In the 7th June 20 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
- Israeli discovery of bacteria in all types of cancer cells will transform oncology.
- Israeli engineers make free 3D-printed prosthetic hands for children
- Israel sent Covid-19 missions to the Congo, Sudan and the Philippines.
- Israeli smart weeding system ensures more crops with less pesticides.
- Alibaba uses Israeli technology to help US companies ship their products.
- 9 million people voted in the Israeli Dead Sea photo competition.
- New technology accurately dates ancient Jerusalem structures.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Keeping Covid-19 patients off ventilators. (TY UWI) Israel’s Respinova developed Pulsehaler to help COPD patients improve their lungs and avoid ventilation. Repinova is now preparing for clinical trials in Israel on patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as caused by Covid-19.
Detecting Covid-19 in India. Israel’s Zebra Medical was being deployed last year (see here) to detect TB cases across India. Zebra is now assisting Apollo (India’s largest hospital group) to diagnose coronavirus cases using its machine-learning algorithm that analyzes CT scans of suspected Covid-19 infected patients.
Testing CPAP on Covid-19 patients. Israel’s Itamar Medical (reported here previously) is funding a trial of its disposable WatchPAT ONE CPAP device. It will be given to 200 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in the Mount Sinai Health (US) system with respiratory symptoms but who do not require hospital admission.
BGU doctors on the Covid-19 front lines. A webinar from Israel’s Ben Gurion University featuring a student developing software to help advance Covid-19 treatment trials and two alumni – one working for the World Health Organization, and another helping implement a Covid-19 surveillance system in the state of Oregon.
Bacteria protects cancer cells. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that bacteria exist inside all types of cancer cells. They protect the cancer by “digesting” and de-activating chemotherapy. These anti-cancer treatments may be made more effective by targeting or manipulating the bacteria.
Nitric Oxide treats babies with Bronchiolitis. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Beyond Air announced positive top-line results from its third pilot study in bronchiolitis patients. 89 infants under 12 months were treated at 8 sites in Israel. https://www.globenewswire.com/
US approval for latest exoskeleton. Israel’s ReWalk Robotics received FDA clearance of its Exoskeleton Personal 6.0 https://investorplace.com/
DNA editing to cure diseases. Israel is establishing a consortium to make CRISPR genome editing more precise. Israel’s Innovation Authority has allocated NIS 36 million to CRISPR-IL, for the country’s academic institutions and bio-techs to use AI to advance the technology for repairing disease-causing mutations.
Free prosthetics for children. (TY Janglo, Hazel & ILTV) Scientists at Israel’s Technion 3D-print prosthetic hands for children in Israel, Gaza, the PA and Syria – all for free. They are built to the child’s specifications –and can be even better than a normal hand.
Keeping transplants alive. Israeli courier Mishel Zrian races against time for NGO Ezer Mizion, delivering life-saving transplants for bone marrow patients. During the pandemic he often performs logistical acrobatics to avoid quarantine and get transplants to their destinations amid the shortage of flights and restrictions on travel.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Takeaway benefits the needy. Israel’s TAKE is a social impact food delivery service. Order food from certain restaurants that deliver using TAKE’s network of freelance couriers. Separately, when the restaurant has surplus food, it contacts TAKE to deliver it to those in need, providing hot, fresh meals to those who cannot afford it.
Off-grid wastewater treatment at Bedouin village. A solar-operated wastewater treatment system developed at Israel’s Arava Institute has been installed at Umm Batin, a Bedouin village near Beersheba. The water is recycled for agriculture. Previously, residents polluted the groundwater because there was no sewage system.
Drive-in Covid-19 testing in the Congo. Israel’s Magen David Adom has built software for managing a drive-thru facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They also prepared a training program of videos and written procedures, which they have passed on to local medical professionals who will operate the facility in Africa.
More ties with Sudan. (TY JTA) Israel sent a medical team to try to save the life of a Sudanese diplomat who had been working to improve relations between the two countries. Other news includes the first commercial Israeli airplane (El Al from Argentina) to be given permission to overfly Sudan, saving 2 hours flight time.
Coronavirus aid for the Philippines. (TY Hazel) Israel donated a large shipment of medical supplies to the Philippines to help the southeast Asian nation cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It included thousands of medical gloves, surgical masks, medical gowns, N95 face masks, face shields and non-contact thermometers.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
A health-tech revolution. Newsletter subscribers will know that the coronavirus pandemic has fast tracked the merger of Israeli high tech with the health sector. This article highlights some of Israel’s major advances in remote healthcare and telemedicine that are saving lives thanks to an improved regulatory approval process.
