IAI Helps India Get a Foot Up on Its Defense Network

IAI had another successful trip to India this week, as a major deal between the Indian Ministry of Defense and this leading developer and producer of defense systems and technologies was signed at the Defexpo 2016. The conference was held last week in Goa, India, and IAI president Joseph Weiss flew in to sit with heads of many of the major defense and security companies within India.

Signed, Sealed & Delivered

The upshot of all these meetings was outstanding success for both sides, as a number of deals amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars were signed. The Indian defense organizations were interested in several technologies including the air defense systems, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and radar systems, all of which are going to provide India with a stronger line of defense than ever before.

As Weiss himself said, “India has unique operational requirements, and IAI is dedicating its best talents, technologies and capabilities to meet those challenges. We will continue our long-term, strategic partnership with India, meet our customers’ expectations and implement the ‘Make in India’ policy led by India’s Prime Minister.”

IAI in Action

IAI is an aerospace and defense company based in Israel. It is the largest government run organization, and it supplies advanced systems including satellites, space systems, robotics, cyber solutions, electronic intelligence, and command and strategic control systems, as well as more germane systems such as their passenger to freighter conversion systems.

Of course, this is not the first time IAI has signed a deal with the Indian Ministry of Defense. The prominent defense company has been supplying defense technology to India and several other governments for over a quarter of a century, with joint ventures, subcontracts, and cooperation agreements spanning the globe. The Israeli company has worked closely with India in particular, offering their important services and innovations to several branches of the Indian defense forces including coast guard, navy, air force, and border control.

The Future of Defense

The expo was a valuable opportunity for IAI to display some of their latest innovations, many of which have already been successfully demonstrated within India and have won the interest of the Indian Ministry of Defense. Some of the exciting developments included newly engineered IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that can be detonated in non conventional ways and an early warning system driven via radar sensors that are invaluable for signalling against mortar attacks.

India and Israel will continue their research and development together to provide the most productive and solid defense systems available.

India Investing in Israel, Israel Updating India

India and Israel have been courting each other for nearly twelve years now, and in recent years the relationship has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. The two biggest investment firms in India are already smitten with the small, technology-based country, and now the third conglomerate is getting in on the fun. Aditya Birla has dispatched representatives to assess the current situation in Israel as a precursor for some major investments into the development of several lucky startups, and Israel is welcoming the idea with open arms.

Aditya Birla Scopes Out The Scene

The Group Executive President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Dev Bhattacharya, came to Israel in February with the explicit instructions to scout out the prospects. Along with several directors of various branches of Aditya Birla, Bhattacharya reviewed close to 500 startups across Israel that covered the spectrum of the technology industry. After the initial assessment, Aditya Birla will bring a select few of the chosen companies over to India to pitch their concepts to the board of investors. The lucky winners will receive a fund that will allow these companies to continue researching and developing their concepts.

The companies reviewed covered a wide range of industries including cybersecurity, water tech, financial technology, new media, and cleantech. Aditya Birla already has their hand in most industries across India, so the spread is in keeping with their current domestic practices. The company currently stands at approximately $41 million.

Previous Investments

Infosys made headlines when they bought out Panaya, a major database management service in Israel that is based on the cloud, for $200 million. This was a worthwhile investment that helped Infosys advance their service offerings and expand their reach. Tata is another smart Indian company that jumped on the Israel bandwagon early on. They have already invested in the Tel Aviv University’s Technology Innovation Momentum Fund, and Tata is looking towards their groundbreaking discoveries in several fields including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, cleantech, and software development.

According to Shlomo Nimrodi, Ramot’s CEO, “Tata is a huge company, worth $100 billion at least, but they have made a strategic decision to significantly expand that worth in the coming years, and the best way for them to do that is via innovation.” So it seems that Israeli innovations are the up and coming trends for developing economies.

