History of Israel's Good News Apr to Jun 2018

180422
In the 22nd Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Study proves that Israeli medical reminder app saves lives.
·         One quarter of all United Nations Ambassadors visited Israel on its 70th birthday.
·         300 drones lit up Jerusalem’s skies on Israel’s 70th Anniversary.
·         An Israeli app can quickly identify crop diseases and their treatment.
·         The first Israeli startup venture fund for University students and graduates.
·         Two Israeli TV series won top awards at Cannes.
·         Israel has opened a 70km hi-tech Jewish historical trail in the Galilee.

·         Click here to see the 15th Apr newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusiveness. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Long-lasting MS treatment.  Israeli biotech Mapi has developed a formulation of Glatiramer Acetate that Multiple Sclerosis patients only need take once a month, rather than daily. Glatiramer Acetate Depot is still in Phase 3 trials but Mapi has already sold the marketing rights to multinational giant Mylan.

More generic alternatives. (TY Atid EDI) Israel’s Teva has launched generic versions of the anti-nausea treatment ALOXI and Lialda delayed-release mesalamine.  It is good news for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and ulcerative colitis sufferers respectively.

Glucose monitor approved for iPhones. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2016) that the Israeli Dario blood sugar monitor had received FDA approval. Now approval has been extended for the device to be used on the latest Apple iPhones including iPhone 7, 8 and X. http://mydario.investorroom.com/2018-03-26-DarioHealth-Receives-U-S-FDA-Clearance-for-iPhone-7-8-and-iPhone-X-Smart-Glucose-Meter

Smartphone-based urine tests at home. Israeli startup Healthy.io has partnered with the American National Kidney Foundation and Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System to offer its home testing kits to U.S. patients. Healthy.io transforms a regular smartphone into a device that performs lab-standard urine analysis.
https://vimeo.com/195720514  BBC doesn’t mention Israel.  CNBC does! https://vimeo.com/154610009

Diagnosing resistant hypertension. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Aug 2011) that Hadassah surgeons had devised and used an innovative tool to treat resistant hypertension due to overactive kidney nerves. Now Israel’s Pythagoras Medical has received the CE mark for its ConfidenHT System to help identify such patients.

Israeli “nagging” app saves lives.  (TY Atid EDI) I reported previously (see here) about the SimpleMed app from Israel’s Vaica that reminds patients to take their meds. Now a Canadian trial has shown a 66% improved adherence for teen and young kidney transplant recipients taking life-saving anti-rejection medicine.

Mental health prescriptions by video. I reported previously (Nov 2014) about Israel’s Talkspace that provides on-line psychological advice. Now US therapist physicians will begin prescribing medication using Talkspace’s video chat facility to comply with state and federal regulations. Talkspace already has 1 million users.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

12,000 strangers sing together in Jerusalem. To celebrate Israel’s 70th Independence Day, Koolulam invited 12,000 people (who hadn’t met before) to sing together in a special event in Jerusalem. Together with Israeli singer Shlomi Shabat and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra they performed Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh”.

Co-working space for Orthodox Jews.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on the work of Israeli non-profit KamaTech to help integrate Haredi Jews into the hi-tech industry.  Now KamaTech has launched in Bnei Brak “Ampersand” - the first ultra-Orthodox co-working space in Israel. It is supported by Cisco and WeWork.

Arabic version of BoI website.  Governor of the Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug, hopes that the launch of the Arabic version of the Bank of Israel website would encourage the Arab community to broaden its economic knowledge and contribute to increased integration of the Arab community in all parts of the Israeli economy.

40 UN Ambassadors visit Israel.  40 United Nations Ambassadors (25% of the countries with ties to Israel) came to Israel thanks to the American Zionist Movement and Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon. They met government officials, toured historical, religious and strategic sites and joined in 70th Anniversary celebrations.

