What has Israel done for the world?

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Israel is a homeland for a people that were targeted for mass murder by Russia (1881 -1918), by western and Eastern Europe (1920s-40s) and finally by all the Arab lands (1947-today). Not only did the homeland of Israel save millions from being murdered, but those millions have proved their Worth

25 percent of Nobels in the sciences have been won by Israelis, the same ones that many people of the world want to exterminate. And despite the massacres and threats, Israelis still publicize their advances and permit the world to benefit from their research!

The nation of Israel has created the only Middle East democracy, a land where Muslims Christians and Jews live together, where all citizens can vote, and work together. I don't know if this has ever been done before in the Middle East since the 7th century.

Israel has made huge technological advances that are part of our day to day life.  I’ll list what Israel has done for the world.

When Israel was founded 64 years ago, it was a barren country with no natural resources, little water, and more than half of its land mass desert. The only thing the new country had going for it was the natural creativity of its people.

More than six decades later, the Israelis have turned their country into an oasis of technology and innovation. With the most startups per capita worldwide, and the third highest number of patents per head, Israel has become one of the leading players in the world of high-tech innovation, attracting international giants to its shores.

From health breakthroughs to technology, agriculture, the environment and the arts, the country’s innovations are transforming and enriching lives everywhere. Israel today is playing a significant role in some of the most important challenges facing our planet.

Ehud Shabtai wanted to get from place to place quickly and without asking for directions. His wife bought him a GPS device, but he found so many annoying flaws in it, so he started mapping Israel, first alone and then with a community of 1,500 drivers, and within four years he and his partners had created the start-up company Waze, the most promising Israeli application since the ICQ.

Waze is a free GPS navigation application for smartphones.  Most users use it while connected to the internet in order to load the most updated maps and information, though it is possible to load the data and then use the maps offline. The software works collaboratively and is updated by the community so that when new information is obtained from a user, the software delivers it to the rest of the users – updated roads, landmarks and house numbers, as well as traffic alerts or obstacles on the road.

Today companies like Apple and Facebook want to buy the app and Apple itself offered a bid of $400 million, which is really cool.

Waze proved to be more than a handy, personal device, when it helped North American residents find nearby gas stations after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York and created a serious gas shortage. The Wazers (Waze users) only needed to drive around and update the application and thus give the rest of the population real-time information on the shortest routes and even the shortest lines and other important data at the local gas stations.

PillCam: Given Imaging

Founded by Dr. Gavriel Meron in 1998, Yokneam-based Given Imaging revolutionized the world of gastrointestinal diagnosis by developing a miniature camera in a pill, called the PillCam, to visualize and detect disorders of the GI tract.

The PillCam is now the gold standard for intestinal visualization and is sold in more than 60 countries around the world.

ExAblate: InSightec

In December last year, TIME magazine called InSightec’s FDA-approved MR Guided Focused Ultrasound one of the best 50 inventions of the year.

The 13-year-old Haifa company has developed a futuristic technology called ExAblate, a non-invasive, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery system that thermally ablates, or destroys, tumors inside the body. The device has huge potential to address a wide variety of medical problems, including many diseases that currently have no treatment.

The 13-year-old Haifa company has developed a futuristic technology called ExAblate, a non-invasive, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery system that thermally ablates, or destroys, tumors inside the body. The device has huge potential to address a wide variety of medical problems, including many diseases that currently have no treatment.
The 13-year-old Haifa company has developed a futuristic technology called ExAblate (https://www.israel21c.org/health/israel-s-insightec-hopes-to-ease-the-pain-of-bone-cancer), a non-invasive, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery system that thermally ablates, or destroys, tumors inside the body. The device has huge potential to address a wide variety of medical problems, including many diseases that currently have no treatment.


The Disk-on-Key was developed by M-Systems, a company founded by three Israelis. The data storage device was launched in September 2000, and since then has become almost as ubiquitous worldwide as the paper clip.

In 2005, PC World called the device one of the world’s top 10 gadgets in the last 50 years. M-Systems was purchased by the US corporation SanDisk in 2006 for $1.6 billion.

Windows NT and XP Operating Systems

Microsoft’s two most popular operating systems, NT and XP, were developed primarily in Israel. Microsoft has had a strong presence in Israel for many years, and has two RD centers in Herzliya that employ 600 people.

In 2008, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that the American software giant is as much Israeli as it is American. Last year, Microsoft Israel announced that 13 new products are being developed at its offices, while in March, Microsoft announced that it is setting up its first-ever startup incubator in Israel.

From its founding, Israel has made immense progress in water technology research, including desalination, which transforms seawater into potable water; drip irrigation, which decreases the amount of water needed for farming; and recycling wastewater into water suitable for irrigation. Israel is now a water-surplus state, exporting water to neighboring countries.

Israeli researchers have developed an innovative prototype system for efficient and safe production of hydrogen, using only solar energy, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) reported on Monday.

The research, published in the journal Joule, was led by Technion researchers in collaboration with researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal.

The new system contains a two-layer tandem cell device, which enables more efficient utilization of the light spectrum.

Thus, some of the Sun's radiation is absorbed in the upper layer, which is made of semi-transparent iron oxide, while the rest of the radiation passes through and is subsequently absorbed by a photovoltaic cell.

Together, the two layers provide the energy needed to decompose water.

The new system is based on a theoretical breakthrough by the Technion's team, whereby it is safer to decompose the water into hydrogen and oxygen in two different cells, with no dangerous interaction which can cause explosions.

The researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of the system at sunlight in an 80-hour experiment.

Hydrogen is a high demand material in many fields and is especially used to produce ammonia for the fertilizer industry.

