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2nd Feb 2014 edition of Israel’s good news

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In the 2nd Feb 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, by Michael Ordman, the highlights include:
 
·        Israeli scientists have patented the low-level laser treatment of heart aneurysms.
·        A young Syrian Muslim Kurdish refugee in Iraq is rushed to Israel for heart treatment.
·        Russian transportation officers will receive Israeli counter-terrorism training.
·        An Israeli company launches the world’s first 3D color printer.
·        Israel is saving the Internet from security attacks.
·        Israeli pilots break world record for the lowest formation flight.
·        Half of Israel’s parliament visited Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Scroll Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Laser heals heart aneurysms.  Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is the 13th biggest killer in the West, with over 200,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year.  Drs. Gertz and Gavish of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that low-level laser (LLL) reduces AAA inflammation and promotes wound healing.
 
Breakthrough in research for Gaucher’s disease.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found a pathway to a possible cure for the two currently untreatable forms of Gaucher’s disease.  The removal of protein RIP3 can extend the life of sufferers.
 
Reducing diabetics’ risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  High blood sugar levels in diabetics produce more enzymes called MAPK kinases, leading to early brain cell death.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have developed a peptide TXM-CB3 that in laboratory tests prevents the MAPK kinases from activating.
 
The study of Optogenetics.  Weizmann scientist Dr Ofer Yizhar explains optogenetics – a neuroscience that examines light-specific activation or suppression of neurons in the brain.  It could help us understand memory problems, schizophrenia and autism.
 
Success in oral insulin study.  Israeli bio-tech Oramed has announced that its Phase 2a clinical trial for its
ORMD-0801 oral insulin capsule for the treatment of type 2 diabetes met all primary and secondary endpoints.  The Phase 2b study will be carried out later this year, and Oramed plans a Phase 2a study for Type 1 diabetes.
 
MS patients need fewer injections.  The US FDA has approved the 40-ml dose of Multiple Sclerosis medication Copaxone from Israel’s Teva.  The new higher dosage allows MS patients to reduce the number of injections from a daily frequency to just three times a week.
 
 
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
More women on Israeli judicial panel.  To ensure more gender equality in the Israeli justice system, a new law has been passed that requires 4 out of 9 judicial appointments committee members must be women.  The new law was passed unanimously in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).
 
No water and no electricity – huh?  The good news for Ahmed Tibi (an Arab member of Israel’s parliament) is that his Bedouin colleague definitely has got water and electricity in his village.  Please see this video.
 
SodaStream Arab workers – “don’t boycott us”.  Palestinian Arab workers at Israel’s SodaStream factory in Judea say they would be the losers of a successful consumer boycott of the fizzy-drink maker.  They back actress Scarlett Johansson’s endorsement of the company.
 
Israel is her only hope.  A Muslim Kurdish child with a hole in the heart flees a war between the Syrian Alawite regime and Sunni jihadist groups.  The Christian organization Shevet Achim brings her from the autonomous Kurdish region of Iran-dominated Iraq to Israeli doctors at Wolfson hospital in Holon, Israel.
 
The IDF field hospital that saves Syrian lives.  Here is an inside look at the field hospital set-up last year by the Israel Defense Forces, to treat wounded Syrian civilians near Israel’s northern border. IDF soldiers have continued to apply a core Jewish value: “Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world.”
 
2,600 years of friendship.  Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, visited Israel to increase economic cooperation between the two countries.  He said “the bond between the Georgian and Jewish people goes back 2,600 years, when the Jewish people first came to Georgia after the destruction of the First Temple.”
 
Koreans learn from Start-up Nation.  15 young Korean entrepreneurs plus diplomats met with Israeli students, hi-tech and start-up veterans at the Korea-Israel Entrepreneurship Forum (KIEF) at Tel Aviv University. The KIEF program builds economic partnerships and business ties between the two countries.
 
Israel trains Russians in counter-terrorism.  (Thanks to Hazel) Officers from Russia’s transportation security department will travel to Israel for training in transport hub security.  Islamist militant groups have frequently attacked officials, police and civilians by in and around Russia’s North Caucasus regions.
 
 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Growing vegetables in extreme cold.  Israel’s Energy Industry Ltd. has developed a system that injects hot water into fine tubes to distribute heat over wide surfaces for large greenhouses.  It has been sold to the government of Georgia where temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
 
Take the pressure off your water pipes.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s LeaksStop has developed a unit that reduces water pressure when your taps (faucets) are not in use.  No more post-holiday floods or high water bills due to leaky pipes.  It sends you an SMS message if anything is wrong.
 
Israel to launch civilian satellite.  (Thanks to Herb) Israel will launch its first purely civilian satellite into orbit from French Guiana in Dec 2015. The Venus Vegetation and Environment Monitoring New Microsatellite program was the joint project of the Israel Space Agency and French CNES space agency.  Israel Aerospace Industries is building the hull of the satellite and Israel’s Elbit is building the camera.
 
