Israel's Good News Newsletter to 15th Jan 17



In the 15th Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         You can upload your medical scans for analysis to an Israeli website.
·         Israel awards scholarships worth NIS 1.8 million to Ethiopian Israelis.
·         Israelis are building a hydroponics farm in Colombia, South America.
·         Israeli software monitors the performance of millions of smartphones.
·         An Israeli supermarket has opened in Brooklyn, New York.
·         An Israeli film won two awards at the Tallinn film festival.
·         A biblical breed of sheep has been re-introduced into Israel.

·         Click here to see the 8th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Health. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Felipe) in Portuguese.  Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Cutting the blood supply to cancer cells.  I reported previously (Dec 2013) on Israel’s VBL Therapeutics (aka Vascular Biogenics) and its treatment VBL-111 for brain cancer. VBL-111 targets new blood vessels developed to feed the tumor. Also, delivering the treatment inside a virus triggers the immune system to attack the tumor.

Medical scan diagnosis from home.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision has launched “Profound” –fast, accurate medical image analysis over the web.  Individuals can upload their medical imaging scans such as CTs and mammograms to Zebra’s online service, and receive an automated analysis for key clinical conditions. In addition, Zebra also announced a new algorithm that can increase osteoporosis detection by 50%.

Smart bracelet tracks injured soldiers.  Cadets in the IDF Technological Officers Training Course have developed a digital bracelet that medics attach to soldiers injured on the battlefield. Sensors monitor pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. A chip tracks medication and procedures for handover to the hospital.

Diagnose skin ailments with your smartphone.  I reported previously (May 1st) on DermaCompare from Israel’s Emerald Medical Applications.  Founder Lior Wayn has just gone on ILTV to explain his app that uses any smartphone camera, imaging software and proprietary algorithms to identify skin moles that may develop into cancer.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/HBVDJrFcZy0?rel=0  http://www.dermacompare.com/

Device to fix shoulder injuries.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mininvasive makes the OmniCuff device that enables minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder rotator cuff repair – with over 1 million potential operations annually.  Mininvasive has just announced a strategic partnership with China’s MicroPort Scientific Corporation.

Bringing life-saving devices up to date. I reported previously (Nov 20) on the emergency medical solutions from Israel’s Inovytec.  The company’s innovative equipment has just been featured on I24 news.

106 new subsidized treatments and dental treatment.  (TY Janglo) In the 2017 healthcare basket of subsidized medicine, Israel’s government has added 106 new medicines and treatments for cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and HIV. It is also providing free dental treatment for children up to the age of 15.

Space & Time in the Brain.  Top speakers in the fields of memory, space & time, presented their research during the international “Space & Time in the Brain” conference in Jerusalem. Over 250 delegates heard from experts about the physiology of the brain and its ability to affect temporal and special awareness.

Paramedic on electric bike saves baby.  (TY Steve) United Hatzalah’s Yehuda Fachima rode his electric bike through the narrow alleys of Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood just in time to save the life of a 5-month-old baby girl choking on fluids trapped in her airway.  An ambulance arrived 7 minutes later to take the baby to hospital.

Israeli study shows benefits of Nordic Pole Walking.  (TY Don) A study led by Israel’s Dr Don Silverberg has shown that Nordic Pole Walking (NPW) can alleviate chronic low back, hip and/or knee pain. 91% of the study’s 100 subjects had a marked reduction in pain on walking and a substantial increase in distance walked.

This is Israel.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon where Save A Child’s Heart surgeons have been mending the hearts of thousands of children from all over the world, including countries having no diplomatic relations with Israel.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

A guide dog can change one’s life.  The Israel Guide Dog Centre marks its 25th anniversary.by publishing the stories of individuals whose lives were changed by a guide dog. They include Gadi Yarkoni, who ran in the Rio Paralympics; Orit Ray, who pulls her daughter in an accessible buggy and Saleem Sharif – doing National Service at a health clinic. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/a-leap-of-faith-with-a-furry-friend/

Tackling domestic violence.  Israeli social service organization Yad Sarah has opened its second facility dedicated to the treatment of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Its new “family center” in Israel’s western Negev region joins the Jerusalem treatment center, which opened in 2000.

NIS 1.8 million for scholarships to Ethiopians.  Israel’s Science, Technology and Space Ministry has recognized the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd for the first time by allocating scholarships totaling some NIS 1.8 million to Ethiopian students.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Education-system-marks-both-Sigd-holiday-and-day-of-expulsion-from-Arab-countries-and-Iran-474120

The safest place for Christians in the Middle East.  Israel provides Christians with a haven in a region that is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to live freely.