Breaking the deadly cycle in Africa.  Israel’s Innovation: Africa CEO Sivan Yaari links Africa’s poor health to its lack of doctors, medicine, water and electricity. So, she delivers solar panels to African villages and now they have electricity to pump water, to power refrigerators that can store medicines for doctors to treat the sick.

Happy 70th birthday Israel, from the White House.  (TY UWI) The White House on released a video sending Happy Independence Day wishes to Israel as well. The video shows President Trump and his family visiting the Western Wall during their visit to Israel last year. The President also sent his best wishes in a tweet.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Lighting up the skies over Jerusalem.  During the 70th Anniversary Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem, 300 Intel quadcopters staged a light and music display in the sky. The drones weigh just 300 grams with LEDs to make 4 billion color combinations. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was in the audience.

$50 million boost for Quantum science center. I reported previously (Jun 2016) on the Israel Technion’s opening of the Center for Quantum Science. Now the Helen Diller Family Foundation has donated $50 million to recruit staff, establish new infrastructure and fund research and development.

Food-tech hub near Lebanese border. The Israeli government has approved the allocation of $27 million to build a food-tech research institute, startup accelerator and a micro industry hub in its northernmost city Kiryat Shmona. The project, part of Israel Initiative ii2020, includes budget to promote new startups in the region.

Honor for lab-grown meat inventor. Yaacov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was inducted as a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Nahmias invented Future Meat, the process for growing meat artificially.  He also founded Tissue Dynamics (see here) and its screening platform.

Free security for automobiles. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on several Israeli companies providing security for cars. Now Israel’s C2a (Cyber 2 Automotive Security) is supplying its technology free to global auto manufacturers and suppliers. C2a’s Stamper system protects connected cars at the microchip level.

The world’s first visual fragrance.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Amkiri has launched the world’s first ever ‘visual fragrance’ technology.  Amkiri has developed and patented long-lasting “scented ink” which is applied to the skin via specifically developed applicators. It allows the user to create body art combining scent and color.

Israeli app plugs Facebook data leak. Israel’s MyPermissions (soon to be “MyPrivacy”) prevents the misuse of your data. It runs a scan on your smartphone, looking at social media accounts (e.g. Facebook) and shows which third-party apps have access to your data. You then can block access for any privacy-infringing apps.

Powering the largest super computers.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mellanox has been chosen to accelerate the new 2-Petaflop NVIDIA DGX-2 artificial intelligence (AI) system. Mellanox adapters with smart acceleration engines enable the highest performance for AI and Deep Learning applications. 

Detecting unsafe food.  (TY Myer) I have reported previously (see here) on several Israeli startups that have developed devices to detect contaminated food. Here is another – Inspecto can be used at any point in the supply chain and displays its results in real time. Inspecto recently received an EU Horizon 2020 grant.

Saving crops from disease and pests. (TY Lynn) Israeli startup Saillog has developed Agrio - a smartphone app that allows farmers to upload photos of diseased crops. AI and experts identify the pathogen responsible and appropriate treatment. Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis results in 30% of global agriculture yield losses.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

World’s second most cybersecurity deals.  Tiny Israel ranked second after the US for the number of deals involving cybersecurity companies between 2013 – 2017.  Israel was ahead of the UK, Canada and China. New York data firm CB Insights also named six Israeli companies in its list of 29 pioneering “cyber defenders”.

University Venture Fund. Tel Aviv University is to set up an early-stage startup venture fund, the first of its kind by an Israeli university. It has already raised some $20 million to invest in startups mainly by university graduates or students. The university will also provide its labs, knowledge and its network of contacts.

Need a ride?  Share a bike.  If you need to get around a city in Israel you can catch a bus / minibus, call a taxi or rent a bike.  Car2Go operates its Mobike service which provide bicycles that you can pick up from a bike stand, pay for, scan the QR code and you’re ready to go. Then drop off the bike at a stand near your destination.

Elbit opens Berlin office.  Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems has opened a Berlin office to help expand its activities in the German market. The office will serve as its technological, industrial, and commercial base in the country. Elbit employs around 12,500 people worldwide, of which 10,000 are in Israel.