A Win-Win Situation

The partnership is being viewed as a positive move for both sides of the arrangement. The Israeli startups are excited to be getting the funding to fuel further development of some concepts and technologies could very well change the face of the world. The Indian investors are also thrilled to be the recipients of these new technologies and are anxious to see what this undervalued resource of the Middle East will produce in the future. With this deal in the bag, the world can expect to see more Indian-Israel relations cropping up in the coming years.

Beating Zika & Making a Difference, Israeli Biofeed Takes on the Challenge

Biofeed is a company with a mission. They’re out to change the world, and they are well on their way towards doing it. Thanks to the Grand Challenges contest hosted in Israel this year, Biofeed has been given 500,000 NIS to continue their research combating the Zika virus. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the insect responsible for spreading the pernicious virus, has been the subject of the team’s research for some time now, and at last the Israeli corporation is seeing results.

A Global Issue

Zika is commonly misdiagnosed since the symptoms including high fever, rashes, and joint pain, often go unnoticed or misread until later stages. While generally not lethal, the Zika virus is a prolific disease due to its fast and far-reaching method of transmission – the insects bite people and then fly great distances to spread the malady. Aside from being a major discomfort, Zika can cause brain damage to fetuses in-utero and a temporary form of paralysis for the mother. The virus is currently affecting millions of victims across Africa and other poverty-stricken nations. With time though, Biofeed plans to make this problem disappear.

Biofeed to the Rescue

Biofeed is working with a scented poison that will attract and infect these insects, eradicating entire colonies in the process. The substance is perfectly harmless for humans, but it will effectively wipe out these pesky pests.

When asked what the motivation was for such a movement, Mashav, Israel’s agency that deals with International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, director Gil Haskel explains, “Much of the world’s population is suffering from lack of food and access to clean water and exposure to diseases. Israeli entrepreneurs have developed technologies that will improve the quality of life for billions around the world.” Biofeed is one of the companies taking these challenges head on.

Making Waves All Over the World

The Grand Challenges contest is helping Biofeed and other innovative companies complete their altruistic missions. The concept behind the initiative is to connect world-changing technological developments with the entrepreneurship to fund their discoveries. It is their hope that these breakthroughs will help make the world a better place, specifically catering their efforts towards global issues that exist in Africa, South America, Asia, and other problem areas throughout the world.

A nationwide initiative, the Grand Challenge has already seen dramatic results. Nine other companies were also given the grant to further their developments within their specific fields. Some of the other Israeli contestants include Amaizz, a company that is helping Kenya solve their crops issues;  FIT, the creators of expanding prosthetic appendages to help ease the adjustment cycle and pain in children with these needs; and Semorex, a research lab conquering cancer by killing off cancerous cells.

This is the second year Israel is participating in a Grand Challenge contest, and governments, entrepreneurs, and organizations alike are all anxious to see what major results will come out of this pint-sized country.


Israeli Ophthalmologist is Saving The World by Changing The Winds

Wind turbines are a popular form of renewable energy that are slowly being adopted all over the world. One of the leading researchers and developers of this earth-friendly alternative is Leviathan Energy Renewables, Ltd. based in Israel. And with traditional Israeli tenacity one scientist is striving to change the world by harnessing these winds. And he is succeeding beyond expectations.

Leviathan Energy Renewables Making Leviathan Changes

Dr. Daniel Farb is the CEO of Leviathan. Together with his team, Farb is revolutionizing the way the world uses this alternative energy source in both its breadth and depth of usability. Farb’s goal is to make this form of renewable energy so efficient that anyone in the world can use it no matter where in the world they are. So not only are Leviathan’s innovations making the wind turbines more powerful, but they are successfully introducing them to areas all over the world that have never been able to utilize such technology before.

Leviathan Across the Globe

Leviathan Energy holds over 30 patents in different countries across the globe including the US, South Africa, Canada, and of course Israel. Some of these innovative concept designs are similar to their previously launched inventions such as wind energizers. These are panels that increase the speed of the wind near the wind turbines, essentially evening out the force of the wind against the turbine for greater efficiency. This can actually be useful in areas that experience lower wind speeds.

