Israel Science and Technology: September

IPO in history image

Largest Israeli IPO in US history

(Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c)

On July 31, Mobileye raised $890 million-a record for an Israeli company's initial public offering (IPO) in the US. The amount continued rising in the first days of trading until it reached an unprecedented $1.023 billion. Founded by former Hebrew U. Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye created driver-assistance systems to reduce the risk of traffic accidents and keep passengers safer. Mobileye's EyeQ technology can detect vehicles, pedestrians, animals, debris, lane markers, and roadside barriers. It can even "read" traffic signs and lights. Mobileye's tech have been integrated into new car models since 2007; by 2016, it will be available in 237 car models from 20 manufacturers.

MRIs in real time 

(Hadassah Medical Organization)

Hadassah's Center for Hyperpolarized MRI Molecular Imaging can increase the sensitivity of an MRI scan 10,000- fold, observing the body and brain in real time. Directed by Dr. Rachel Katz-Brull, the Center is developing non-radioactive molecular imaging probes. "The brain works by sending chemical messages from one neuron to another, and we will try to image exactly that," explains Dr. Katz-Brull. Since the probes are not radioactive, the MRI can be used by children, pregnant women, and those needing repeated scans. The ultimate goals are to diagnose lesions accurately enough to decide if they require treatment and which type, without the need for a biopsy-and to understand the function of medications for conditions like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, ADHD,
and depression. 

An earth-quaking discovery

(Hebrew U.)

More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci described how rough blocks slide over one another, providing the basis for our understanding of friction. But Hebrew U. Prof. Jay Fineberg, and his graduate student, Ilya Svetlizky, demonstrated that friction is intertwined with the physics of fractures. "The insights…give us a new, fundamental description of the [forces] that drive earthquakes, the sliding of two tectonic blocks within natural faults," says Fineberg. "We can now understand important processes hidden kilometers beneath the earth's surface."

TESS has a 'nose' for danger

(Viva Sarah Press, Israel 21c)

A new, nanotechnology-inspired sensor, devised by Prof. Fernando Patolsky of Tel Aviv U., picks up the "scent" of biological and chemical weapons and explosives, potentially changing the way security forces worldwide safeguard public areas against terror. The new sensor's capabailities have been packaged by a Tel Aviv-based company called Tracense into a small device named "TESS." As Prof. Patolsky explained, "In real time, it detects small molecular species in air down to concentrations of parts-per-quadrillion, which is four to five orders of magnitude more sensitive than any existing technological method, and two to three orders of magnitude more sensitive than a dog's nose."

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