GOOD NEWS FROM AMAZING ISRAEL FROM MICHAEL ORDMAN
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Good news for infertile couples. A research team from Israel’s Technion has produced human eggs using cells from the amniotic sac that surrounds a baby in the womb. Experts believe that donation of the amniotic sac will be more acceptable than egg donation from fertile women.
Cancer breath test to go into production. The eNose early diagnostic breath test for lung cancer developed by Israel Technion Professor Hossam Haick is to go commercial. The Technion has announced a joint venture with Alpha Szenszor Inc. to produce an economically viable, non-invasive, digital screening tool.
“To reduce suffering and save lives – for the sake of all humanity.” These are the goals of Israel’s Technion Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, as described in this video.
Man sees new baby after Israeli doctors save his eye. Moshe Schreibhand of Rishon Lezion went fishing to relax on the night before his wife was due to give birth and a fish hook got caught in his eye. Doctors at Kaplan Medical Center removed the hook, sewed up his eyeball and saved his sight.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
A better hummus and falafel. Yissum, the Research and Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is introducing new chickpea varieties, which retain high nutritional values and exhibit improved synchronization between flowering and the rainy season to increase yield.
Ginger corrects the spelling. Ginger Proofreader, from Israel’s Ginger Software, understands language context well enough to make sure you’ve written what you intended to. So “Hey dude, let’s go grab a bear tonight” would be flagged as being misspelt.
After the “Smart-Phone”, meet the “Smart-Shower” (Thanks to Herb) Israel’s SmarTap has developed an electronic cartridge that can replace the mechanical-thermostatic unit currently used worldwide in showers. SmarTap offers a “personalized shower experience” even in case of a loss of pressure in the cold water pipe.
Predicting the future. Israel Technion’s Kira Radinsky and Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz have developed a program that has successfully predicted disease and violence outbreaks with 70 to 90 percent accuracy. The prototype merged two decades worth of New York Times archives and other Internet sources such as Wikipedia to make its predictions.
A longer life with your mobile phone. Even if there is no evidence for needing its protection against harmful radiation, Israel’s Tawkon mobile phone emissions warning system has several other benefits. It increases battery life; tells you when reception is poor; and it’s free. Plus, it may stop your phone from frying your brain!
A very smart Muve. Israel’s Muve is a new way to move around town. Described as a CleanTech backpack on wheels, the electric scooter eases congestion but gets you from A to B at a steady 20-25 km per hour. At $2,000 it is a third of the price of a Segway and has many more features.
A bridge too far-out! Each year, the world dumps 800,000 aging maritime shipping containers. Israel is building the first ever bridge from recycled containers, to link the Ariel Sharon Environment Park at Hiriya with the main thoroughfare leading to Tel Aviv. The bridge even has solar-powered lighting.
Cut crime by focusing on hot spots. A 16-year study by Professor David Weisburd of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute of Criminology has shown that 50% of city crime occurs in 5% of the streets. Traditional crime fighting focuses on the criminals but Stockholm Prize-winner Weisburd has changed perceptions.
Israel is on the map. Israel NewTech is launching the Clean-Tech Map. The Facebook application shows Israeli Clean-tech projects and installations anywhere in the world. Visitors search by either category or by browsing the map. Visitors may then read about each project, view photos or clips, and contact the company.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Broadband for Mexican schoolchildren. Israeli communications company Gilat has won a contract to supply over 7,000 SkyEdge VSATs in support of the Mexican government’s initiative to provide thousands of rural classrooms and government offices with Internet connectivity.
Israel stars at the Super Bowl. Whilst Baltimore was beating San Francisco, the huge TV screens featured Super Bowl advertising debuts for Israeli drinks maker SodaStream and Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli.
Israel has the best wines – again. Over 45 Israeli wineries took part in the second annual Wine Seven Two kosher wine exhibition in Jerusalem. Israel was the center of wine production in Biblical times and today it is becoming so once more.
Hi-Tech in a crater. The Israeli branch of McCann Erickson is opening an advanced, 21st-century office in the Ramon Crater in the Negev desert. The McCann Valley Center for Digital Marketing and New Media will employ 120 local full-time staff with support from the Ministry for the Development of the Galilee and Negev.
Record foreign currency reserves. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves stood at a record $78.417 billion at the end of January 2013 – a rise of $2.511 billion from their level at the end of December 2012. The previous all-time record of $78.078 billion was recorded in August 2011.
