Wednesday, August 03, 2011


For those whose worldview does not admit that Israel is anything but completely evil, it may be dangerous to continue reading this. This post is complete, 100% hasbara, and as such you will be forced to either denounce it as lies, or ignore it. We are not responsible for any cognitive dissonance or spontaneous brain embolisms that may come about from reading this post. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

From Israel21c:

The CleanTech 2011 mega-event in Tel Aviv displays Israel's advanced water, solar, wind and natural gas energy solutions.

Judging by the number of companies that have already signed on for next year's expo, Haim Alush, CEO of CleanTech 2011, says this year's event must have been a good place for people to do business with Israeli clean-tech companies.
The event, held annually in Tel Aviv for the past 15 years, brought out about 20,000 people from 85 countries. Early reports suggest some NIS 250 million (about $75 million) worth of business transactions were made during the course of CleanTech 2011.
The foreigners at the event comprised powerhouse delegations organized by countries including Canada, the United States, Africa, Poland and even nearby Jordan, which has strained political relations with Israel.
"We see that the clean-tech event was interesting people from all over the world," Alush tells ISRAEL21c. "There was very big business happening. The biggest success was that exhibiters want to exhibit again next year. We also have some companies that did not exhibit this year that want to exhibit next year. We'll have to open another hall to hold them; the biggest hall is already fully booked."
Solar still heating up the room
On the agenda was the opportunity to explore green building applications for the homeowner, like the solar walls produced by SolarOr, as well as other Israeli solar energy technologies such as Solar By YourselfRalco and SolarEdge.
Also on display were wind energy solutions, gray-water recycling tools, water technologies and environmentally compatible techniques for natural gas extraction, process and delivery.
"What would you do for a fiver?" That's the question Israeli startup Fiverr asks in big letters on the site's home page. The answer: A lot of really weird stuff.

Ever wonder what it would look like to throw a toaster off a tall building to see how it smashes? There's someone on Fiverr who'll do that.

Want to see your face drawn as an "angry bird" (after the uber-popular mobile game)? $5 is all it takes.

Is a loved one craving a bedtime story? Hire someone at Fiverr to read you (or your kid) a Dr. Seuss book.

Need to promote a new product? One Fiverr member is offering to get the word out to his 40,000 Facebook fans.

Spending the weekend in Munich and don't know what to do? There are world travelers out there ready to share their expertise for just, you got it, $5.

If it's not clear yet, the idea behind Fiverr is dead simple: If you have a service you'd like to offer to the public, you can post it as a "gig" on Fiverr. Buyers can search by category, popularity or user rating. Fiverr takes $1 out of every transaction and the buyer doesn't pay until the seller has verified in some way that he or she did what was contracted (for example, posting a video of that smashed-up toaster).

If Fiverr sounds like a lightweight concept, with appeal to a limited number of loony users, consider that the site has thousands of gigs and some sellers are generating hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month.
The physical deterioration of old age and illness is often manifested in what doctors call chronic wounds - wounds that just will not repair themselves. Petah Tikvah-based MacroCure has a product that aims to do what the body can't: Heal wounds that have festered for months, if not years.

CureXcell is unique in a number of ways, says Dr. Mitchell Shirvan, company CEO. "We believe that we have the most comprehensive approach to the problem of chronic wounds, showing a very significant reduction of the mortality rate in patients with deep sternal wound infections and a markedly improved healing rate for severe pressure ulcers."

CureXcell is made with white blood cells from healthy donors, using a safe and natural resource. Most important, says Shirvan, "our product is on the market in Israel, and it has already been administered by physicians to over 4,500 patients with severe chronic wounds that would probably have remained with them for years."
A simple mobile-phone imaging system developed in Israel for diagnosing and monitoring malaria has won its developers a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant is shared by biomedical engineer Dr. Alberto Bilenca of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and his research partner, Dr. Linnie Golightly of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

Now in the prototype phase, this new inexpensive weapon against Africa's second-leading cause of death will be tested in the field in 2012. This will be a welcome advance in Africa, where the mosquito-borne disease causes an estimated 1,900 deaths every day in children under the age of five. This age group accounts for about 85 percent of malaria-related deaths.

Using an ordinary mobile phone camera with a $15 specialized lens, the system can detect malaria by imaging the eye or the skin to look for hemozoin, a pigment generated by the malaria parasite when it digests red blood cells. This pigment changes the orientation of light reflecting back from the tissue.

Significantly, the eye imaging also allows the system to determine the stage of the disease by measuring blood flow to the brain. Hemozoin blocks blood vessels and therefore slows the flow as greater amounts of it are released from the parasite. Monitoring blood flow in the brain is critical to checking the patient for cerebral malaria, the most serious form of the disease.
At the offices of Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel in Jerusalem, things are humming with activity. Every summer the organization's staff of 33 swells three fold, and this July is no exception.

Already 10 busloads of American Jewish high school-age students are exploring Israel with Keshet guides, alongside half a dozen synagogue and church groups from the US, Mexico and Europe.

And work is underway on Start-Up Nation tours, an ambitious new tour program launched this summer, which will be hosted by Keshet in collaboration with Dan Senor and Saul Singer, bestselling authors of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle.

The idea is to bring the lessons of the bestselling book to life through visits to high-tech companies, meetings with CEOs and discussions with prominent venture capitalists. Participants will examine the cultural factors and government policies that have positioned Israel as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurial initiative.

Yitzhak Sokoloff, a Boston-area native, began Keshet 16 years ago to offer inspirational identity-building educational experiences in Israel for Jewish students from across all spectrums of American Jewish affiliations. "We are one of the largest operators in the field," says the founding director.
This is only a sampling of stuff from the last few days that is happening in a tiny, amazing country.