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Driverless Cars, Wave Energy, New Cancer Treatments – It’s Good News from Israel

Mobileye driverless car

In the 12th Apr 2015 week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

  • Two major Israeli scientific breakthroughs may lead to new cancer treatments.
  • Israel’s Mobileye has been guiding prototype driverless cars across the USA.
  • An Israeli startup to build a wave-energy power plant off the Chinese coast.
  • Israel is expanding trade with Latin and South America.


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Natural chemicals that protect against cancer.  Scientists working in the Technion laboratory of Israeli Nobel Prize winner Professor Aaron Ciechanover have discovered that high concentrations of the chemical KPC1 and protein p50 suppress malignant growth and protect healthy cells.

Stop cell “spam” to prevent cancer.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have identified that cancer can be triggered by an overload of specific messages from the cell membrane to its nucleus.  They have also found a molecule that can filter these messages, similar to the way spam emails are blocked.

Pomegranate juice and dates for healthy arteries.  Researchers at Israel’s Technion and Haifa’s Rambam hospital have discovered that combining pomegranate juice and dates (with their pits) provides maximum protection against the buildup of plaque on the endothelium of the arteries, and prevents heart attack or stroke.
Heart muscle re-grown after heart attack.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute working with Australian scientists have used the hormone neuregulin to re-grow heart tissue damaged by a heart attack or heart disease.  See this rare positive report in the normally anti-Israel UK Guardian. Also published in Nature Cell Biology.

Mobile app approved for hip-replacements.  FDA approval has been given to the iPhone / iPad app TraumaCad by Israeli health-tech firm Voyant, which helps doctors plan hip replacement on mobile devices.  It allows doctors to import digital implant images from secure hospital networks and visualize the operation.

FDA approves Teva asthma treatment.  Israel’s Teva has received FDA approval for ProAir RespiClick – the first and only breath-actuated, dry-powder rescue inhaler to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute asthma symptoms.  ProAir RespiClick eliminates the need for hand-breath coordination during inhalation.

Auto-immunology – a new specialty of medicine.  Professor Yehuda Shoenfeld of the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer has founded the field of auto-immunology and connected 81 different diseases through the immune system.  The latest is narcolepsy from which sufferers fall asleep due to an autoimmune reaction.



AposTherapy marches on.  (TY Myer) Good video showing how successful the remedial shoes of Israel’s AposTherapy have become in the US.  Its new CEO stopped building clinics and now trains physiotherapists to use AposTherapy shoes on patients suffering back and ligament pain.  (Stop the video after the Apos feature.)


Diabetic technology goes global.  Israeli medical tech firm DreaMed Diabetes has struck a deal with Medtronic, the world’s biggest medical device company, to use its MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas algorithm in Medtronic’s insulin pumps.  The algorithm regulates the insulin released to the diabetic individual.


Medical images for computer diagnosis.  (TY Michelle) Israeli startup Zebra Medical Vision is building a database of medical images (X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans) of real patients but without names or IDs.  The database provides research data, previously unavailable due to privacy laws.



Mobileye steers cars across the USA.  (TY Michelle) An Audi A7 traveled over 560 miles, from California to Nevada, aided by a high-resolution, wide-angle 3-D video camera from Israel’s Mobileye.  For 95% of the 560-mile journey, there was no driver.  And then a Delphi Automotive “Roadruner” drove itself nearly all of the 3000 miles from San Francisco to Manhattan, using Mobileye’s Advanced Drive Assistance System.


Israel to host World Science Conference.  Delegations including up to 20 Nobel Prize laureates and 400 young scientists and thinkers from 60 countries will attend a conference in Jerusalem in August.  The five-day event will be the largest such event of its kind ever to be held.


International microscope workshop.  120 students from 11 European countries plus Israel attended a 4-day electron microscope workshop at Israel’s Technion.  The workshop was led by Technion graduate Professor Dganit Danino and was free, so that no student would be deterred from participating for budgetary reasons.