Nike buys Israeli fashion tech startup. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Invertex which uses 3D imaging and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scan your feet, so you always buy the right size shoes.  Now Nike, Inc. has acquired Invertex to help “create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point”.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/nike-buys-israel-computer-vision-startup-invertex/


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

What does it mean to be Israeli?  This video may answer one of the most complex questions of our time.  Then again, it might not! https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVwsV7L-WeQ?rel=0

The world’s new dining hotspot.  Israel has one of the most exciting dining scenes in the world, and it is just starting to be discovered as a food destination like New York or London. Restaurateurs in Tel Aviv say as many as 30 percent of their guests are now foreign visitors, led by Americans, British, Russians, French and more.

3-day Yoga festival. The Israel Yoga Festival is underway for the third time from 7-9 June.  It features over 80 of the leading Yoga teachers in Israel and more than 1000 practitioners are expected to attend.

Cannes “Best Series”. The Israeli drama “When Heroes Fly” won the top honor of Best Series at the Cannes International Series Festival. On accepting the honor on stage, actor Tomer Kapon recited a Hebrew blessing. The other Israeli entry, the series “Miguel,” took home the award for “Special Performance.”

Israel hosts 2018 European Judo Championships.  (TY WIN) As reported last year, (Apr 2017) Israel is hosting the European Judo Championships for the first time, beginning on 26th Apr. Israeli medal prospects include Ori Sasson, Sagi Muki and Tal Flicker.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrgjLnNrf0g


THE JEWISH STATE

Revival of a Nation.  Lovely 10-minute animation highlighting the last 2000 years of Jewish history and the return to the Land of Israel.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZJMS9sLHYTY?rel=0

“Am Yisrael Chai”. Israeli law currently prevents Jews from praying on Temple Mount. However, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court has ruled that it is permitted for visitors to the Temple Mount compound to call out, “Am Yisrael chai” (“The people of Israel live”), because it is a patriotic slogan rather than a prayer.

Stoudemire is converting to Judaism. Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has long claimed to have “Hebrew roots”, studied Judaism and practiced its cultural customs. Now he is formally converting to the Jewish religion. Stoudemire partly owns hoops team Hapoel Jerusalem and has his own brand of Israeli wine.

The Sanhedrin Trail. Thousands of Israeli school pupils and volunteers have prepared a new public 70km path in the Galilee called the Sanhedrin Trail. Tourists will learn the archaeology, nature and history from hi-tech milestones that transmit data directly to smartphones. Many Jewish relics were also found along the trail.

70 reasons to admire Israel.  To celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday, writer Robert Sarner has prepared a list of notable things Israel has done over the past 12 months. He admits that it’s only a small sampling of what the country has accomplished since Independence Day 2017. Apologies if I’ve missed reporting any of these.

Israel at 70 - mature and prosperous. Joseph Puder writes that the number 70 has significant meaning in Jewish tradition.  It recalls the 70-year Babylonian Exile that led to the start of the 2nd Jewish Commonwealth in 530 BCE. Puder highlights similarities between the returnees from the Babylonian Exile and Israelis today.

“I am the luckiest Jew".  Shmuel Rosner says it for me - in the NY Times no less. “I am the Jew who gets to see Jewish ingenuity unapologetically celebrated, Jewish material success flourish, Jewish might acknowledged and the Jewish language rejuvenated. I am the Jew who after 2,000 years gets to witness Jewish political independence.”  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/opinion/jewish-state-israel-70th-anniversary.html


180415
In the 15th Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have made cancer-killing proteins inside the body.
·         An Israeli built a $75 million medical device company “by accident”.
·         The US Environmental Protection Agency is to help develop Israeli water generators.
·         An Israeli company converts non-recyclable waste into building material.
·         Israel is to build two new desalination plants.
·         Three international airlines are to begin new services to Israel.
·         Heartwarming online resources highlight Israel’s 70 years of achievements.
·         Israel stops to commemorate Yom Ha’Shoah.

