In the 28th Sept 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli scientists have developed groundbreaking safe and effective chemotherapy.
· New Israeli legislation promotes the employment of disabled workers.
· The US Senate voted unanimously to make Israel a strategic partner.
· Israeli scientists make a new chemical that turns plant waste into fuel.
· Israel approves the largest-ever investment in Israel by a foreign company.
· Immigration to Israel hits a 5-year record.
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Manufacturing safe cancer treatments inside the body. Technion scientists are the first in the world to build cancer-killing chemicals whilst inside the tumor. Their system will allow chemotherapy treatments to be tailored for the patient and concentrated only where it is necessary, thus escaping the usual harsh side effects.
100% accurate spine surgery. There is a 10% error rate in standard (unassisted) spinal surgery, resulting in about 4% cases of permanent nerve damage. But the robots from Israel’s Mazor Renaissance ensure a perfect outcome every time. A highlight in this new video is a pole-vaulter competing six months after robotic surgery.
Star Trek medical technology today. A detailed IBA news report about the medical holograms that Israel’s RealView Imaging projects straight into the hands of surgeons in the operating room.
Unraveling the mystery of circRNA. Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem together with the Max Dellbruck Institute in Berlin, has discovered how circular RNA is produced. The findings increase knowledge of degenerative diseases both in muscle and the brain, and eventually can help their treatment.
Positive trials of bladder cancer treatment. Israel’s Biocancell Therapeutics has reported a successful clinical trial on high-risk bladder cancer patients. It will allow the company to proceed to a Phase III trial of its BC-819 product, which is administered together with BCG, the standard treatment.
Innovative treatment for Glaucoma. Israel’s XLVision Sciences manufactures the IOPtiMate CO2 laser treatment for severe Glaucoma sufferers. The treatment has just made its first sale in Hong Kong. (Warning the video – although only an animation - may be unsettling to some readers)
Taste is location-sensitive. Israeli scientists have discovered that a bad taste memory can be overcome by re-tasting the food in a different place. There is a link in the brain between remembering what you ate and where you ate it. It could help parents struggling to persuade children to eat food that they say they don’t like.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Large businesses to have 3% disabled employees. A new Israeli law will require all businesses with 100 or more staff to ensure that their workforce includes at least 3 percent disabled employees.
Three more Syrians brought to Israeli hospital. Three more wounded Syrians are being treated at Nahariya’s Western Galilee Medical Center. The patients were suffering from injuries to the chest and limbs. 363 Syrians have been treated in Nahariya alone. Many more have been taken to Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat.
Israel is the only safe place for Christians in Middle East. Israeli-Arab Greek Orthodox Priest, Father Gabriel Nadaf, told the United Nations Human Rights Council, “Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe.” Israel’s Christian population has grown from 34,000 in 1948 to 158,000 in 2012.
US and Israel are strategic partners. The US Senate unanimously adopted the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. 81 of the 100 Senators co-sponsored the legislation, which will lay the foundation for expanded US-Israel cooperation in defense, energy, agriculture, and a number of other key sectors.
Saving the environment. Israel recycled 52 percent of its large (no deposit) plastic beverage containers (1.5 liters and over) sold in Israel last year. Including smaller (0.3 NIS deposit) plastic bottles, the rate increases to 59%. Including glass bottles, the rate rises to 80%. All rates are higher than most other countries.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Researchers’ Night of Water. Each year, the Israel Technion invites the public to participate in Researchers’ Night – a celebration of science and research for the whole family. Participants tasted seawater before and after desalination; built boats, examined underwater robots, submarines work and water pollution.
USA raises levels of permitted tomato coloring. The US has approved a five-fold increase in the level of tomato lycopene allowed as a colorant in ready-to-eat meat products. This allows tomato lycopene colorants from Israel’s LycoRed to replace artificial and insect-based colors in deli meats, sausage and hot dogs.
Removing nitrogen from water. Israeli wastewater treatment company Emefcy has developed the revolutionary modular Spiral Aerobic Biofilm Reactor (SABRE). The permeable membranes remove nitrogen using 80% less energy, providing a low cost solution for small wastewater plants.”
New center for researching light and optics. The Israeli government has given Ben Gurion University and Israel’s Soreq Nuclear Research Center 174 million NIS ($47 million) to establish a National Photonics and Electro-Optics Research Center. It will provide professionals and students with state-of-the-art equipment.
New enzyme generates better bio-fuels. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have fused two enzymes from plant-munching bacteria. The resulting hybrid is quick and efficient at turning difficult to break down cellulose into useful sugars that can make low-cost bio-fuel. (A rare pro-Israel article in New Scientist.)
