History of Israel's Good News - Oct to Dec 2018


·         An Israeli biotech’s treatment is poised to rid the world of AIDS.
·         Israeli scientists discovered a molecule that destroys brain cancer cells.
·         An Israeli minister in Oman proposed new trade route with Arab states.
·         Israeli research now prevents coral reef damage in South Pacific.
·         An Israeli design breakthrough makes drip irrigation affordable to most farmers.
·         An Israeli games projection system rehabilitates sick children.
·         October broke the all-time-record for tourists to Israel.

·         Click here to see the 4th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel (with additional feature on Inclusive & Global). Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         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 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

AIDS / cancer treatment success. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Zion Medical has conducted successful human trials of its “Gammora” AIDS / cancer treatment. Gammora (see here) eliminates HIV virus-infected cells - not the virus – preventing development of resistance.

New molecule kills brain cancer cells. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have developed a molecule to treat glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. The molecule blocks the ability of the MKNK2 gene to produce Mnk2b – a cancer-causing protein but increases the levels of Mnk2a – an inhibitor protein.

Destroys tumors in weeks. I reported previously (9th Sep) on Israel’s Alpha Tau’s radiation emitters starting trials in the USA.  Trials have also been launched at two centers in Rome, Italy. But I should have mentioned that 70% of patients in earlier Israeli and Italian studies saw their tumors disappear in just a few weeks.

Seeing early Alzheimer’s, before symptoms appear. I’ve reported previously (see here) that Israeli researchers at Sheba hospital have linked Alzheimer’s disease with loss of retina function. They have now found that in those with a family history of Alzheimer’s, the inner layer of the retina is thinner than usual.

Shape-shifting pills for better targeted treatments. 3D-printing is relevant even in the medical industry. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have engineered capsules from a hydrogel that can change shape upon various conditions.  E.g. to release medication only in the intestines, or to expand to fill the stomach.

Major partnership to prevent diabetes. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (Apr 2016) on Israel’s Sweetch and its system for detecting pre-diabetics. Sweetch is partnering with US-based WellSpan Health, providing its 15,000 employees with “the tool we have been looking for to augment our wellness assessment program”.

Breathtaking technology. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli innovations that can detect illness by analyzing someone’s voice. Israeli startup HealthyMize (see here) has just won $75 million in the Henry Ford Health System’s “Increasing Patient and Caregiver Engagement to Reduce Readmission” Challenge.

More about finding cancer treatment trials. I reported recently (21st Oct) on Israel’s TrailJectory which helps match cancer patients with clinical trials appropriate to their condition. I believe the subject to be so important that I’m publishing another recent article about this innovative startup. It could save someone’s life.

Why Israelis live longer. If the previous medical articles haven’t given you the answer, this article might. Then click the link (here) to see the youtube or (here) Facebook video “Nas Daily meets United Hatzalah”.

Just a day in the lives of Hadassah medics. When 7-year-old Elisha Alush collapsed in the Judean desert, paramedics rushed him to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. They realized he had been stung, but by what?  They guessed a scorpion and the antidote worked. Had it been a Black Widow spider, it may have been too late.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Cyclists raise $3.5 million for sick children. Israel’s annual bike ride “Wheels of Love,” broke records raising more than $3.5 million for ALYN - Israel’s leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem. 600 cyclists (nearly a third from the US) cycled for 3 days in the Dead Sea region, followed by 2 days in the Judean hills.

A factory of co-existence. The 150 Israeli and Palestinian Arab employees of the Israeli Snapir aluminum factory at Mevo Horon in Samaria work side by side. As Subhi from Beit Sira said, “Our relations are great – we are like brothers here – one family”.

IDF medics risk their lives for wounded Syrians. (TY UWI) Israeli Defense Force medic 21-year-old Staff Sargent Bar, speaks about how he saw the “best and the worst of humanity” in Syria while he provided care to the innocent victims of Syria’s civil war.  https://www.youtube.com/embedX7Sjlyr0OjQ?rel=0

Trade route discussions in Oman. Following on from PM Netanyahu’s historic visit, Israel’s transport and intelligence minister, Yisrael Katz, visited the Arab Gulf state of Oman to discuss “Tracks for regional peace” - his revolutionary proposal for a new system of shipping by sea and rail to and from the Middle East.  And even the BBC can no longer ignore Israel’s warming ties with Arab countries.

European leaders improve relations. (TY UWI) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu discussed security, trade and technology with the leaders of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Greece at the Craiova State Forum in Bulgaria. It was the first time the four European leaders had invited a foreign leader to their joint summit.

Closer cooperation with Ghana. On his return from Bulgaria, Israeli PM Netanyahu met Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and discussed economic cooperation and other opportunities for strengthening cooperation between the two countries. Ghana’s President hopes to visit Israel in 2019.

