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April 12, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA J EWISH NEWS, APRIL 12, 2013 PAGE 11A From Rummikub to the 'God Particle:' A timeline of Israeli innovations By Marcella Rosen NEWYORK (JTA)--While a great deal of international and media focus has been placed on Israel's military conflicts, the country quietly has be- come an energetic, ambitious incubator of entrepreneurial- ism and invention. What fol- lows is a timeline chronicling some of the most important and interesting innovations produced by Israelis dur- ing their country's 65-year existence. RUMMIKUB (1940s): Ephraim Hertzano invents the smash hit board game Rummikub, which goes on to become the best-selling game in the United States in 1977. UZI MACHINE GUN (1948): Major Uzi Gaf devel- ops the Uzi submachine gun. Gaf builds in numerous me- chanical innovations result- ing in a shorter, more wieldy automatic. It is estimated that more than 10 million have been built; the Uzi has seen action in numerous wars and in countries throughout the world. SUPER CUKE (1950s): Esra Galun's research into hybrid seeds leads to his creation of the world's first commercial hybrid cucumber. Their descendants and the techniques Galun pioneered account for the majority of cucumbers cultivated today. Galun went on to develop early-blooming melons and disease-resistant potatoes. His work continues to inform and influence crop genetics. CANCER SCREENER (1954): Weizmann Institute pioneer Ephraim Frei begins groundbreaking research on the effect of magnetism on human tissue. His work will lead directly to the develop- ment of the T-Scan system for the detection of breast cancer, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration described as a "significant... breakthrough." EARLY COMPUTER (1955): The Weizmann In- stitute's WEIZAC computer performs its first calcula- tion. With an initial memory of 1,024 words stored on a magnetic drum, it is one of the first large-scale stored program computers in the world. In 2006, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics En- gineers recognizes WEIZAC as a milestone achievement in the fields of computers and electrical engineering. SOLARENERGYBENCH- MARK (1955): Harry Zvi Tabor develops a new solar energy system that today powers 95 percent of Israeli solar water heaters and is the standard for solar water heat- ing around the world. AMNIOCENTESIS (1956): Weizmann professor Leo Sachs becomes the first to examine cells drawn from amniotic fluid to diagnose potential genetic abnormali- ties or prenatal infections in developing fetuses. His work becomes known as amnio- centesis, a routine procedure now conducted on pregnant women worldwide. LAB-BRED BLOOD CELLS (1963): Sachs be- comes the first researcher to grow normal human blood cells in a laboratory dish. Illustration from the new emerge from Israel. This breakthrough leads to the development of a therapy that increases the production of crucial white blood cells in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. DRIP IRRIGATION (1965): Founding of Netafim, develop- er and distributor of modern drip irrigation. COLOR HOLOGRAM (1966): Asher Friesem pro- duces the world's first color hologram. He goes on to explore 3-D imaging through work that leads to the develop- ment of "heads up" displays for pilots, doctors and other virtual reality systems. DESALINATION (1967): Sydney Loeb takes a position at Ben-Gurion University, where he will develop the reverse osmosis desalination process, now the worldwide standard. ADVANCED CELLULAR RESEARCH (1970): Ada Yonath establishes the only protein crystallography labo- ratory in Israel. She begins a course of research on the structure and function of the ribosome, the sub-cellular component that produces protein, which in turn con- trols all chemistry within organisms. Her work lays a foundation for the emergence of so-called "rational drug design," which produces treatments for several types of leukemia, glaucoma and HIV, as well as antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs. Along with two colleagues, Yonath is awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. BLOOD DETOXIFICA- TION (1972): Meir Wilchek demonstrates that "affinity chromatography"--a method he developed for separating biological or biochemical materials--can be used to detoxify human blood. The work leads to the development of present-day technologies, employed around the world, that are used to remove poison from a patient's blood. DRONE AIRCRAFT (1973): Israeli fighter jets sustain