So how effective are these Farb-introduced methods? According to the research, previous attempts at improving wind turbine production have been focused on the turbine itself and have yielded approximately 1-2% improvement. In contrast, Leviathan’s methods are seeing as much as 30% increased production levels.

Crowdfunding Their Way to Success

Investors are lining up to fund this project, but everyone wants to see a working prototype first. Since the working turbines of today are generally 80-100 meters wide, Farb is now set on raising $1 million to fund the continuation of his research and development centers. If successful, this one Israeli could impact the climate change dilemma of the entire world.

Israelis Tackle the Aids Crisis with Ancient Medical Treatments

Circumcision has often been viewed as a barbaric practice that should have been left in the Dark Ages from whence it came. However, scientists are discovering now that this medical practice may be more advantageous than they had previously believed.

After years of research and development, Israeli-based and run healthcare technology enterprise Circ MedTech Ltd. has come up with an innovation that uses traditional Jewish circumcisions combined with new technology to effectively fight AIDS.


See what happened when Israeli delegates brought these devices to Africa…


After a huge number of Soviet Jews entered Israel, an overwhelming demand for circumcisions on adult males arose. This is because the Law of Return gave these men Jewish status, but they had never been ritually circumcised back home. With such a great demand surfacing, medical specialists were pressed to come up with faster, more effective, more cost-efficient, and safer ways to perform the medical procedure on adult males. PrePex entered the picture to satisfy this initial demand, but even more interesting were the discoveries that came later.

During their research, scientists found that the procedure actually helped to reduce the risks of HIV/AIDS within heterosexual males. In fact, incidents were reduced by 70% in individuals who had previously been circumcised. These figures were a shocking revelation, offering a medical opportunity to significantly decrease AIDS infections around the world.

Today, PrePex is being used in over 12 countries across the globe to fight the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus.

PrePex in Africa

Upon its resounding success, the Israeli team decided to take their new invention to Africa in an attempt to help dramatically improve the quality of life in this region through the modern circumcision practice. Though many challenges such as limited hospital space, lack of medical practitioners, and hesitancy from the general population to undertake the surgery, urologists boarded a plane, and the rest is history.

Today citizens across Africa are using the PrePex device to enjoy easy, painless, and cheap circumcisions, along with the dramatic health benefits that come packaged with the deal.

PrePex Gains Global Recognition

PrePex has received world acclaim including winning the Oscars of Silicone Valley 2015 Tech Awards for its tremendous preventive efforts towards one of the world’s greatest health care risks. By taking these devices to large communities throughout Africa, the Israeli initiative is spreading the benefits across the globe.

Other Israeli scientists, including Hebrew University professors Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler, have developed a method for destroying harmful HIV cells within the body as well. With such a significant breakthrough in the medical field, the world anxiously awaits the next innovation to come out of Israel.

Israel Is Advancing Collaboration With Developing Countries

Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu attended the launch of the Knesset Caucus for Israel-Africa Relations where he spoke about promoting and increasing cooperation between Africa and Israel in the areas of health, science, agriculture, tourism, science and cyber technology.

In the presence of Israeli lawmakers and ambassadors from African countries, the Prime Minister said:

“Israel is coming back to Africa. Africa is coming back to Israel. It’s happening in a big way. It’s happening now because it’s so clear that it’s good for Africa and good for Israel.”

A perfect example of advancing this initiative is Netafim’s irrigation solution for a sugar plantation in Ethiopia. Netafim CEO Ran Maidan said, “This is a large international agricultural project, and a strategic project that strengthens Netafim’s business in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular. Netafim was selected to lead the project because of its proven ability to supply advanced end-to-end solutions for large and complex projects, while advising the customers at all stages.”

India is another country benefiting from Israeli innovation.  The Himayat Bagh Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence launched a new initiative to recycle accumulating sewage water and use it to irrigate the Kesar mango crops in India. Israel’s advancements in agricultural innovation and water treatment technology are pivotal in bridging the two countries economically.

Drought-stricken Papua New Guinea received GalMobile water purification vehicles from Israel to convert non-potable water into clean drinking water for millions of its thirsty citizens.

