Taking stock of the big achievements of a small country in just the past 12 months.
By Robert Sarner, The Times of Israel, April 15, 2018
As with people, nations are best judged by what they do, not what they say. Based on the quality and quantity of its achievements, Israel clearly is a doer.
For the third year in a row, in honor of Israel’s birthday, I’ve prepared a list of notable things the country has done over the past 12 months. As extensive as this compilation may seem, it is really only a small sampling of what the country has accomplished since the previous Independence Day last spring.
For reasons of brevity and space, each discovery, invention, breakthrough, initiative and success featured below is represented simply with a headline and two sentences, based on previously published media reports. Together, these items reflect the essence of Israel and its inclination to forge ahead in all spheres and to help make the world a better place. Together, they testify to the magnitude of what Israel manages to achieve despite all the adversity and challenges it faces.
As Israelis and their friends abroad celebrate the Jewish state’s 70th birthday, here are 70 examples from just the past year that show why Israel deserves far more affinity than it usually receives. This selection from May 2017 to April 2018 is presented chronologically according to when each item was reported in the media.
1. Israeli chefs win prestigious awards in US for culinary work
The James Beard Foundation honored Michael Solomonov for his work putting Israeli-inspired dishes and Israeli-produced ingredients on American plates. At a ceremony in Chicago, Solomonov, chef at Philadelphia’s Zehav restaurant, received the Outstanding Chef award, while another Israeli, Zachary Engel, received the Rising Star Chef award for his work at Shaya restaurant in New Orleans, established by Israeli-American chef Alon Shaya.
2. Doctors use robots to perform revolutionary spinal surgery
Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem performed the world’s first-of-its-kind dual robotic surgery on a man who had broken his leg in two places and broke six spinal vertebrae in a work accident. The new procedure was successful and the patient was expected to be able to walk soon.
3. El Al wins world innovation award for wearable jacket
Travel Plus, a major UK-based travel and consulting organization, saluted Israel’s national airline for its wearable blanket it offers passengers on its flights. The El Al blanket/jacket, which has holes for the head and arms so it won’t fall off like standard blankets, won first place in the innovation category at the Travel Plus third annual Airline Amenity Awards event in Hamburg, Germany.
4. Goggles give cyclists pilot’s-eye view of surroundings
Elbit, Israel’s defense technology giant, announced its first consumer product: augmented reality goggles for cyclists, based on technology used for fighter-pilot helmets. The goggles, called Everysight, give riders information about the terrain they’re navigating and their performance and include a map projection overlay giving riders a full view of their surroundings, similar to accident avoidance technology used in cars developed by another Israeli company, Mobileye.
5. Tel Aviv ranked one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities
A report by the British newspaper, The Independent, cited Tel Aviv as among the 10 most vegan-friendly cities in the world, saying it is home to more than 400 vegan and vegan-friendly places to eat. The paper added that with nearly five percent of Israelis eschewing meat, dairy and eggs, Israel is now, per capita, the world’s biggest vegan nation.
6. Food safety test wins UN prize for innovation
Yarok Technology Transfer, a developer of fast, accurate tests for the food industry, received the 2017 United Nations International Award for “Innovative Ideas and Technology on Agribusiness.” One of five winners, selected from 330 entries from 80 countries, the Jerusalem-based company was honored for its fast testing system that detects the presence of dangerous bacteria in food in just 45 minutes.
7. Cannabis ingredient used to reverse aging process in mice
Researchers have long sought ways to slow down or even reverse how aging human brains lose their cognitive abilities. Scientists at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and the University of Bonn in Germany report in Nature Medicine that they’ve now achieved this goal in mice by administering a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis). The results open the possibility of new treatments for dementia.
8. Israel rushes aid to Sri Lanka as floods displace thousands
Following widespread flooding in Sri Lanka, Israel delivered emergency supplies to authorities as they struggle to cope with the impact of floods and mudslides that killed 200 people and displaced 80,000 others from their homes. Israel’s humanitarian assistance included power generators that were taken to afflicted areas.