Toyota event to produce new Israeli car technology. Toyota is to host the first tech event put on by a large Japanese corporation in Israel. At the two-day “hackathon”, Israeli programmers and entrepreneurs will present ideas on improving car safety and performance. Toyota is aiming to produce the ultimate “connected” car.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Jerusalem’s “Front Gate” to provide 50,000 jobs. The $1 billion project to expand Jerusalem’s Western edge includes new malls, hotels and business parks. There will be 2,000 new hotel rooms, 230,000 square meters for industry and business, and 49,000 square meters for recreation and leisure.
S&P maintains Israel’s “A” rating. Despite the economic effects of the Gaza “Protective Edge” operation, Standards and Poors has affirmed its 'A+/A-1' foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Israel. S&P expects the government to maintain stable public finances and contain security risks.
The largest-ever overseas investment in Israel. The Israeli finance and economy ministries have approved a plan by Intel to invest $6 billion in upgrading its chip-manufacturing plant in Israel, marking the largest-ever single international investment in the Jewish state. Intel will hire 1000 more workers at its Kiryat Gat factory.
Israel = Silicon Valley: Part II. The DLD Tel Aviv Conference included a panel of the Israeli heads of IBM, General Motors, Qualcomm, Deutsch Telekom and Google. All agreed that Israel’s superb engineering talent is due to strong academic institutions, entrepreneurial and creative spirit, hard working and a “can-do” attitude.
Pricense wins MasterCard Israel Technology Award. Pricense won the MasterCard Israel Technology $25,000 first prize for its use of “big data analysis” to set prices for on-line retailers. Its system raises or lowers prices automatically to maximize revenue, based on traffic, historical data, consumer behavior and other factors.
$3 million order for Camtek. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israel’s Camtek has received $3 million worth of new orders from one of the world's largest OSATs (Outsourced Semi-conductor Assembly and Test organizations). These orders are for 2D and 3D inspection and metrology for Advanced Packaging semiconductor applications.
Arab-Israeli incubator raises $4.5 million. Takwin (Arabic for Genesis or start) is a unique incubator for start-ups in the Arab-Israeli community. Takwin Labs raised $4.5 million from Israeli (Jewish and Arab) and US investors. It will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars per venture in 4-6 start-up companies.
Wizz off to Budapest, Bucharest and Warsaw. Low-cost airline Wizz Air has announced that due to increased demand, it has added one weekly flight on each its services from Tel Aviv to Budapest and Bucharest. It has also reinstated its Tel Aviv-Warsaw service earlier than planned.
Israeli security for Scottish port. (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Aberdeen Harbor is the NW Europe’s center of activity for the offshore oil and gas industry's marine support operations. It selected Israel’s Siklu to deliver a
next generation security network of traffic including streaming HD video images from the latest IP cameras. Siklu also implemented free Wi-Fi to cover the start of the 21st stage of the Tour de France, in Leeds UK.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Lost city uncovered near Jerusalem. The Israeli Antiquities Authority said it "uncovered a large and impressive compound dating to the Byzantine period in Ramat Bet Shemesh." It included near-perfectly preserved artifacts offering a rare glimpse into the daily lives of the inhabitants some 1000 years ago.
Stalactite cave discovered in Jerusalem hills. A breathtaking stalactite cave has been discovered during construction work in the Jerusalem Hills. Initial measurements indicated that the cavern is 200 meters (660 feet) long and its large rooms feature different types of stalactites.
Gold for Israeli judo junior. Israel’s Baruch Shmailov won the gold medal in the under 66kg category at the under-21 European Judo Championship in Bucharest, Romania, beating Armenian Arsen Ghazaryan in the final. In the under 74 kg category, Israeli Tohar Butbul won the bronze medal.
Israeli windsurfer wins bronze. Israel’s Ma’ayan Davidovich claimed her second straight bronze medal at the ISAF Sailing World Championships’ windsurfing RS:X competition in Santander, Spain. She secured a place for either herself or her Israeli rival Lee Korzits at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in 2016.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israel’s population is now 8.9 million. On the eve of the Jewish New Year, the population of Israel reached 8,904,373 - 173,811 more than the same time last year. 176,230 babies were born in 5774.
Aliyah hits 5-year high. 24,800 new immigrants arrived in Israel in the Jewish year 5774, a 28% increase compared to the 19,350 immigrants who arrived in Israel in 5773 and the highest number of the past five years. For the first time in history, more immigrants arrived from France (nearly 6,000) than from any other country.
Free bus service to Jerusalem Old City. Car drivers visiting Israel’s capital can now avoid having to negotiate Jerusalem’s busy, narrow streets. Park for 17 shekels all day at Jerusalem’s First Station and take the free shuttle bus to the Western Wall or alight at many other stops in and around the Old City.
111-year-old survivor gets birthday surprise. Yisrael Krysztal survived Auschwitz and made Aliya in 1950.
Two Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer players were guests at his 111th birthday party, bringing presents including a cake, balloons and a team shirt with the number 111 printed on it.