Columbian farmers are cutting back on chemical pesticides with help from Bio-Bee mites, a completely natural way to help eliminate harmful species of spiders that are destroying crops.

A team from Hebrew University is helping Uganda raise an abundant supply of carp fish by applying techniques developed over many years for Israeli fish farmers.

The list of Israeli innovation and technology being shared with the world goes on and on. Hopefully, PM Netanyahu’s future trip to African countries will help cultivate even further cooperation between Africa and Israel.

Israeli Sewage Recycling Technology to Renew Hope for Indian Agriculture

It’s common knowledge that Israelis can work magic in the realm of agriculture and, more specifically, nontraditional irrigation demands. Using their advanced technology, the Israeli government transformed a desert strip into a fruit-bearing produce exporter with delectable produce on-demand in every season.

In an effort to raise productivity throughout India, the two countries partnered up to bring these ground-breaking technologies to Indian soil with positive results all around. This month, the Centre of Excellence launches a new initiative to recycle accumulating sewage water and use it to irrigate the Kesar mango crops.

A Centre is Built & a Partnership is Born

Since its inception several years ago, the Himayat Bagh Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence has been utilizing Israeli technologies, research laboratories, and packaging houses to promote and develop the agricultural sector in the area. With its newest project, the CoE aims to irrigate the mango crops with recycled sewage water from the Salim Ali Lake. While India will be contributing the infrastructure and location for implementing the new system, Israel will provide the training and support for the technology. A perfect combination.

There are currently four centres of excellence peppered across India. Kesar and Alphonso mango centres are in Aurangabad and Dapol respectively. The other two centres are in Rahuri and Nagpur, the former producing bumper crops of pomegranates, and the latter growing citrus fruits.

Addressing the Drought Issue

At an Adhunik Kissan gathering, David Akov, Israeli Consul General, spoke of the recurring drought issue in India. “To overcome the lengthening cycles of drought in Marathwada,’ says Akov, “the region should go [the] Israel way and develop a system for recycling, purifying, storing and conveying treated waste-water when and where farms need it, along with renowned drip-irrigation innovations to use the precious liquid most efficiently for agriculture.”

Israel is quite familiar with this process. Nearly 85% of sewage in Israel is recycled. Amazingly, this recycled sewage accounts for close to half of the crop irrigation needs of the entire country.

Technology Sharing

In addition to the sewage recycling systems, India is interested in implementing several other Israeli technologies that will help boost their agricultural market. Water conservation, post-harvest processing, and drip irrigation systems will all increase crop production and significantly reduce the dismay that many Indian farmers are currently under. Israel is also working side by side with the Indian government to set up administrative divisions in both Yavatmal and Osmanabad to help further the rural integration development efforts within the country.

With all these initiatives in place, it can be said with confidence that the Indo-Israel CoE will produce resounding success for the entire country to enjoy.

From Kenya to Rwanda Israel’s Partnership is about More than Just Money

Israel’s interest in becoming one of the leading partners in Sub Saharan Africa is no secret. From both a common interest in fighting against radical Islam  as well as infrastructure development specifically in the field of agritech.

“I call upon Israeli businessmen and women to head to Kenya and take advantage of the conducive investment climate prevailing,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said during this week’s visit in Israel. “Kenya and Israel have learned much, and have much to share in these experiences. In this regard, we look forward to forging even stronger relations and cooperation in ensuring safety and security of our peoples.”

Although we see growing cooperation with leading forces in Africa like Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia,  Rwanda has become perhaps the most integral to Israel’s overall connection to the continent. Small, but influential, Rwandans see their genocide in 1990’s as comparable to the Holocaust. The country has emerged from the destruction to be one of the leading voices in modernization and innovation.

One example of cooperation and Israel’s ability to massively improve Rwanda, is Energiya Global’s massive solar field in Rwanda.  The field’s construction started in 2014 and will power 8% of Rwanda.