Training rice farmers in Nigeria. (TY Hazel) Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Nigeria’s Cross River state, has signed an agreement with the government of Israel to train from 1000 up to 12,000 rice farmers in modern farming techniques. His goal is for Cross River to become the number one rice producing state in Nigeria.

Saving the coral in Palau. I reported previously (13th May) that to save their coral reefs, Hawaii had banned sunscreen ingredient BP-3 thanks to Ben-Gurion University research. The Pacific island of Palau has now done likewise – although reports by the BBC (here) and New York Times (here) do not credit the Israeli scientists.

Millions see Vegan Tel Aviv video. (TY Louise) For those with Facebook access, it is worth following Nas Daily. He’s got over 10.8 million viewers for his one-minute video “Tel Aviv – World’s Vegan City”. Nas is an Israeli Arab and records his nationality as “Israeli”.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel to host forum of digital nations. (TY Ruth) The annual international Digital 9 forum, comprising the world's nine leading digital countries, will convene in Israel for the first time. The conference will be held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv simultaneously on November 19-21.

Sustainable Nation.  (TY Hazel) Israeli-developed water technology is being used in more than 100 countries. New York’s Micah Smith has directed “Sustainable Nation,” a new Israeli documentary that follows three Israelis bringing sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet using solutions developed in Israel.

Water technology for Vietnam. Israel has displayed new water technology in Hanoi, Vietnam, to improve its agricultural sector. Hanoi’s “Exposition of Futuristic Agro and Water Israeli Technologies and Cultural Performance” featured Israel’s Watergen, plus a 100-meter vertical rice field from Israel’s Vertical Field.

Drip irrigation just got even more efficient. Israeli Simcha Blass had the idea for drip irrigation over 80 years ago but it is still too expensive for 85% of farmers. Israel’s NDrip has developed a low-cost system that uses gravity, not energy. It also removes the need for filters. NDrip has just raised over $50 million of new funds.

Saving palm trees. Israel’s PlantArcBio has developed a pesticide that it says is 100% effective in fighting the deadly red palm weevil that attacks trees around the world. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), considers the red palm weevil one of the world’s most invasive pest species, infesting palm and coconut trees.

Never get lost again. Israel’s TrekAce Technologies has developed a tactile wrist-strap that serves as a navigator, directing wearers using vibrations and sound notifications. Get a buzz on your left? turn left; on the right? just follow the vibration. A strong buzz? Stop where you’re at.

Ford cars will make decisions. Ford Motors is investing $12.5 million in its Israeli subsidiary SAIPS so that it can build a decision-making system for Ford’s future autonomous vehicles. System development will be led by Professor Shie Mannor of Israel’s Technion Institute, who joined SAIPS in August.

More effective solar energy production. Much solar energy is lost due to defective, degraded, misaligned or dusty panels. Israel’s RayCatch - one of World Economic Forum’s 61 Technology Pioneers (see here) uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to diagnose and optimize solar farms. RayCatch has just raised $4.5 million of funds.

Tiny solar panels to power home devices. (TY Hazel). 3 years after receiving a US-Israel BIRD clean energy grant (see here), Israel’s 3GSolar Photovoltaics is launching tiny solar panels that allows electronic devices to generate their own power. The panels work indoors, in low light and can sustain devices for up to 15 years.

Downloadable 3D printable clothing. I’ve reported previously (Sep 2015) on Israel’s Danit Peleg when she printed clothing on her home computer for her final project at Israel’s Shenkar College. Danit is the first person in the world to create an entire fashion line using an at-home 3D printer. Here are some more of her designs.

Successful 3D printed circuit tests. In a major breakthrough for additive manufacturing for printed electronics, tests conducted by Harris Corporation showed that 3D printed radio frequency (RF) circuits made by Israel’s Nano Dimension performed equal to that of circuits developed using conventional manufacturing techniques.

Convert any space for games. Israeli startup EyeClick’s BEAM platform converts a normal floor into an interactive playtime site, using a projection screen and dual motion sensors. Hospitals use it to help children regain muscle strength through games. EyeClick has just won a $50 million deal with China’s Guoshu.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Moving on from R&D to production. The Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Economy’s investment center have partnered to provide grants mainly to Israeli life sciences companies looking to make the transition between research and development to manufacturing. BiondVax (see here) is already benefiting.

All-time monthly tourism record. October 2018 was the best month ever for Israeli tourism, with close to half a million people entering the country. It was a 14% increase on Oct 2017 and the total number of visitors for the ten months of 2018 is 15% higher than for the same period last year.

New Jerusalem Entrepreneurship Center. Israel has allocated NIS 20 million to a consortium of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Bezalel Academy of Design and Azrieli College of Engineering, to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation center in central Jerusalem.

