
European approval to grow bone from coral. (TY Harold G) I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s CoreBone which grows ultra-strong bone-graft material in the laboratory from corals. CoreBone recently received both CE and ISO 13485 certification to allow the company to sell the product in Europe.
How viruses communicate. Weizmann Institute scientists have discovered that some viruses (phages) secrete small molecules that are read and updated by other copies of the same virus. Viruses use this to coordinate their attack and will go dormant if these molecules indicate that insufficient uninfected host cells remain.
Pain relief for osteoarthritis. Israel’s Moebius Medical is developing MM-II, a novel treatment for osteoarthritis pain. MM-II’s proprietary liposomes lubricate arthritic knee joints, to reduce friction and wear, and pain in the joints. Moebius has contracted with India's Sun Pharmaceutical to further develop MM-II.
Plant extract mimics insulin. (TY Liat) A new study in Austria has confirmed the anti-diabetic properties of the purslane herb extract Portulaca oleracea L. Israel’s Frutarom manufactures Portusana®, a scientifically supported and unique purslane extract.
Improved ECG is saving lives. I reported previously (Nov 2014) about HyperQ from Israel’s Biological Signal Processing (BSP) that discovers heart problems that normal ECG tests cannot. BSP’s CEO Dr Yair Granot came on ILTV Daily and said HyperQ had been sold worldwide, including to anti-Israel Venezuela!
Low-cost proton therapy to destroy tumors. I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s P-Cure which has developed low-cost Proton radiation therapy devices to kill cancer tumors. The revolutionary technology was explained recently on ILTV daily. https://www.youtube.com/embed/DPf2Hu616i8?rel=0
App to streamline emergency response. Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency service, has developed the My MDA app. It provides dispatchers and ambulance teams with advance information, including the exact location of the user, medical information, and photos or a live video feed from the scene.
An excellent brain scientist. Professor Haim Sompolinsky of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem won Israel’s EMET prize for Excellence in Life Sciences (Brain Research) for his work on the principles of brain function and the behavior of neuronal networks, and for shaping brain theories into a systematic discipline.
Thank you for fighting Ebola. On the first ever state visit to Israel, the President Ernest Bai Koroma of the Muslim-majority Sierra Leone expressed his gratitude for the Jewish state’s assistance in fighting the Ebola virus. “That we have put the Ebola behind us is because of the support of this nation” he said.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Promoting women, Arabs and haredi in hi-tech. The Israeli government has announced a $325 million six-year program to boost the number of higher education students by 40%, and to encourage women, Arabs, and ultra-Orthodox to get hi-tech jobs. The program aims to address the future likely shortage of hi-tech workers.
First ever Druze cabinet minister. Member of Knesset Ayoub Kara is to become the first lawmaker from Israel’s Druze community to serve as cabinet minister. Kara will be minister without portfolio.
Arab volunteers in the IDF. "Why did I decide to enlist?" asks Sergeant Yusef Salutta, a 20-year-old Arab from the north of Israel who serves with the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion. "Because I'm from this country and I love the country and I want to contribute," he said. "anybody who lives here should enlist."
Co-operating over water. After a six-year hiatus, Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have signed an agreement to jointly advance water infrastructure and development. In the last 18 months, the two sides have signed agreements covering electricity, mail, 3G cellular infrastructure and now water.
“Settler” medics treat Palestinian Arab. In a not-unusual event, United Hatzalah medics from Judea and Samaria treated a Palestinian Arab injured in a traffic accident near Gush Etzion. Afterwards they passed him to the Palestinian Authority's Red Crescent ambulance service, which transported him to the nearest PA hospital.
Celebrating 20 years of EU-Israel co-operation. (TY Sharon) In sharp contrast to political conflicts, European ambassadors to Israel joined Israeli scientists, entrepreneurs, and invited guests to celebrate a successful two decades of collaboration on scientific research and technological development.