Yosef Abramowitz, CEO of Energiya Global and Gigawatt Global said at the time, “It’s phenomenal for Rwanda because our energy is much cheaper than diesel. And then obviously we will get support from the youth village in charitable fundraising to give them the benefit of training. This way, graduates of the village will be able to spread the knowledge of bringing solar power all over Rwanda and then East Africa.”

Energiya’s project’s are just one example.  This month, Rwanda has given the green light to Israeli investors to establish an agricultural training center.  Besides that, increased interaction between hitech hubs in both countries are beginning to happen.

Besides technology, Rwandans believe in and feel very connected to Israel. Most Watutsis (the main tribal group in Rwanda) believe they in fact originate from Israel.  Whether that can be substantiated or not, is almost secondary.  

At the core of Rwanda’s closeness to Israel, is a shared biblical ethos that solidifies the growing camaraderie.  Rwanda like much of Sub Saharan Africa feels connected to the miraculous return of the Jewish people to their land and in many ways are inspired by Israel’s example. Will this provide the basis for a long lasting partnership?

Yes, it clearly already has.


Israel Steps Up Indian Agriculture with Outstanding Results

While not the catchiest title for reeling in participants, a seminar entitled “Israel Innovation Model to Implement Commercial Sustainable Farms for Cooperatives and Agriprenuers in India” was assembled recently to discuss and usher in a new era for India. Behind this involved topic that brought both the NCUI and the Trade & Economic Mission Embassy of Nepal is a growing partnership between India and Israel. Despite initial skepticism, this small Middle Eastern country is bringing India into a new frontier for agriculture, and best of all, they’re seeing resoundingly positive results.

The IIAP in Action

The IIAP (the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project) is working to bring the latest technologies over to India. The goal is to further the education and development of Indian farmers to facilitate better crop production and distribution. The project has thus far developed 28 stand-alone centers for agricultural development in cities across India including the country’s capital Punjab, along with others such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and the currently volatile Haryana.

The initiative is presently underway, and according to National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) president Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, there are already 260 million individuals involved. Already the project has yielded positive results. Farmers have recorded better production levels and even an increase in financial returns.

Understanding a Need for Advancement

India is not without agricultural technologies of their own of course, but the breadth and depth of these machines are limited, and there is room for expansion, according to the ICAR. And that is where Israel steps in. Israel is known throughout the world for their innovative technologies, having transformed a desert wasteland into a veritable Garden of Eden that produces 95% of its own food requirements. In a land that is not intrinsically suited for agriculture, Israel has managed to nourish an industry that now accounts for 3.6% of all its exports and 2.5% of the total GDP.

India recognizes these advanced technologies, and forward-thinking members of the government are anxious to see innovations work their magic in India as well. In the Indian Cooperative, Dr A.K.Singh, MD, a representative from the National Horticulture board commented on the new endeavor saying, “We have to teach, inform and educate Indian farmers about how to apply various technologies as developed by Israel in the field of agriculture in their production.”

Reap The Gains

Indian specialists aren’t the only ones with positive sentiments for the IIAP. Dan Alluf, Agriculture attache for the Embassy of Israel, was optimistic about the project as well as the future of Indo-Israel relationships bringing forth exciting advancements in the field of agriculture.

“Our team of experts is visiting India regularly to train the farmers with modern techniques. Seminars and cluster meetings are also held to discuss new innovations,” remarked Alluf in regards to the continuity of the education, training, implementation, and development of these and new technologies into the standard farmer’s market. There is a bright future for both Indian agriculture and a prosperous multinational relationship on the horizon.

Israel Changing Medicine Forever

2015 has been a remarkable year for Israel when it comes to innovation in health and medicine. In the wake of humanitarian crises such as the earthquake in Nepal, the flooding in Myanmar, the mudslide in Guatemala, the tropical cyclone of Vanuatu, the war in Syria and even performing a life-saving surgery on the brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, the medical assistance and humanitarian aid from the Israeli Army, along with numerous Israeli organizations such as IsraAID, were evident and pronounced.

