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The Weekly Good News From Israel : Business, Science, Technology and More

In the 18th May 2014 edition of Israel’s good news:


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UK on-line retailer uses Israeli software.  UK’s online retail giant Shop Direct, based in Liverpool, has teamed up with Israel’s Cimagine Media and yRuler to launch a new service that will allow shoppers to try-out products virtually before they buy them. The brands include Very, Isme and Littlewoods.


El Al boost number of flights from USA by 30%.  El Al Airlines’ Spring schedule now has 31 weekly nonstop flights between North America and Israel.  They include 22 flights from New York (JFK/Newark), five from Los Angeles and four from Toronto, Canada.


Tourism at new record levels.  (Thanks to The number of tourists visiting Israel in April was a record-breaking 385, 000 – 9% more than in Apr 2013.  Even after accounting for the Passover/Easter effect, the increase was still 5%.  Over 1 million tourists have visited Israel in 2014 – 16% more than in 2013.


Finance raised to drill Leviathan gas.  The developers of Israel’s massive natural gas deposits at the Leviathan field have successfully raised the $2billion necessary to continue the project.  Leviathan’s 18 trillion cubic feet of gas should start flowing in 2016, ensuring Israel’s future energy requirements are secure.


First Turkey, now Egypt wants Israeli gas.  Israel’s new found energy resource could be a big peacemaker.  Following Turkey’s announcement that it was buying natural gas from Israel, now Egypt’s suppliers have signed a letter of intent to purchase supplies from Israel.  Israel used to import Egyptian gas but not any more.


Academic campus for Israel’s haredim.  Rivka Yeruslavsky was born into an Israeli ultra-Orthodox family and studied computer science. She then went on to open the Strauss Campus of Lomda – Israel’s largest vocational institute, designed to bring more haredim into the workforce.


Israeli Arabs entrepreneurs get more help.  The Israeli government is offering promising Israeli Arab entrepreneurs and scientists 200 hours of free business consulting, plus research and development grants of up to 85 percent of the funding required to produce their new ideas in the lab.


Helping entrepreneurs in the Americas.  Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) and The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) will conduct 12 workshops on Entrepreneurship and Business Development for young people from Latin America and the Caribbean.


Hosting global start-up delegation.  Israel’s StarTau hosted an IBW (International Business Week) delegation from Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Israel, Russia, and the United States. Participants gained exposure to Israel’s eco-system of entrepreneurship and innovation, learnt from industry professionals and formed new partnerships.


Keypod features on the BBC – (but…) The BBC News website just featured “Keepod: Can a $7 stick provide billions computer access?“  It also included a film “Keepod ‘magic drives’ put Nairobi’s children online”.  But the BBC doesn’t say that Keypod is Israeli!  (It only gives a hint, “Keepod is Hebrew for ‘Hedgehog’”)


The future is bright.  Gideon Israel writes the facts that refute any claims that Israel is isolated.  He cites Israel’s improved relations with China, India, Central Asia, South Korea, the USA, Latin America and eleven European countries. (Without even mentioning friendships with Canada, Australia, Japan, Africa, etc. etc.)




Transforming phone camera imaging.  Israeli startup Corephotonics has developed a dual-lens phone camera that can produce crystal-clear images on a smartphone even when the zoom function is used.  It uses two 13-megapixel lenses with their own sensors, thus improving low-light performance and producing cleaner images.


Turning waste into energy in North Carolina.  Israel’s Bluesphere is to construct a 5.2-megawatt power plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the fuel for the plant coming from organic waste from the city’s landfill site.

CyberArk wins European award.  (Thanks to Israel’s largest private cyber-security software company, CyberArk, has been selected as “Best advanced persistent threat protection” at the SC Awards Europe 2014.  It was also ranked “highly commended” in the identity-management category.


Intel likes Israeli Ginger.  Intel Corporation has purchased the personal assistant and advanced computing and artificial intelligence part of Israel’s Ginger Software along with 16 staff.  Ginger’s platform allows third parties to create custom personal assistants.  Ginger’s English language training business remains independent of Intel.

Now plants can decide when to drink.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s CommonSensor wireless smart water filter registers how much water is in the soil, rather than measuring pressure or humidity.  It then controls irrigation when the plant needs it without any human intervention.  Distributors are sought for the new version.

Turning video into 3D virtual reality.  Israel’s SceneNet, with funding from the European Commission, is developing technology that combines video footage of events such as sports matches and rock concerts to make a three dimensional film. It also lets you pick the location to view from, such as behind the stage.


The Start-up Nation is now on the radio.  Tel Aviv’s TLV1 Radio has broadcast Israel21c’s first ever radio program. Gil Canaani, founder of Start-up Stadium and Amos Avner, Education Director at Start-TAU join Viva Sarah Press to discuss what that drives Israeli entrepreneurs to make the impossible, possible.




Vitamin reduces fatigue in MS patients.  Dr Anat Achiron of the Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer has reported that in controlled trials, a synthetic analog of vitamin D significantly reduced fatigue, which is common in patients with multiple sclerosis.  The compound is 1a-hydroxyvitamin D3 (alfacalcidol).

Preventing dangerous growth in heart muscle.  Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the protein Erbin is an important brake that helps prevent cardiac hypertrophy – the stage before heart failure when the heart grows in an attempt to increase its output.


Breakthrough in understanding genetic disease.  Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have demonstrated the molecular basis of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) – perhaps the most studied among the class of diseases that involves defects in parental imprinting.  PWS is due to a defective gene on chromosome 15.


The genetic “switch” that thalidomide corrupted.  It is 57 years since the thalidomide tragedy that resulted in thousands of deaths and babies born with severe limb deformities.  Now Tel Aviv University scientists have pinpointed the genetic regulator “switch” responsible p53 and its downstream target gene, MicroRNA34.


US approves Israeli lung cancer scanner.  The US FDA has approved the Duet scanning system, developed by Israeli biotech BioView, for the detection of mutations in lung cancer.


Huge expansion to Jerusalem hospital.  Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center is to increase in size from 42 acres to 82 acres, allowing it to triple its scope. In the near term, three new buildings have been approved for medical research, emergency services and staffing needs.  The hospital has the highest growth rate in Israel.


Syrians treated in Israel:  CNN’s Nic Robertson reports on the work of Israel’s field hospital on the Golan Heights.


Israel’s MDA offers Turkey help in mining disaster.  Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom has offered the Turkish Red Crescent assistance after an explosion and fire in a coalmine in the town of Soma that killed more than 200 people.  MDA said they could provide valuable manpower and medical equipment.


The first female Bedouin doctor is Israeli.  Israel’s Dr. Rania Okby, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine, is the first female Bedouin doctor in the world and a role model for Bedouin women in Israel.


Gaza girl’s wish came true. In Sept 2012 I included a story about the Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom fulfilling the wish of a 6-year old girl from Gaza suffering from leukaemia. I have just received the youtube video of that story.

Here is the original article from 2012




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