This Weeks Good News From Israel Feb. 4, 2013
The new improved version of Israel’s “ReWalk” exoskeleton is great news for paraplegics. Random screening potentially saved 24 Israelis found to have early stage malignant cancer. Israel’s version of “Masterchef” is a multi-racial gastronomic feast.Israeli researchers have proved that a higher fat diet increases life expectancy for the elderly.The fourth largest coffee company in the world is Israeli.The Peter Pan of British Pop – Cliff Richard – is to perform in Israel this summer. A record one million trees were planted in Israel to celebrate the Jewish New Year for Trees.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Paraplegics can now walk even better. Version 2 of the ReWalk exoskeleton from Israel’s Argo Medical has just been released. Now one device can be resized to help train different users. New software programs also make the device easier to use.
Israeli professor advises Euro medicines agency. Prof. Jonathan Rabinowitz, of Bar-Ilan University has been appointed to the Advisory Group on Promoting Good Analysis Practice in relation to European Medicines Agency (EMA) Clinical Trial Data and Transparency. He will also co-chair of the Program Committee for the Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference to take place in Florence, Italy.
The cause of face/heart abnormalities. One in 4000 babies is born with DiGeorge syndrome, a congenital condition that causes various abnormalities, most often in the face and heart. Weizmann researchers have solved a piece of this puzzle by investigating the genetic network underlying this syndrome.
Putting bones on the flesh. Here is an update on the progress of Israel’s Bonus Biogroup and its founder Dr. Shai Meretzki who is generating bones from patients’ own fat cells. Hospitals in Tzrifin and Afula, have agreed to trial the implanting of engineered bones back into patients as soon as the Helsinki Committee approves.
Random screening detected and cured 24 early cancer sufferers. When 1,000 apparently healthy Israelis of a median age of 48 were screened at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center for 11 of the most common cancers, 2.4 percent (24) were diagnosed at an early stage with malignancies and treated successfully.
Deep TMS helps smokers to quit. Of 115 smokers, 84% of those receiving Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) stopped smoking permanently at the end of the 6-month trial. 36% were still not smoking after the six-month post-treatment monitoring period.
Eight massive Israeli brains. The European Commission has chosen the Human Brain Project as one of its flagship projects. Participating from Israel is a team of eight scientists from the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Tel Aviv University.
Watch how you walk. Israeli start-up SensoGo has developed a device that, when strapped to a patient’s leg, performs medical gait analysis. It records and uploads data about factors such as the patient’s gait, speed, and style of walking. Doctors can diagnose a patient more quickly and efficiently than from current video methods.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
We have lift-off. The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Charles Bolden, participated in the launching of the Moona science, environment and space center in Sakhnin (an Israeli Arab town).
Now we’re cooking. The three finalists in the Israeli version of Masterchef are Salma (an Arab-Israeli) Tom (a German convert to Judaism) and Jacky, an Orthodox Jewish woman.
Bedouin eco-village inaugurated. The Wadi Attir Project celebrated the completion of its “preparation phase” as the Arab Beduin village of Hura in the northeast Negev desert gradually grows into an eco-village full of flora and fauna, as well as renewable energy. One of the village’s main sponsors is KKL-JNF.
79 football fields long. This week, 1,138 truckloads of supplies entered Gaza from Israel. An average pickup truck is 25 feet long. That means if you put all the trucks that entered Gaza this week in a straight line, you would need more than 79 football fields to fit them all in. Think Gaza is under siege? Think again.
Superhero battles against cancer. Israeli arts therapist and author Shira Frimer is raising funds to publish a children’s book called Nistar. It features JJ Barak – a superhero who fights the vile archenemy that children of all races and religions battle on a daily basis. Cancer. Please support Shira’s project if you can.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Ultra-thin curved circuits. Israel’s Technion and Yokneam-based CPC are developing the technology to print 50-micron-thin electrical conductors onto transparent curved surfaces. Currently, the thinnest circuits are 150 microns and are normally only printed onto flat surfaces.
Israeli research just got even better. Israel’s Council for Higher Education has added 11 more research centers into its ICORE research excellence program, to reinforce Israel’s intellectual capacities and promote synergy among Israel’s leading research centers at universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutes.
A high fat diet is good for you - but only if you are elderly. A five-year study at Israel’s Beilinson Hospital says that for the elderly, higher levels of cholesterol mean a longer life, not a shorter one. Patients of average age 82 with higher cholesterol levels (including high LDL) lived longer than those with lower levels.