Exports to China are booming. (TY IsraPundit) Israeli-Chinese trade reached nearly $10 billion in 2017, more than double the figure of a decade ago. This trend appears to be accelerating, with Israeli exports to China increasing dramatically by 62% to $3.5 billion in the first eight months of 2018.

Israel has the 8th cheapest Internet. (TY Janglo) UK company Cable.co.uk’s 2018 survey of Internet prices places Israel 8th cheapest in the world. Israel had ranked 18th in last year's report. https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/deals/worldwide-price-comparison/

Israel values its security personnel.  Israel knows how important it is to have good cyber security experts. This article highlights how highly this can be recognized.

“Pitch in the Dark”. 21 startups battled to win the favor of judges in complete darkness at an event hosted by Citigroup in Jaffa. The idea was meant to increase objectivity, however Avenews-GT, (an agricultural produce trading platform that uses blockchain technology) would probably have still won even with the lights on!

Direct flights from Manchester (UK) to Tel Aviv. El Al are to launch a 3-times-a-week direct service from Manchester UK to Tel Aviv, commencing 25th May 2019.  “We’re going to make Israel even closer,” said Michael Strassburger of El Al, at the 2018 World Travel Market in London.

Indian airline evaluates TaxiBot. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s IAI’s TaxiBot aircraft towing system. Three Indian airlines (SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Indigo Airlines) are currently evaluating the system. A SpiceJet flight used TaxiBot for the first time to take off from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.

Financial security for top Latin American banks. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s BioCatch, whose cybersecurity software prevents potential financial criminals from committing on-line fraud. BioCatch has just signed up seven tier-one banks in Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico.

Engie moves into the fast lane. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Engie and its car maintenance decision software. Engie has just launched its Fleet app, to help car fleet operators, including rental and leasing companies, maintain their vehicles. Engie now has over 150,000 users in Latin America, the UK and Israel.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Eat your way round Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In Open Restaurants Jerusalem (Nov 14-17) restaurants open up to chefs, who offer a combination of workshops, meals and talks. Meanwhile, visiting chefs take over the kitchens of the most popular restaurants for Tel Aviv’s 4th annual AMEX Roundtables Tour (Nov 11-23).

93-year-old artist’s new exhibition. (TY WIN) Painter and sculptor Aviva Naaman (age 93) spoke on ILTV about her latest solo exhibition of Judaica, that has just opened at Jerusalem’s Hechal Shlomo’s Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_6v0jOarsLA?rel=0  http://eng.hechalshlomo.org.il/

Israel’s remarkable culture of innovation.  Sheldon Kirshner sums up Avi Jorisch’s recent excellent book “Thou Shalt Innovate.”  https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israels-remarkable-culture-of-innovation/  

Weizmann Institute – a must visit. The Levinson Visitors Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science takes you on exciting journey through interactive exhibits to personal testimonials from scientists whose research has led to some of the most groundbreaking of medical and technological applications.

The best place to sing. 4,000 college students from 60 countries gathered in Tel Aviv for the latest mass singalong by the social music project, Koolulam. They sang Kit Chan’s “There’s No Place I’d Rather Be”.


THE JEWISH STATE


Investing in Israel is Biblical. According to David Parsons, vice-president of ICEJ (International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem), “Investing in Israel is biblical”. ICEJ therefore engaged equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd to present to 6,000 evangelical Christians at its annual Feast of Tabernacles conference.

UK trust funds Israeli clinic for disabled children. London-based Jewish philanthropists Gillian and Irving Carter, of the Locker Foundation trust, opened the Sylvia Carter Medical Clinic at ALEH Moriah, a treatment center for Israeli children with severe, complex disabilities. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/london-philanthropists-open-clinic-for-israeli-children-with-severe-disabilities/

Record funds raised for IDF. I wrote three weeks ago (see here) that the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) raised over $32 million at their gala in New York.  Well, their Beverly Hills event eclipsed that by raising $60 million - a record amount for the charity at a single event. The IDF’s paramedic “heroes” were specifically honored.

Celebrating Sigd. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sang “Jeena, Jeena, Ierusalem, longing, longing for Jerusalem” at celebrations marking the Sigd holiday of the Ethiopian-Israeli community. He praised “those ancient, wonderful prayers that you kept hold of and held dear to you and learned by heart and taught your children and passed down the generations.”  http://rjstreets.com/2018/11/07/sigd-celebrated-in-jerusalem-2/

Israeli Jews are the quintessentially indigenous people.  (TY IsraPundit) Dr Nan Greer, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Redlands, outlines the five essential characteristics of an indigenous people and summarizes that Israeli Jews tick all the boxes. https://www.youtube.com/embed/U5raihYpexQ?rel=0

Come Home.  (TY Janglo) Beautiful song and video by Akiva Pamensky.