·         Click here to see the 8th Apr newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Matching treatments to patients. (TY Hazel) Israel has launched the Israel Precision Medicine Partnership -  an innovative $60 million program to enable researchers to target the best treatments for a patient’s disease (e.g. cancer). Precision medicine uses genetic sequencing to predict an individual’s response to specific treatments.

Artificial cell factory kills cancer from the inside.  (TY NoCamels) Researchers at Israel’s Technion have successfully treated a cancerous tumor using a “nano-factory” – a synthetic cell that produces anti-cancer proteins when it comes into contact with the tumor tissue. The proteins can be varied to fit each patient.

Treatment for Adnoid Cystic Carcinoma. I wrote previously (10th Dec) about Israeli personalized cancer biotech Ayala and its partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb. One of the results of this tie-up is AL101 - a new treatment for metastatic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), which could also treat triple-negative breast cancer.

Israeli medical databases. Israel’s four health companies maintain databases of 5 million records that (anonymized) will benefit medical researchers in the discovery of new treatments. The Maccabi health fund (see here) is already doing this. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3735645,00.html

Anaphylactic shock alert. Scientists from Bar-Ilan University partnered with Israel’s Magen David Adom to develop “EPIMADA,” a smartphone app that issues a local proximity alert in the event of a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylactic shock. Anyone with an EpiPen (syringe containing adrenaline) can save the victim. http://nocamels.com/2018/03/israeli-researchers-emergency-app/

Predicting kidney disease in diabetics. I reported previously (see here) on the predictive artificial intelligence (AI) systems of Israeli biotech Medial EarlySign. Its AI algorithms can now predict which sufferers of diabetes will develop kidney dysfunction within a one-year time-frame. Early treatment can then improve their outcome.

Spinal surgery for Ethiopian children. (TY Hazel) Eleven medics from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center spent a week performing surgeries to fix severe spinal deformities in Ethiopia. In addition, the Israelis also provided training to medical staff at the Ayder hospital in the Northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle.

Crash led to new medical device. Another Israeli medical “miracle”. After a motorcycle accident, doctors found that Avi Yaron had a brain tumor. They couldn’t remove all the tumor, so Avi founded Visionsense that developed an imaging device to help in similar ops. Medtronic has just bought Visionsense for $75 million.

EU supports Israeli electric socks.  I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup ElastiMed and its smart socks that improve circulation to treat swelling, blood clots, chronic wounds, sports injuries etc. ElastiMed is now to receive a $1.6 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Chefs for Peace. (TY Stuart) A Muslim, a Jew and a Christian in Jerusalem have been cooking together for 17 years. Odeh Abu Elhawa, Johny Goric and Hemdat Goldberg make food that combines their unique backgrounds, traditions and culture into a common culinary treat.

Druze general to co-ordinate territories. IDF Brig.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, a member of Israel’s Druze community, was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed to be the IDF’s new Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/member-of-druze-community-appointed-as-new-idf-cogat/2018/03/29/

Treating Syrian children.  200,000 Syrians near the border look to Israel for help. Children get top priority, and not only the wounded. "Globes" visits the Golan  and travels with patients to Galilee hospitals.

US EPA wants water from the air. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Water-Gen that captures humidity to make drinking water. Now the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed an agreement with Water-Gen to improve “access to potable water during shortages or contamination events.” 

Israel hosts International Water Day event at UN.  (TY Hazel) Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon hosted a special forum at the UN to mark International Water Day. It featured examples of Israeli water technology used in more than 100 countries around the world. Also, a new video for the occasion.

Energy and water for Africa. Innovation: Africa’s CEO Sivan Ya’ari described to the AIPAC conference how her non-profit harnesses solar power to bring electricity and clean water solutions to one million Africans. Her aim is to extend this to six million people by 2025, all using Israeli technologies and all in the name of Israel.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Turning garbage into reusable plastic. (TY Hazel) Israeli startup UBQ has patented an ecologically-friendly process to convert non-recyclable household trash from landfills into reusable plastic building material. UBQ operates a pilot production plant and research facility at Kibbutz Tzeelim on the edge of the Negev Desert.

