Israel's Good News Newsletter to 14th Jan 2018



In the 14th Jan 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli breakthrough stem cell treatment saved five patients from leg amputations.
·         50 Israeli doctors saved a baby born with a 1kg tumor.
·         Israel brought a kidney donor from Algeria to save his Gazan brother.
·         Israel is the first overseas aid team to fight Zambia’s cholera outbreak.
·         An Israeli invention provides undisturbed listening without earphones.
·         Israelis have invented nano-cellulose ink for 3D printing tasty nutritious meals.
·         Intel has opened a film studio that uses Israeli Virtual Reality technology.
·         A Jewish mother got help for her sick son in New York from paramedics in Israel.

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ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Stem cells save limbs from amputation. (TY Stuart) Israel’s Laniado hospital used groundbreaking stem cell treatment from Israel’s BioGenCell to save amputating the legs of five diabetic patients with poor circulation. Stem cells from the patients’ blood injected into their leg muscles grew new blood vessels to bypass blockages.

Sinus stent gets US approval.  Israel’s STS Medical has received regulatory clearance from the US FDA for its composite sinus stent. Following nasal surgery (e.g. on sinusitis and allergic rhinitis sufferers where other treatments have not worked) the stent keeps the nasal airways open to allow the sinus tissue to heal.

Europe approves colon screening pill. Israel’s Check-cap has just received the CE Mark for its C-Scan ingestible capsule for preparation-free, colorectal cancer screening. The capsule (see here) uses low-dose X-rays to obtain 3D images of the colon whilst allowing patients to go about their normal daily routines.

Colon cleaning system to launch on NASDAQ.  Israeli startup Motus GI has developed the FDA-approved Pure-Vu system, that allowing doctors to clean poorly prepped colons during a colonoscopy. It would make preparing for a colonoscopy much easier. Motus is preparing a NASDAQ launch to raise up to $28.8 million.

Tiny catheters for tiny operations.  Israel’s Accurate Medical has developed a range of microcatheters for cutting off the blood supply (embolization) to tumors and vascular aneurysms. French medical imaging company Guerbet has just acquired Accurate for up to 57 million Euros.  Accurate will continue to operate from Israel. https://www.globes.co.il/en/article-guerbet-buys-israeli-mini-catheter-co-accurate-medical-1001218822

Gold target for radiation treatment.  I reported previously (Oct 2012) that Israeli bio-tech Metallo Therapy was using gold nanoparticles to improve radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, Metallo folded in 2016, but now a team of Israeli researchers are headed down the same precious “yellow-brick” road.

Fast cancer diagnosis. The Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit at Sheba Medical Center uses new diagnostic oncology technology developed by Dr. Damien Urban. It cuts patient waiting time from previously 3 months to just two weeks. Its goal is to help overcome the devastating delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

An alternative to Dr Google.  Israeli health fund Maccabi has launched K Health - an app to give its customers medical advice that many seek currently by using search engines such as Google. The information is sourced from thousands of similar cases in Maccabi’s records database. Currently in Hebrew and Israel only.

Israeli solutions for aging and brain health project.  (TY NoCamels) Israeli companies HeartBeat Technologies and Brainsway have been selected for a joint Israel-Canada partnership program. They will test their innovative aging and brain health solutions at two Canadian seniors care organizations.

The right color for your denture. ILTV News interviewed Shlomo Emanuel, CEO of Israel’s Dentalics which has developed an app to help dentists and dental technicians match up the color of implants, bridges, crowns etc. with the patient’s real teeth. It is planned to launch globally in Feb 2018.

50 doctors save newborn with 1kg tumor. 50 doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have performed “the impossible”. They conducted three highly complex operations to save a 2kg premature baby that was born with a rare “teratoma” – a 1kg tumor attached to her brain, jaw, neck, chest, airways and blood vessels.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

54% of Israeli judges are women.  With Esther Hayut as the new president of Israel’s Supreme Court, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked noted that 54% of judges in Israel are female. Israel has had three women presidents of the Supreme Court. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Supreme-court-president-swears-in-seven-new-judges-including-five-women-510906

Inspiring Israeli women. (TY Janglo) Israeli Barr Yaron has setup the “Women of Startup Nation” Facebook page to raise awareness of successful Israeli women in high-tech. The site features around 50 stories of women who have succeeded in hi-tech and serves to inspire women all over the world to change their own lives.

13 Bedouin become emergency responders.  Israeli emergency medical service United Hatzalah has just completed training a team of 13 Bedouin women and four men to become EMS first responders. They will now serve their Galilee home towns of Shibli and Umm al-Ghanam plus other Arab and Jewish towns in the area.

Israeli surgeons put PA teenager back on his feet.  Yousef Rabaya from Jenin was born with Cerebral Palsy. His curved back caused much pain and he couldn’t stand. After a previous operation in the US failed, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center performed reconstruction surgery and now Yousef can walk again.

