ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
World’s first passive immunization. Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital is cautiously optimistic after the world’s first passive immunization of a critically ill coronavirus patient. After an injection of Kamada’s IgG antibody product (see here), a CT-scan of the lungs showed some improvement and doctors are hopeful of a recovery.
Why some Covid-19 patients get blood clots. Dr. Abd Al-Roof Higazi at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital has found that high levels of peptide Alpha-defensin in some Covid-19 patients cause blood clots in their lungs. He is now testing the medication colchicine for dissolving the clots, as standard anticoagulants are ineffective.
Israeli facemask effective against Covid-19. Internationally-conducted tests on the facemasks produced by Israel’s Sonovia (reported here previously) have proved that the metal-oxide coated masks destroy the novel coronavirus. Sonovia produces several thousand masks per day and has sold several hundreds of thousands.
Remote monitoring of chronic patients. The original glucose monitor of Israel’s DarioHealth (reported here previously) is now MyDario - a full Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) device. DarioHealth has just been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Fighting immune system overreaction. In Covid-19 and autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system goes out of control. Israeli biotech Stero uses CBD to reduce and even replace the usual steroid treatment for these diseases. With funding from Israel’s Clalit, it is trialing CBD on 30 Crohn’s steroid-dependent patients.
Intel wins Sheba’s Covid-19 challenge. The Coronavirus Data Challenge by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center was reported here previously. It was won by Intel’s Analytics AI group’s system to predict patients with life-threatening reactions or needing ventilators. It will be implemented at Sheba and at Mount Sinai in New York.
Positive results in MS study. Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital used a nano-engineered supplement made from high antioxidant pomegranate oil to treat 30 multiple sclerosis patients. In just 3 months, the patients already significantly improved their learning ability, text comprehension, word recall and categorization.
Combining non-cancer medicines to kill cancer. A 3-year study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists has discovered that a combination of an antiviral AIDS treatment and another to treat memory loss was effective in fighting liver and skin cancers. Separately, the medicines had no effect on the cancer.
Neuroscience competition winner. A team from Bar-Ilan University was one of four winners of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research DREAM Challenge. The Israelis were the only non-US winners from the 43 competing teams. Their winning entry focuses on movement disorders resulting from cell damage.
Leading the way in psychiatric treatment. This video highlights the enlightened approach and up-to-date facilities for psychiatric care at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak. Also, during the Covid-19 epidemic, the hospital successfully adopted tele-psychiatry – the new norm for patient-practitioner meetings.
A Medtech degree course. Israel’s Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) is launching in October a new bachelor’s degree program in Medical Technology (Medtech). The first 60 students will study digital medical technologies, including telemedicine, smart medical systems, and big data.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Three new female IAF pilots. On 25th June, of the 600 original Israeli Air Force cadets that started the 180th flight course, just forty, including three women, received their wings. Mordechai Raflowitz, a Holocaust survivor and ex-Irgun fighter, was present to see his granddaughter graduate.
More volunteers helping the housebound. Israeli organization Door2Dor has developed an app that connects the younger generation (Hebrew “Dor”) to the elderly. Door2Dor’s volunteers help the housebound during the coronavirus pandemic by delivering food, medicines and supplies right to their door. (see similar articles)
Free coronavirus web app to connect volunteers. (TY Hazel) Israeli website builder Wix is offering a free web app to governments around the world. The COVID-19 Volunteer Call System connects volunteers to citizens in need of assistance with tasks from essential deliveries to home services. It is already in use in Israel.
Free Internet for 9 Bedouin councils. The Israeli government is investing NIS 16 million to bring Bedouins online. It follows a 2017 project in the Arara council which was a resounding success. The decision to expand the project was taken by Israel’s President and partly funded with money from the National Lottery.
Syrian baby has successful heart op. (TY UWI) As reported here previously, a Syrian baby was flown from Cyprus to Israel’s Sheba Medical Center for surgeons to reconstruct the missing left side of his heart. His first emergency operation was a success and he will return to Israel in the future for two more operations.
Wheelchairs for Ecuador. (TY Hazel) In addition to food and protective equipment (see previous report here), the Israeli Embassy in Quito, Ecuador has donated a shipment of wheelchairs to the capital’s mayor. The wheelchairs will contribute to the recovery of patients with Covid-19 in the Quito Temporary Care Center.