9. Scientist eradicates cells linked to age-related diseases
A molecular cell biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot has found the first feasible therapeutic approach to eradicating cells that contribute to Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, osteoporosis and other diseases. Valery Krizhanovsky identified two ways to “knock down” proteins that can cause senescent cells to accumulate and lead to various age-related diseases.
10. New treatment for ALS hailed as breakthrough
Scientists at Beersheba’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Bersheeva have developed a drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that improves brain function of ALS sufferers. BGU said researchers found a way to slow the progress of ALS, stopping the increased activity of glial cells which attack and kill healthy brain cells, thereby restoring the central nervous system’s immune system and increasing life expectancy.
11. Scientists find vital key to fixing damaged heart tissue
Israeli scientists have isolated a molecule that promotes heart cell regeneration, according to results of a new study published in Nature magazine, a discovery that could offer hope to millions of sufferers of cardiovascular diseases around the world. The study, led by Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science in cooperation with other schools in Israel and in the US, examined the effect of an embryonic protein on adult heart regeneration.
12. Device simplifies hernia surgery and recovery
Thanks to the FasTouch cartridge system, patients who undergo hernia repair should experience less complications, less postoperative pain and faster recovery. Developed by Via Surgical in Amirim and recently made available in the US, the device gives surgeons a less invasive tool for attaching prosthetic material to soft tissue to treat a hernia, a protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak spot in the abdomen or groin.
13. New app tests fruit and vegetables for freshness
ClariFruit, a startup in Ness Ziona formerly known as AclarTech, has introduced a portable molecular sensor for measuring the quality of fruits and vegetables that may have a major impact on the global food market by helping prevent wasted products. Marketed only to farmers, wholesalers and supermarket chains for now, the application allows a smartphone to monitor and analyze the ripeness, freshness and durability and taste by sending infrared rays to the produce.
14. Researchers develop new therapy to treat heart disease
Ben-Gurion University’s department of clinical biochemistry and pharmacology has found a way to reduce arterial plaque and inflammation in the cardiovascular system that addresses hardening and narrowing of the arteries and prevents heart failure. BGU researchers said the polymer-based therapy may also help people with diabetes, hypertension and other age-related conditions.
15. Cyber security specialists fight against international hackers
In the ongoing battle to defend people from cyber attackers, researchers at Ben Gurion University’s Cyber Security Research Center have identified a new way by which hackers can steal your data: the LED lights on your router. A study by BGU’s Mordechai Gur, head of CSRC’s research and development found hackers can “infect” your router and, via a remote or local camera or a light sensor in the room, can record the LED’s activity and decode the signals.
16. David Grossman wins prestigious Man Booker Prize
Author David Grossman’s novel, A Horse Walks into a Bar, won the UK-based Man Booker International Prize for the year’s best fiction in translation. It was selected from 126 titles, whittled down to a six-book shortlist which included fellow Israeli literary heavyweight Amos Oz.
17. Startup developing wearable device that monitors vitals
Israeli startup, BiPS Health, which beat 49 other medical technology companies for top prize in the 2017 Trendlines Medtech Open, has designed a device that measures a patient’s blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, respiration rate and heart rate. It is worn on a person’s wrist and fingers and replaces the need for hospital nurses taking patients’ vitals every eight hours, improving the ability to detect deterioration in a patient’s condition hours before it actually occurs.
18. Intel enlists Israeli cyber-experts to foil hacking attacks
The world’s largest chip-maker, Intel, is joining forces with cybersecurity incubator Team8 to find technology to thwart increasingly sophisticated threats from persistent hackers. The US-based Intel will also open a new cybersecurity center in Jerusalem and Haifa and plans to work with two cybersecurity companies launched with help from Team8.