Desalination will supply 80% of drinking water. At CleanTech 2013 Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said, “Israel is emerging from times of crisis in the area of water into stability. We have not only continued what has started in the past to develop desalination plants, but we are now building new and we have extending and developed those that already exist.”
Israel’s Navy purifies its wastewater. The Israeli Navy has installed a bio-treatment facility, which separates contamination from wastewater coming out of the diesel engines of its ships. Engine wastewater from many ships is collected into a single, large tank. A biological treatment agent is added, which cleans the water to the extent that it may be returned to the sea.
A bride’s bouquet of recycled plastic bottles. In a booth at the CleanTech exhibition hall in Tel Aviv amid colorful plastic floral arrangements and an intricate bouquet of flowers made of used book pages, Orly Rostoker was waiting for the bride who will walk down the aisle with that bouquet.
A personalized video service. Israeli start-up Idomoo is the leading provider of Personalized Video as a Service (PVaaS) solutions. Idomoo delivers personalized and individually relevant messages to the computers, tablets and smartphones of millions of customers.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Russians drink more Israeli coffee. Strauss Coffee has bought out Russia’s Le Café and Instanta and now has the third largest market in Russia. Even before the acquisition, Strauss Coffee was the world’s fourth largest coffee company, and has 6,250 employees.
A new way to invest in Israeli start-ups. If you are worth several million dollars and have $10,000 to invest, you may be interested in OurCrowd. Israeli entrepreneur Jon Medved has founded an exclusive club to fund and grow Israeli start-ups into big successful companies. (Hmmm… I could also do with a few bucks!)
The Tel Aviv Time Incubator. TechWeekEurope traveled to the sunny city on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, to see first-hand how the Israeli government and venture capitalists work together to keep the country’s technology sector relevant.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Visit Japan on Mount Carmel. (Thanks to Sidney) The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art on the crest of Mount Carmel in Haifa is dedicated exclusively to the preservation and exhibition of Japanese art works, and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East.
Cliff Richard is returning to Israel. The legendary UK pop star Cliff Richard is to perform at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena on July 11th. His previous visits include in 1988 for the 40th anniversary of the State. He even made the film “His Land” here in 1969.
The race is on. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat apparently announced that some kind of F1 race will take place on June 13-14. The exact route is yet to be defined, but it does appear that this summer F1 cars will be screaming past the Old City walls, and going through Mamila, and buzzing by the King David hotel.
THE JEWISH STATE
An African-American Zionist in New Orleans. Non-Jewish New Orleans University International Relations student Chloe’ Simone Valdary was so incensed by her research into the Arab-Israeli conflict that she created an organization on Campus, “Allies of Israel” to fight Jew-hatred.
The best rains for 47 years. The rise in the level of the Kinneret so far this winter is the highest since records began – 47 years ago. Even before the current week’s storms, the water level was just two meters below the upper red line (when the Deganya dam has to be opened).
Record number of trees planted. The Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL) reported that a new record has been set this Tu Bishvat, as over a million new saplings will have been planted this past week in forests and parks nationwide.
Fashion with a purpose. A new fashion store opened last year by the Women’s Courtyard – a multicultural organization that provides support and assistance for young-adult women in distress and at-risk. It offers great clothes while helping at-risk young women who reside in the cities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Bat Yam, find a place in the workforce.
Come and see the truth. “Seeing is believing” is the philosophy behind a Foreign Ministry proposal to bring 3,000 North American non- Jewish campus influentials to Israel to show them the country and combat what Ministry director-general for Public Diplomacy Gideon Meir called the “industry of lies” against the country.
IDF Officer Who Lost His Arm in Hamas Attack Returns to Service. In October, a bomb planted by terrorists on the Gaza border exploded, injuring Givati soldiers on routine patrol along the security fence. The commander of the unit, Captain Ziv Shilon, lost his arm in the attack. Today he is back with his soldiers and in a special ceremony he presented them with their combat soldier pins.
Some respite for Sderot. The 24,000 residents of Israeli city of Sderot have suffered physical and emotional trauma due to a decade of missile attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip. But Sderot has no local hospital or rehabilitation facility. When complete, Sderot’s new Medical Rehabilitation Center will provide physical, occupational, communication, art, sensory and water therapies at no charge.