Historic visit of African states. (TY Pamela Levene) Foreign ministers from 12 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) attended a major Jerusalem conference – the first ECOWAS meeting outside of Africa. Pamela’s son Adam of MASHAV talks about the visit on IBA news (view from 9 mins 30 secs)
Jamaican PM meets Israeli PM. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss cooperation in water, agriculture and domestic security. He also visited the Western Wall (Kotel) and invited Mr Netanyahu to make an official visit to Jamaica.
Bringing laughter to Tanzanian tribe. The founders of Israeli-developed Powtoon brought their animation software to the remote Hadzabe tribe in Tanzania. On seeing PowToon’s cartoons for the first time, the entire tribe was in fits of laughter. After earning the tribe’s trust, the team brought doctors to treat their eye problems.
Saving the Peruvian monkey. Two Israeli researchers are behind a global campaign to rescue the last remaining yellow-tailed woolly monkeys of Peru - one of the world’s 25 most endangered Primates. The Israelis have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to purchase lands that the monkeys inhabit.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
An excellent mathematician. Professor David Kazhdan of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem won Israel’s EMET prize for Excellence in Exact Sciences (Mathematics) for his work in design of representation theory and its uses in algebra, algebraic geometry and number theory.
Building the world’s tallest solar tower. (TY Jacques) Recent article and interesting video about the Ashalim project to build a 250-meter high solar tower in Israel’s Negev desert. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio has publicized the project. http://israelbetweenthelines.com/2017/01/12/israel-is-running-not-walking-on-sunshine/
Israeli tech comes to the Super Bowl and Laliga. (TY Pamela Levene) Intel bought Israel’s Replay Technologies and its 360-degree video technology for $170 million last year. FOX Sports will use it in the Super Bowl broadcast. Thanks to Pamela’s son Yonatan, Spanish soccer league Laliga is also now using it.
4000 smart rental cars. Israel’s Pointer Telocation Systems (see here) has won a tender to manage a five-year driver behavior project in cooperation with the American Transit Insurance Company (ATIC), which insures rented cars in New York. 4000 cars will be fitted with systems from Pointer and Mobileye.
Computerized companion for the elderly. Israeli startup Intuition Robotics is developing social companion technology to positively impact the lives of millions of older adults. Its first product is ElliQ, robot resembling a lamp that uses body language to convey emotion, plus sounds, light, in addition to voice, to express itself.
Did we just get hacked? Israeli cybersecurity startup SECDO saves huge amounts of time following a security “incident”. It collects all data, all the time, from all endpoints. When the alarms go off, management can see it’s not a false alarm and can close the breach instantly. SECDO has just received $10 million of funding.
More joint science papers with the US. (TY Stan and Bennett) The number of co-authored scientific publications involving American and Israeli researchers has increased by 45 percent over the last decade, from 3,439 joint U.S.-Israel publications in 2006 to 4,979 publications in 2015.
Israeli tech finds major problem in Italian power station. I reported previously (Nov 20) on Israeli startup 3DSignals. Its acoustic technology has detected a malfunction in a hydroelectric power station run by Italian company Enel. Early repair of the faulty oil valve saved Enel hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Euros.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
The second most innovative nation. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 ranks Israel as the second most innovative nation in the world after Switzerland. Israel rose 3 positions to 24th for competitiveness, thanks to Venture capital (2), Research institutes (3), R&D (3) and collaboration (3).
BDS fail – investment in Israel tripled. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s recent report highlights that the foreign capital flow into Israel shows a near tripling from 2005 when the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign started. 2016 was a record year and more is forecast by Israel’s Finance Minister.
China to solve Israeli housing shortage. Israel and China have signed a draft agreement that will bring 6,000 Chinese construction workers to Israel in 2017 to build homes and alleviate the housing shortage.