19. Volcani Center Wins UNESCO Prize for Agricultural Innovation
The Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center in Israel, known for its groundbreaking discoveries, is among three winners of the 21017 UNESCO International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences. UNESCO said the Volcani Center “has successfully developed cutting-edge innovations and methodologies in agricultural research with practical applications as well as capacity-building programs to promote food security in arid, semi-arid and desert environments, advancing human well-being.”
20. Students create stretcher for difficult rescue operations
Engineering students at the Technion have produced a unicycle stretcher to help emergency medical services and search-and-rescue teams evacuate victims from off-road areas inaccessible to vehicles and helicopters. The 15-kilogram, foldable Adventure Stretcher, built in collaboration with Israel’s Segal Bikes and the United Hatzalah EMS network, allows two people to transport a patient over long distances by centering most of the weight on a large bicycle wheel.
21. Student develops tool for early detection of Parkinson’s
A PhD student at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine has created a highly sensitive, groundbreaking test to identify Parkinson’s earlier, and better track the neurological disease’s progression and a patient’s response to therapy. Suaad Abd-Elhadi won the 2017 Kaye Innovation Award for her work which bodes well for improving diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which is particularly difficult to catch in early states and mild cases.
22. Israeli company helps increase Indian dairy yields
As India’s massive dairy industry grapples with comparatively low milk yields, Israeli company Maxximilk announced it’s providing assistance by impregnating surrogate heifers with “genetically superior” embryos. Scientists at Maxximilk produce what they say is the “highest quality in-vitro, ready-for-transfer pedigree embryos” that are genetically predisposed to withstand hot weather conditions and produce greater quantities of top-quality milk.
23. Students win three medals at Chemistry Olympiad in Thailand
The Israeli delegation to the 49th annual contest returned home with one silver and two bronze medals. The event attracted teams of four high school students from 76 countries who demonstrate their chemistry knowledge and skills in a five-hour laboratory practical and a five-hour theoretical examination.
24. Israeli firefighters help extinguish blazes in Montenegro
A delegation of elite Israeli firefighters, aided by the Air Force’s Fire Squadron, completed a five-day relief mission in Montenegro to put out wildfires ravaging its southern region and along the Adriatic Sea coastline. Israeli firefighters dropped 78,000 liters of fire retardant in 36 sorties as part of an international effort to help the Balkan country.
25. Multi-faith kids produce art project to break world record
Some 5,000 Jewish, Christian and Muslim preschoolers created paintings for the Children Dreaming Jerusalem project that were placed on the ceilings of the city’s light-rail cars. Organizers, who believe the inclusive project, involving secular, religious, Jewish West Jerusalem, Arab East Jerusalem and special-education students, is unprecedented in scale, were hoping to have it accepted for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records.
26. Israel arranges medical delegation for sick kids in Fiji
At the instigation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, Australia, a team of Australian ear-nose-throat specialists treated scores of children at a hospital in Suva, Fiji. The humanitarian initiative, which included surgical operations, also involved the Australasian Jewish Medical Federation in conjunction with Fijian doctors through the South Pacific country’s Health Ministry.
27. Israeli drip irrigation and solar power bring relief to Africa
The head of an Israeli charity says her organization is working on the ground in 147 villages in Africa, helping to fight starvation and a lack of water. Following her latest trip to Africa, Sivan Yaari told the Jerusalem Post that Innovation: Africa has a team on the ground in eight countries and a team in Israel, all working on water surveys, drilling, construction and solar power to help lift people out of extreme poverty.
28. Doctors implant device for congestive heart failure
A new Israeli patent, implemented for the first time in the world at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, was used as part of surgery to treat a patient for cardiac insufficiency. Dr. Yair Peled, who invented the procedure that involves inserting a special spring-like device into a person’s heart, said it could become a “therapeutic breakthrough.”
29. Israeli donors give $32 million in aid to Syrian civilians in 2017
Israel and private donors in Israel and abroad will spend at least $32 million sending goods to Syrian civilians in 2017 affected by the country’s devastating civil war — $26 million from donations and $6 million from the IDF budget, according to information obtained by Haaretz. These numbers do not include the cost of providing medical treatment for wounded and sick Syrian civilians inside Israel.
