In the 19th August 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· Israeli scientists have made another major discovery on the road to eradicating cancer.
· Israeli humanitarian aid receives more recognition at the United Nations.
· Help for autistic children who need a cuddle but can’t bare anyone to touch them.
· Israeli software can build a picture of a criminal from unmatched DNA found at the crime scene.
· Curiosity – the Mars rover – had an Israeli check-up prior to take-off.
· For my birthday treat, I can’t decide between Cirque du Soleil and the Dancing Camel brewery.
· This week marked the 5th anniversary of our immigration to this amazing country.
· My latest JPost descriptive summary “How does Israel do it?”
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Using HIV to kill cancer cells. (Thanks to Israel21c) Scientists at the Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School have discovered a peptide (small protein) derived from the HIV virus that interferes with a cell’s ability to repair itself. The peptide weakens cancer cells, making them more vulnerable to conventional therapies.
How to treat trauma victims. 26 doctors, nurses and hospital administrators from 20 countries arrived at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital to share its experience and know-how in treating trauma victims. Lectures, workshops, simulations and tours prepared attendees to build systems for treating mass-casualty victims.
Muhamad Ali’s daughter visits Hadassah hospital. Rasheda Ali, daughter of the legendary Muhamad Ali, came to Hadassah Ein Kerem to see Professor Karussis’s stem cell work to treat brain diseases. Ms. Ali is a member of the advisory board of Israeli biotech Brainstorm. Her father suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
Three children receive donor organs. Just hours before a man was due to donate a lobe of his liver to his three-year-old nephew, a deceased donor was found and whose organs saved two further children. All three operations were performed at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Bioactive coating for brain instruments. Modern medicine is advancing so fast. Brain diseases are being treated using electrodes placed in the brain itself. Because the body reacts against invasive materials, Tel Aviv University scientists have developed a protein coating for the electrodes that fools the body’s immune system.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Partners in Business, Partners in Peace. The Peres Centre for Peace has launched a new project that fosters business ties between Israeli and Palestinian business people in the handicrafts, garment and textiles, and food sectors. A 458,000 Euro grant from the European Union funds 80% of the project expenditure until 2014.
Volunteer’s world changes forever. Following her Birthright trip, psychology student Alexa Yakubovich volunteered to work at Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) centre in Holon. As she played with a healed Palestinian Arab baby she wrote, “people can be brought together over a healed heart and a smile”.
IDF Squad commander was 8 months pregnant. During her company commander course, Yarden got married and fell pregnant six months later. She didn’t want to quit and became the first female combat commander in the Home Front Command. She even went on a march whilst 7 months pregnant.
Israeli humanitarian aid receives UN recognition. Jewish Heart for Africa has received special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The New York based NGO focuses on bringing Israeli sustainable technologies to African villages.
Last week India, this week China. Vessels from the Chinese fleet anchored at the port of Haifa to honour 20 years of cooperation between the IDF and the Chinese Army. During their stay, the Chinese will visit the IDF Naval Officers’ Academy, Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial site, and visit different Israeli tourist attractions.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The air that we breathe. (Thanks to NoCamels) Weizmann Institute scientists have discovered how sulphur regulates oxygen in our atmosphere. Specifically, when the iron-sulphur mineral known as pyrite (or fool’s gold) dissolves in seawater, microbes use it to digest organic matter. This releases oxygen in the pyrite.
When a real hug won’t do. Israeli company BioHug Technologies demonstrated their BioHug Vest – for calming people with autism or those just with high stress levels. The vest was invented by an Israeli whose autistic child could not bear human hugs.
A solar powered desert oasis. (Israel21c & phys.org) Fresh looks at the ecosystem built by Ben-Gurion University and the Central and Northern Arava Research and Development Center. It produces a variety of freshwater and salt-hardy crops that feed on saline wastewater from the solar-powered desalination process.
Rebuilding Japanese cities. Japanese visitors to CleanTech 2012 in Tel Aviv included Dr Daisuke Mishima who wanted Israeli companies to help reconstruct area of the country destroyed by last year’s earthquake and tsunami.
DNA breakthrough in fighting crime. (Thanks to NoCamels) Currently, DNA found at a crime scene has to find a match in the police databases, to play a part in catching the criminal. But now researchers at Israel’s Tel-Hai Academic College are developing a chip that can use unmatched DNA to identify the sex, height, age, hair colour and type, eye colour and ethnic background of the offender — and even if he/she is right or left-handed.
YouHoo takes social networking to a new level. (Thanks to NoCamels) This Israeli smartphone application allows you to connect with a group of your friends within a 1000-meter radius. For music events, parties, conferences or waiting for buses, trains or planes. Free for users, but businesses are charged to create events.
Making all the right moves. Two Israeli hi-tech companies are well placed for the imminent release of Windows 8, which supports gesture recognition. eyeSight and PointGrab have 95% of the market in gesture technology and will be raising their hands in anticipation of their products being shipped with the new laptops.