Roads and rail upgraded. (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Government has injected over NIS 1 billion to upgrade Israel’s road and rail network during the pandemic’s lull in traffic. The final stretch of the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv fast train and the expansion of a central Israel highway will be finished six months to a year ahead of schedule.
Virus-killing sanitation tunnel. (TY UWI) Israel’s RD PACK has developed a sanitation tunnel that sprays incomers with a safe anti-viral disinfectant. The tunnel can be placed at the entrance to stadiums, hospitals, airports, schools or office buildings. It is being piloted at the VIP entrance to Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.
Smart way to tackle weeds. Israel’s Greeneye (mentioned here previously) utilizes Artificial Intelligence and deep learning technologies to revolutionize the weed control process in agriculture. It accurately detects weeds at the species level and then sprays with precision in real-time, avoiding dangerous, wasteful use of pesticides.
Developing Facebook’s digital wallet. Facebook Vice President Tomer Barel is Chief Operating Officer at Israel’s Novi, the team developing the main components of Facebook’s digital wallet – also to be called Novi. He expressed his pride to be part of the thriving technology community in Israel.
Generator for remote villages. Israel’s Aquarius Engines (reported here previously) is launching a field test of its revolutionary lightweight linear engine on a Philippines island where residents have no access to electricity. Aquarius is partnering with Nokia to bring electricity to remote populations and telecommunications centers.
Google’s wireless earphones have Israel inside. (TY Hazel) Israel’s DSPG makes the chip that provides Artificial Intelligence for Google’s new wireless earphones. It includes voice-activation and instant translation. DSPG also produces the chip is responsible for the entire audio system of the Panasonic Technics headset.
Alerting lifeguards to swimmers in danger. Israel’s Sightbit uses AI and computer vision technology to detect and prevent drowning, as swimmers return to Israel’s beaches. Sightbit’s pilot program at the popular Palmachim Beach aims to turn the area into one of the first “smart” beaches in Israel.
Join the virtual Houseparty. With 50 million sign-ups in March alone, the app Houseparty, developed by Israel’s Life On Air, has become a top competitor to Zoom, especially among younger crowds. Houseparty recently hosted a 3-day virtual party “In the House” with Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, John Legend and Snoop.
Discover your data leaks. Israel’s 1touch.io uses network analytics, repository scanning, plus management interfaces to discover personal and sensitive data that a company does not even know about. Only then can the company protect that data from accidental or deliberate unauthorized exposure.
How do you compare with your competitors? The intelligence platform of Israel’s Watchful reveals useful information about the product strategy of competitors by analyzing their apps. It provides detailed information on the changes that their applications are undergoing and compares it to your own company’s app.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Opportunities in South Korea. Israel’s $2 billion annual trade with South Korea is set to surge. Covid-19 infections are low in both countries and Korea’s digital and green “New Deals” plus its K-Startup Grand Challenge will attract Israeli innovators. Samsung, Hyundai, LG etc. already partner many Israeli companies.
Locating a doctor overseas post Covid-19. Israel’s Air Doctor (reported here previously) locates a trusted physician if you fall sick abroad. In Dec 2019, it launched a telemedicine service for travelers to virtually meet with physicians who speak their language. Usage of the service has soared 150 percent in the last two months.
Virtual fitting room takes off. Business for Israeli startup Zeekit, has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Zeekit’s technology (reported here previously) virtually dresses on-line shoppers and fashion models. Recent new customers are Walmart, Macy’s, UK’s Asos, Adidas and Tommy Hilfiger.
Monday.com is worth $2.7 billion. The valuation of Israel’s Monday.com, which makes software to help employees work remotely, jumped to $2.7 billion – a 42% increase since it last raised funds. The company says its tools help its 100,000 paying customers keep tabs on assignments and avoid communication breakdowns.
Israeli tech powers Alibaba’s shipping for US companies. E-Commerce giant Alibaba has launched Alibaba.com Freight to help American companies dispatch their goods by sea and air. It uses technology from Israel’s Freightos (reported here previously), which compare prices and manages shipments in real time.
Starting a business during a pandemic. Four Israeli entrepreneurs launched their companies during the coronavirus pandemic. Stayy Live streams live broadcasts; Gooo allows greengrocers and farmers to sell direct to consumers; Canditech provides remote recruitment; and Wishbox manages hotel guests during the pandemic.