A beacon for peace in the Middle East. (TY Herman) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the SESAME synchrotron project that unites scientists from Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and others. Here is an article about the project in the Washington Post.

NY student uses Israeli data to win $250,000 science prize. New York high school student Benjy Firester used disease and weather data from Israeli farmers to predict and prevent the spread of the devastating potato blight fungus. His model won the $250,000 top prize at the prestigious US Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Two new desalination plants. Israel is to build two new desalination plants to add to the current five and offset the deficits of an extended five-year drought. It will also expand agricultural pipelines and rehabilitate dried-up rivers. It may also pump fresh water into the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) a vital natural source of drinking water.

Portable “chauffeur” makes any car autonomous.  The IVO Robot Driver, being developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University, will fold down into a briefcase. It then can be installed onto the steering wheel and pedals of a standard car, truck, and other industrial vehicle and make it autonomous within five minutes.

Robots for agriculture. Projects at the Ben Gurion University include artificial bees to pollinate flowers and robots to spray and to harvest crops. Their aim is to compensate for the shortage of bees and the lack of workers able to do hard, monotonous work in hot climates. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/drone-bees-and-agriculture-robots-could-could-solve-shortage-of-pollinators-and-laborers/

The answer to everything, but is it reliable?  I reported previously (Jan 2017) about Israel’s Rootclaim that uses crowdsourcing to check the reliability of answers to questions posed on the Internet.  Now Israel’s Epistema uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to rate answers.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Direct flights from Brazil. Latin America’s largest airline, Latam, has announced that it will begin direct flights between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Tel Aviv by the end of the year. The thrice-weekly, 11-hour flight will bring Brazil’s 120,000 Jews, and pilgrims from the world’s 2nd-largest Christian population, closer to Israel.

Low cost flights to Paris.  ASL Airlines France is to begin return flights in July between Paris and Tel Aviv for just $275 – about half the cost of an El Al ticket.  Paris is the second most popular destination for Israelis after Istanbul and despite the large number of airlines, there is still a shortage of seats.

New easyJet routes to French cities.  UK low cost carrier easyJet plc will soon begin flying from Tel Aviv to three French cities - Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice. Tickets are already available online.

Porsche invests in Israeli sensors.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Anagog and its software that analyzes sensor signals in smartphones. Now car maker Porsche has bought a minority stake in Anagog in a bid to expand its offering of digital technologies. Analog’s technology is used in about 100 global smartphone apps.

Kibbutz startups near Gaza.  Non-profit organization SouthUp has set up a shared workspace for startup employees at Kibbutz Nir Am, barely a kilometer from Gaza. SouthUp also has an accelerator program for startups in agri-tech, water tech, kibbutz industrial development, energy, chemistry, biology, and software.

Postage stamp for 70 years.  Israel’s latest 5-shekel postage stamp depicts many of Israel’s achievements during its 70 years. Spot the UBS memory stick, smartphone tech, cherry tomatoes, drip irrigation, plus successes in academia, science, sports, agriculture, music, film and business.

$100 million cybersecurity exit. I reported previously (Jan 2017) about Israel’s SECDO and its systems that can distinguish a real cybersecurity breach from a false alarm. US giant Palo Alto Networks has just bought SECDO for $100 million.  https://www.globes.co.il/en/article-palo-alto-networks-buys-israeli-cybersecurity-co-secdo-for-100a-1001231142


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

70 fun facts about Israel for 70 years. (TY Arthur) Things I didn’t know include world records (per capita) for the most books published, most female entrepreneurs, most university degrees, most Microsoft employees, most museums, most orchestras, most computers, most fruit & veg consumed and most immigrants absorbed.

