In the 11th Jan 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
· In a chance discovery, Israeli scientists have found a treatment to kill deadly bacteria.
· An Israeli microphone enhances a speaker’s voice over any background noise.
· An Israeli CO2-to-fuel reactor has won a World Technology Award.
Anti-inflammatory treatment may prevent deadly infections. Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered accidentally that alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) could prevent deadly infections in immune system-compromised patients. Lethal bacteria in mice were practically eradicated by AAT therapy within 24 hours.
Wearable technology to analyze Parkinson’s. (Thanks to Israel21c) Intel Israel has developed an advanced analytics platform for researching the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The system can work with smart watches linked to a smartphone and can handle 300 observations per second from each participant.
Teva launches generic antibiotics. Israel’s Teva continues to help keep down US health costs by launching generic versions of two leading antibiotics – Zyvox (linezolid), and Nafcillin – injectable antibiotics for the treatment of severe infections. Teva also has launched a generic blood-pressure treatment.
Nano-particles to attack cancer. Israel’s Quiet Therapeutics has developed “GAGomers, ” a new class of nano-particles (coated with glycosaminoglycan, or GAGs, a polysugar) that specifically target tumors and blood cancers based on a biomarker expressed on malignant tissue.
Success in antibody cancer therapy. Israeli biotech Compugen has announced positive initial experimental results for the first two of five of its candidate antibody cancer therapy (ADC) treatments. ADC therapy uses antibodies to target proteins present at high levels in cancer cells, releasing a toxic payload to kill the cells.
Early detection of colon and uterine cancer. A breakthrough by researchers at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem will allow early detection and possible prevention of colon and uterine cancers. They have discovered a genetic mutation that can identify at-risk patients.
Leukemia treatment gets boost. The US FDA and the European Medicines Agency have awarded Israel’s stem cell therapy developer Gamida Cell orphan status for its NiCord leukemia treatment. NiCord treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Making your voice heard. Communications giant Motorola has invested in Israeli start-up VocalZoom, which has developed an optoelectronic microphone able to substantially enhance a speaker’s voice over any background noise. The technology creates a “virtual cube” in space, sensing sound from only within the cube.
A vegetable garden on your wall. (Thanks to Israel21c) With limited available space you can still grow sufficient vegetables to feed yourself wherever you live, thanks to the vertical gardens technology of Israel’s GreenWall. Around 100 living walls have been installed in Israel. Prices start at $800.
Israel’s solar-panel dry-cleaning robots. (Thanks to Nevet – www.broadview.org) A comprehensive report about the robots, built by Israeli startup Ecoppia. They clean solar panels in the desert (without water) to keep them in the most efficient condition.
Sensors to save energy. Ben Gurion University students have developed a climate-controlled location-based air conditioning system using real-time sensors with an infrared and depth perception camera. It activates when a person enters the room, turns off when the person leaves, and tracks the temperature throughout the location.
Israeli ingenuity on display at CES. Some of Israel’s most innovative startups are on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. They include ZuTA Labs’ Mini Mobile Robotic Printer, Lexifone’s language translator and uMoove’s app that tracks eye movements to detect neurological problems.
Detecting water leaks. Over 30 percent of the fresh water supplied by the world’s water utilities is lost through leaking pipes. The systems developed by Israel’s TaKaDu detect leaks and are saving billions of liters of water all over the world. And yet there are still some utilities that believe it’s impossible!
World Technology Awards winner. Israel’s NewCO2Fuels (NCF) won the 2014 World Technology Award in the Corporate Energy category. NCF is developing a reactor to convert Carbon Dioxide into fuel.
Non-toxic control of insect pests. Israel’s EdenShield uses natural desert plant extracts that mask the odor of crops and fools insects that prey on the crops. EdenShield has just raised over $1million to expand operations.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Israeli diamonds still sparkle. Israel’s exports of polished and rough diamonds rose by more than $175 million in 2014. Net exports of polished diamonds totaled $6.269 billion and rough diamonds $3.061 billion.
El Al starts Tel Aviv to Boston service. Israel’s El Al airline has begun selling tickets for its new route from Tel Aviv to Boston Logan International airport. Boston is a popular business destination.
More Israeli firefighting aircraft. Israel’s Ministry of Defense is buying six new firefighting aircraft to add to its eight-plane squadron. The US Air Tractor planes will be upgraded and maintained by Israel’s Elbit Systems.
Water for Taiwan. Taiwan and Israel held a seminar in Taipei aimed at seeking closer cooperation in the area of water resources management. Israeli companies gave presentations of their products and solutions on waste waster treatment, water quality control and reducing leaks.
Stronger ties with Japan. The Israeli cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s program to strengthen economic ties with Japan. The comprehensive plan involves several areas of government and the investment of tens of millions of shekels over the next three years.
Chinese invest in new Israeli biotechs. (Thanks to Globes & CFHU) A Chinese investment company has placed $3million in Integra Holdings – the biotechnology holdings company of Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It will fund new Biotechs founded by the Hebrew University.
Buying into Israel’s future. Morton Mandel invests in Israeli firms as a way of building up the Jewish state. His aim is to “buy more companies that are not doing well and fix them up” for a better, stronger, healthier Israel. He also runs leadership-training programs to unlock the talents of the ultra-Orthodox community.