Friday, June 20, 2008

Milk and Honey

Dedicated to Gavriel ben Malka, that he should be healthy in a very lo-tech sort of way!

When’s the last time you heard some good news about the land of milk and honey?

The website points out the Israel is the world’s 100th largest country with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population. Yet...

Cell phones may be medical imaging tools — Israeli scientists say they've found a way to transmit medical images via cellular phones that might open such technology to most of Earth's peoples, providing sophisticated radiological diagnoses and treatment to people lacking access to such technology.

Israel develops solar power 100x cheaper — Scientists at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel have found a way to construct efficient photovoltaic cells costing at least a hundred times less than conventional silicon based devices, and with similar or better energy conversion efficiency. The reactive element in the researchers' patent pending device is genetically engineered proteins using photosynthesis for production of electrical energy.

Israeli male lifespan among highest in developed countries. Men in only five countries have longer lifespans than Israeli males, who live an average of 78 years: Iceland (79.2), Japan (78.6), Switzerland (78.6), Sweden (78.4), and Australia (78.1). The average lifespan is one measure for defining quality of life and differentiating between developed and undeveloped countries.

Israelis invent hydrogen car that uses just a tank of water. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, have devised a scheme that gets round the problem of dangerous and expensive hydrogen infrastructure, and makes possible 100% green cars that emit only water from their tailpipe. By reacting water with the element boron, their system produces hydrogen that can be burnt in an internal combustion engine or fed to a fuel cell to generate electricity. The only by-product is boron oxide, which can be removed from the car, turned back into boron, and used again. What's more, they plan to do this in a solar-powered plant that is completely emission-free.

Israeli breakthrough in Alzheimer's diagnosis. The Israeli branch of an American company has developed a computerized battery of tests that can detect early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Until now, it has been hard to tell if patients are simply "forgetful," or might actually have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. The new system, called Mindstreams and developed in Modiin, is considered highly reliable, takes 20-30 minutes, compiles an instant report, and is user-friendly even for those will little or no computer experience.

Israeli company develops radar system that sees through walls — The company Camero's unique radar utilizes Ultra Wide Band (UWB), a technology that has only come of age in recent years, and with the use of special algorithms can process data picked up by the detector to give a reasonable image of anything behind that wall.

Seven Israeli contributions to humanity from the first months of 2008...

1. Scientists in Israel, found that the brackish water, drilled from underground desert aquifers, hundreds of feet deep, could be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than one-tenth as saline as sea water, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98 degrees on average, proves an ideal environment.

2. Israeli-developed eyeglasses promise mobile phone and iPod users a personalized, high-tech video display. Available to US consumers next year, Lumus-Optical's lightweight and fashionable video eyeglasses, feature a large transparent screen, floating in front of the viewer's face that projects their choice of movie, TV show, or video Game.\

3. When Stephen Hawking visited Israel recently, he shared his wisdom with scientists, students, and even the Prime Minister. But the world's most renown victim of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, also learned something, due to the Israeli Association for ALS' advanced work in both embryonic and adult stem cell research, as well as its proven track record with neurodegenerative diseases. The Israeli research community is well on its way, to finding a treatment for this fatal disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.

4. Israeli start-up Veterix has developed an innovative new electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat, sending out real-time information on the health of the herd, to the farmer via Email or cell phone. The e-capsule, which also sends out alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost, is now being tested on a herd of cows, in the hopes that the device will lead to tastier and healthier meat and milk supplies.

5. Beating cardiac tissue has been created in a lab from human embryonic stem cells by researchers at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's biomedical Engineering faculty. The work of Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein, has also led to the creation of tiny blood vessels within the tissue, making possible its implantation in a human heart.

6. Dogs have better night vision than humans and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel's Bio-Sense Technologies, recently delved further, and electronically analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog's alarm bark, and alert the human operators.

7. Israeli company BioControl Medical sold its first electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for $50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure. With nearly five million Americans presently affected by heart failure, and more than 400,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, the CardioFit is already generating a great deal of excitement as the first device with the potential to halt this deadly disease.

For more, go here and watch the slide show.

Shabbat Shalom

Travel/speaking schedule:
June 23 – San Francisco – private meetings
June 24 – Los Angeles - “Jewish Secrets to a Spicy Marriage” (for married men)
June 25 – Los Angeles - “How to help our children get married without interfering (too much)” (for singles and parents)
July 28 and Aug 4 - Baltimore

For details, send an email!

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