70 years of achievement. Israel21c has produced a stunning online exhibition of the major successes in each decade of Israel’s first 70 years. It has also produced a timeline of key events.

Druze tourism in Israel. The Druze are a proud and ancient people and one of Israel's main minority communities. The Druze communities share with tourists from Israel and the rest of the world their ancient traditions and way of life. Watch, eat, and experience the hospitality of the Druze in Israel.

The World Jewish Museum. Canadian philanthropist Gail Asper is spearheading the building of a $400-million World Jewish Museum (WJM) in Tel Aviv. Its aim is to showcase the achievement of Jewish individuals throughout the ages and is targeted to open in time for Israel’s 75th anniversary.

10 Israeli nature reserves. (TY Israel Unwired) Lovely 2-minute video featuring Einot Tzukim, Hula valley, Ramon crater, Eilat coral reef, Mount Hermon, Beit Shemesh stalactites cave, Ein Gedi, Yotvata Hai Bar, Gan Hashlosha and the Banias.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/4SFWuf0eywA?rel=0

Tel Aviv hosts largest-ever Eurovision pre-show. 30 Eurovision Song Contest participants (three-quarters of the competitors) performed in Tel Aviv on 10th April prior to the May semi-finals and finals in Lisbon Portugal.  Currently the Israeli entry “Toy”, sung by Netta Barzilai, is one of the favorites.

Police rescue dog that sang to TV theme tune.  (TY Hazel) Forget about hi-tech dog tags.  The owner of a Siberian husky taught his pet to sing when it heard the theme tune to the Israeli TV sitcom “Shemesh”. It was found in a Bedouin town. When police played the music, the dog began to sing like Pavarotti.  Case solved!

Israel’s first regulation racetrack.  Israel opened its first motor racing track in Eilat in 2011 (see here). Now it is about to open Motor City, in Hatzerim near Beersheva in the Negev - a 2.1-kilometer track that meets FIA standards for Formula 3. It may later be expanded to 4.5 kilometers in order to meet Formula 1 standards.


THE JEWISH STATE

Jewish life in Samaria, 1500 years ago. Students of the Ben-Zion Netanyahu Elementary School in Samaria’s Barkan have just found locally two 15-centuries-old decorated oil lamps made of clay with the potter’s fingerprints still embedded in them. The discoveries add to the coins and mosaic stones they found in January.

Israel stands still for Yom Ha’Shoah. At 10 a.m. on Thursday 12th April, citizens of Israels stopped what they were doing to stand for two minutes of silence for Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).  On the roads, the beach, the buses, the workers digging up my street for water drainage maintenance. Everywhere.


180408
In the 8th Apr 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli device allows a surgeon to operate remotely from the patient.
·         Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart has won an award from the United Nations.
·         An Israeli-Arab policeman proposed during Independence-Day rehearsals.
·         Israeli fashion jewelry protects the wearer from violent attack.
·         An Israeli electronic company was sold for $3.4 billion.
·         Israeli archeologists have uncovered the 3300-year-old site of the Biblical tabernacle.

·         Click here to see the 18th March newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Medical with 3,900 likes. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 12,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

US approves surgeon’s extended hand. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Human Xtensions has received FDA clearance for its HandX light-weight, hand-held device that translates the surgeon’s natural hand motions into complex movements inside the patient. It opens vast new horizons for Minimally Invasive Surgery (see video).

Europe approves abdominal aortic aneurysm repair system. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Endospan has received the CE mark for its HORIZON Stent Graft System to treat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Endospan is also awaiting European approval for its NEXUS™ Stent Graft System to treat Aortic Arch Disease.

Blood count test in 5 minutes. Israeli blood analysis startup PixCell has been awarded a €2.5 million grant by the European commission to help commercialize its HemoScreen.

Antibodies for AstraZeneca. Israeli cancer immunotherapy company Compugen is to provide its pipeline of cancer-fighting antibodies to MedImmune – AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm. Compugen will initially receive $10 million and then up to $200 million for the first MedImmune product.