30. Company helps MS and stroke patients regain mobility
ReWalk, the Israeli firm that makes a robotic exoskeleton to get people with spinal-cord injuries back on their feet, unveiled the prototype for the Restore “exosuit” to assist stroke survivors and those afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Based in Yokneam, ReWalk is working with Harvard University on the design of the Restore soft suit which provides an immediate improvement in the walking capability of patients following a stroke.
31. Emergency team flies to Sierra Leone after disaster
Disaster relief workers from IsraAID, an Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid organization, helped survivors in the wake of heavy flooding and a massive mudslide which killed 300 people and left thousands homeless. Days later, IsraAID sent a first-response team of 16 volunteers to southern Nepal to bring emergency assistance following severe flooding and landslides.
32. Israel sends special crisis units to flood-battered Texas
Two Israeli humanitarian aid organizations sent emergency personnel to Houston to help victims of Hurricane Harvey with relief and psychological support. The Israel Rescue Coalition and IsrAID both dispatched special teams to assist especially those left homeless by the disaster.
33. Israel has answer to India’s oriental fruit fly menace
Biofeed, an Israeli ag-tech company, says it has developed a revolutionary, no-spray, eco-friendly solution to protect farmers in India from the deadly oriental fruit fly, the most destructive and widespread of all fruit flies in 66 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Biofeed “lures” hung on trees contain an organic, customized mix of food and control agents that kill the fly after it sips from the lure.
34. Israeli tech to prevent pipe-clogging at Hoover Dam
Water purification technology developed by the Israeli firm Atlantium has been chosen for use at Hoover Dam in Arizona to prevent an invasive species of mussels from clogging the water cooling system and interfering with the dam’s electricity production. Atlantium’s non-chemical UV water purification technology will kill off the organisms.
35. Tel Aviv hosts world’s biggest-ever animal-rights demo
Holding signs calling for compassion and veganism, up to 30,000 people took part in a Tel Aviv march to protest animal cruelty connected to food, entertainment, research and apparel. The large turnout was expected as Israel has many popular vegan-friendly restaurants and markets, and Tel Aviv is home to the world’s largest vegan festival.
36. Chicago seeks to gain from Israeli expertise in various fields
Leading a large delegation of businessmen, investors, healthcare professionals, academics and water experts to Israel, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his city wanted to partner with Israeli institutions because of their level of knowledge. He was especially interested in Israeli expertise in water reclamation, recycling, desalination and purification, and also signed a cooperation agreement with Tel Aviv focusing on general innovation and technology.
37. Israel sends aid and special teams to Mexico after earthquake
The Israel Defense Forces and two Israeli humanitarian organizations dispatched emergency response teams to Mexico following a 7.1 magnitude quake 140 km southeast of the capital. Fifty members from the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit arrived from Israel with a planeload of equipment while the nonprofit IsraAID sent a contingent of psychosocial, water, sanitation and hygiene specialists.
38. Israeli designs first special 3D-book for Hebrew University
Israeli artist and architect Ron Arad designed the world’s first entirely 3D-book printed and bound in one piece, unveiled at a gala event in Montreal. Titled Genius: 100 Visions of the Future, the book features Albert Einstein’s face on the spine and was part of initiatives marking the 100th anniversary of his Theory of Relativity, conceived by Toronto-based Israeli Rami Kleinmann, president/CEO of Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, assisted by CFHU VP and fellow Toronto-based Israeli Elan Divon, in honor of Einstein, one of the founders of Hebrew U.
39. Israeli eatery named London’s best restaurant
Israeli cuisine figures prominently in a new list of London’s top 100 restaurants, as compiled by the city’s respected Time Out magazine, which crowned Barbary, from the Jerusalem-based Machneyuda restaurant group, as London’s best place to eat. Four other Israeli restaurants appear on the list, reflecting the growing popularity of Israeli fare in England.