Israeli scientists, researchers and startups had a remarkable year of medical breakthroughs that will change our lives. Science and technology in Israel are one of the country’s most developed sectors. The percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific and technological inquiry, and the amount spent on research and development (R&D) in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), is the second highest in the world. Israel ranks thirteenth in the world in scientific activity as measured by the number of scientific publications per million citizens.

Below are the top 18 medical breakthroughs to keep a close eye on:

Cancer Treatments

Israel is at the forefront when it comes to developments in cancer treatments and research. From improved detection to targeted killings of cancer cells, Israel is proving that a cure for cancer may not be so far away.

1. BioSight’s Astrabine “Trojan Horse” Technology

BioSight, a medical technology startup, has been able to develop a technology that targets only cancerous cells, leaving healthy ones alone. Astrabine closely resembles a protein called asparagine that leukemia cells depend on and the cancer cells are fooled into self-destruction. According to Dr. Ruth Ben Yakar, this technology could become very important in the field of cancer treatment. “This really could be the cure for cancer,” she says. While BioSight’s “Trojan horse” chemo technology is currently being tested on leukemia patients, the company believes it will be effective in many other kinds of cancer as well.

Read more about BioSight’s breakthrough:
Times of Israel
PR Newswire

2. Vaxil’s ImMucin Vaccine against 90% of Cancer Types

Vaxil BioTheraputics has developed an immunotherapy vaccine that trains the immune system to attack cancerous cells. The vaccine is effective in the early stages of cancer detection and during remission. It will not help in the advanced stages of cancer. Clinical trials have so far showed that ImMucin triggered a response in 90% of cancer types.

Read more about Vaxil’s breakthrough:
Medical Daily

3. Predicting the Spread of Cancer

Most cancer-related deaths occur from metastases (secondary cancer) than by the primary tumor. Dr. Daphne Weihs, from Israel’s Institute of Technology, developed a method to predict the spread of cancer from one organ to another. According to Dr. Weihs, the practical concept is that “during or immediately after a biopsy or surgery on a malignant tumor, the system will enable the medical team to quantitatively evaluate the likelihood of the presence or development of tumor metastases in other organs, and to propose which organ or organs are involved. Such knowledge will make it possible to act at a very early stage to identify and curb these metastases and, moreover, to prevent the primary tumor from metastasizing further.”

Read more about Dr. Daphne Weihs’ breakthrough:
Technion Israel Institute of Technology
New Journal of Physics (for in-depth explanation of the technology)

4. Nanotechnology Against Killer Cancers

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive and incurable forms of cancer. Professor Dan Peer of Quiet Therapeutics and his team at Tel Aviv University devised a technology using nanoparticles to transport drugs to target cancer sites while minimizing adverse effects. Restricted passages across the blood–brain barrier make the majority of potential drugs for the treatment of GBM ineffective. But with Peer’s nanotechnology, the drugs can be administered precisely to attack only the cancer cells, like a nanotech cancer bullet. The technology was tested successfully on ovarian cancer cells and is in the early stages of testing on brain tumors with promising results for the future.

Read more about Prof. Dan Peer’s breakthrough:
ACS Publications
BioMed Microdevices Publication (for in-depth analysis of this nanotechnology)
Times of Israel

5. Immunotherapy Cocktail to Cure Melanoma and Terminal Cancer

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, clinical trials on 945 patients with advanced melanoma skin cancer using a combination of immunotherapy drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab proved to cure 58% of the patients by shrinking or eliminating cancerous tumors. Prof. Jacob Schachter, head of the Ella Institute at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, took part in developing this drug which was hailed by the scientific community as a major breakthrough in cancer research that can potentially replace chemotherapy to treat many types of cancer.