Israeli technology secures Mombassa.  Here is a video about the recent deployment of a security system, by Israel’s Magal, in Mombassa, Kenya’s seaport.  It’s probably too late, but Forbes’ writer Zack Miller hopes Israeli technology will protect the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKViAec9Adk   http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackmiller/2014/01/29/7-israeli-security-companies-who-could-help-putin-protect-the-sochi-olympics/
 
World’s first 3D color printer.  US-Israeli Stratasys Inc has launched the world’s first 3D color printer – the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer. The company calls the product “a game-changer for product design, engineering and manufacturing processes.”
 
Jerusalem’s water is the best.  Thanks to Israeli clean-tech Hagihon, Jerusalem’s Water and Wastewater Utility was one of the top 5 cities cited in the recent EU report “EIP Water, City Blueprints of 25 Cities and Regions, Interim Report.”  Jerusalem top-scored in planning, drinking water quality, and water efficiency.
 
A robotic revolution.  This 17-minute video of Israel’s IDC Professor Guy Hoffman had over 1.2 million views in four days.  YouTube ranked the lecture “The Interaction between Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Art” as one of the three most viewed videos in the world.
 
Nano batteries for the car of the future.  Professor Doron Aurbach of Bar Ilan University’s Nano Cleantech Center is leading the development of lighter, longer-lasting batteries.  With partners GM, BASF and local Israeli tech firms, they are using lightweight nano-materials and replacing lithium with cheaper magnesium.
 
 
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
Invest in the Innovation Nation.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in selling mode at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  “We produce more conceptual products per capita than any other nation in the world.  “We have no choice – to survive we had to innovate.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-lauds-israeli-tech-and-computerized-cows/
 
Israel is leading West’s cyber-security fight. The PM then spoke at Israel’s first-ever cyber-technology show, Cybertech 2014.  “Hackers are killing the Internet, and Israel is one of the few players that can save it” he said. Bloomberg has also picked up on this fact, noting that Israel now has over 200 computer security companies.
 
Lockheed Martin and EMC to set-up cyber center.  Two US giants, Lockheed Martin and EMC are teaming up to establish a joint cyber security center, employing local workers in Beersheva. It is Lockheed Martin’s first Israeli venture and supports its tender to build the IDF campus in the Negev. EMC also has a center in Herzliya.
 
IBM also to set-up cyber center.  IBM Corporation is to invest several million dollars establishing a cyber center of excellence in Beersheva, in collaboration with Ben Gurion University.
 
India and Israel set-up fund for joint ventures.  India and Israel have agreed to set up a $40 million fund to support joint technological ventures for consolidating and strengthening economic ties.  Both countries will contribute $20 million each to the fund over a period of five years.
 
 “A great way to show off your fantastic country.”  (Thanks to 12 Tribe films) Back in November I reported about the Israeli competition that brought young heads of start-ups in 12 European, Asian and South American countries to Israel.  Here is what they thought of the Start-up Nation.
 
 
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
 
Israel’s Space Week.  A cosmic exhibition has brought stunning space photography to the Israeli public.  Tel Aviv port is exhibiting photographs taken by an astronaut, the general public and students from Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Art.  It is also commemorating the 11th anniversary of the death of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.
 
Israeli’s song is a hit – in Yemen.  Zion Golan’s song “Sana’a al-Yemen” is frequently heard blaring from stereos and minibus speakers in Sana’a – the capital city of Yemen.  Maybe one day the Arab country will allow the Israeli with Yemenite roots to visit the country!
 
SodaStream’s uncensored advert.  The Super Bowl organizers banned Scarlett Johansson’s original advert for Israel’s SodaStream as it mentioned two competitor drinks manufacturers.  But you can watch it here.
 
Five go to Sochi.  Israel is sending five athletes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Best prospects are Vladislav Bykanov in the short-track speed skating and Alexei Bychenko, in the men’s figure skating.
 
How low can you get?  12 Israeli pilots flying six aircraft 422 meters below sea level have set a new Guinness World Record for a low formation flight.  The record setting flight is unlikely ever to be broken, due to the unusually difficult conditions that go along with flying at low altitudes over the Dead Sea.
 
 
THE JEWISH STATE
 
“The 10th most powerful country in the world”  (Thanks to Uri) I was initially concerned, but India’s National Power Index (NPI) 2012 states “Though a small nation in terms of area and population, Israel ranks highly on technological and scientific progress” “… also ranks a high fifteen on the UN Development index, reflecting the high quality of life this small but prosperous state has been able to provide to its people.”
 
“No greater ally on Earth than Israel”.  Newly elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made his first official comments on the Jewish state since taking the helm.  “Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel” he said, “There’s no greater ally on Earth, and that’s something we should say proudly.” Texas Congressman Steve Stockman made a similar statement on his return from visiting Egypt, Israel and Russia.
 
Torah scroll dedicated at Iron Dome base.  The International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) has dedicated a Torah scroll to the IDF’s Iron Dome unit recently deployed in Haifa.  IYIM’s project repairs scrolls that have fallen into disrepair. It has presented over 200 Torah scrolls to IDF bases and units in the last 18 years.
 
Half of the Knesset visits Auschwitz.  58 of the 120 members of Israel’s Parliament marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Auschwitz for the 69th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.  They marched to the Birkenau death complex in formation, flanked by the Knesset guard and flying Israeli flags. Amid the snow-filled crematoria, they stopped to sing the Israeli national anthem before breaking into groups to pray or reflect.
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