serious damage dur- ing the Yom Kippur War. In response, Israel initiates the development of the first modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles--also known as UAVs or drones. The new Israeli drones are lighter, smaller and cheaper than any of their predecessors, with capacities such as real-time 360-degree video imaging, radar decoy OF INVENTION Courtesy Megan Flood book 'Tiny Dynamo,' which promotes the most important and interesting innovations to capability and increased oper- ating ceilings. Drones enable Israel to eliminate Syria's air defenses at the start of the 1982 war with Lebanon without losing a single pilot. Drones descending today from Israeli designs conduct military, civilian, research and surveillance operations around the world. COMPUTER PROCES- SORS (1974): Computer heavyweight Intel sets up an R&D shop in Israel, leading to the development of the globally ubiquitous 8088 processor and Centrino chip. COMPUTER SECURITY (1977): Adi Shamir, work- ing with two American col- leagues, describes a method of encryption. Now known as RSA, it is the single most importantencryptionmethod used worldwide to secure transactions between cus- tomers and banks, credit card companies and Internet merchants. DIGITAL AGE INFORMA- TION SHARING (1977): Abra- ham Lempel and Jacob Ziv develop the LZ data compres- sion algorithms. Aside from their trailblazing academic applications, the algorithms become the primary basis of early computer information sharing. Today, LZ algorithms and their derivatives make possible our ability to send many types of photos and images between computers quickly and easily. FARM-SCALE FOOD STORAGE (1980s): Shlomo Navarro invents a simple yet paradigm-shifting food storage system intended to help farmers in developing food-poor and resource-poor areas to keep their crops from spoiling after harvest. The system evolves into GrainPro Cocoons, water- and air-tight containers used around the world to prevent the damag- ing effects of spoilage and parasites without the use of pesticides. LEUKEMIA TREAT- MENT (1981): Elli Canaani joins the Weizmann Insti- tute. His research into the molecular processes leading to chronic myelogenous leu- kemia, or CML, will result in the development of Gleevec, a drug now provided to CML patients around the world. The molecular processes discovered by Canaani were subsequently discovered to be at work in other leukemias, as well as certain tumors and lymphomas. UNDERSTANDING CEL- LULAR ACTIVITY (1981): Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover--along with American counterpart Irwin Rose--begin work that will lead to the discovery of ubiq- uitin, a molecular"label" that governs the destruction of protein in cells. The discovery produces a dramatic improve - ment in the understanding of cellular function and the processes that bring about ailments such as cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis. In recognition of their work, the team receives the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A NEW FORM OF MAT- TER (1982): Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman discovers Quasicrystals, a "new" form of matter that had been con- sidered not only nonexistent but impossible. Shechtman becomes the object of disdain and ridicule, but his discovery eventually is vindicated and earns him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Applica- tions of Quasicrystals range from the mundane (nonstick cookware) to the arcane (su- perconductive and superin- sulative industrial materials). COMPUTER "LAN- GUAGE" (1986): Computer scientist David Harel develops Statecharts, a revolutionary computer language used to describe and design com- plex systems. Statecharts are used worldwide in areas from aviation to chemistry. Harel's work is also being applied to the analysis of the genetic structures of living creatures with hopes of ap- plying subsequent discoveries to the analysis and treatment of disease, infection and other biological processes. IMMUNOLOGYADVANCE- MENT (1991): Weizmann In- stitute professor Yair Reisner announces the creation of mice with fully functioning human immune systems. De- scribed from an immunologi- cal perspective as "humans with fur," the mice provide for the first time a real-world arena in which to study hu- man ailments and represent a major step forward in the search for a cure for AIDS, hepatitis A and B, and other infectious diseases. BABY MONITOR (1991): Haim Shtalryd develops the BabySense crib monitor, which becomes standard child safety equipment in millions of homes worldwide. OFFICE