It is also used as an alternative fuel, thus reducing dependence on fossil fuels and decreasing pollution.

Producing hydrogen from water also allows the storage of green energies, such as solar energy, which are not available at all hours.

Today, hydrogen is produced from natural gas, in a process that emits polluting carbon dioxide (CO2), as opposed to production it by electrolysis, of decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Mobile phones: Motorola

The cellular phone would still look like an oversized brick if it weren’t for Israeli know-how in mobile technologies. It was at Motorola’s Israel RD center that Israeli engineers first developed original cell-phone technology.

Most of the technology in your mobile phone can be traced back to Israeli engineering. From the tool that guards your mobile identity to a new keyboard solution, Israeli expertise keeps your phone from getting bigger yet staying cutting edge.

Ten years ago, Dr. Michael Har-Noy, founder and CEO of a Jerusalem-based startup developing an immunotherapy treatment that could potentially cure cancer, lamented that the fight against the dreaded disease “is a battle we are losing.” Today, Har-Noy’s company is getting closer to turning the tide.

In the past decade, Immunovative Therapies has conducted dozens of clinical trials, opened branches in California, Arizona and Thailand, and raised $35 million.

But the biggest boost came from the publicity surrounding immunotherapy pioneer Jim Allison, who won this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Unlike chemotherapy, which as its name implies uses noxious chemicals to kill cancer cells (along with a lot of healthy ones), immunotherapy enlists the body’s own immune system to do the heavy lifting.

Moreover, while chemotherapy is often effective, it’s not always permanent. If even a single cancer cell survives, it can begin to replicate and start the process of tumor-building all over again.

The goal with immunotherapy is to “train” the immune system to hunt down and destroy every last cancer cell, including those in metastatic tumors resistant to chemotherapy.

However, today’s immunotherapy drugs “only work in 20 percent of patients,” Har-Noy says. “And they’re still toxic. That means 80 percent of patients get no clinical benefit but they get the toxicity.”

Nor does immunotherapy work in some cancers – including colorectal cancer, which is among the three biggest killers worldwide. That’s one reason Immunovative is focusing first on tackling bowel, colon and liver cancers.

There are relatively few drugs to treat colorectal cancer and “the ones that exist are relatively ineffective, only extending life by a matter of months, not years,” explains Har-Noy.

Immune cells from a healthy donor

The Immunovative process starts by collecting immune cells from a normal, healthy donor. There’s no need to “match” the donor cells to the recipient.

Immunovative technicians purify and culture the donor’s healthy T-cells in a bioreactor, which causes them to multiply and activate without any genetic engineering or manipulation. Immunovation has a patent on the new immune cells, which it calls AlloStim.

The AlloStim cells are next injected into the cancer patient. While the body will reject these alien cells, subsequent injections lead the patient to develop immunity to the foreign cells and to create more of a particular type of immune cell called “memory Th1,” which is normally suppressed in cancer patients.

The final step is injection of AlloStim intravenously. The body’s new abundance of Th1 cells rush to the tumors and, in conjunction with existing “natural killer” cells, begin decimating the tumors. As more AlloStim is injected, the body creates its own tumor-specific Th1 immune cells, essentially vaccinating itself against the cancer.

The AlloStim process also “teaches” the immune system to seek out similar cancerous tumors throughout the body. This means it will spring into action any time it detects the same type of cance, even years after treatment.

One donor can potentially produce enough cells to treat up to 1,000 patients, making the resulting drug affordable even to economically disadvantaged patients.

In addition to AlloStim, Har-Noy and his team are working on a cancer vaccine called CryoVax that combines AlloStim with cryoablation (a process where a tumor is killed inside the body using extreme cold) for tumors that resist initial treatment, as well as a personalized cancer vaccine dubbed AlloVax.

In addition to cancer, Immunovative’s treatment is now being tested on five HIV-positive patients. While the clinical trial is small, “the results are very promising,” Har-Noy says.

Do no harm

Har-Noy became interested in the immunology of cancer while in medical school, when he saw patients getting chemotherapy and doctors spending a lot of their time treating the side effects of the chemo. Seeing patients suffer so horribly didn’t square with his understanding of the Hippocratic Oath of physicians to “do no harm.”

Science understands how the immune system works with certain viruses and bacteria. “So I thought if we could harness and control it, why not with cancer, too?” he wondered. “That became my life’s work.”

Har-Noy immigrated to Israel in 2003, and launched Immunovative in 2004 at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. A $300,000 grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist allowed Har-Noy to do trials on monkeys.

In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Immunovative permission to begin human trials. Har-Noy opened a clinic in the San Diego area.

“But just before the first patients arrived, we hit a regulatory glitch,” Har-Noy recalls. “The FDA said we needed preclinical data from not one but two animal models.”

Immunovative’s California lab had signed up some “very sick patients with very high tumor burdens, most of them bedridden.” Har-Noy didn’t want to start all over again in animals. That’s how the company got to Thailand.

“A colleague of mine from medical school was appointed as head of the clinical trial unit at the National Cancer Institute of Thailand,” Har-Noy explains. The Thai government gave Har-Noy permission to treat seven patients in California and the FDA agreed to use that data in lieu of the second animal model.

The Southeast Asia connection was not just opportunistic. According to the World Health Organization, almost half of all new liver cancer cases occur in China.

“Liver cancer is endemic in that part of the world,” Har-Noy says. “It’s four times the frequency of the US, probably because of hepatitis B infections in young people who are now aging.”

Of the 42 patients in the San Diego clinical trial for Immunovative, 11 survived for a year, nine were still alive after two years and four are still with us after four years.

“These patients had about a 60-day life expectancy,” Har-Noy points out. “The data was pretty surprising.”

There is so much more