Learning from Israel to start-up in Canada. (Thanks to Herb) A group of 11 deans of Canadian business schools visited Israel recently. Peggy Cunningham, Dean of the Rowe School of Business, suggested Israeli successes in innovation and high-tech companies could be studied and applied in Nova Scotia.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Beersheva – Israel’s Water City. Beersheva means “Well of the Oath” and is being re-branded as Israel’s “Water City,” with the installation of public fountains and even a manmade beach on the drawing board. Other culture includes the Forum (the biggest nightclub in Israel), regular street festivals and the Negev Museum of Art. The Old City area has seen a recent infusion of $10.5 million in renovations.
Mixing music and science. A conference “Music and Brains: The Surprising Link — An Interface between Music, Cognition and Neuroscience” takes place from Feb 10-13 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Participants will mix cutting-edge science with a variety of musical concerts illuminating the topics.
Music “In D” Negev. In-D-Negev – a play on the words “indie” and “in the Negev” – is a three-day festival that mixes desert scenery with great beats. It is a platform for alternative music and lifestyles in Israel. Camping in the desert, living off the land and hearing music nonstop without any frills or neon advertisements
Two Israeli gold medals at World Judo Championships. Israel’s judo team has won two gold medals and a bronze in the World Judo Championship games being held in Tbilisi, Georgia. Ori Sasson won gold in the 100 kilo and under. Sagi Muki won gold in the under 73kg event. Assaf Chen won a bronze in the 81 kilo group.
THE JEWISH STATE
Cancer sufferer becomes Israeli Air Force pilot. While training to be a pilot, Lt. T was told he had cancer – but that didn’t stop him. He beat the disease and chose to rejoin the IAF’s Flight Academy. Now he has graduated the course, despite spending long stretches of it in the hospital.
The water crisis is over. Israel’s Water Authority has officially declared the national water crisis to be over. Heavy winters rains and snow this year, combined with increased desalination efforts and conservatory behavior on the part of the public, has brought the Sea of Galilee to within two meters (six feet) of its capacity.
A Native and a Zionist. Ryan Bellerose grew up on a Métis colony in Northern Alberta. Inspired by Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and the raid to release Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Ryan writes movingly about Israel’s epic story and hopes that the Metis keep walking the same road as the Jewish people.
Arab newspaper publishes relatively positive articles on Israel. London’s Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat recently published two articles that presented a different view of Israel. The articles by Dr. Amal al-Hazzani, an assistant professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, attracted a flood of hate mail, however.
Leo, the dog who came home. When the shelter at Jerusalem’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was flooded during a downpour this winter, many people came to the rescue and fostered dogs like Leo. 10 days later, Leo ran away and made a 15km trek back to the shelter – a little thinner, but happy.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Nature knows no limits. Founded in 1996, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies accepts 40 undergraduate and master’s students each year, divided equally among Israeli Jews; Arabs from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan; and international applicants. In 2013 the number will double to 80.
IDF Saves Life of 13-Year-Old Palestinian Arab. An IDF medical team on Sunday saved the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian Authority dialysis patient whose life was in danger due pulmonary edema. He was transferred to the Meyer Children’s Hospital in Haifa, which specializes in Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis.
Israel upgrades electricity lines to Gaza. The “Grizim” underground electrical lines that supply electricity from Israel to Gaza’s northern region have been refurbished and upgraded. This has significantly increased the capacity of the lines, providing a more stable supply to the 70,000 residents of northern Gaza.
And WHO recognizes Israel’s humanity. According to a 2012 World Health Organization report, Israel approved 91.5 percent of Palestinian applications from Gaza to receive medical care in Israel proper, while an additional 7.2 percent were approved pending a security check. In total, 210,469 Palestinians received medical treatment inside Israel proper in 2012.
More Israeli women are empowered. The Hadassah Foundation has awarded grants totaling $200,500 to organizations in Israel and the United States that empower girls and women. The Foundation is a philanthropic pioneer in the fields of improving economic security for low-income Israeli women.
Japan honors Israeli tsunami aid. Two years after a massive tsunami ravaged the eastern seaboard of Japan, the people of one of the hardest hit towns, Yanmei-Sanriku, have inaugurated a statue honoring the assistance that Israel provided in their darkest hour. Titled “Rebirth and Resurrection” the statue was installed in front of the municipal offices and temporary Israeli hospitals established in Yanmei-Sanriku.
Learning in Israel; healing the World. Seventy public health professionals from over 20 countries in Africa and across the globe return to Jerusalem to participate in the 2nd Pears International Master’s in Public Health (IMPH) Alumni Reunion. They will learn cutting-edge research and exchange professional experiences. Over 750 professionals from 90 countries have graduated from Israel’s IMPH program since its inception in 1971.
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