Israel21c Digital Ambassador campaigns. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Israel21c’s digital ambassadors have been preparing excellent campaigns to promote Israel. They presented these at a Zoom seminar. The winner was Yalla on a Budget, closely followed by Ve Love (vegan) Israel and Celebrities in Israel.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The best cybersecurity course in the world. Tel Aviv University’s free online cybersecurity course has been ranked the top online cybersecurity course in the world by Class Central. “Unlocking Information Security” is used in 150 countries and came 6th of all 1,750 online computer courses - higher than Princeton and Stanford.
https://en-tauonline.tau.ac.il/courses/15 https://en-tauonline.tau.ac.il/online_courses (other free TAU courses)
Another voice app to detect Covid-19. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Afeka Tel Aviv Academic College of Engineering has teamed up with Milan University and Cambridge University to build the Afeka app. It compares a few sentences and coughs with templates for positive and negative coronavirus patients to identify infected patients.
Opening doors safely without a key. Israel’s Cobra Group (L.D. Israel Auto Equipment) has launched DOORe, a smart-lock home entrance security system that eliminates the need for house keys. The homeowner uses an app, and previously scanned fingerprints, to authorize anyone to open the front door at a specific time.
Answering questions automatically on social media. Israel’s Pudding.ai (founded as Nowtecc Technologies) generates insights and answers questions in real-time on companies’ social media accounts. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
What baby wants. (TY UWI) Israel’s LittleOne Care has developed the first Artificially Intelligent device that interprets why a baby is crying. Hungry, tired or sick? Sensors in the wearable device interpret movement, noises, heartbeat and temperature to alert parents if necessary. 50 Israeli families are testing the device now.
Treating disease in space. (TY UWI) Scientists at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center have sent into space an experiment into combatting resistant bacteria under micro-gravity. The experiment was included in a micro-lab built by Israel’s SpacePharma and launched on an Arianespace Vega rocket from French Guiana on 18 Jun.
Images from space. Israel’s OneView uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze satellite and aerial images. It can recognize any specific object on the images and will tag them all if required for further investigation.
Another Israeli 3D-printed drone. The media recently announced what it called “Israel’s first 3D-printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)”. Very impressive, but regular newsletter readers will know that Israel’s Stratasys printed one back in 2015 (see here). It was even unveiled at the Dubai Airshow!
A 3D-printed glider. Students from Israel‘s Technion Institute faculty of aerospace engineering conducted a successful maiden test flight of the A3TB (Active Aeroelastic Aircraft Testbed). The aircraft weighs 10 kg., has a 3m flexible wingspan and is printed entirely on a 3D printer.
Awards for BreezoMeter. Israeli air-quality app BreezoMeter has added a second consecutive Red Herring award to its industry prizes. (see previous here). It was again placed in Red Herring’s European Top 100 in the “cleantech” category. Also, it received a new EU Horizon 2020 grant to work with the Max Planck Institute.
Authorizing access to a diverse workforce. Israel’s Authomize makes it easier for companies to control who should be allowed to access the corporate network. Employees are spread out globally, requiring access to many cloud-based applications. Authomize automates authorization and gives visibility to scattered applications.
Fixing software bugs on the fly. Israel’s Lightrun has built software technology to improve companies’ development ecosystems. It allows programmers to analyze problems with live applications and fix them in real time, without having to redeploy a new version. Permanent changes can be made when the emergency is over.
World’s first smart air-con bus shelters. (TY Janglo &ILTV) The pilot of Eilat’s new air-conditioned bus shelters has now been launched (see previous article here). Costing NIS 160,000, it features automatic sliding doors, touchscreen, bus travel smartcard charging, bulletin board, 24x7 CCTV security and, of course, Air-con.
Storing energy in bromine. (TY Hazel) Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute are partnering with Primus Power in the US to develop rechargeable bromine and zinc batteries to store renewable energy. Israel’s bromine is far cheaper than the lithium currently used to power portable devices such as phones and laptops.
Adding power to electric vehicle batteries. Israel’s CENS Materials develops nanotechnology designed to improve the performance of batteries for electric vehicles. CENS integrates carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into batteries to increase energy capacity and cut the charging time.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
WEF names six Israeli tech pioneers. Six Israeli firms were listed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) among its 100 New Technology Pioneers in 2020. They are 3d Signals, Aleph Farms, Prospera, MorphiSec, Optibus and Seebo. Israel was the only country in the Middle East to be represented in the WEF list.