Minorities in the IDF.  There are Muslim, Bedouin and Christian soldiers that volunteer to join the IDF, in addition to Druze and Circassian soldiers whose leaders undertook to be drafted into the IDF. Many are high-ranking. During their service, the IDF recognizes the rights of these (and all) soldiers to honor their traditions.

Syrians want peace with Israel.  Those being treated in Israeli hospitals have found Israel to be very different than the image depicted by the Syrian government.  About 800 Syrians have been treated at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed since February 2013, making Ziv the largest treatment center in Israel for wounded Syrians.  http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Syrian-patients-leave-mark-on-staff-as-they-recover-at-Israeli-hospital-478092

Israeli aid for world’s refugees.  A timely reminder of the work of Israeli NGOs and government organizations, to alleviate the suffering of victims of global disasters and wars.

Hydroponics in Colombia.  (TY Karen) Israeli hi-tech companies are investing in a hydroponic farm project in Colombia, South America.  The farm in the El Nus township will generate roughly 830 jobs, producing tomatoes, sweet peppers and other vegetables, in the desert conditions of Colombia’s Antioquia department.

UK Navy ship docks at Haifa.  (TY Nevet) British Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark stopped in Haifa Port on its way back to the United Kingdom. The Navy stated that the docking “demonstrates the growing relationship between the Royal Navy and the Israeli Navy and the desire to continue to develop that interaction.”


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

13km water tunnel to Jerusalem.  Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot has begun the construction of the world’s longest tunnel for transporting water under pressure.  It will extend 13km from near Beit Shemesh to Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.  It is part of the project to connect the coastal desalination plants to the rest of Israel.

The origin of autonomous technology.  (TY Nevet) Israeli universities (mainly the Hebrew University, Technion, Tel Aviv University and Weizmann) are globally renowned for their research and educational programs in the IT fields that are at the heart of the race for autonomous vehicles.

BGU and PayPal set-up R&D partnership.  Online payment system PayPal has established its first-ever partnership with Israeli academia. It has joined with Ben Gurion University to develop big data, machine learning, and cybersecurity solutions that will make payment transactions safer for its 192 million customers.

The art of water conservation in Israel.  (TY David F) The California water crisis continues. Californians admire Israel’s solutions and hope they could be applied to their situation.

Giving control back to the app developers.  (TY Atid-EDI) When startups build an app, they nearly always use development kits (SDKs) from 3rd parties to do the mundane things such as crash reporting, advertising, login or security.  Israel’s SafeDK monitors the SDKs. Its products are now on millions of mobile devices.

Saving male chicks from unnecessary slaughter. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Dec 2013) on Israel’s EggDetect that prevents hatching of male chicks - unwanted by the egg industry.  Now there is an alternative – TeraEgg from Israel’s Novatrans. It uses terahertz spectroscopy on gasses that leak from the pores of the egg.

Stimulating drought-resistance in corn.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Evogene has successfully improved the ability of corn to thrive in drought conditions with its Bio-stimulant products. These produce drought-resistant microbial strains that have produced high yields in their first year of testing.

Loads of Israeli tech at CES.  The Israeli pavilion at CES 2017 in Las Vegas was full of hi-tech Israeli products.  The BBC mentioned that TytoCare’s telehealth system was Israeli, but failed to credit Israel with Intel’s Project Alloy AR headset or BMW’s partnership with Israel’s Mobileye.

More fruitful Australian almond trees.  (TY Atid-EDI) China’s Olam group, owner of the largest almond orchard in Australia, has implemented the crop sensor technology from Israel’s Phytech across the entire 5,000 hectares of its five orchards in South-Eastern Australia. The previous season’s 700-hectare trial resulted in higher yields with less water usage.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161116005970/en/Olam-Announces-Deployment-Phytech-technology-Australian-Almond


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel’s growth is awesome.  Ambassador Ettinger summarizes Israel’s economic and technological growth over the last 20 years as “unprecedented”.  And the last 12 months wasn’t bad either.  The second video details many of the foreign investments in Israel – totaling $3.76 billion last year.

Israeli hi-tech companies raise record $4.8 billion.  (TY TIP) Israeli private high-tech companies, a main driver of the country's economy, raised an all-time high of $4.8 billion in 2016, up 11 percent from 2015.  The ability to raise funds has allowed Israeli startups to grow and cut down dramatically the number of early exits.

