Six years ago, Israel was almost out of water. Today, there's plenty to go around, thanks to Israel's advances in desalination (removing the salt from seawater) and recycling of wastewater. Severe water restrictions (like limiting showers to two minutes) have been lifted.
25% of Israel's fresh water is now created through desalination. Israel has also become the world leader in recycling wastewater for agricultural use. 86% of wastewater in Israel is recycled, creating more than half the water needed for farming.
As reported in the New York Times, Israel has a multi-pronged effort to end the drought.
Good for Israel. And because Israel is happy to share what it's learned with our drought-threatened world, good for all of us. Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd has built the US's largest desalination plant in San Diego, California using Israel-invented reserve osmosis technology.
Israeli tech companies are working on an airport system that can detect emotional strain in a passenger – a specific kind of strain that is associated with people who intend to commit an act of terror.
WeCU (pronounced 'We See You') Technologies uses psychology and physiology to thwart evildoers. The WECU system puts subliminal images and remote sensors in the environment, causing wrongdoers to have involuntary reactions like raised blood pressure, increased heart rate or sudden, rapid breathing. These reactions are instantly picked up and analyzed in real time.
WeCU has received a grant from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Once implemented, WeCU technology will keep passengers in airports from Tel Aviv to Toledo a whole lot safer.
A colonoscopy is a vital procedure for detecting colon cancer, although it is less than perfect and more than uncomfortable. Endoscopy, too, is a key diagnostic tool. The problem is, the human gut is some 25 feet long, and endoscopy and colonoscopy are only able to show the two ends of the digestive tract. There are about 20 feet in the middle — the small intestine — that doctors have a hard time seeing. But now comes the PillCam, a pill-sized TV camera invented in Israel. This one-inch TV studio, when swallowed, travels through your intestines and beams back eight hours of images to your doctor. Clear pictures with little or no discomfort or need for anesthesia. It's easy, non-invasive, and remarkably effective.
• The PillCam SB (small bowel) has been used over 3 million times worldwide.
• The PillCam COLON is approved for patients who've had incomplete colonoscopies.
• The PillCam ESO is a patient-friendly tool for visualizing the esophagus.
Once again Israeli innovation goes a long way – through your intestines and across the globe.
There's plenty of dissolved oxygen in H2O – it's the “O”, you know. Fish extract oxygen from water--it's how they breathe. We humans can't. Until now.
Israeli scientist Alan Bodner has created Like-a-Fish, a breathing device that can literally spin oxygen out of water. Not only is it great for divers, but its technology can also be applied to submarines and in underwater habitats.
In 2015, Like-a-Fish partnered with Italian company Inova, whose new hydrofoil submarine The Atlantis is hailed as "a futuristic, multipurpose over and underwater travel vehicle."
From the Inova press release: "The Atlantis is the first submarine to be equipped with the 'Like-a-Fish' patented technology, a new system which can extract breathable air directly from the water during travel. This is why we call it "The Submarine with Gills.”
Like-a-Fish: a brave new world under the seas, made possible by a country that was built on the desert.
An Israeli biomed company, IceCure, has developed an FDA-approved process that kills benign tumor cells in the breast by freezing them. No surgery is required, and the procedure takes place in a doctor's office in 15 minutes or less, without pain, stitches, or scarring.
Benign breast tumors, or fibroadenomas, are very common--about 10% of women will get them. While they are not dangerous, they can be uncomfortable, so many women choose to have them removed. Before the development of IceCure's cryoablation technique, removing these tumors required surgery, which could deform the breasts.
Even more importantly, IceCure's cryoablation technology is being testing on malignant breast tumors, and early research has shown positive results: in a phase II trial completed in 2014, IceCure's technology was effective in destroying cancerous tumors less than 1 cm in diameter.
According to Dr. Rache Simmons, chief of breast surgery at New York Presbyterian/Cornell Weill Medical Center, “Compared to surgery, cryoablation is an effective non-surgical treatment for breast cancer in certain early stage patients.” Breast cancer kills nearly 50,000 women each year in the US alone.
Imagine what a gift this treatment could be to women throughout the world.
Every year, 90,000 people die in the US from bacterial infections they contact in the hospital. The biggest carrier of these deadly bacteria are sheets, pillowcases, pajamas and other textiles.
Dr. Aharon Gedankin, from Bar-Ilan University's Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials came up with a solution: coating the fabrics with a nanoparticle solution that renders them bacteria-resistant. This antibacterial treatment prevents infections from a wide variety of bacteria, even antibiotic-resistant ones.
Because the nanoparticles are embedded in the fabric fibers, the antibacterial properties last up to 70 cycles in industrial hospital washing machines, where the temperature is kept at near boiling 92 degrees Celsius.
Currently, a Mexican company is producing the fabrics for industrial use in North America, and an Israeli company will be producing and distributing the fabrics in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. One day, the 1 million deaths worldwide from hospital infections will be a distant memory, and patients will do what they're supposed to do in hospitals: get better.
Normally, only 10% of chemotherapy drugs go to the targeted tumor. The remainder go elsewhere in the body, potentially causing great harm.
But thanks to Gagomers, discovered by Dan Peer and his team at Tel Aviv University, there is great hope.
Gagomers are nanoparticle clusters, unique in their ability to target malignant cancer cells. After binding to the cells, the Gagomers deliver their therapy, killing the bad cells and leaving the good ones intact. This is a game changer in treating cancerous tumors, particularly ovarian cancer, which according to the American Cancer Society kills one in 100 American women every year.
Quiet Therapeutics is the Israeli start-up company for Gagomers research, and human trials will begin within 12 months.
Yes. One day the world will be rid of cancer. Thanks to Israel, that day will come a lot sooner.
Cybercrime is a threat to all of us. But Israeli startup Illusive Networks has an innovative approach to protecting sensitive data: make hackers think they've succeeded by providing them with fake, useless information.
Illusive Networks, which is made up of cyber attack experts from Unit 8200, Israel's elite cyber security Intelligence Corps, plants false data in a company's network and waits for hackers to find it. When a hacker reaches this data, an alarm notifies the security team, who can then isolate the vulnerable part of the network, allowing the rest of the business to continue unharmed.
The genius of Illusive Network's approach is that it detects cybercriminals who are using a network in an unusual way. Suspicious users are provided with the fake data, but regular users aren't even aware of this alternate reality and can continue to use networks, websites, and computer equipment without interruption.
The program is inexpensive to use and very difficult for hackers to detect, which is probably why Illusive Networks received $22 million in its second round of funding in 2015. Overall, Israeli cybersecurity companies raised about $250 million in 2015--nearly 20% of global investment.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss and legal blindness for Americans age 60 and older, affecting up to 15 million in the USA alone. AMD destroys vision by killing cells in the macula--the part of the eye that allows us to see fine detail and to read, drive, and even recognize faces.
There is no cure for AMD, but a pea-sized telescope implant from Israel is offering new hope. Invented by Israeli company VisionCare, the implant, which was FDA approved in 2014, incorporates wide-angle micro-optical lenses in a Galilean telescope design. The tiny telescope works with the cornea to magnify images to over two times their normal size–big enough to be seen by healthy parts of the eye, not just the damaged macula.
The innovation comes from Israel, but the benefits travel the world.