Taiwan fund for Israeli startups. Taiwan’s largest innovation company, Innovation to Industry (i2i), has set up a $70 million program called IP2 LaunchPad. Its purpose is to create tech collaborations between 25 Israeli cybersecurity, AI and digital health startups and Taiwan’s industry, health care system, academia and investors.
Israel in New York. Nine Israeli-founded unicorns (valued at over $1 billion) are based in New York State. They are Riskified, Sisense, VAST Data, Via, Compass, Lemonade, Payoneer, Taboola and The We Company. 500+ Israeli companies in New York generate $30+ billion in revenue and employ some 25,000 New Yorkers.
Building ships with Greece. (TY Hazel) Greece’s ΟΝΕΧ Νeorion Shipyards is partnering Israel Shipyards Ltd to co-produce the “Themistocles” corvette - a next-generation, multi-purpose vessel designed to patrol and protect the Eastern Mediterranean’s sea borders.
Thousands attend pandemic conference. Thousands of investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, government officials and press from 90 countries attended Israel’s OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference online. It is the first global event dedicated to pandemic investment.
Find the developer you need. There is no need for skilled IT professionals to be out of work during the coronavirus pandemic. Israel’s WordPress website-building platform Elementor (reported here previously) has set up a network to connect Elementor developers to projects and businesses that need them.
Microsoft buys more Israeli cybersecurity. Microsoft has acquired Israeli IoT security company CyberX (reported here previously) for an estimated $170 million. Microsoft said CyberX complemented its existing Azure IoT security capabilities. Microsoft praised CyberX’s cutting-edge expertise, and technology platform.
Investment in Israeli startups: OneView raised $3.5 million; Authomize raised $6 million; SQream raised $39.4 million; Lightrun raised $4 million; Pixellot raised $16 million; DriveU raised $4 million; Zerto raised $33 million; Apolicy raised $3.5 million; CENS Materials raised $1.5 million; Arbox raised $2 million.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Whales off Israeli coast. (TY WIN) Two sperm whales, a mother and a calf, were spotted 4.3 miles off of the Israeli coast for the first time since Israel’s Marine Mammal Center began its research in 1993.
Pioneers in the Negev desert. (TY I24 News & INN) Ramat HaNegev is home to some 8200 Israelis. 24 farms attract tourists from all over Israel. It is an ideal, safe family vacation experience during the coronavirus crisis.
A ship on the Dead Sea. (TY Janglo) Three 100-year-old anchors have been discovered in land exposed by the receding Dead Sea. Their pattern identifies them as belonging to a sailboat from the 1920s.
Avdija is a slam dunk. As reported here previously, Israeli basketball teen star Deni Avdija is to play in the US NBA league for the coming season. This new video highlights Deni’s background. Born on a kibbutz, the son of a Jewish athlete mother and a Serbian Muslim professional hoops father, Deni wants to do Israel proud.
King of US college tennis. Israel’s Daniel Cukierman is currently the top-ranked US men’s college tennis player. The Israeli Davis Cup player is officially No. 1 in the 2019-20 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division I Men’s Individual National Rankings. He is studying at the University of Southern California.
THE JEWISH STATE
Technician for planes that brought family to Israel. Ortal Ayaso’s family were flown to Israel in 1991 when Operation Solomon, brought 14,325 Ethiopian Jews on 34 planes in just 36 hours. Staff Sergeant Ayaso is now a technician in the Israeli Air Force and works on the exact same plane that rescued her family.
NbN books 16 summer Aliya flights. Aliya organization Nefesh b’Nefesh has made 14 block bookings on El Al flights from New York’s JFK airport between July and September. It has also booked seats on two flights from the West Coast during July and August. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/282307
Israeli-Arabs find ancient Jewish ritual bath. (TY UWI) Two Israeli Arabs working for the Israel Antiquities Authority were key personnel involved in the Galilee excavation of a Second Temple (2000-year-old) mikveh (ritual bath). One discovered the mikveh and the other authorized it to be re-sited to a nearby religious kibbutz.
IDF opens its largest synagogue. The IDF soldiers at Camp Ariel Sharon training camp, in Southern Israel, can now pray and celebrate in the largest IDF synagogue to date. The synagogue was donated by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF)and includes 350 seats, a Torah study room and a new Torah scroll.