Israel's Good News Newsletter to 30th Nov 2014

(Apologies.  Due to family illness, no newsletter this week. Hope to publish on 21st Dec)


In the 30th Nov edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli electrical device extends the life of brain tumor patients.
·         Israeli experts are helping Kenya save wildlife from poachers.
·         Israeli bio sensors are powering Samsung’s new healthy smart watch.
·         An Israel app can save you thousands on retirement account fees.
·         Two Israeli films have been shortlisted for Oscars.
·         30 years ago, Israel rescued 7,000 Ethiopian Jews in Operation Moses.

·         Last week’s Israel Good News descriptive summary.  Click here for “Matters of Life and Death” (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on Jerusalem Post and San Diego Jewish World.
·         Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, on IsraelSeen.com and (in many sections) on United With Israel.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Electrical field slows brain tumors.  Israel’s Novocure has announced that its NovoTTF-100A portable scalp device extends the life of brain tumor patients. The device creates an alternating electric field and has had significant success in Phase 3 trials with patients receiving chemotherapy only.

Immunotherapy to fight cancer.  Israeli biotech Efranat Ltd. is developing an immunotherapy treatment approach for cancer, based on a glycoprotein named GcMAF (Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor).  Efranat has just raised $4.5 million and is conducting trials at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center.

Wiping out parasitic worm infections.  Ben Gurion University Professor Zvi Bentwich has received a Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his project in Ethiopia to wipe out parasitic worm infections. Clean water and sanitation facilities and health education are being provided.

Progress in treatment of Celiac disease.  Back in Feb 2012 I reported good pre-clinical trials of Israeli biotech BioLineRX’s BL-7010 co-polymer for the treatment of celiac disease, for which there is currently no cure or formal treatment.  BioLineRX has now announced successful final results from its Phase 1/2 study of BL-7010.

3D printing of medical devices.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has joined with US-based Worrell to build medical devices using 3D printed injection molding.  With 3D printing, device prototypes can be produced in 95% less time and at 70% less cost compared with traditional aluminum molds.

Paralyzed Marine walks using Israeli exoskeleton to receive Bronze Star.  (Thanks to Israellycool.com) A Marine who was left paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan walked to collect his Bronze Star in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, using robotic leg braces developed by Israel’s ReWalk Robotics.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Donating hair for cancer victims.  Many Israeli women at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem donated their hair to produce wigs for cancer patients at a fundraiser arranged by “Zichron Menachem”, the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families.

Israeli doctors treat terrorist before his victim.  I have included this, only to show how humane and moral Israeli surgeons are, opting to treat a critically wounded Arab terrorist ahead of his less-injured innocent victim.

Helping to save Kenyan wildlife.  Israel’s Dr Bill Clark works with the Kenya Wildlife Service to combat poaching.  He uses Israeli dog-handlers, restores old Israeli planes and trains wardens and pilots to detect and pursue poachers. He also employed Israel’s Maisha Consulting - specialists in countering environmental crime.

Israel – a global cleantech leader.  Excellent summary of Israel’s position as the world’s number one in the Global Cleantech Index (as reported in May).  One new item – The 18 fish farms in the Negev desert make Israel the world’s 6th largest exporter of ornamental fish!

More Muslims see the real Israel.  (Thanks to United With Israel) More than 250,000 Muslim and Arab visitors from countries with no diplomatic relations with Israel have arrived in Jewish state since 2009.  Kuwait announced last month that it would allow its citizens to visit Israel and the PA as part of a tour package.

Citrus production training for professionals from India.  19 professionals involved in the ongoing Israeli-Indian agricultural cooperation program underwent a two-week training program in Israel to learn best practices, know-how and new agricultural technologies in the citrus production field.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The power behind Samsung’s smartwatch.  Israel’s LifeBEAM, a maker of bio-sensing technology is to provide the technology to power Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch.  LifeBEAM’s sensor algorithms are embedded in Samsung’s Simband, measuring heart rate, temperature, blood flow, skin conductivity and more.

100Mb/s bandwidth is the new standard.  Internet customers of Israel’s Bezeq who are currently surfing at 40 megabits per second will see their service automatically upgraded to 100mb/s at no extra charge.  Israelis enjoy some of the world’s fastest internet services.

Coming soon - Israel Energy week.  December’s Israel’s leading energy investment summit – EnergyVest is part of a week-long series of conferences, exhibitions and special events: Israel Energy Week.  It includes an impressive lineup of Israel’s most promising new renewable and alternative energy technology companies.

Driving on a cloud.  In SAP Israel’s Ra’anana offices, SAP, Shell and Volkswagen are building the car of the future.  It will use Cloud technology to plan routes, park, pay tolls, and eventually even to drive – all without human interaction.  On route, the “driver” will receive offers for local shops, restaurants and attractions.

Most innovative cyber technology in 2014.  Israeli maritime data and analytics company Windward won first place at Tel Aviv’s International Innovation Competition for HLS and Cyber Technology.  Windward’s analytics systems harness the power of big data sciences to interpret global vessel activity across the oceans.

A box of worms for $16.  Israeli agritech Agrolan sells earthworms for about $16 a box. They are ideal for converting kitchen garbage into garden compost.  Agrolan also sells more advanced technology, such as drip irrigation systems, sensors for plants, and weather monitoring devices.  But sometimes, low tech is best.