Investing in cybersecurity. Israeli Venture Capital fund Cyberstarts has just closed its second $100 million fund for investing in early-stage cybersecurity startups. To date, the fund has made six investments, and highlights the growing demand for innovative cybersecurity solutions, particularly in times of crisis.
3d Signals is a European Red Herring. Israel’s 3d Signals has won a Red Herring top 100 Europe award, recognizing it as one of Europe’s outstanding and promising companies. 3d Signals is an Industry 4.0 pioneer with its AI-based IoT Asset Performance Monitoring platform for digitalizing production floors.
Optimal+ exits for $365 million. US giant National Instruments Corp bought Israeli data analytics Optimal+ (reported here previously) for $365 million. Optimal+ founder and CEO Dan Glotter said the deal was “testament to the leading-edge innovation delivered by our R&D, Product and Data Science teams in Israel”.
NetApp spots a fifth Israeli startup. US IT data services company NetApp has acquired Israeli cloud services startup Spot.io for a reported $450 million. NetApp previously acquired Israeli startups Cognigo, Plexistor, Topio, and Onaros. The technology of Spot.io helps companies save Cloud computing costs.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Pick the cherries. (TY I24 News) Israel’s cherry-picking season in the Golan Heights lasts just one month – May. Thousands of Israeli tourists visit the region – even to some of the remote Kibbutzim. They enjoy the landscapes, the local culture and, of course – the fruits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
An eco-friendly vineyard. (TY ILTV & WIN) The Tabor Winery in Israel’s Galilee enlists wildlife for a cleaner, greener wine. No pesticides, natural flowers between the vines to preserve the soil, trees and nesting boxes to attract birds. Rock islands for smaller animals. The results are complex wines with unique flavors.
Huge response to Dead Sea photo competition. Over nine million votes were cast in an Israeli-organized competition in which some 3,500 photographers submitted over 13,000 photos of the Dead Sea. There were entries from more than 40 countries, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Jailbird recaptured. (TY Janglo) An exotic bird escaped from Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari Park and walked North along Route 4 near the busy Bar Ilan interchange. When the police arrived, they immediately blocked traffic for this show-stopping bird and returned it safely to the Safari Park.
Israeli baseball star coaches US youth. Alon Leichman grew up playing baseball on Israel’s Kibbutz Gezer and was a pitching coach for the Israeli All-star team. He currently coaches for West Virginia Power – an A team in the Seattle Mariners system – but plans to return to the Israeli All-stars for the next Olympics.
THE JEWISH STATE
Exploring the City of King David. (TY INN) Two new videos exploring the 3,000-year-old City of David, where King David set up as his headquarters.
Jerusalem on Shavuot. (TY Sharon) The festive Shavuot (Pentecost) atmosphere in Jerusalem this year was much quieter than on previous occasions. But the Temple Mount has now re-opened after a two-month closure.
New tech to date old stones. Weizmann Institute scientists used new radiocarbon-dating techniques and micro-archaeology to accurately date the construction of Wilson’s Arch, which supported one of the main pathways to the Second Temple. It was built in two phases, around 35BCE and then extended in the first century CE.
Fountainhead discovered from Talmudic period. An ancient fountainhead matching a description in the Babylonian Talmud was recently discovered in northern Israel’s Tzippori National Park. It has the shape of a face as described in the Talmud (Tractate Avodah Zarah, p. 12a) which specifically addresses idol worship.
DNA analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls. (TY UWI) Israeli and US scientists have decoded the DNA in the animal skins on which the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. It has proved connections between some fragments and disproved others. It has also distinguished locally written texts from those brought from elsewhere.
More real estate for Roman. (TY Janglo) Israeli-Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich (reported here previously) is certainly putting his money into the Jewish State. He has just bought his third property – this time it’s a 2.35-acre estate in Herzliya Pituah for a record $64.5 million.
Emotional homecoming for Argentinian Olim. In this powerful video clip, a father from Argentina cannot hide his emotions as he is welcomed into the Jewish State by singing youth and IDF soldiers.
Disabled volunteer hero. Yerucham has been a volunteer food delivery driver for Israeli charity Yad Ezra V’Shulamit for over two decades, despite having regular dialysis treatment and being in wheelchair following a car accident. He drives a modified van and continues to deliver food to the needy.
Movie proceeds to feed needy Israelis. The Jewish Community of Oporto (Porto), Portugal, is donating all proceeds from the Video on Demand film “The Light of Judah” to Leket Israel – the Food Bank of Israel. The film is part of an interfaith project, in conjunction with the Catholic Diocese of Oporto, to fight anti-Semitism.