Israel flies in Gaza student from Algeria to save brother. Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center successfully transplanted a kidney into a 13-year-old Gazan boy suffering from renal failure. The donor was his brother who was flown in via Jordan from Algeria where he was studying.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Gazan-student-in-Algeria-flown-to-Israel-to-donate-kidney-to-teen-brother-533041

Zaka helps rescue South Africans after storms. Forty volunteers from the Israel’s ZAKA rescue and recovery organization assisted thousands of Johannesburg residents after severe storms ripped through homes in different parts of the city between December 31 and January 2.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/ZAKA-helps-with-disaster-relief-following-severe-storms-in-South-Africa-532947

Zulu king pleas for continued Israeli help.  King Goodwill Zwelithinii, monarch of 12 million Zulus has urged the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel. Israel has been helping South Africa combat drought and HIV infections. https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/01/11/south-african-zulu-king-invokes-fight-against-aids-drought-in-plea-to-anc-government-to-retain-close-israel-ties/#

Israeli specialists help Zambia fight cholera.  (TY Nevet) Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is the first and only international medical team in Zambia combating the current cholera outbreak. They have assembled a team of epidemiologists and water engineers who have already identified the source of the contamination. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/01/prweb15072115.htm


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

For your ears only. Israel’s Noveto has invented “sowlo” - the virtual headphone – that beams the sound from your device directly into your ears. Sowlo’s 3D sensors and algorithms find your face and a tiny speaker focuses the sound at your ears. No sound leaks out even when you move your head. My wife can’t believe this.

The smallest and sweetest tomatoes.  The Kedma company, in Israel’s southern Arava desert, has developed the Tipa (meaning "drop”) tomato, about the size of a blueberry - the smallest ever cultivated in Israel, perhaps even in the world. It has also developed the Bon Bon Tomato, the world’s sweetest tomato.

New source of food for animals.  I reported previously (10th Sep) on Israeli startup Flying SpArk which is developing protein powder from fruit fly larvae for human consumption.  Now Israel’s BioBee is doing the same with soldier fly larvae, except they are using it as an animal feed.

Lishtot wins CES startup competition.  Israeli water tech company Lishtot, Hebrew for “drink,” won the 2018 CES Startup Night competition in Las Vegas. The 15 finalists had just 60 seconds to showcase their technology. CEO Netanel Raisch demonstrated Lishtot’s TestDrop Pro device that detects water contaminants.

Free travel on Israel’s new high-speed train.  Israelis will be able to get a free ride for the first 3 months after the launch of the new high-speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, due 30 Mar 2018. The train is expected to transport its passengers from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in just 28 minutes.

Intel’s Israeli WiFi chip is 40% faster.  Intel unveiled its new “made in Israel” 802.11ax WiFi chip at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. The chips increase maximum speeds by 40% but average supply to users will improve by 400%. The chips are to be used in household routers and many other devices.

The first nanosatellite formation.  Israel’s Technion and the Israel Space Agency have arranged for a group of three nanosatellites to be launched into space in late 2018. The goal of the Adelis-SAMSON Project is to fly multiple satellites in a controlled formation for one year while orbiting at an altitude of about 600 km.

Israeli life-changing technologies.  (TY UWI) New video showing how Israeli innovations ReWalk, EyeControl and OrCam are giving the disabled back their lives.

3D printing of vegetarian food to order.  (TY Zvi) The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Yissum Research Development Company has unveiled breakthrough 3D printing of food based on nano-cellulose (calorie-free, edible natural fiber). It can lead to instant, low-calorie, vegetarian meals geared to satisfy all personal tastes.

20% increase in corn yield.  I’ve reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Evogene which improves crop strains. Its partnership with DuPont-Pioneer (Nov 2013) has literally born fruit, with second-year trials showing a 20% increase in corn yield thanks to Evogene’s bio-simulant microbial seed treatment.

Smoke less, live longer. (TY UCI) Smokers in the US, Canada, France, Israel and Turkey are trialing a “quit smoking” app called SmokeBeat from Israel’s Somatix. It detects smoking from hand-to-mouth gestures picked up by sensors built into smartwatches and wristbands and provides analysis and support via your smartphone.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Record-breaking year of tech deals.  The combined value of acquisitions of Israeli-linked technology companies and Israeli-linked technology IPOs totaled at an all-time high of $23 billion in 2017. Numbers of exits decreased, but values increased - the largest being Intel’s $15.3 billion takeover of Mobileye.

Foreign reserves rise by almost $1 billion. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves increased in December to end at $113 billion – $931 million higher than their end Nov 2017 position. They represent 33.2 percent of GDP.

IKEA to open in Beersheva. Swedish ready-to-assemble retail furniture chain IKEA will open its fourth store in Israel next month. The new store in Beersheva will join existing Israeli outlets in Rishon Lezion, Netanya and Kiryat Ata, near Haifa.

Another partner for Mobileye. I reported previously (5th Mar) that Chinese car-maker SAIC is opening an R&D center in Israel.  Now it is partnering with Israel’s Mobileye (part of Intel) to develop autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Meanwhile, Virginia State is to install Mobileye systems all its public transportation vehicles.