More about CyberTech 2015.  8, 700 people from 50 countries attended the two-day CyberTech 2015 conference in Tel Aviv on 24 March.  The exhibition featured a “Startup Pavilion, ” where 100 Israeli startup companies displayed breakthrough technologies and products.


3 new tech incubators.  Israel’s Ministry of the Economy Office of the Chief Scientist is opening three new hi-tech incubators in Akko, Haifa and the Golan, each running for 8 years.  Projects in the incubator program receive an 85% grant from a budget of NIS 2 million for the first two years in the incubator.
Body protection inspired by fish scales.  (TY Michelle) Researchers at Israel’s Technion and USA’s MIT have developed a suit that offers 40 times more protection than existing body armor.  Designed like the scales on a fish and produced on a 3D printer, the suit is resilient to bullets, knives and even radiation.  Also in NewsWeek and UK Mail Online.

Laser imaging for US marines.  Israel’s Elbit Systems has been awarded a $73.4 million contract from the US Marine Corps to supply a laser imaging system. The Common Laser Range Finder-Integrated Capability system enables soldiers in concealed positions to carry out imaging, range finding and navigation in combat arenas.

Wave-power for China.  Israeli startup Eco Wave Power is to build a wave-powered plant on China’s Zoushan Island.  The Chinese Government is funding the $450, 000 100kw power plant, which is targeted for completion by the end of 2015.  EWP is negotiating more projects in Zhejiang Province.


Smart AC controller starts shipping.  (TY Michelle) I reported in June 2014 about Israeli startup Sensibo’s innovative technology that controls the temperature of your home.  Well Sensibo smashed its $70, 000 Indigo target, has completed manufacture and has started shipping.  (And a reminder of Sensibo’s “really cool” video).



Israel treats over 90% of its wastewater.  Israel continues to hold the world record for wastewater reuse.  90% of its 500 million cubic meters of wastewater is treated.  10% of that is released into rivers to maintain their quality.  325, 000 acres of land is irrigated with recycled wastewater – nearly double that of 10 years ago.


Augmented Reality in 3D.  (TY Michelle) Israeli startup Infinity Augmented Reality has developed a software-based Augmented Reality (AR) engine that can turn any device with two simple cameras into a powerful real time 3D platform.  Infinity has just raised $5 million of funds, including from SUN Corporation.




Israel’s stock market boom.  Despite the geopolitical turmoil in the rest of the Middle East, Israel’s stock market is doing well.  The Tel Aviv 25 has gained 6.9 percent in the past month 16.1 percent over the year.


Petah Tikva is Israel’s top export city.  (TY Etid-EDI & Globes) 17.2% of Israel’s exports (excluding diamonds) originate in the inland city of Petah Tikva.  The city is home to 1, 540 exporters – more than twice that of Haifa and nearly three times those in Ashkelon and Tel Aviv.


Israeli business expands into Latin America.  (TY Michelle) Israel’s Ministry of Economy is developing new Free Trade Agreements between Israel and both Panama and Peru.  It already has ones with Mexico and Colombia, as well as a cooperation agreement with Mexico for industrial Research & Development.
Turkish startups compete in Israel.  At Israel’s Startup Fusion 2015 on 22nd March, over a dozen startups, (including 3 Japanese and 3 Turkish) competed for a $100, 000 seed investment to be provided by Samurai Incubate.


CyberArk – a safe refuge in stormy seas.  (TY Michelle) Since its successful NASDAQ launch in Sep 2014, sales at Israel’s CyberArk have risen by 81 per centCyberArk protects privileged accounts and passwords inside a company. Its 1800 customers include 18 of the top 20 banks.


Israel is building BIG companies.  Good informative article, which highlights the growing trend for Israeli companies to resist the temptation to make quick exits, but rather stay the course and become large companies.  The video discussion includes business leaders from Pitango, ReWalk and Barclays Israel.




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