Read more about Prof. Jacob Schachter’s breakthrough:
The New England Journal of Medicine

6. Nobel Prize Winner and Team Find Proteins to Suppress Cancer

New research from the Haifa laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Prof. Aaron Ciechanover has uncovered two proteins that suppress cancer cell growth and development. Ciechanover, who is also the president of the Israel Cancer Society, notes that many more years are required “to establish the research and gain a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind the suppression of the tumors. The development of a drug based on this discovery is a possibility, although not a certainty, and the road to such a drug is long and far from simple.”
Read more about Prof. Aaron Ciechanover’s breakthrough:
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
HaAretz (printed article)
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

7. Hacking the Cancer’s Communication System

Rony Seger from the Weizmann Institute of Science and his team developed a way to treat a number of cancers by blocking off messages from the nucleus of a cancer cell. By shutting off the information that creates cancerous mutations the spread of cancer can be halted.

Read more about Rony Seger’s breakthrough:
The American Society for Cell Biology (and its Supplementary Information)
Journal of Cell Science
Nature Communications

8. Biop Medical Device to Provide Early Detection of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women, and the #1 cancer killer of women in the developing world. According to Biop Medical, the startup company developed an innovative technology for the identification of cancerous and precancerous cells in epithelial tissues. The Biop system will enable point-of-care diagnosis of the entire cervix, generating a real-time map of the cervix. Immediately after testing, patients will receive a near-certain diagnosis, eliminating the prolonged waiting time and anxiety, associated with the current, inefficient process. This technology can reduce the time needed to diagnose one of the biggest killers of women – from weeks, to minutes.

Read more about Biop Medical’s breakthrough technology:
Times of Israel

Ginni Rometty, President and CEO of IBM, speaks about Biop Medical as being one of the cusps of the future of medicine, in her plenum speech at the Cleveland Clinic Summit.

Heart Treatments

9. Study Advances Understanding of Heart Cells’ Regeneration

If heart cells are damaged, e.g. by a heart attack, there is little than can be done to help repair and restore the heart. This is why heart disease is so fatal. A study conducted by Dr. Eldad Tzahor at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that a protein called ERBB2 may hold the key to regenerating heart cells. While the study was conducted on adult mice, the findings can prove to be a major breakthrough for heart disease treatments.

Read more about Tzahor’s breakthrough:
Nature Cell Biology (and accompanying videos)
Cardiovascular Disease News
World Health
Weizmann Institute of Science
Weizmann Wonder Wander

10. Blue Light to Replace Pacemakers Using Optogenetics Technology

Israeli researchers have successfully established a new approach for pacing the heart and synchronizing its mechanical activity without the use of a conventional electrical pacemaker. This novel biologic strategy employs light-sensitive genes that can be injected into the heart and then activated by flashes of blue light. The study was conducted at the laboratory of Professor Lior Gepstein from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute at the Technion.

If the biological pacemaker can be adapted for humans, it could help patients avoid many of the drawbacks of electrical pacemakers. These include the surgical procedure needed to implant the device, the risk of infection, the limitation on the number and locations of the pacing wires used, the possible decline in cardiac function resulting from the change in the normal electrical activation pattern, and the limitations on implantation in children.

Read more about Lior Gepstein’s breakthrough:
Nature Biotechnology
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Science Daily
American Technion Society

11. Cardioband Facilitates Surgical Annuloplasty Through A Catheter

Valtech Cardio developed the Cardioband to allow for minimally invasive reconstruction of the mitral valve using a transfemoral, transseptal delivery system, avoiding open heart surgery that can be dangerous for fragile patients. Cardioband recently won European CE Mark approval to introduce its Cardioband annuloplasty system. Clinical trials were so successful that Valtech Cardio was recently acquired for nearly $1 billion by Heartware. Besides Cardioband, Valtech Cardio has developed other products in its expansive portfolio of innovative technologies for the treatment of mitral and tricuspid valve disease.

Read more about Cardioband:
Cardiac Interventions Today
Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology
Valtech Cardio (Cardioband Highlights)


HIV/AIDS Treatments

More than 37 million people worldwide are affected by HIV/AIDS. Israeli researchers are looking to tackle this problem as well.