A word in your ear about your diet.  For those who really want to lose weight or eat healthily, Israel’s BitBite will provide real-time data to help you change your eating habits.  BitBite is an app and an earpiece containing a microphone, Bluetooth chip and other sensors that track what you eat, how much and how quickly you eat.

Storing renewable energy.  Israeli start-up EnStorage has signed an R&D agreement with international energy management company Schneider Electric and French energy corporation Areva to develop a renewable energy storage system.  It will allow energy producers to store from 150 KW up to many megawatts for over six hours.

Bezalel Academy wins in Tokyo.  (Thanks to Israel21c and Atid-EDI) A delegation from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem won first place among foreign schools at Tokyo Designers Week.  Judges called their “How To” Youtube productions “excellent and brilliant.”

Ginger Keyboard for iOS and Android.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Ginger Software, has launched iOS 8 and Android versions of Ginger Keyboard.  Billed as the world’s most advanced keyboard. Ginger Keyboard offers advanced writing tools, including live as-you-type proofreading to increase typing productivity.

The Untold News awards.  3 Israelis won $10,000 each at the inaugural Untold News Awards in New York.  Prof Dan Peer developed the "Cancer Bullet," an injectable form of chemotherapy; Prof Idan Tobis invented a metal ligament prosthesis that reduces the recovery time dramatically; and Shlomo Magdassi invented a  bendable plastic touch screen display for smart phones.

The Breezometer is “gale-force”.  Israel’s Breezometer beat 600 companies to win Israel’s 2014 Startup Open competition, and has been chosen by CNBC for its list of “20 of the World’s Hottest Startups of 2014.”  The app monitors air pollution using thousands of worldwide sensors and provides personalized alerts.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

No slack in Israeli trade with US.  This in-depth article describes how the “start-up nation” Israel is increasingly exporting its business and culture of entrepreneurship to America.

India is a strategic trading partner.  Israel’s $5 billion per annum trade with India could double once a new free trade agreement between the two democracies is signed.

LivePerson grows bigger.  Israeli digital engagement solutions provider LivePerson has bought US company Contact At Once! for $65 million.  The acquisition adds more clients plus CAO’s unique technology.

Saving money on retirement fees. (Thanks to Israel21c) Waze co-founder Uri Levine has developed a new app called FeeX.  Upload details of your IRA retirement account and FeeX will report how much you are losing in fees.  It will then give you a list of similar funds that have lower fees.  FeeX is available in the US and Israel.

Wix - One of the hottest startups.  The influential international business magazine Inc. included Israeli web development platform Wix in its seven hottest Middle Eastern startups.  It describes Wix as the model example of innovation and success in Israel’s Tel Aviv hub. Wix is advertising during this year’s US Super Bowl.

Israel’s Chinese “water city”.  Israel’s Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett, headed a delegation of 15 Israeli water companies to advance the sale of Israeli water technologies in China.  Bennett also launched the flagship Israeli project by nominating the city of Shouguang to be the Israeli “Water City” in China.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

A beautiful library.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) A stunning design for the new Israel National Library has been released. The 34,000-square-meter structure will be located in the same complex as Israel’s parliament, the Israel Museum, the Science Museum and the Hebrew University.

Two Israeli “shorts” make Oscars shortlist.  Two Israeli films have made the “shortlist” of ten finalists for the 2015 Live Action Short Film Oscar and they were both directed, at least in part, by women. The two movies are “Aya,” by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, and “Summer Vacation” by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon.

Three judoka golds in six weeks.  Israel’s Yarden Gerbi won first place in the under 63-kilo category at the Qingdao Grand Prix international judo competition in Qingdao, China.  The victory marks Gerbi’s third gold medal in less than six weeks, having also won international grand prix tournaments in Tashkent and Astana.


THE JEWISH STATE

After death comes life.  A Jerusalem family chose to hold their baby’s brit milah (circumcision ceremony) as planned, in the synagogue where 5 Israelis were murdered by terrorists on Tuesday. "Judaism is all about moving from tragedies to happy days", said the baby's grandfather.

App educates kids about Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched an app that makes the Dead Sea Scrolls available on iPhone and iPad. The App transforms a kid’s iPhone or iPad into an archaeological tool and lets them play games to hone their skills, solve puzzles and piece the past together.

Celebrating Sigd in Jerusalem.  (Thanks to Sharon – The Real Jerusalem Streets) For centuries, Ethiopian Jews celebrated the festival of Sigd – 50 days after Yom Kippur.  On a mountaintop, they prayed to return to Jerusalem. Their prayers have been answered - they have come to the Promised Land and can see it themselves.

The 30th anniversary of Operation Moses.  From Nov 18 1984 until Jan 5 1985, Israel rescued 7,000 Ethiopian Jews in Operation Moses.  It was the first time in mankind’s history, whereby non-blacks came to Africa to save blacks from oppression by bringing them out of Africa as free people.

Kinneret rises 3.5cm.  The level of Israel’s largest reservoir, Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose by 3.5cm – the largest rise in a single day since the end of the summer.  Recent heavy rains are set to continue – just as well, as the Kinneret is only 16cm above the lower red line.