Israeli and Arab doctors save Filipino baby. (TY UWI) A Filipino baby born at the Red Crescent Hospital in eastern Jerusalem had a rare and serious heart defect, which required complex and risky open-heart surgery. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital where Israeli and Arab doctors together saved the baby’s life.

Using handwriting for psychoanalysis. Scientists at Haifa University have proved that a person’s mood can be determined by examining one’s handwriting. After watching darker, disturbing movies, the 62 study participants all wrote letters of the alphabet smaller in both height and width than after watching positive films.

Glaucoma treatment expands to China.  (TY Hazel) I reported previously (twice) about Israeli Glaucoma- treatment developer IOPtima. Now China’s Kanghong is partnering IPOtima’s to market its glaucoma laser surgery system, IOPtiMate, in Asia, which has some of the world’s highest rates of blindness from glaucoma.

UN award to Save a Child’s Heart. The United Nations Population Fund is giving the 2018 Population Award to Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart organization. SACH doctors have (free of charge) saved over 4,500 children with congenital heart defects from all over the world, including Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority.

WHO chief praises Hadassah cancer care. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made an impromptu visit to Israel and praised Hadassah Medical Center’s Ein Kerem oncology facility. “Hadassah is proof that medical treatment creates a bridge between people, and a center of hope,” he said. https://haifadiarist.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/un-health-chief-praises-israeli-cancer.html

180-seconds emergency response time.  (TY TIP, Nevet and UWI) Thanks to its ambucycles and SOS emergency app, the average time for a United Hatzalah responder to arrive at the scene of an emergency call in Israel is now just 3 minutes. In 2017 United Hatzalah EMS volunteers treated 207,000 people in Israel.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Surprise event at Independence Day rehearsal. (TY Hazel and Stand With Us) Israeli Christian Arab Border Policeman Ra'id Ashkar was chosen as a flag-bearer for the 70th Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl. At rehearsals, he arranged a most original way to ask his girlfriend Luna to marry him.

Playing and praying together. (TY WIN & I24 News) Israeli soccer team Bnei Sakhnin contains a mix of Jews and Muslims. A recent photo of two players praying together went viral.  See also the trailer for the documentary “After the Cup – Sons of Sakhnin United” which highlights the team’s coexistence ethos.

Securing borders while protecting wildlife. The Israeli and Jordanian armies have been working together to construct natural wildlife corridors before a new border fence is built. As when the Egyptian border fence was built, specially designed border crossings will allow wildlife to move back and forth.

Heroes relieve poverty in South Africa.  I reported previously (8th Oct) about Israel’s Heroes for Life (HfL) organization and its work teaching in a school in Mumbai, India. Their latest project involves teaching impoverished South African children and improving their living conditions.

Israel stars in US security conference. (TY Hazel) 16 Israeli companies along with a delegation from Israel’s Defense Ministry attended an International Homeland Defense and Security Summit in Mississippi. Topics included the technological solutions for border security, preventing terror attacks and handling natural disasters.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The fastest laptop processor.  I reported previously (8th Oct) that Intel Israel had developed its 8th Gen I-Core “Coffee Lake” microprocessor – the fastest yet.  Intel has now released further processors in the range, including the Intel Core i9 processor - the highest-performance laptop processor that Intel has ever built.

Soon - even faster processing. (TY Hazel) Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a proof of concept that would enable computers to run 100 times faster using terahertz microchips. The technology integrates speed-of-light optics communications with flash memory.

Elon Musk in Israel.  Telsa CEO Elon Musk visited Israel and posted several photos of himself including one at Masada. The caption was “Paid respects to Masada earlier today. Live free or die.” Earlier he met PM Netanyahu. He praised Israel as a ‘technological power’ and said the Negev could provide the country with all its energy needs. https://worldisraelnews.com/the-negev-is-the-energy-future-of-israel-business-magnate-elon-musk-tells-netanyahu/

3D-printed jewelry for self-defense. Israeli fashion designer Nitzan Kish has used 3D tech to create uniquely shaped clothing and jewelry with a special purpose in mind – self-defense. Her collection, Me, Myself & I, features garments that, upon any physical force, turn into spikes and look like modern body armor.