12. Self-destructing HIV Positive Cells

Research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led by Professors Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler, has led to development of a new method to destroy HIV-positive cells without damaging the healthy ones. According to a study printed in Future Science, certain peptides (amino acids) can interfere in the DNA-transfer process, and ultimately cause the infected cell to self-destroy. Mapping the interactions between viral and host proteins is a fundamental target for the design and development of effective treatments and a possible cure for HIV/AIDS.

Read more about this HIV/AIDS breakthrough:
Future Science (PDF publication)
Scientific Reports

13. Trapping the HIV-1 Virus

Prof. Akram Alian of the Technion Faculty of Biology offers a new strategy to combat the HIV-1 virus. By mapping the HIV-1 rerouting landscape in order to be able to predict the hidden, alternative routes that the virus takes when trying to spread. This will eventually help develop a drug that targets the critical nodes of the host cell’s proteins so it won’t be able to find other pathways to spread.

Read more about Prof. Alian’s research:
Journal of Virology (American Society for Microbiology)
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

14. Similarities Found Between Leukemia and AIDS May Lead to Cure

Dr. Ran Taube from Ben-Gurion University and his team discovered similarities between the HIV virus and leukemia. This breakthrough will enable researchers to develop more comprehensive therapies that could ultimately treat the virus itself by seeking innovative ways to “wake up” the virus from its silent active state, while at the same time applying anti-retrovirals to essentially eradicate the virus completely.

Read more about Ran Taube’s breakthrough:
Jerusalem Post
i24 News


Other Notable Breakthroughs

15. Addiction Treatment Using Epigenetics

Research by Professor Gal Yadid of Bar Ilan University and his team reveals that changes in our DNA during drug withdrawal may offer promising ways of developing more effective treatments for addiction. They found that withdrawal from drug use results in reprogramming of the genes in the brain that lead to addictive personality. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, shows addictive behavior can be stopped by influencing the epigenetic markers that were triggered by withdrawal using epigenetic drugs.

Read more about Prof. Gal Yadid’s breakthrough:
The Journal of Neoroscience
Medical Xpress
Daily Mail

16. Antibacterial Nanotechnology To End Implant Infections

Israeli biotech start-up called NanoLock has developed technology that kills bacteria inside an implant before they can invade the body and cause infections. Dr. Ervin Weiss says “The NanoLock technology enables the production of implants that contain specially designed components (consisting of a total of 1% of the entire implant) that mechanically kill bacteria” by punching a hole in the middle of a bacterium, rendering it impotent. Their first product will be for the dental industry, but the implications of this research will help with contact lenses, stents, breast implants and many other man-made devices that are subject to infection.

Read more about NanoLock’s breakthrough:
Times of Israel
Jerusalem Post

17. Diagnosing Blood Diseases Using Computer Vision Technology

Sight Diagnostics, an Israeli, tech startup, developed a novel platform for diagnosing blood diseases using computer vision technology. It’s Parasight Platform can detect malaria in blood in only three minutes. Their first application is for malaria testing. 500 million tests are done annually for the blood-borne disease, yet it still kills about 600,000 people each year. Early disease detection is crucial for proper treatment, and with a third of the world’s population at risk of malaria (let alone other blood diseases), Sight Diagnostic’s technology can help save millions of lives.

Read more about Sight Diagnostic’s breakthrough technology:

18. Combating Antibiotic Resistance

Dr. Udi Qimran and his team at the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology of Tel Aviv University managed to devise a way to restore antibiotic sensitivity to drug-resistant bacteria, and also prevent the transfer of genes that create that resistance among bacteria. This breakthrough is crucial for slowing the rapid, extensive spread of antibiotic resistance around the world, especially in hospitals. The system, if ultimately applied to pathogens on hospital surfaces or medical personnel’s hands, could turn the tide on untreatable, often lethal bacterial infections.

Read more about Dr. Udi Qimran’s breakthrough:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (and Supporting Info)
Science Daily
Tel Aviv University
While the list really goes on and on when it comes to scientific and medical breakthroughs in Israel, I focused on the ones I found to have a global impact.

May the good that comes from Israel bring the coming 2016 new year with more innovation, health and happiness for mankind.