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Artificial Retina, Portable Solar Power, EasyJet – The Weekly Good News from Israel


In the 4th Jan 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        Israeli scientists have developed the basis for an artificial retina.
·        Israeli paramedics saved a Palestinian Arab baby who suffered a heart attack.
·        Per-capita, Israel is the world’s largest contributor to the fight against Ebola.
·        An Israeli startup has developed a portable solar power generator.
·        Low cost airline easyJet is starting a Paris to Tel Aviv service.
·        2014 saw 26, 500 new immigrants to Israel – the highest in a decade.
Breakthrough in development of artificial retinas.  Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University have developed a wireless, light-sensitive, flexible implantable film that mimics the function of the photosensitive cells in the retina. It could potentially form part of a device to replace a damaged retina.
Cell analysis system makes first discovery.  Professor Itai Yanai of Israel’s Technion developed the CEL-Seq cell analysis method in 2012, identifying the on-off status of each of the 20, 000 genes in a cell.  It has just been used to determine embryonic development sequences and could help in understanding how cancer develops.
3D compass in the brain.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have demonstrated that brains of mammals (including humans) contain a 3D compass.  Microelectrode recordings revealed that certain neurons activate only when the head is at a particular 3D angle.  It explains conditions such as vertigo and disorientation.
Parkinson’s treatment trials success.  Israel’s NeuroDerm has announced positive results for its Phase II trials of ND0612H, intended for severe Parkinson’s disease patients. The results indicate that ND0612H may provide an effective alternative therapy to current treatments requiring surgery.
Personalized medical videos.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israeli physician Dr. Rami Cohen has developed a proprietary platform for healthcare workers to easily create personalized instructional videos for patients. Telesofia Medical uses clips and graphics to generate videos in the time it takes to produce a prescription.
Beit Issie launches disabilities tech center.  On Dec 3rd (International Disabilities Day) Beit Issie Shapiro – Israel’s leading organization for developing therapies for disabled children – launched its Technology Consulting Center, to share its expertise in the field of disabilities and technology.  Also, an amazing video.

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Oxford Uni launches British-Israeli water initiative.  Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, launched the British Council in Israel’s Water Research Initiative, to fund opportunities for researchers from Britain and Israel to work with researchers in countries facing water challenges.
Portable solar power.  (Thanks to SDM and Israel’s Kalisaya has developed the KaliPAK – a portable renewable power solution.  It generates solar energy that can be used by campers and trekkers or as an emergency backup generator in case of natural disasters.  Kalisaya is hoping to raise £250, 000 on Kickstarter.
KeyBoots finds work for extended holidays.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israelis enjoy traveling.  So it was natural for Moshik Cohen to develop KeyBoots (a play on words similar to Kibbutz).  Now when backpackers run out of funds, Keyboots can help them get food and accommodation in exchange for voluntary work.

TwitterMate – just for the important messages.  Tomer Simon, a Ph.D. student at Ben Gurion University’s Department of Emergency Medicine, has developed a system called TwitterMate, a tool for archiving and classifying information on social media.  It records specific hashtags, users or subjects for later analysis.
Israel’s most outstanding public building.  Tel Aviv University’s Capsule Building received 1st place (in the public buildings category) at the Israeli Association of Builders’ Excellence Awards. The building was chosen for its design, quality and compatibility to the local environment.
The pocket printer is on the move.  Here is a new video of the portable robot printer from Israel’s ZUtA Labs.  ZUtA expects to start shipping the printer in June.

Cheaper electricity, water and gasoline.  Israel’s electricity rate is being cut by 9.4% with effect from January thanks to the natural gas from the Tamar reservoir.  Water rates are being reduced by 10% effective from 1st Jan 2015.  Gasoline prices were also cut by 10%.
Mutual support between Indiana and Israel.  US State of Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence undertook a nine-day trip to Israel, which included an “economic development mission to bring jobs and investment to Indiana.” Governor Pence expressed his view that support for Israel in the US has never been stronger.

Zaatar chocolate wins international gold.  Israel’s Ika Cohen shared a gold medal at the International Chocolate Awards in London.  Ika Chocolate’s zaatar truffle won a joint gold medal in the “flavored dark ganaches and truffles” section of the competition.
Strengthening Indo-Israeli ties.  Experts at the seventh India Israel Forum – the Indo-Israel Innovation Colloquium in Mumbai – explored further ties between the two nations in innovation, information technology, healthcare, water technology, renewable energy, wellness and engineering sectors. 
Making it “easy” to fly from France to Israel.  Low cost carrier EasyJet plc will launch a new direct route between Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, starting 30th March 2015.  Ticket prices for the flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays start from 45.99 Euros one-way.
World’s first-ever e-storybooks with sign language.  The new eMotion Stories digital books by Israel’s Eyal Rosenthal, with English and American Sign Language, are the world’s first interactive bilingual e-library for parents of children with hearing impairment. They include Goldilocks, Cinderella, and Three Little Pigs.
IDF saves Palestinian Arab baby after he suffers heart attack.  Magen David Adom and IDF paramedics resuscitated a six-month-old Palestinian Arab baby after he collapsed at a Jordanian border crossing.  The baby was evacuated by IDF helicopter to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, to the delight of the parents.

Israel has improved Palestinian Arab health.  (Thanks to Hazel) Evidence-based analysis concludes that Israeli policies have brought about measurable improvements in Palestinian health and welfare. See the facts on death rates, life expectancy, mortality (infant, maternal, perinatal), immunization coverage, nutrition etc.
Israel is the biggest contributor to the war on Ebola.  (Thanks to UnitedWithIsrael) “The U.S. Fund for UNICEF applauds Israel’s recent pledge of $8.75 million to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa. This donation to the UN’s Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund represents the largest per-capita investment by any nation in efforts to combat the virus”.
Israeli aid to the Philippines.  This may seem an old headline, but it relates to the recent Philippines typhoon Hagupit (Ruby).  An emergency response team of IsraAID and IsraAID Philippines (the local partner agency) has been providing medical, psychological, social and material relief goods in the Can-Avid municipality.
Underwater village discovered near Haifa.  (Thanks to David and Israel21c) A water well that may be the oldest wooden structure ever found, and the oldest evidence of an ancient olive-oil industry, are among the preserved remains of a prehistoric village discovered underwater by Israeli researchers off the coast of Haifa.
Aliya at highest level for a decade.  Around 26, 500 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2014 marking a 32% increase over last year and a ten-year high.  Nearly 7, 000 French arrived – more than double the 3, 400 in 2013.  Immigration from the Ukraine increased by 190% to 5, 840 in 2014.
Take the Israel Course.  Explore Israel’s past and future with “The Israel Course” a 7-Part film series designed to reinforce your understanding of Israel’s history and future. Be pro-active in Israel’s miraculous narrative



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