40. Company develops germ-killing cotton for use in hospitals
A Jerusalem firm has invented unique germ-vanquishing textiles to help in the battle against viruses and antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that are rife in hospitals. Argaman Technologies has devised CottonX, described as the world’s first bio-inhibitive all-cotton fabric that kills 99.9% of microbes in seconds. It’s being used to make uniforms, towels, bedding, reusable face masks and other medical, military and consumer products.
41. IKEA selects Israeli food-tech firm for new accelerator
Tel Aviv-based Flying SpArk was one of 10 companies (out of more than 1,200 applicants from around the globe) that IKEA chose to come to Sweden to take part in a collaborative boot camp to encourage start-ups working on ways to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Flying SpArk is developing an all-natural protein ingredient, packed with essential minerals, extracted from the Mediterranean fruit fly, for human consumption.
42. Israel helps Puerto Rico with post-hurricane water scarcity
Equipment that captures humidity to supply potable water out of the air arrived in Puerto Rico at the initiative of the Israeli government following Hurricane Maria. The special machine, which produces up to 5,000 gallons of water a day, proved helpful as the hurricane left many of the island’s residents without access to safe drinking water.
43. Company unveils artificial cornea implant to help the blind
CorNeat Vision, an Israeli ophthalmic medical devices startup in Ra’anana, announced it has developed a revolutionary artificial cornea implant, offering hope to millions of blind and visually impaired people suffering from diseases of the cornea. The nanotech-based solution is a synthetic cornea that uses advanced cell technology to integrate artificial optics within ocular tissue.
44. Israeli software gives NY power plants protection
The Israeli company, mPrest Systems, that developed the software for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, is working with the New York Power Authority to prevent unexpected shutdowns in the state. Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped-Storage Power Plant, and a 500 MW plant in Queens now have software based on the software that runs Iron Dome.
45. Proportion of women judges in Israel reaches new heights
Seven new judges, five of whom are women, were sworn in at the Supreme Court while Esther Hayut was named the next president of the Supreme Court. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said after the appointments, 54% of Israel’s judges are women, adding there have been three women presidents of the Supreme Court in Israel, compared to none in the United States.
46. Researchers develop compound that can kill cancer cells
An enzyme normally found only in sperm cells is the same one that enables cancer cells to metastasize throughout the body, according to researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan who have devised a synthetic compound to disable the enzyme and kill proliferating cells in mice.
47. First-ever inhaler changes marijuana into prescribed doses
A Tel Aviv company is bringing the world’s first metered-dose cannabis inhaler to market, allowing doctors to give patients exact doses of medical marijuana in a controlled setting in a way that takes full effect much faster than if consumed via oils or edibles. Syqe Medical announced it has entered into a partnership with Teva Pharmaceuticals to bring their new 3D printed cannabis technology to the global market.
48. Advanced stem cell therapy leads way in fight against ALS
Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, a Petah Tikva company, has showed in clinical trials a first-ever reversal in expected decline for patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a debilitating neuro-degenerative disease. While not a cure, the treatment, first developed at Tel Aviv University, reverses the damage (such as motor movement) ALS causes, even if it doesn’t slow the progress of the disease itself.
49. Hebrew University scientists develop printable food
Two members of Hebrew University’s Agriculture Faculty in Rehovot have devised a technology to print food from a natural, edible, calorie-free fiber. Professors Oded Shoseyov and Ido Braslavsky say the process of 3D printing of “personalized food” based on nan-cellulose allows for creating fare according to pre-defined criteria to serve to specific groups, such as those wanting to eat gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-calorie or diabetically-suitable food.
50. Israeli creates world’s first home robot
Entrepreneur Yossi Wolf has designed a robotic butler of sorts which he plans to launch commercially in 2018. Having worked previously on robots for the military, Wolf’s robot for consumers, called Temi, is about three feet tall, has a 10-inch tablet computer for a head, moves around on wheels and uses advanced voice and face recognition software.