Israeli software helps crack the soybean genome.  Missouri scientists have used software from Israel’s NRGene to map the genomes of two important soybean varieties. The information can help scientists increase their oil and protein content using traditional breeding methods.

Making motor racing safer. Two Israeli companies have partnered to provide technology to alert motor racing drivers to hazards on the circuit. Vehicle-to-everything chipset maker Autotalks and race car manufacturer Griiip showcased their system at the new motorsport park in Be'er Sheva, Southern Israel.

Record solar energy production.  On a perfectly cloudless Saturday afternoon on 19th March, solar energy was producing 13.4 percent of Israel’s total electricity consumption, breaking the country’s solar power record. 

Still on course for the Moon.  Google’s Lunar X $20 million prize competition (see here) expired on 31st March without a winner. However, Israel is still working to land its SpaceIL module on the moon this year. Of the 33 original entries, Israel was the first of 16 to announce a launch date and now only five teams remain.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Food prices drop; salaries rise. The price of food in Israel has dropped 5% in the past two years, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) reports. Reasons include a 1% cut in VAT, 3.5% cut in corporate taxes and higher caps for food imports, especially fresh beef. Salaries rose 3% in this period.

First Israeli flight over Saudi.  India’s national airline, Air India, has completed its first flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv flying through Saudi Arabian airspace. Recent Saudi government permission for the service has cut flight time to just five hours instead of the seven hours required to circumvent the Arab state.

A $3.4 billion exit. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Orbotech, whose systems produce almost every electronic device in the world.  Orbotech has just been taken over by US giant KLA-Tencor for a massive $3.4 billion. Orbotech will continue to operate under the Orbotech brand in Yavne, Israel.

Growing market for Israeli microalgae.  Kibbutz Ketura-based (UK-owned) Algatech has acquired New Zealand’s Supreme Health which, like Algatech, produces the algae anti-oxidant product astaxanthin. Algatech can now use Supreme’s client base to target Asia and especially the Chinese market.  

Israeli wheel to go into mass production.  Regular readers will have read several previous articles about the revolutionary new wheel developed by Israel’s SoftWheel. Now Canadian auto parts maker Linamar is investing “millions of dollars” in a production line that will manufacture hundreds of thousands of these wheels.

The first private college to issue PhDs. (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Council for Higher Education granted the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya permission to apply to confer doctorate degrees, beginning with law.  It is a major step towards the IDC becoming Israel’s first private university.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Akko hotel wins honors. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the Efendi hotel in Akko (Acre) reconstructed from an abandoned Ottoman palace. The hotel was recently honored in five categories by the US-based TripAdvisor travel site, including being named among the top small hotels in the Middle East.

70 years in 3 minutes.  In advance of Israel’s 70th Anniversary on 18th April, this short video highlights one major news story in each of modern Israel’s exciting 70 years.


THE JEWISH STATE

100,000 at the Western Wall. (TY WIN, ILTV and UWI) Around 100,000 men and women gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City for Birkat HaKohanim, the priestly blessings, that takes place on Passover and Tabernacles. One of the kohanim (priests) was David Friedman – the US Ambassador to Israel.

Freedom coins discovered from Jewish revolt. Just before Passover, Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered coins from 1st century AD during renewed excavations below Jerusalem Temple Mount’s southern wall. They were inscribed “For the Freedom of Zion” and “For the Redemption of Zion”.

Uncovering the site of the Tabernacle (Mishkan). Shiloh was the capital for the Jewish Kingdom for 369 years before King David made Jerusalem Israel’s capital and Solomon built the first Temple. Archaeologists are currently working on this 3,300-year-old site and making some astounding discoveries.