Highlights from the free weekly newsletter at verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com:
- Israeli trials show that a synthetic vitamin reduces fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
- An Israeli is the first female Arab Bedouin doctor in the world.
- Israel offered to help rescue kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and also trapped Turkish miners.
- An Israeli company is building a power plant in North Carolina that uses energy from a landfill site.
- An Israeli smart water filter irrigates trees and plants only when they are thirsty.
- Egypt wants to buy Israeli natural gas.
- Hundreds of exhausted migrating birds recover in Eilat.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Vitamin reduces fatigue in MS patients. Dr Anat Achiron of the Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer has reported that in controlled trials, a synthetic analog of vitamin D significantly reduced fatigue, which is common in patients with multiple sclerosis. The compound is 1a-hydroxyvitamin D3 (alfacalcidol).
Preventing dangerous growth in heart muscle. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the protein Erbin is an important brake that helps prevent cardiac hypertrophy – the stage before heart failure when the heart grows in an attempt to increase its output.
Breakthrough in understanding genetic disease. Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have demonstrated the molecular basis of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) – perhaps the most studied among the class of diseases that involves defects in parental imprinting. PWS is due to a defective gene on chromosome 15.
The genetic “switch” that thalidomide corrupted. It is 57 years since the thalidomide tragedy that resulted in thousands of deaths and babies born with severe limb deformities. Now Tel Aviv University scientists have pinpointed the genetic regulator “switch” responsible p53 and its downstream target gene, MicroRNA34.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Special Service. Teenagers that are unable to join regular Israeli Defense Forces units are not forgotten in the Jewish State. Please watch, as they (and their parents) are proud to help serve their country.
Academic campus for Israel’s haredim. Rivka Yeruslavsky was born into an Israeli ultra-Orthodox family and studied computer science. She then went on to open the Strauss Campus of Lomda – Israel’s largest vocational institute, designed to bring more haredim into the workforce.
Israeli Arabs entrepreneurs get more help. The Israeli government is offering promising Israeli Arab entrepreneurs and scientists 200 hours of free business consulting, plus research and development grants of up to 85 percent of the funding required to produce their new ideas in the lab.
The first female Bedouin doctor is Israeli. Israel’s Dr. Rania Okby, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine, is the first female Bedouin doctor in the world and a role model for Bedouin women in Israel.
Nigeria thanks Israeli offer to help locate abducted schoolgirls. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the offer by Israel’s Prime Minister to send a team of counter-terrorism experts to assist in the search and rescue operations for nearly 200 Christian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic terrorists Boko Haram.
Israel’s MDA offers Turkey help in mining disaster. Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom has offered the Turkish Red Crescent assistance after an explosion and fire in a coalmine in the town of Soma that killed more than 200 people. MDA said they could provide valuable manpower and medical equipment.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Transforming phone camera imaging. Israeli startup Corephotonics has developed a dual-lens phone camera that can produce crystal-clear images on a smartphone even when the zoom function is used. It uses two 13-megapixel lenses with their own sensors, thus improving low-light performance and producing cleaner images.
Turning waste into energy in North Carolina. Israel’s Bluesphere is to construct a 5.2-megawatt power plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the fuel for the plant coming from organic waste from the city’s landfill site.
Israeli teens take another top international physics prize. Pupils from Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center in Beer-Sheva have won their 45th prize in the “First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics” competition. Israel has won the most prizes since the US-based competition began in 2007 – more than the USA, Russia, South Korea etc.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
UK on-line retailer uses Israeli software. UK’s online retail giant Shop Direct, based in Liverpool, has teamed up with Israel’s Cimagine Media and yRuler to launch a new service that will allow shoppers to try-out products virtually before they buy them. The brands include Very, Isme and Littlewoods.
El Al boost number of flights from USA by 30%. El Al Airlines’ Spring schedule now has 31 weekly nonstop flights between North America and Israel. They include 22 flights from New York (JFK/Newark), five from Los Angeles and four from Toronto, Canada.
Tourism at new record levels. (Thanks to algemeiner.com) The number of tourists visiting Israel in April was a record-breaking 385,000 – 9% more than in Apr 2013. Even after accounting for the Passover/Easter effect, the increase was still 5%. Over 1 million tourists have visited Israel in 2014 – 16% more than in 2013.
Finance raised to drill Leviathan gas. The developers of Israel’s massive natural gas deposits at the Leviathan field have successfully raised the $2billion necessary to continue the project. Leviathan’s 18 trillion cubic feet of gas should start flowing in 2016, ensuring Israel’s future energy requirements are secure.
First Turkey, now Egypt wants Israeli gas. Israel’s new found energy resource could be a big peacemaker. Following Turkey’s announcement that it was buying natural gas from Israel, now Egypt’s suppliers have signed a letter of intent to purchase supplies from Israel. Israel used to import Egyptian gas but not any more.
THE JEWISH STATE
Green Eilat “saves” hundreds of birds. The recent sudden heat wave affecting the Middle East took its toll on migrating Corncrakes as they ran out of fat and muscle during their flight from Africa to Europe and Asia. Luckily they were able to reach Eilat – the first patch of green habitation after endless deserts.
The future is bright. Gideon Israel writes the facts that refute any claims that Israel is isolated. He cites Israel’s improved relations with China, India, Central Asia, South Korea, the USA, Latin America and eleven European countries. (Without even mentioning friendships with Canada, Australia, Japan, Africa, etc. etc.)
UK Rabbis learn more about Israel. UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and 49 Orthodox British Rabbis have completed a 4-day mission to Israel. Northwood Synagogue’s Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman said that the trip would help him communicate to congregants not to be emotional about Israel but to seek more information.