In the 12th Aug 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli stem cells have saved the life of another patient with bone marrow failure.
· Israeli treatment success for epilepsy that does not respond to medication.
· The Israeli government is paying Israeli companies to employ Israeli Arabs.
· Israeli broadcast communications technology is a winner at the London Olympics.
· An Israeli firm will employ hundreds to make bio fuels in Mississippi.
· Two Israeli mothers have invented a unique biodegradable packaging material.
· For the first time, a Pakistani media company is translating an Israeli news feed into Urdu.
· Last week’s JPost Israel Positive News descriptive summary
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Pluristem saves another bone marrow patient. PLX stem cell therapy by Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics saved a 54-year old Israeli woman with lymphoma cancer and terminal bone marrow failure at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. The patient failed to respond to chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants. She has now been discharged from the hospital. In May, Pluristem saved a 7-year-old girl with an aplastic bone marrow.
Good results from initial pulmonary fibrosis trials. Pluristem Therapeutics positive results in pre-clinical test of its PLacental eXpanded (PLX) stem cells for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. It reduced pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lung tissue) and improved lung function in interstitial lung disease (ILD).
Caesarean at 30 weeks saves baby and mother. (Thanks to Israel21c) A routine ultrasound scan discovered that an unborn baby had a blockage in its breathing passage. Surgeons at Israel’s Sheba medical centre performed a rare operation on the baby while it was still attached to its mother by its umbilical cord.
Record 30 cornea transplants. Normally surgeons at the Rabin Medical Centre – Beilinson campus perform 10 transplants a month. But in July, they tripled the number of operations to restore the sight of patients. This is another positive result of the new ADI organ donor cards that more and more Israelis have signed up to.
Can prayer prevent Alzheimer’s? A new joint American-Israeli study has found that praying regularly can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. Spiritual well-being slows progression of the disease by reducing stress levels. Memorising prayers helps cognitive function. (And maybe other factors?)
Deep Brain Stimulation stops epileptic seizures. Professor Itzak Fried of Sourasky Medical Center implanted electrodes deep inside the brain of a patient with intractable epilepsy (does not respond to medication). So far, the treatment has been a complete success. There are some 20,000 Israelis with intractable epilepsy.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel pays firms to employ Arabs. The Israeli government will pay 25% of the hi-tech salaries of Israeli-Arabs for 2.5 years as part of a NIS 5 billion, multi-year plan to integrate Arabs into the economy. 600 companies have agreed to participate in the incentives program by hiring qualified Arab workers.
The road to Peace – watermelon? It has as much chance as anything the PA leadership is doing. Watermelon and Israeli cheeses brought together Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighbourhood as part of the first annual “Between Green and Red” festival. It revives the atmosphere in 1967 when the city was re-united.
Terrorist leader’s family treated in Israeli hospital. The sister of Gaza’s Hamas PM, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied her husband for one week’s treatment in Beilinson Hospital four months ago. The sister’s husband chose Israel rather than Egypt, following a serious heart condition. (Are we crazy?)
Israeli charity to advise UN. Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading special needs organization and global innovator of new therapies, has been awarded Special Consultative Status by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Beit Issie Shapiro will provide Israeli expertise on disability rights and innovations.
Angola and Israel to strengthen cooperation. Israeli President Shimon Peres received Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Chicoti and both agreed to strengthen the science and technology links between the two countries.
Indian Navy on goodwill visit. Four Indian navy warships arrived on a goodwill visit to Haifa to “strengthen service-to-service linkages”, as the two countries celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties this year. The Indian sailors will also be paying their respects at the memorial of Indian soldiers buried in Haifa. Haifa schools’ history textbooks include how Indian soldiers fought to liberate the city from the Ottoman Turks in 1918.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Israeli technology at the Olympics. 100 broadcasters including BBC, NBC, Globosat, Terra, TV Record, Televisa, and Uno TV, are all using a remote television uplink technology developed by Israel’s LiveU. And Orad TV developed the software to display national flags on the lanes for swimming and track events.
Israel’s “Start-up Olympics”. The “Tech Trailblazers Awards” is a new initiative for taking innovative Israeli tech start-ups into Gold Medal Territory. A £1 million prize fund and guaranteed publicity will launch any new enterprise off the starting blocks and on track for a podium finish.
The Olympic games of green construction. An Israeli team will submit an entry for the prestigious Solar Decathlon China competition scheduled for August 2013. The competition will include academic teams from 20 countries who will compete for the title of champion of ecological construction.
Windbreaker intercepts Gaza missile. (Thanks to Phillip Pasmanick) The IDF‘s innovative Windbreaker defense system intercepted an anti-tank missile fired at an Israeli tank in the central Gaza Strip, near Kissufim. It is only the second time that the system has been used to save IDF lives since made operational in 2010.
The John is now the Paulee.