Hi – I’m BeeZee at the moment. (Thanks to NoCamels) In the “always-on” world of mobile phones, this handy Israeli application will inform your friends, family, customers etc. why you cannot answer their call. If your smartphone seems to be almost surgically attached to your body, BeeZee could really change your life.
It’s all about image. Israeli start-up Cortica has image recognition software that can analyse a photo or video then match it up with a relevant advertisement. It has huge marketing potential. Neuroscientists Josh Zeevi and Karina Odinaev first developed the technology when they were studying at Israel’s Technion.
Mars rover had Israeli check-up. I was sure that Israeli technology would be involved in the current Mars mission. Siemens Israel developed Project Lifecycle Management (PLM) and NASA used it to accurately model how the Mars vehicle “Curiosity” would perform tens of millions of miles from earth.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
S. Korea deal boosts Israeli telecom firm. Israel’s Leadcom was one of the largest integrators of mobile technology in developing countries, but 2008 recession brought near bankruptcy. Now its deal with South Korea’s RF Window to distribute its cellphone signal enhancement products should bring financial security.
The sky is “open” for business. Four months after Israel joined the EU aviation zone, Israel and the EU signed an “open skies” agreement. Each year each European destination will have seven additional weekly flights to and from Israel, which should mean reduced prices.
How to make your business soar – call Bird. The Bird Foundation has been one of the reasons for Israel’s start-up successes. It helps finance joint Israeli and USA projects and since 2009 has focussed on clean energy. Bird approves around 4 projects a year, has invested nearly $300 million and generated $8 billion of sales.
FreshBiz – a game for budding entrepreneurs. (Thanks to Israel21c) Before setting up your new start-up, try your hand at this new Israeli board game. FreshBiz players move through various business stages, from starting a new company to trading on the stock market. Unlike typical board games, there can be more than one winner if individuals help each other.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
The magic of Cirque du Soleil. Canadian-based Cirque du Soleil (“Circus of the Sun”) has been wowing thousands of Israelis at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. The circus troop is scheduled to give 21 performances of its Alegría act throughout Israel between August 8 and August 25.
Is “Statue” under all that make-up? (Thanks to Israel21c) The 3rd Rehovot International Live Statues Festival featured 120 statues. But these statues were far more dynamic than those usually seen in town squares.
Jazz at the Dancing Camel. Here’s a perfect way to cool down during Tel Aviv’s long summer evenings – relaxing to the sound of Jazz, with a glass of “The Golem”.
Maccabi Haifa’s kit is eco-friendly. Nike has launched the new home kit for Maccabi Haifa FC. The kit combines performance innovation with low environmental impact. It is made from material that uses up to 13 recycled plastic water bottles and features laser-cut ventilation holes to keep players dry and cool.
Israel holds all the cards. An Israeli team including two serving IDF soldiers came second in the World under 21 Bridge championships in China. A Dutch team beat them by just one point.
THE JEWISH STATE
Red, kosher and Israeli. (Thanks to Israel21c) Red food colouring has always been a problem. Animal sources do not satisfy vegetarian, kosher or halal customers and the synthetic version can cause behaviour problems in children. Lycopene from Israel’s LycoRed, is safe, approved and made from the humble tomato.
Emigration lowest for 40 years. The Central Bureau of Statistics has published that 15,600 Israelis left to live abroad in 2010. The emigration rate is now 0.7 for every 1000 citizens, the lowest it has been since 1973. The CBS suggests that the global economic crisis is the reason. There are 570,000 Israelis living abroad today.
Rescued after 28 years.
A dramatic rescue brought a Jewish woman and her two young children out of the clutches of a brutal husband with whom she lived for 28 years in the Arab town of Tulkarm, East of Netanya. On reaching safety, Dinah’s children begged her, “Mommy, promise us you never will go back there again.”http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=7447
In love with Israel. More than 400 Christians and Jews joined together in San Diego at an event to galvanize Christian support for Israel. Organised by Brett “Bird” Matson and co-sponsored by StandWithUs San Diego, as Bird put it, “Jews, Christians and those with no faith were inspired to look up and love Israel.”
Flying the flag of Israel. StandWithUs, in partnership with El Al Airlines and The Jewish Agency, has started a program to bring the varied faces of Israel to people across the world. El Al pilots and flight attendants serve as ambassadors for Israel during their layovers to tell people what it means to be Israeli.
Our 5th Anniversary. We can hardly believe that it’s five years since Nefesh b’Nefesh brought us home to the Jewish State. So we were exhilarated to see that, exactly five years later, 350 new immigrants landed at Ben Gurion Airport to begin their new lives in Israel. More than 4,800 American, Canadian and British Jews have or will be making aliyah this year, which marks Nefesh B’Nefesh’s 10th anniversary.
It’s never too late. This is for all those senior readers who think that they are set in their ways. Jay and Lina Padgug, ages 85 and 82, both widowers, got a second chance at love when they met on JDate. The two tied the knot two years ago, and recently decided to make an old dream come true by moving to Israel.
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