51. Satellite to help global agriculture flourish
Israel will head efforts to assist agriculture worldwide by analyzing satellite images from its Venus vegetation and environment monitoring microsatellite, designed in part at Ben Gurion University and put into space in July 2017. Venus, Israel’s first climate monitoring satellite which it showed at the UN in New York, has high-resolution cameras allowing researchers to detect even slight changes in the environment, along with information on the state of vegetation, afforestation, farmland and water in 110 areas around the globe.
52. Israeli-developed paint cools buildings with sunlight
Three entrepreneurs revealed a way to turn energy from the sun, a source of heat, into a cooling agent that could save billions on electricity and have significant environmental, and even security, benefits. The co-founders of SolCold, along with a Hebrew University professor, invented a high-tech, light-filtering two-layer paint that can be applied to buildings which is then activated by the sun, using its strong rays to cool down structures.
53. Haifa team wins UK award for antibiotic resistance research
A collaboration between the Technion and the Bnai Zion Medical Center received the Discovery Award for its promising developments in rapid diagnostics for antibiotic resistance. The winning work was carried out in Haifa by Prof. Ester Segal’s research group in the Technion’s department of biotechnology and food engineering along with clinicians at Bnai Zion.
54. Israeli Arabs live longer than those in the Arab-Muslim world
A newly released study shows that the life expectancy of Arab Israelis at birth in 2015 was 79, higher than in all 21 Muslim and Arab countries. The research, conducted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, also indicated that infant mortality among Israeli Arabs was lower than in most of the same Islamic and Arab countries surveyed.
55. Technion ranked as top university for the digital revolution
According to the latest Times Higher Education survey of global companies, the Technion is the world’s top academic institution for preparing students for leading positions in the digital realm. Survey respondents, from a range of firms and industries, were asked about the skills they believe graduates need to adapt to the digital revolution and which institutions are best preparing students for it.
56. Hospital opens innovative rapid cancer diagnosis unit
The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan initiated a new approach that reduces the protracted anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis to less than two weeks instead of three months. Dr. Damien Urban, Sheba’s director of oncology, said the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit is the first in Israel and possibly in the world as other such units he’s heard about in other countries focus on specific cancers whereas Sheba’s offers across-the-board cancer testing.
57. Survey: Israel in top tier of world’s most innovative countries
According to the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scores countries using seven criteria including research and development and the number of science and engineering graduates, Israel is the 10th most innovative country. The annual ranking is based on data from diverse sources including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
58. Hospital sends medical personnel to cholera-stricken Zambia
Medical professionals from Israel helped treat cholera victims in Zambia, as it battled an outbreak of the disease. The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan sent four doctors, two nurses, a lab technician and a water engineer to the southern African country, in what constituted the first foreign team to arrive in Zambia to fight the deadly flare-up of cholera.
59. New sensor technology cuts hotel energy costs substantially
Software developed by Vortex Energy, a Kadima-based startup, that helps better manage heating and cooling systems, reduces operational costs and climate-changing CO2 emissions. In a four-month pilot project at one hotel in Ramat Gan, Vortex’s automation system and data insights, based on special sensors and monitors that collect information on temperature fluctuations, saw a 12 per cent reduction in the building’s energy consumption and a 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.
60. App for diagnosing brain diseases wins US prize
An Israeli startup specializing in neurological disorders won the Henry Ford Health System’s first artificial intelligence (AI) challenge. The Haifa-based Montfort Brain Monitor, chosen from more than 50 applicants, offers a “master app” that uses a smartphone’s sensors to track a patient’s motor, cognitive and affective activities in real time and can be special-tailored to patients according to their specific neurological disorder.