It’s a toilet that requires no water or electricity and its end product can simply be put on the compost. Israel’s Paulee Cleantech so impressed the Gates Foundation that they have awarded it an $110,000 grant. The same company makes the AshPoopie
that deals with dog waste (featured here
A recycled cycle. Israeli entrepreneur Izhar Gafni has developed a prototype bicycle that is waterproof, humidity-resistant, eco-friendly, affordable and … made out of recycled cardboard. Despite the focus on low costs, Gafni paid a lot of attention to design and it’s really hard to tell that it’s made out of cardboard.
Biodegradable packaging is here. (Thanks to Israel21c, Green Prophet & Margaret) Inspired by their children who kept throwing away their packed lunch wrappings, two Israeli mothers have invented a packaging material that can be disposed of without any environmental impact. (But just look at the CV’s of these mothers)
Robot education. No it’s not an article about boring teachers. This is about World ORT’s program to advance science and technology education by getting Israeli students to build robots. Robots help kids learn to think more creatively, exposing them to principles of physics, energy, environment, and infrastructure.
Israeli hi-tech comes to Atlanta. The 16th annual American-Israeli Chamber of Commerce’s professional seminar in Atlanta, Georgia, is to focus on the impact of Israel’s growing technology sector on the USA. Israeli speakers include from companies Elbit, SpaceIL, BigBand Networks and NeuroTech Solutions.
Geothermal plant goes operational. Israel’s Ormat Technologies has announced that its McGinness Hills geothermal power plant located in Lander County, Nevada met the requirements for commercial operation. Ormat has a contract to sell the electricity produced to Las Vegas based NV Energy for the next 20 years.
An Israeli biofuel plant in Mississippi. Israel’s Virdia is to build a factory in the Southern US State to convert Mississippi vegetation into fermentable sugars – a key stage to making fuel from plants. The factory will create hundreds of vital local jobs.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Why is Israel’s economy so strong? There are many books and articles that try to answer that. “Start-up Nation” and “The Israel Test” are probably the best. Mitt Romney gave his thoughts during his recent visit. Here is another in an opinion piece from Jordan Weissmann.
Israel’s gas is worth $240 billion. A Bloomberg News report estimates that Israel has enough natural gas to last for 150 years. So it must decide what it is going to do with it. (A great situation to be in.)
July air passengers up 4.5%. The Israel Airports Authority reports that 1.4 million passengers passed through Ben Gurion airport in July, up 4.5% from last year. In July there were 9,576 incoming and outbound flights, a 1.5% rise. The summer vacation peak saw 60,000 passengers come and go on 390 flights on a single day.
Israel system to monitor Chinese agricultural products. The Anhui province of China has selected the Israeli company Agricultural Knowledge Online (AKOL) to supply agricultural survey and monitoring systems. China is ramping up its agriculture production using Israel’s advanced computerized technology.
Investors flood in for Israeli clean water company. Israeli wastewater treatment solutions provider Aqwise has raised $4.5 million to expand its projects, especially in India. Aqwise is one of Deloitte’s Israeli Fast 50 Technology companies and also on the “Global Cleantech 100”.
Israeli news in Urdu. Tazpit News Agency is the first Israeli media company to collaborate with a Pakistani media group. Toronto based Weekly Press Pakistan (WPP) will carry Tazpit’s stories in Urdu. Tazpit director Amotz Eyal said that the link-up has “exposed millions to news and balanced information coming from Israel.”
Israeli firms expand overseas. Israeli industrial companies have taken advantage of the global slowdown in the first half of 2012 to buy 40 small and medium-sized companies in Europe and India. In all of 2011 there were only 20 such acquisitions by Israeli industrial companies overseas.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
“Living water from Jerusalem”. 2015 will see the opening of an NIS 80 million aquarium at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo. The two main tanks will focus on life in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Visitors walk under 2 million cubic meters of seawater for a 180-degree view of the sharks, sea turtles, coral reefs and exotic fish.
Israel’s first professional music conference. The Jerusalem Music Conference, the first international music conference in Israel for music business professionals, will be taking place from August 27-31. Hundreds of delegates are expected and it will feature over 40 Israeli artists and bands.
It’s not all studying at the Technion. Israel Technion’s 2012 International Beach Volleyball Tournament gave the hard-working students a chance to unwind.
THE JEWISH STATE
From terror victim to policewoman. Ten years after being seriously wounded in a bombing attack in Karnei Shomron, Shira Chazan completed the first portion of Israel Police training academy. With a degree in criminology and following a long and painful rehabilitation process, Shira is getting on with her life.
Tel Aviv – city of architecture. (Thanks to Israel21c) International travel magazine Conde Nast has included Tel Aviv as number 3 in its list of cities every architecture lover must visit. “Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tel Aviv’s ‘White City’ contains 4,000 International Style buildings” the website reported.
Free Wi-Fi throughout Israel. Just a couple of catches. Firstly, you must be a Bezeq customer (I am) and secondly, you donate 1-2 Mb of your home wi-fi bandwidth to the service accessed by others. Your home effectively becomes a hotspot. 10,000 have already signed up and I’m thinking seriously about joining them.
IDF prevents mega-terror attack from Sinai. The incident is all over the news and worth recording here.