Low-sodium extract production to triple. (TY Liat) I reported previously (see here) about Mediterranean Umami – the vegan extract from Israel’s Salt of the Earth that reduces the sodium content of many food products. Its success has led the company to build new production lines to triple the output of this innovative ingredient. http://www.saltoftheearthltd.com/news-events/salt-earth-expands-reduced-sodium-solutions/
No free plastic bags at supermarkets. (TY Janglo) The number of plastic bags being distributed at Israeli supermarkets has dropped by between 50% and 85% thanks to the new law requiring customers to pay for each one. Cynics thought the 10 agarot cost of each bag was too low but Israelis have already changed their shopping habits. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/No-more-free-plastic-bags-at-Israeli-supermarkets-477165
Tel Aviv is Start-up City. The Israeli entrepreneurs in this video are making everything from smart cars to apps that connect volunteers with their next project. See why Israel is called the Start-up Nation and Tel Aviv is the Start-up City. https://www.youtube.com/embed/-isOUlHybW8?rel=0
FT Fintech award winner. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Transmit Security has won the UK Financial Times Future of Fintech Innovation Award for its ability to create lasting change in the financial services sector on a global scale. Transmit Security brings together biometric and other financial security services on to one platform.
Oracle to open Israeli startup cloud accelerator. Computer giant Oracle is opening its Startup Cloud Accelerator program in Tel Aviv. It provides six months of mentoring from technical and business experts, state-of-the-art technology, a co-working space, plus access to Oracle's customers, partners and investors.
Car-sharing rentals in Tel Aviv. This summer, Israel’s Car2Go is starting operations of Auto Tel – a new car-sharing service in Tel Aviv. Subscribers can rent one of 260 cars, together with 500 reserved parking spaces. The service aims to reduce car ownership costs, traffic congestion, pollution and parking problems in Tel Aviv.
Sweet smell of Israeli coffee in Canada. Israel’s Aroma has opened 35 cafes in Toronto since its 2007 launch in Canada. It has also opened in Ottawa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oakville and London Ontario, bringing to 39 the number of Canadian locations. In 2017, it’s planning to open 10 more branches, including in Vancouver.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The 8th best place to visit. America’s first fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Israel should be number eight on your list as a vacation destination. The magazine states, “Don’t be fooled; its vibrant culture, phenomenal food scene, historic landmarks, beaches and endlessly impressive hotels are too much of a draw to ignore.”
Israeli blues – Israel’s best kept secret. (TY Steve and Moshe) The Tel Aviv Blues festival, in the heart of south Tel Aviv, attracted some of the finest blues musicians from all over Israel. At the local “Tsuzamen” venue, Moshe Beauford played as guest violin with featured band Oded Weiss & Peripherya.
Rod Stewart is coming to Israel. Legendary Rock Superstar Rod Stewart will be “sailing” again into Israel when he performs on June 14 2017 in the Yarkon Park Tel Aviv. The video is of his 2010 concert in Israel.
Israeli youth wins Africa Eco Race. 17-year-old Israeli motorcyclist Gev Teddy Sella won the 12-day, 6,500km Africa Eco Race. He beat experienced drivers racing motorcycles, SUVS and trucks through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, plus the harsh Sahara Desert, whilst navigating by guidebook.
Blind golfer is world champion again. (TY Michael P) I wrote previously (twice) about Israel’s Zohar Sharon - one of the best known blind golfers in the world. He recently won his sixth (bi-annual) International Blind Golf Association tournament.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israeli and American share top Bible Quiz prize. Yair Shahak of New York City and Israel’s Yafit Silman were joint winners of the International Adult Bible Contest in Jerusalem in December. The competition is held every two years. Yair reached the last eight in 2014 and had to defeat his wife on the way to this year’s final.
Israel’s nationalism is a model to emulate. An article by ex-Labor MK Einat Wilf. The world should admire Israel. E.g. airport security - no need to remove belts and shoes or throw away bottles of water. Israel’s main problem is “timing”, because what once was only Israel’s problem, is now coming to everyone.
$10 million donation for Diaspora Museum. The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation has given a $10 million grant to the Beit Hatfutsot (Museum of the Jewish People) in Tel Aviv. It will fund an International School offering educational programs for visitors, online users, students, educators and community leaders.
Hebrew Language Day. Israel marks Hebrew Language Day every year on the birthday of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern spoken Hebrew. This year, the Hebrew date falls on January 19th. The revival of the 3000-year-old language is unique, becoming a spoken language after being dormant for centuries.