Israel is hot and cool

Summer has certainly arrived in the Jewish State but the daytime temperatures have not slowed down the rate at which Israelis are making hot discoveries and really cool products.  
Israel is always hot on the trail for a cure for cancer. Israeli biotech Compugen announced that the protein CGEN-15022, discovered by the company, has the potential for treating liver, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancers through monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy. Simultaneously, Dune Medical Devices’ flagship product, the MarginProbe, has been recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel for its ability to confirm, in real-time, the elimination of all cancerous tissue during an operation to remove breast tumours.
The hot news for sufferers of prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s and dilated cardiomyopathy is that Weizmann Institute professor, Eitan Reuveny, has discovered the protein that prevents high levels of calcium in the body. Abnormal calcium levels accompany all the diseases mentioned. But the hottest developments at present are in the area of stem cell research. Hadassah University medical scientists have produced stem cells that are not contaminated with animal components. They are already being used to develop a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Israel’s relations with many countries have blown hot and cold, but they are definitely warming up with India and Africa at the moment. For years, India has conducted its relations with Israel almost covertly, but Foreign minister S M Krishna’s recent visit to Israel “has proved that at the highest levels, India and Israel can openly discuss issues of interest and concern with each other like other normal partners, without inhibitions”. One of the six African Central Bank directors visiting Israel, Professor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the director-general of the Central Bank of Uganda, said, “I can’t think of a better role model for my country to follow than Israel.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ivory Coast’s Muslim President Ouattara discussed cooperation in the fields of health, agriculture, science and technology during their meeting in Israel.


Israel has many “cool” individuals making an impact in today’s world. Hadassah Foundation presented its Bernice S. Tannenbaum Award to hi-tech innovator Ifat Baron. She has already been named by Israel''s Ministry of Education as the person "with the most influence in IT education in Israel today." Intel Israel’s visionary hi-tech President Mooly Eden, was named one of the world’s 10 most brilliant technological minds in this year’s Fortune 500 list. Under Eden’s leadership, Intel Israel has been responsible for the innovation behind “hot” processors like the Core 2 Duo and the Sandy Bridge.


Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt didn’t curb his warmth for the Jewish State when he spoke at Tel Aviv’s ‘Big Tent’ conference. “Israel is a tech miracle…we love Israel" he enthused. Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers was equally positive when he examined the Jerusalem offices of newly acquired digital TV broadcasting encryption developer, NDS Group. He commented, "Although NDS''s headquarters are in Britain, its heart and soul are in Israel."
Israel’s cool green products and technologies are on display this week at Tel Aviv’s CleanTech 2012 Annual International Summit and Exhibition. And last week 28 Israeli start-ups were in London showcasing at the Innovate Israel 2012. The event connected Israeli web, mobile & digital entrepreneurs & businesses with their UK & European counterparts. America’s energy experts from the USA and Puerto Rico toured Israel’s CleanTech development sites at Ben Gurion University’s Institute for Desert Research, BrightSource Energy’s Solar Development centre and Ashkelon’s desalination plant. So it was quite timely that Israel has just launched its first-ever international "green" campaign, to promote its achievements in environmental technology. 10-second “Green Israel” adverts on CNN stress that Israeli innovations in the field are used the world over.


But if you want to get away from the daily routine during the hot summer months, then enjoy yourself on some of Israel’s top 10 beaches. Choose from the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Going inland, you may wish to stay at the Artists’ Colony Inn in Safed (Tzfat) which TripAdvisor have designated as “The best B&B in the Middle East.” Of course, if you really find it impossible to switch off your iPhone, then use one of these five apps to help you plan your most memorable Israel vacation. Israel even has a summer camp for children who are interested in all things scientific and mathematical. “Tech-Know-Play” teaches Israeli children how to build robots and bridges.
Finally, the Israeli music scene is certainly hotting up during the summer with gigs from Guns and Roses, Morrissey, Ian Anderson and Lenny Kravitz. But for many of Israel’s “cool dudes”, the most eagerly awaited band is only arriving in September. It’s The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stay cool!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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