Eilat tourist numbers to quadruple this winter. 70,000 tourists came to Eilat on direct flights last winter. The Tourism Ministry expects 280,000 this winter. The Ministry of Tourism has made agreements with low cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air to bring overseas tourist directly to Eilat.

Wizz flights from Tel Aviv to Vienna.  Low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz is to operate direct flights between Israel and the Austrian capital of Vienna four days a week, starting in June. Wizz Air currently offers 22 routes between Israel and nine countries in Europe.

Intel film studio for Israeli VR technology.  Intel have begun filming its first Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality content using the 360-degree 3D technology from its Israeli subsidiary Replay Technologies. The 25,000 square-foot Intel Studios in Los Angeles features the world’s largest volumetric video capture stage.

Israeli bourbon-style whiskey. (TY Janglo) Norm Cohen and Alan Cohl are creating Israel’s first distillery for American bourbon-style whiskey. The Legends Distillery in Israel’s Elah valley is on the site of the epic fight between David and Goliath. Legends joins Milk and Honey (single malt) and Golan Heights (two-grain).

Nine new Israel-USA projects. (TY Atid-EDI) The BIRD Foundation is to fund $7.5 million for 9 new joint Israeli-USA projects. The Israeli companies include AgRobics, Axon Vision, Farm Dog, ImageSat, MyndYou, NSLComm, RunEL NGMT and Taranis. They involve agrotech, communications, medical devices, digital health, environment, homeland security and more.  http://www.birdf.com/?CategoryID=427&ArticleID=515


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli-Chinese dance. Israeli dance choreographer Eyal Dadon spent two months in China creating “DU-K” - a work for 14 Israeli and Chinese dancers. DU-K refers to the Hebrew term du kium (coexistence) overcoming language, training, and cultural gaps in the two countries. DU-K is showing across Israel from Jan 16 -19.

Salt Years.  Israeli sculptor Sigalit Landau is producing her book “Sigalit Landau Salt Years” containing images of her “love affair” with the Dead Sea.  Sigalit is famous for her salt crystal impregnated creations formed by suspending everyday items in the super-concentrated salt water of the lowest sea on Earth.

Baby it’s cold outside (not really!)  Just in case anyone is unhappy being outside in Israel’s 18 degrees Centigrade winter, here are details of 22 indoor activities for all the family to enjoy. You can even fly!

Wonder woman is the face of the future.  Israeli actress Gal Gadot, star of the movie “Wonder Woman”, has been chosen as “celebrity spokesperson” to Huawei Technologies, the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. Gadot was also named a Global Ambassador for Revlon’s Live Boldly campaign.


THE JEWISH STATE

The father of modern Hebrew’s 160th birthday. (TY Jacob Richman) Eliezer Ben Yehuda was born on the 21st Tevet 160 years ago. Chiefly due to his efforts, biblical Hebrew was revived from its over 3000-years-old roots into today’s spoken Hebrew language - Ivrit. Another modern miracle.

Digging up the Bible in Jerusalem. (TY UWI) Archaeologists looking for evidence of the existence of biblical characters and events are succeeding. They can almost search with a bible in one hand and a trowel in the other! https://www.youtube.com/embed/VU0gv4i3zlA?rel=0

Free meal to lone soldiers.  (TY Janglo) Orit Dahan and her family own the well-known downtown Jerusalem restaurant Piccolino. Every Friday, Dahan - with The Lone Soldier Center - brings lone soldiers in the IDF to her restaurant for a free hot meal, as her way of thanking them for their selfless service to the country.

Learn Torah with Israel’s President. (TY Sharon) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and First Lady Nechama Rivlin have regularly hosted Torah study sessions at Beit Hanasi – the President’s House. Guests at their latest session included the President of the Supreme Court, a top judge, a famous actor and a well-known writer.

Druze firefighter saves Torah scrolls. Druze firefighter Wiam Nevuani arrived at a fire in a synagogue at the northern city of Nahariah and did not hesitate when he burst into the burning building to save the Torah scrolls. Wiam said that he realized the importance of the site and felt he was saving a soul.

Ten Israeli hedgehogs go on a diet.   The land of milk and honey was too tempting for ten Israeli hedgehogs. Overfed and overweight, they were unable to roll into balls to fend off predators. Locals found them waddling through Israeli streets and brought them to Ramat Gan Safari where they went on food and exercise regimes.

How did he know?  When a baby born with Wiscott-Aldrich disorder was given just five years to live, Israeli charity Ezer Mizion found a perfect match on their bone marrow database. Two years after the successful transplant, Ezer Mizion brought donor Lior to meet his stem cells recipient for the first time. And the shy little boy ran to the “stranger” and kissed him!  http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/like-magnet-to-metal/

Going the extra mile (or 5,000).  When a distressed mother phoned the dispatch service of United Hatzalah in Israel about her sick son in Monsey, New York, they didn’t hang up on her. Instead they contacted NYC paramedics and arranged his transfer to a hospital where he had successful surgery.