In Israel and in many other countries, the age of 67 is when adults usually leave employment and start receiving their old-age pension. But as the State of Israel celebrates its own 67th birthday it shows no sign of stopping its work to benefit humanity, and is even increasing its tremendous pace of innovation.
There have been many recent Israeli medical advances to combat that scourge of aging – cancer. They include Rosetta Genomics’s microRNA-based test helps physicians select the best treatment options for patients with secondary cancers. Another is the joint project that 68-year-old Israel Technion Professor and Nobel Prize Winner Aaron Ciechanover has initiated with India’s Sun Pharma to develop new cancer treatments. Also at the Technion, Israeli-Arab Professor Hossam Haick has proved that his NaNose breath-test cancer detector was just as effective as older, slower, costlier and more invasive alternatives. And you should hear Tel Aviv University Professor Dan Peer describe the nano-technology that promises one-day to retire cancer completely, from the list of killer diseases.
It is true that younger animals and humans recover from operations faster than older ones. Researchers at Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem have even shown that being pregnant also improves recovery time. But was it youth, motivation, physiotherapy or the use of a Wii console that helped Captain Shir Klevner return to his unit, only 8 months after a Hamas sniper’s bullet shattered his leg and threatened to retire him from the IDF?
67-year-old Israel is launching startups at rocket speed – enabled, in part, by a new accelerator for young companies developing satellite information-based applications. Meanwhile, an older Israeli satellite-focused company, RR Media, has invested in its future by purchasing Romania’s Eastern Space Systems. It extends RR Media’s Intelsat coverage to more than 17 million TV households in Central, Eastern and Nordic Europe.
Israel’s Checkpoint may be an old-timer in the cyber-security business, but it can spot a promising upstart. Which is probably why it purchased Israel’s Lacoon - developers of cyber security software that prevents the spread of computer viruses by recognizing their behavior. Another relative newcomer - Israeli kids’ games publisher TabTable - is growing up fast, having just made its 4th acquisition (and its first in the USA) with the purchase of rival Sunstorm Games.
Israel’s non-stop desire to innovate has definitely taken root in the field of agricultural technology. Researchers in the south of Israel have developed a variety of seedless grape that can be harvested throughout the year. And Israel’s Danziger Innovations together with the Hebrew University’s Yissum tech-transfer company have developed a patented technology that extends the shelf life of popular flowers.
More and more Israeli companies are looking to grow bigger these days, as highlighted by the massive $1.5 billion that 11 of them raised on Wall Street in the first 3 months of this year. Analysts were certainly ramping up the sentiment about one of them - Kornit and its digital inkjet garment printing, using non-toxic water-based inks.
It is appropriate that on Israel’s Independence Day, veteran Israeli actor Chaim Topol, best known for playing Tevye the milkman in "Fiddler on the Roof," will receive the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement. And just recently, at the grand old age of 30, Israel’s long-serving tennis player Dudi Sela won his 17th ATP Challenger Tour title.
Finally, six Israeli men from the Shomron wanted to increase the chances that six complete strangers would live to reach their 67th birthdays. They each donated one of their kidneys to transplant patients.
Israel ….. forever and ever ….
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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