Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

The Weekly Good News From Israel

 In the 12th Oct 2014 edition of Israel’s good news
Michael ORDMAN BLOGGER FRONTISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Preventing the brain from aging.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that the protein interferon beta impairs the cognitive ability of the brain – common in old age.  The finding may lead to treatments that can prevent or reverse cognitive decline and rejuvenate the brain.
 
A target for anti-cancer treatments.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Compugen has discovered a protein, codenamed CGEN-15049 that prevents the immune system from destroying tumors.  Attacking CGEN-15049 could prevent many cancers, including lung, ovarian, colorectal, gastric, prostate and liver.
 
ALS treatment is fast-tracked.  The US FDA has designated NurOwn, developed by Israel’s Brainstorm, as a Fast Track product for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
 
Incubating life.  Israel’s government is to fund FutuRx – an incubator to provide as many as 40 new biotechs up to 3 years and $2.3 million to develop life-saving treatments. So far, it has selected one startup developing brain disease treatment technology and another working on a cancer treatment that blocks a specific protein.
 
Gold-coated heart patches.  Israeli scientists have performed successful lab tests to repair damaged heart tissue using replacement tissue that has been impregnated with gold atoms.  Gold carries electrical signals from the heart until the new tissue is able to grow sufficient amounts of protein to do the same job.
 
The first ever treatment for dry AMD.  OpRegen, developed by Israel’s CellCure NeuroSciences is designed to treat patients with the severe stage of the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (dry-AMD).  Dry-AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment in an aging population.  No approved therapy currently exists.
 
Protecting the elderly from falls.  Up to 1 million hospital patients a year are hurt in falls. Israel’s EarlySense bed sensors give nursing staff advance notice of patients who are about to get out of bed at night.  Assistance and intervention at the bedside will potentially prevent falls.
 
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Aiming for the Moon.  Yanki Margalit is an Israeli entrepreneur. He is also the chairman of SpaceIL – the company that is planning to make Israel only the fourth nation in the world to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Eilat’s technology hub. Kibbutz Ketura near Eilat will be the location for a new technology hub developing products that can provide energy and water to poor populations that are not connected to their national grids. Companies can test off-grid solutions, including for energy storage, horticulture, biogas generation and water.
 
Searching for Dark Matter.  Scientists believe that mysterious Dark Matter comprises much of the known universe, but cannot prove it.  Dr Ran Budnik of Israel’s Weizmann Institute is lead scientist on the project to build the prototype of a device to detect the result of dark matter particles colliding with liquid xenon.
 
Israeli wins international computer award.  Bar-Ilan University Professor Doron Peled was presented with the 2014 CAV (Computer-Aided Verification) Award at the 26th annual CAV conference in Vienna, Austria.  Prof Peled and 3 others were commended for their contribution to eliminating computer errors.
 
The first commercial smart glasses app.  Mekorot, Israel’s water company, is the first firm in the world to equip its field workers with smart glasses – Epson’s Moverio BT-200 devices.  It’s also the first to be deploying a commercial app – by Israeli startup FieldBit to receive specific guidance and instruction when they repair high-tension electricity installations at Mekorot facilities.
 
Two security awards for Magal.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI)  Two products of Israel’s Magal-Senstar won awards at the 2014 ASIS Accolades Competition: Security’s Best Award.  Its RoboGuard robot patrols security fences. CyberSeal protects against cyber attacks.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
Record business with the UK.  Bilateral trade between Israel and the UK rose by 28% between January and August, reaching record levels.  Israeli exports to the UK were worth £1.6 billion, up 38%.
 
New laws for Angels.  Israel is amending the Angel Investors Law, granting tax incentives to those investing in start-ups at the seed stage of research and development.  Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said it “will ensure that the New Year will be one of entrepreneurship and encouragement of investment in high tech.”
 
US Navy buys Israeli radar systems.  The United States Navy is acquiring Gulfstream jets which have been modified to carry the radar detection system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)/Elta Systems for airborne Aerial Early Warning missions.
 
China is Israel’s top investor.  Nearly 1, 000 Chinese business people visited Israel last year, including those at the first-ever Israel-China Economic Summit. For China, Israel is a great source of technology to help them develop their economy. For Israel, it’s a unique opportunity to gain entry into the biggest market in the world.
 
Israeli beer wins Gold at World Beer Cup.  (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel’s Alexander Brewery tasted international success when its Black Beer beat 74 other brews to win the Robust Porter category at the World Beer Cup in Denver Colorado, USA.  The Israeli brewery has only been marketing beer for 3 years.
 
Kaspersky to open Jerusalem R&D center.  Russian software giant Kaspersky Lab, known for its popular anti-virus system, will open a development center in Jerusalem next year – one of its few outside of Russia. 
 
Israel gas will save Jordan JD 700 million annually.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) The Jordanian government said that its state-owned National Electric Power Company is expected to buy 250-300 million cubic feet per day of (Israeli) natural gas, which experts said will save around JD700 million annually of the energy bill.
 
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
$460 million to fight poverty.  Israel has approved a budget increase of $460 million for the implementation of the recommendations of the Elalouf Committee to Reduce Poverty in Israel.  Increased support includes for education, daycare, employment integration, needy pensioners and social services.
 
Arab media praises Israel.  Regarding Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian Arab workers, the Arab media only has praise.  Al-Hayat Al-Jadida commended Israeli employers for much higher wages, job security and other benefits.  In Judea and Samaria 15, 000 Palestinian Arabs work side by side with Israelis.
 
Ebola mobile clinics are on the way.  The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Mashav department is sending three Israel-manufactured mobile emergency clinics to West Africa to help try to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading.  Medical experts will accompany each clinic to train local staff in the operation of its equipment.
 
 
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- Michael Ordman highlights Israel's latest achievements in the fields of technology, health, business, and co-existence in a free weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel. www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com

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