The startup that test-drives startups.  Israeli startup ProoV is the first ever “pilot-as-a-service” and the only one in the world. It offers a platform to allow independent software vendors (i.e. startups) to demonstrate their proofs of concept (i.e. early-stage developments) to global enterprises (i.e. big companies).

Qoros to set up Israeli smart car R&D center. Chinese auto manufacturer Qoros is opening a Research & Development center in Israel aimed at developing an electric smart car. The R&D center would develop networks for charging electric vehicles, vehicle sharing, etc.

Universal flu vaccine gets $2.8 million investment.  I’ve reported previously many times about the Universal Flu vaccine being developed by Israel’s BiondVax. The biotech has just received $2.8 million of funding from Angel Investments – managed by Israelis Dr. Yair Schindel and Marius Nacht, founder of Israel’s Checkpoint.

Israel is a hotspot for Australian startups.  Up to 40 Australian trade delegations visited Israel in 2016.  An estimated 400 people attended The Bridge, an Israel-Australia investment summit, held in Sydney in November. And almost all thought that Israel could teach Australia how to build an innovative economy.

An Israeli supermarket in New York.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli supermarket chain Osher Ad has opened its first New York branch, named Bingo, in Brooklyn. If successful, more stores could be opened in cities with large Jewish communities.  Osher Ad is Israel's fourth-largest supermarket chain, numbering 15 stores.

Customers saved $250 million.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Optimal+ analyzed more than 50 billion semiconductor devices on behalf of its customers in the 12 months to Oct 2016.  The information has saved its customers in excess of $250 million through improved yield, efficiency and quality.

Over 5,000% growth in revenue.  (TY Atid-EDI) AnyClip, the world’s first personalized, content-driven video advertising platform, has been ranked by Deloitte as second of the fastest growing technology companies in Israel and 14th outside of the USA.  AnyClip’s revenue has grown by 5,141% since 2012.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli street food is a bite of creativity.  (TY Nevet) Chefs in Tel Aviv are fulfilling the Israeli demand for quality fresh food that they can just grab and go. https://www.youtube.com/embed/DECB4exlHKM?rel=0

Joseph and his Brothers.  The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and the Profeti della Quinta male vocal ensemble will perform Joseph and His Brothers, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa on Jan 24, 25 and 28. The musical drama was written by Israeli composer, harpsichordist and bass singer Elam Rotem.

Quiet Heart wins twice at Tallinn film festival. (TY Nevet) The Israeli film Lev Shaket (A Quiet Heart) won two top honors at the 20th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Director Eitan Anner took home the Grand Prix honor and actress Ania Bukstein received the award for Best Actress.

NASCAR driver is Athlete of the Year.  Alon Day, the first Israeli to compete for America’s NASCAR racing circuit, was recognized by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports as the Jewish state’s Athlete of the Year for 2016. Day competed full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Jewish major league baseball players visit Israel.  (TY David L) 10 Jewish American major league baseball players made their first tour of Israel as a preliminary to competing as “Team Israel” in the World Baseball Classic in South Korea in March.  Highlights of the tour will be included in a documentary called "Heading Home" by Ironbound Films.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oahvtq77kcc?rel=0


THE JEWISH STATE

We are all responsible for each other.  (TY Karen) Many Israelis opened their homes to the thousands of Israeli citizens who had to escape from the devastating November fires.  Volunteers calling the Haifa Municipality were told to “get in line” because so many had offered to host fleeing residents.

Lost sheep return.  I reported previously (Apr 3) that Jenna and Gil Lewinsky, an Israeli couple in Vancouver, were raising Jacob sheep (mentioned in Genesis) for returning to the land of their ancestors. Now the first 3 of 11 flights carrying the sheep have arrived in Israel on 28th Heshvan – the day that Noah came out of the ark.

The gate to King Solomon’s mines.  In 2014 Tel Aviv University archaeologists found an ancient gatehouse complex in the Negev Desert. Remains of the stables and other artifacts in one of the largest copper smelting camps in Timna Valley have now been dated as 3,000 years old - the time of Kings David and Solomon.

Volunteering in Israel.  (TY Or) International Volunteer Day on Dec 5 is always well-supported in Israel.  Israel Central Bureau of Statistics published the volunteer data for 2015. Last year, 1.1 million Israelis volunteered - 21% of adults age 20 to 64 and 16% of those 65 and older.