ISRAEL21c


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ISRAEL21c was founded in 2001, in the wake of the Second Intifada, to broaden public understanding of Israel beyond typical portrayals in the mainstream media.The organization’s founders – Israeli-American technology executives – understood the great power of the Internet and developed a first-of-its kind online product with global appeal and reach.

Most Recent Articles by ISRAEL21c:

Can cannabis turn back the aging process?

May 17, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

As our brain ages, our cognitive abilities naturally decrease and it becomes more difficult to learn new things or devote attention to several things at the same time.

Researchers have long been looking for ways to slow down or even reverse this process.

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem report in Nature Medicine that they have now achieved this goal in mice by administering a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis).

Mice have a short lifespan and begin displaying pronounced cognitive deficits even at one year old. So the researchers gave doses of THC to lab mice at the ages of 12 and 18 months over a period of four weeks.

A low dose was chosen to avoid any intoxicating effect in the mice.—More…

Israel’s surprising way of teaching skills for innovation

May 3, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

On the global scale, Israeli youth are falling behind in academic achievements.

According to recent research conducted by PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), Israel is in the bottom 40 percent in mathematics and science. Israel consistently trails behind countries such as China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Austria.

Yet it has the highest density of startups per capita in the world and is ranked No. 2 in innovation, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report.

How is a country so successful in technological entrepreneurship, which demands extensive knowledge in mathematics, science, finance and business, so far behind in math and science education?—More…

A simple Israeli invention to treat resistant hypertension

May 3, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

Bob Stern’s father suffered a stroke at age 40. “When you have a stroke, your life and those around you are affected forever,” he says from experience.

Stern’s response was to build one of the largest stroke treatment companies in the world, Micrus Endovascular (MEND), acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2010 for half a billion dollars. Two months later, he heard from renowned Israeli serial entrepreneur/inventor Yossi Gross of Rainbow Medical.

Gross invited Stern to Herzliya to examine his implantable invention for treating drug-resistant hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular events including stroke, which occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced.—More…

Glowing bacteria detect buried landmines

Apr 19, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

Possible application of a system to detect buried landmines using a bacterial sensor. Image courtesy of Hebrew University

Israeli researchers have revealed their high-tech answer to the global need for a safe, efficient way of clearing minefields: a remote system using lasers and bacteria to map the location of buried landmines and unexploded ordnance.

The invention is bound to be sought eagerly worldwide. About half a million people around the world are survivors of mine-inflicted injuries, and each year an additional 15,000 to 20,000 more people are injured or killed by these devices. More than 100 million landmines are believed still to be buried in at least 70 countries.

Surprisingly, the methods currently used for detecting landmines are not much different from those used in World War II, and require personnel to risk life and limb by physically entering the minefields.—More…

Programmed proteins may make malaria vaccine possible

Apr 19, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

A malaria vaccine based on stabilized proteins could be used in tropical places where there is no refrigeration.

Despite decades of malaria research, the disease still afflicts hundreds of millions and kills around half a million people each year – most of them children in tropical regions.

The best deterrent would be a vaccine composed of some of the parasite’s own proteins. However, those proteins identified as most promising for a malaria vaccine are unstable at tropical temperatures and require complicated, expensive cellular systems to produce them in large quantities.

Yet the vaccines are most needed in areas where refrigeration is lacking and funds to buy vaccines are scarce.—More…

10 ways Israel’s water expertise is helping the world

Mar 22, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

Using ingenuity to overcome its serious water challenges, Israel has become the go-to expert for a world facing an impending water crisis.

This year’s WATEC expo and conference, to be held in September in Tel Aviv, is expected to attract 10,000 stakeholders from 90 countries seeking Israeli solutions for water issues.

Israel exports $2.2 billion annually in water technology and expertise. In addition, these commodities are shared on a humanitarian basis through training courses, consultations and projects.

Keren Kayemeth L’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) often hosts delegations from around the world – most recently, from California, Argentina and the European Policy Center – to see how Israel’s system of treatment facilities and 230 reservoirs has achieved the world’s highest ratio of wastewater reuse. —More…

Recharge electric vehicles from under the road

Mar 15, 2017 — ISRAEL21c

As more and more electric vehicles hit urban streets across the world, better battery-recharging solutions are desperately needed to improve range, keep costs low and boost user confidence.

Oren Ezer (CEO) and Hanan Rumbak (CTO) cofounded ElectRoad in 2013 to develop their unique twist on the concept of underground electric coils that recharge vehicles as they travel on the road.

In a few months, ElectRoad’s dynamic wireless electrification system is beginning a pilot project in Tel Aviv involving a short public bus route.

“The idea of electrifying vehicles from the road is trendy right now and you can see several companies trying to do a similar concept to us, but our technology is totally different, from the coils under the asphalt to the transfer of energy to the bus,” Ezer tells ISRAEL21c.—More…

Why China likes this Israeli modular wastewater solution

Dec 21, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

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A modular, scalable, quiet and odor-free wastewater treatment technology from Israel’s Emefcy recently launched its first operational plants, one locally in the Jezreel Valley and one in the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas. Another will open next year at a hospital in Ethiopia.

Altogether, more than 40 global projects for rural villages, sustainable buildings, hotels, resorts and golf courses are in Emefcy’s opportunities pipeline, says cofounder, managing director and CEO Eytan Levy.

