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Bacteria Fighting Virus, Taxibots and IronSource: It’s Good News from Israel

In the 1st Mar 2015 edition of Israel’s good news:
·        Israeli scientists have isolated a safe virus that eliminates antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
·        Nigeria has praised Israel for helping it counter Boko Haram.
·        Lufthansa is using Israeli-developed  to tow their aircraft and save fuel.
·        Israel and Jordan have signed an historic water agreement.
·        Israel’s IronSource is now a billion-dollar company.
A virus that kills resistant bacteria infections.  Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have isolated (from Jerusalem sewage) a “safe” virus EFDG1, which can kill the bacteria infections associated with up to 33% of root canal treatments.  EFDG1 eradicates even antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria.
BrainTech 2015.  The international conference BrainTech 2015 in Tel Aviv, beginning 11th March, features neuroscientists, entrepreneurs, senior executives, investors, startups and decision-makers who will explore challenges, discover promising projects, create partnerships and accelerate innovation in brain technology.
The nose-to-brain express route.  A major problem in treating mental illness is in overcoming the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) with effective medication.  Israel’s SipNose has developed an innovative nasal delivery device platform that can penetrate the BBB and provide fast, non-invasive treatment to patients.
Monitoring mental illness by smartphone.  Israel’s LifeGraph has developed a smartphone-based platform for monitoring mental illness.  LifeGraph detects changes in a patient’s sleep, social communication, mobility and speech. It provides psychiatrists with innovative insight into the behavioral patterns of the patient.

Opening up the inner workings of the brain.  As Tel Aviv prepares to host the 2015 BrainTech conference, Professor Henry Markram (formerly of Israel’s Weizmann Institute) outlined the goals and activities of the Human Brain Project, of which he is co-director.
Fooling the malaria parasite.  Back in Dec 2012 I reported how Dr Ron Dzikowski at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem had discovered the genetic reason why malaria was so difficult to treat.  Now Professor Dzikowski and other HUJ scientists have used the discovery to disrupt the parasite’s defense mechanism.
The future of long-distance relationships.  The latest youtube from Israel’s Glide shows how their video messaging technology can really enhance the lives that people share together – even when they are apart.

Natural remedies for pests.  Israel’s Bio-Bee plant in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, Israel, is leading the operation to eradicate Israel’s infestation by the Asian palm weevil.  Bio-Bee is importing 42 billion harmless nematode worms from Germany, which kill the weevil’s larvae.  It is also using special odor traps from Spain.
Safe filtration technology.  The National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) has certified the major product lines of Israel’s Amiad Water Systems.  NSF evaluated that the water produced by Amiad’s automatic self-cleaning screen and microfibre technology is safe for human consumption across the USA and Canada.
Technology to rehabilitate at home. Israel’s Meditouch manufactures innovative physical therapy solutions for hospital, primary and home care use.  Meditouch’s wearable movement biofeedback devices and dedicated rehabilitation software are used in clinic and at home to motivate patients to exercise and improve movement.  The system has been adopted by the Kennedy Krieger Rehabilitation hospital in Baltimore.

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Israeli technology for UK sport.  (TY Hazel) Future Israel – an initiative of Israel’s Economic & Trade Mission to the UK – is bringing over a group of 20 Israeli companies with solutions and technologies for the British sporting establishments including broadcasters, arenas and sports clubs. 
Bot starts towing Lufthansa jets.  Lufthansa has commenced operations with the Taxibot towing system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.  Lufthansa said that TaxiBot could save up to 2, 700 tonnes of fuel at Frankfurt Airport per year, plus reduce noise and exhaust emissions.

Touchfree smartphone wins $1million prize.  (TY Michelle) A disabled individual can operate the Israeli-developed Sesame Enable smartphone simply by moving their head.  The smartphone has just won the $1 million top prize in the Education category of the Verizone Powerful Answers Award.

Building starts on Med Sea research labs.  Haifa University and the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute laid the cornerstone of the new deep-sea research labs for Haifa’s Mediterranean Sea Research Center.  The lab will develop underwater robots, vehicles, optics, acoustics and propulsion systems.
Talking the same language.  (TY Michelle) The new Empath app from Israeli startup Beyond Verbal recognizes human moods, attitudes and emotional characteristics from human voice intonations in real-time. Beyond Verbal has registered 18 scientific discoveries and a battery of patents for enabling machines to recognize human emotions.

Saving the Dead Sea.  Israel and Jordan have signed an historic agreement to implement the Red Sea-Dead Sea rescue pipeline project.  The $800 million agreement authorizes the construction of a 65 to 80 million cubic meter capacity desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan that will produce fresh water to benefit both nations.
Don’t waste a second to launch your apps.  Israel’s Impris has launched “Super Launcher for Android”.  Now you can open your favorite smartphone apps without even looking at the screen.

Unemployment down to 5.6%.  The percentage of unemployed Israelis aged 15 and over in the workforce fell to 5.6% in January, from 5.7% in December.  The unemployed rate between ages 25-64 fell to 4.8% in a growing workforce.  More people are now employed in full time jobs.
Lighting up NASDAQ.  (TY Michelle) SolarEdge, founded by five veterans of the IDF 8200 Intelligence Corps, has applied for a NASDAQ listing that will value the company at around $500 million.  SolarEdge’s technology maximizes the energy collected by solar panels and has been installed in 73 countries.
Another billion-dollar Israeli company.  (TY Michelle) After only 5 years, Israeli startup IronSource’s latest round of funding values the app delivery company at over $1billion.  Every day IronSource’s software installs over 7 million applications onto desktops and mobiles.

Startup investing for the public.  Israeli startup Exit Valley has launched a “crowdfunding” investment platform.  It allows private individuals to invest as little as NIS 1000 in a startup company.  If the startup fails to reach its target funding within a fixed time period, all monies are returned to the individuals.
India’s matchmaking with Israeli businesses.  (TY Michelle) The purchase of Israel’s Panaya by India’s Infosys is just the beginning.  When Israeli startups engage with Indian companies it gives cutting-edge technology for Indian companies and wider market access for products developed by Israeli firms. So it’s a win-win situation.  
Apple’s boss comes to Israel.  Apple’s CEO Tim Cook opened Apple’s new offices in Herzliya.  He also met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.  Alongside Cook for the trip was Johny Srugi, Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Technologies – a graduate of Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology.


Learn the secret of Israeli success.  (TY Michelle) The Israeli business school Lahav Executive Education is part of the Recanati Business School at Tel Aviv University.  Lahav offers its international students some of “the secrets behind ‘Jewish genius’ and Israeli success” as a pre-eminent “start-up nation”.



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