On the other hand

February 23, 2019 by Michael Kuttner
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In a week when election political shenanigans reached a new low, it is a welcome relief to bask in the latest positive achievements making Israel a leader in many fields.

Politicians may come and thankfully also go but our scientific and humanitarian contributions keep rolling on regardless.


 Beginning this month, late-model cars involved in crashes in Israel have started to call for ambulances autonomously, reporting the exact location as well as the specifics of any injuries.

The system determines the nature of an accident (front, rear, or side impact); whether the car rolled; the speed and severity of the impact; and the nature and extent of driver and passenger injuries expected. In tests conducted with about 250,000 vehicles in Israel since June 2018, it was 100% accurate in reporting car accidents and 92% accurate in projecting the injuries sustained compared to field assessments made by MDA emergency medical technicians arriving on the scene.

The new autonomous system has not only dramatically reduced response times but also enabled MDA to respond with the appropriate equipment and protocol. This is particularly crucial in serious accidents, where a driver is rendered unconscious and is otherwise unable to seek medical assistance.

In the chaotic aftermath of an accident, it takes an average of five minutes during the day and seven minutes at night before someone calls for an ambulance. With this revolutionary device, MDA is alerted in seconds.



An Israeli company has developed a set of goggles giving surgeons X-ray like visualization capabilities. It developed an augmented reality headset for surgical procedures. The headset projects X ray-like 3D visualization of the patient in real time, allowing surgeons to “see” through the patient’s skin, muscle tissue and bone.

The imaging is projected onto the surgeons’ retina using the transparent display headset, allowing surgeons to simultaneously look at their patient, as well as seeing the necessary navigation data without averting their eyes to a remote screen.

It is intended for use in surgeries where a reference to a rigid anatomical structure, like the spine or the pelvis, can be identified.

Clinical trials of the headset in minimally invasive spine surgeries have been underway in Israel since August 2018. So far the device has been used in six surgeries.


Recent years have seen severe damage to sweet basil crops all over the world following a downy mildew epidemic that causes deformed leaves and chlorotic lesions.

Luckily, Israeli research came to the rescue to ensure we can all continue to stir the delicious fresh herb into our pasta.

The severity of the downy mildew epidemic, which first appeared in Israel in 2011, led Israeli researchers to investigate how the leaf fungus is transmitted. The disease cannot be treated with chemical spraying because of regulations. Therefore there was a need to find other ways to overcome the disease. The solution was discovering genetic resistance to the disease.

Israel as a result became the first country in the world to develop resistance in basil against this disease. 


Meet some of the scientists already making Israel a world leader and the young women who are the driving force behind tomorrow’s scientific advances.


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