61. Company achieves breakthrough growing bones in lab
The Haifa-based Bonus BioGroup says that for the first time a patient was able to heal his own fractured shinbone after being injected with a bone graft, made from his own cells, and grown outside his body in a laboratory. The company has entered the second trial of a clinical study seeking to regrow bones in a lab, after its first trial, involving 32 patients, proved successful.
62. Researchers develop non-invasive test for prostate cancer
Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot reported a breakthrough, successfully detecting prostate cancer cells with high sensitivity using a non-invasive diagnostic test, Cell Detect. Developed at Kaplan, Cell Detect detected or ruled out prostate cancer in urine samples more accurately than the current PSA blood test, and previously proved effective in diagnosing cervical and bladder cancer in multiple clinical studies.
63. Start-up offers freedom from dirty work in the bathroom
It’s long been a dirty, thankless job that someone’s had to do, or else. Now, thanks to a Haifa-based startup that’s created a robot that cleans a toilet, humans may no longer need to touch a toilet brush or bowl again. Toibot has produced a battery-powered robot that attaches to any toilet and automatically brushes its entire surface while dispensing capsules that clean, disinfect and polish, and keep the toilet 99.9% bacteria free.
64. Doctors develop eye drops that may replace glasses
Ophthalmologists at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Ramat-Gan’s Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials announced they’ve successfully developed eye-drops that repair the cornea, improving near-sighted and far-sighted vision. According to the researchers, these “nanodrops” were successfully treated on pigs’ corneas and if proven effective on humans in clinical trials later this year, the discovery could eliminate the need for eyeglasses.
65. Israeli technology and expertise help grow crops in India
As it inaugurated its 23rd agricultural center in India, Israel is increasing its sharing of knowledge on growing fruit and vegetables using less water and other techniques in the largest such initiative by MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation). The assistance includes helping farmers in arid areas with drip irrigation technology and ways to increase pollination techniques and the use of recycled water, and extend the shelf life of agricultural products.
66. Study: Israel one of top nations for longevity and happiness
In a United Nations study of 156 countries, Israel came in fifth place worldwide for healthy longevity, which National Geographic Travel magazine attributed mostly to a combination of a Mediterranean-style diet, low alcohol consumption, strong family and cultural values and an excellent healthcare system. In the overall happiness ranking of the survey, Israel came in 11th place, based in part on data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics showing that 93 per cent of Israelis saying they are happy or very happy with their lives.
67. Israelis build first dairy farm in Papua New Guinea
Civil engineer Ronen Feigenbaum, an expert on cows and their production of milk, oversaw the creation of the first dairy farm in the remote southwestern Pacific island country of Papua New Guinea, after doing similar projects in China, England, Mexico and other countries. Working on behalf of Tel Aviv-based Alefbet Planners, he and his team used Israeli technology for various aspects of the operation, including ensuring the cowsheds are comfortable in Papua’s tropical climate and in the irrigation of the farm’s fields that grow grass and corn for silage.
68. Hadassah doctors perform lifesaving work in Ethiopia
Eight doctors, two nurses and one physical therapist from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center traveled to Ethiopia to fix spinal deformities in young patients that were so severe they were causing potentially lethal complications. In addition to the complex surgeries, the Israelis also provided medical training to local staff
69. Researchers claim breakthrough to make faster computers
Hebrew University researchers have created technology to enable computers and other optic communication devices to operate 100 times faster through terahertz microchips. Physicist Uriel Levy and his team have devised a new integrated circuit that uses flash memory technology in microchips which could create new, more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at a much higher speed than currently possible.
70. UN honors Israeli NGO with prestigious award
Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) received the 2018 United Nations Population Award for outstanding achievements in health due to its life-saving work with children regardless of their nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation. To date, SACH has provided cardiac surgery for 4,500 children from 55 developing countries, free of charge at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and in some hospitals abroad while also training more than 150 medical personnel from around the world.
Sources: Israel 21c, NoCamels, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet News, Israel Hayom, Globes, Bloomberg, Algemeiner, JTA, Tablet, The Independent, Business News Americas.