PRINTER (1993): Rehovot-based Indigo Inc. introduces the E-Print 1000. The device enables small operators to produce printing- press quality documents directly from a computer file, revolutionizing the opera- tions of work environments of all stripes. COMPUTER SECURITY (1993): Gil Shwed, 25, and two partners establish the computer security firm Check Point. Within two years, Check Point signs provider agreements with HP and Sun Microsystems. The com- pany experiences phenomenal growth, and in 1996 it be- comes the leading provider of firewall and security ser- vices-including anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-data-loss security components--to businesses of all sizes around the globe. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS TREATMENT (1996): Teva Pharmaceuticals introduces Copaxone, the only non- interferon multiple sclerosis treatment. The world's top- selling MS treatment, Copax- one helps reduce relapses and may moderate the disease's degenerative progression. INSTANT MESSAGING (1996): Mirabilis launches ICQ, the first Internetwide instant messaging system. America Online adopts the technology and popularizes the world of online chat. COMPUTER DICTION- ARY (1997): Introduction of the Babylon computer dic- tionary and translation pro- gram. Within three years the system will boast more than 4 million users. Babylon even- tually becomes integrated into most user-level Microsoft pro- grams, allowing for seamless cross-language translation of millions of words at the click of a mouse. "PORTABLE" SLEEP LAB (1997): Itamar Medical Ltd. is founded, and soon brings to market its WatchPAT sleep lab, representing a para- digm shift in the treatment of sleep disorders. PILLCAM (1998): Given Imaging develops the Pill- Cam, now the global standard for imaging of the small bowel. FIRSTAID (1998): Bernard Bar-Natan makes the first sale of his Emergency Bandage. A giant leap forward in field dressings, it has become standard equipment in both civilian and military first aid kits worldwide. NANOWIRE (1998): Re- searchers Uri 8ivan, Erez Braun and Yoav Eichen report that they have used DNA to induce silver particles to assemble themselves into a "nanowire," a metallic strand 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. In addition to staking out new ground on the frontier of electrical component miniaturization, the wire actually conducts electricity, marking the first time a self-assembling com- ponent has been made to function and laying a path to exponential advances in the field of nanotechnology. VISION-BASED CAR SAFETY SYSTEMS (1999): Amnan Shashua and Ziv Avi- ram found MobilEye, a com- pany that provides advanced optical systems to car manu- facturers to increase safety and reduce traffic accidents. FLASH DRIVE (2000): M- Systems introduces the flash drive in the United States. Smaller, faster and more reliable than floppy disks or CD-ROMs, they will go on to replace those technologies worldwide. ADVANCED UNDERWA- TER BREATHING TECH (2001): Alon Bodner founds Like-A-Fish, a manufacturer of revolutionary underwater breathing apparatuses that extract oxygen from water. GROUNDBREAKINGSPi- NAL SURGERY SYSTEM (2001): Mazor Robotics is founded and goes on to intro- duce its SpineAssist robotic surgical assistant, the most advanced spine surgery robot in use today. URBAN AIR COMBAT/ RESCUE (2002): Raft Yoeli develops the initial concept for the AirMule urban car- rier, combat and rescue vehicle. TERRORIST DE- TECTOR (2002): In the wake of renewed terrorist activity against Israel and the United States, Ehud Givon assembles a team of researchers to devel- op an advanced and foolproof "terrorist detector," resulting in the WeCU security system. MICRO-COMPUTER (2003): Weitzmann scientist Ehud Shapiro develops the world's smallest DNA comput- ing "machine," a composition of enzymes and DNA mol- ecules capable of performing mathematical calculations. BREAST TUMOR IMAG- ING (2003):The FDAapproves 3TP, an advanced MRI proce- dure, for use in the examina- tion of breast tumors. The brainchild ofHadassa Degani, 3TP distinguishes between benign and malignant breast growths without requiring invasive surgery. ANTI-BACTERIAL FAB- RICS (2003): Aharon Gedan- ken becomes involved in the treatment of fabrics to prevent bacterial growth, which even- tually will lead him to develop the technology for treating hospital fabrics with an anti- bacterial "coating" that will dramatically reduce hospital infection rates. CENTRINO COMPUTER CHIP (2004): Intei Israel releases the first generation Innovations on page 19A