The company’s novel membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology — which reduces energy consumption by up to 90 percent and sludge yield by half compared to conventional aerobic wastewater treatment — was named by WaterOnline as one of the top 10 technologies presented at WEFTEC (Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference) last September.—More…

Tiny barcodes are huge help in personalized cancer therapy

Dec 14, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

Tiny “barcodes” made of synthetic DNA can help determine the suitability of specific anticancer drugs to a specific patient before treatment even begins, according to an Israeli study recently published in Nature Communications.

The new diagnostic technology was developed by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers led by Assistant Prof. Avi Schroeder of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and the Technion Integrated Cancer Center.

“The medical world is now moving towards personalized medicine, but treatments tailored only according to the patient’s genetic characteristics don’t always grant an accurate prediction of which medicine will be best for each patient,” explained Schroeder. “We, however, have developed a technology that complements this field.”—More…

What goes down the drain can sustain the whole building

Dec 14, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

A pug named Paulee doing his business on a Tel Aviv sidewalk inspired a revolutionary business in waste management, catching the imagination of the White House, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, corporations and investors on several continents.

The newest business springing from this unlikely source is Epic CleanTec, a California company introducing a system that separates out an entire building’s solid waste from the wastewater stream and converts it into dry, odorless, sterile, organically based fertilizer for landscaping.

The system also redirects the building’s used water for toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling towers. Output heat is captured and recycled into the building’s hot-water supply.—More…

13 best Israeli gadgets for under $100 to give this holiday

Dec 7, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

From disposable smartphone chargers to a cup that changes the taste of water to tiny computers, these Israeli-designed gadgets will surely win you best-present-giver status for this holiday season.

In the US, the average holiday spending on gifts is $830, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.

Solar-powered desalination cuts energy costs by 90%

Nov 23, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

As 2.4 billion people face severe water shortages in the world, desalination and water-purification technologies are in hot demand – many of them invented in Israel, considered the world leader in desalination.

The most common method of reverse osmosis using membranes is costly, energy-intensive, high-maintenance and environmentally problematic. It is best suited to mega-scale plants built on large tracts of high-value land near the ocean or sea and consumes enormous amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels. Then, the treated water has to be piped great distances to farms, industries and households.

Israeli startup TSD (Tethys Solar Desalination) plans to revolutionize the process with a low-cost, off-grid, scalable and environmentally friendly module technology using only the power of the sun – no fossil fuels and no carbon dioxide emissions.

TSD plans to have its first pilot site up and running in Israel by mid-2017, followed by possible pilots abroad. One of the four founders, Ze’ev Emmerich, tells ISRAEL21c that TSD modules are attracting serious interest in China, the United States and several other countries in Africa and Asia.

“At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2015, it was agreed that water issues are going to be the biggest global challenge in the near future,” says Emmerich. “Though most of the world’s surface is covered with water, only 1 percent of that water is fit for consumption so there is enormous interest in desalination and decontamination in the developing world and in developed countries as well.”—More…

World’s first blood test to aid diagnosis of Parkinson’s

Nov 23, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

Doctors diagnose as many as 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) every year in the United States. Yet diagnosing PD with certainty can take years — long after early signs and symptoms have appeared.

The Israeli startup BioShai has a game-changing product on the horizon: PDx, the world’s first simple blood test for the early diagnosis of PD.

The test results can be combined with clinical data, providing a more accurate diagnosis to help physicians decide on the best course of treatment at a much earlier stage.

More than 10 million people worldwide are living with this chronic and progressive movement disorder caused by the malfunction and death of neurons that produce dopamine, a chemical that coordinates the brain’s control of movement and coordination.

“Having a diagnosis at an earlier stage can lead to a more precise treatment and a higher quality of life for the patient,” says BioShai CEO Jennifer Yarden, who has a PhD in medical science and formerly was responsible for clinical and commercial development of diagnostic assays and kits at Glycominds. Yarden is also CEO and cofounder of Curewize Health.—More…

Jerusalem’s Glide hatches first camera for Apple Watch

Nov 9, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

How did a small Israeli company get to design CMRA, the Apple Watch camera band accessory introduced November 2 in a groundbreaking advance for the wearables field?

“When we started playing with the first line of smartwatches in 2013, we realized that we were close to the future of communication but it needed a camera to come to fruition,” says Jonathan Caras, cofounder and COO of Glide, whose free video messaging app is installed on millions of smartphones and devices, including Apple Watch and Android Wear.

Introduced in 2014, Apple Watch has sold some 15 million units, yet hasn’t replaced the smartphone as a primary-use device. The tech giant therefore came to agree with Glide’s assessment that a camera accessory could be game-changing.—More…

Europe to Israel: More avocado, please!

Oct 26, 2016 — ISRAEL21c

The Israeli avocado season is underway, and health-conscientious Europeans are keeping a watchful eye on this super fruit’s journey from orchard to cargo hold to their local grocery store.

High on the lists of global health fads, the avocado is in hot demand. And the Israeli avocado specifically is an extremely popular commodity.

“There is an increase in avocado demand every year. Israeli farmers can’t keep up with the demand,” Itzik Cohen, CEO of the Israel Fruit Growers Association, tells ISRAEL21c. “2016 looks like it will be a very good year for business.”

According to Cohen, Israel exported 60,000 tons of this creamy fruit in 2015. This year, the Israeli Agriculture International portal announced that it expects an avocado yield of almost 100,000 tons of fruit. Of that, 70 percent will be earmarked for export.—More…