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The Long Road Home

Inventions & Innovations

Regenerating Lost Limbs?

{image_1}A 3D SCAFFOLD THAT CAN REPLACE missing bone while helping it regenerate, a biodegradable stent that releases drugs while keeping a weak artery open, a wound dressing that releases antibiotics and then magically disappears when the job is done… all this has been made possible by Meital Zilberman, an Israeli researcher at Tel Aviv University's Department of Biomedical Engineering, who has invented a series of drug-releasing fibers that dissolve over time.

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A Cure for Leaky Pipes

{image_1}Curapipe, IN ASHKELON, has a new solution that can detect and repair a problem that hides below the radar of the water and gas industries. Tiny pinhole, almost undetectable leaks emit water, oil, and natural gas, costing the taxpayer money. The World Bank estimates that about 88 billion liters [23 billion US gallons] of water is lost through urban pipes every day.

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Insulin Research Brings Hope

{image_1}RESEARCHERS FROM THE HEBREW University of Jerusalem, in collaboration with Japanese and American universities, have discovered how a specific gene within the pancreas affects secretion of insulin. Their work opens the way for a new understanding of possible paths to battle diabetes (excessive blood sugar) and diabetes-related health problems, which are on the rise all over the world. Blood glucose levels are tightly regulated by secretion of insulin from beta cells in the pancreas. Defective insulin secretion results in poorly regulated blood glucose levels and diabetes.

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Drawing Electricity from Roads

{image_1}PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES could be the newest electricity generators in Israel, thanks to technology being developed by the Israeli Innowattech company. The Innowattech Piezo Electric Generator technology converts mechanical energy generated by pressure on the roads from passing cars into usable electricity that can be stored or sold to the national electric grid. As cars drive over the energy harvesters placed into the roads, the system is able to generate electricity for streetlights and even homes. The technology could potentially be applied to train tracks and runways as well.

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DNA Detective Work

{image_1}RESEARCHERS
at Nucleix, an Israeli company specializing in DNA analysis, have
developed a method to combat the practice of forging DNA.

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I “GHOTIT” RIGHT!

{image_1}Ofer Chermesh, a dyslexic, made a very unfortunate error in an email to a prospective business partner and decided it was time to do something about it. After partnering with Israel’s Weizmann Institute, they came up with Ghotit, a “super speller assistive technology” that enables dyslexics to dramatically improve their writing, according to their Web site. Besides catching outrageous spelling errors, the software spots out-of-context words, provides definitions and sentences to help choose the correct word, and even has a text-to-speech service so the user can hear if the word chosen is what was intended.

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Preventing Heart Attacks with seaweed gel

{image_1}The Israeli company BioLineRx released the news in July that one of its two compounds—the BL-1040, which repairs damaged heart muscles after cardiac arrest—has been licensed by Ikaria Holdings in a US $282.5 million-deal. Injected into the heart as a liquid, when inside the body, BL-1040 turns into a protective gel scaffold, sheathing the heart muscles and giving them the ability to heal properly. In effect, it enhances the mechanical strength of the heart muscle during recovery and repair.

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Meter Monitors Cows and Milk

{image_1}Israeli company AfiMilk has developed a new meter that can monitor milk production in real time and online, giving dairy farmers critical information about possible contamination to milk supplies.

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Smallest Medical Video Camera

{image_1}Two Israeli companies—Medigus, experts in the miniaturization of diagnostic and surgical tools, and Tower Semiconductor, a leading specialty semiconductor manufacturer and image sensor provider—have collaborated to produce the world’s smallest medical video camera.

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Building a Robotic Octopus

{image_1}Now building the world's first robotic octopus, and the world's first soft-bodied robot, Israeli “octopus” scientists have joined a seven group international team to help marine scientists explore nooks and crannies on the ocean floor, like an octopus would. Instead of dropping down clunky metallic submarines to the seafloor, which offer little in the way of precision, scientists are working on a device that can gingerly walk over delicate objects, making sure not to damage coral reefs and pristine marine environments.

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