How do you help someone with their leg bitten off by a shark?

How do you help someone with their leg bitten off by a shark? Groundbreaking research by an Australian medic-surfer has uncovered a simple way to stop bleeding and save lives.

Find the middle point between the hip and the genitals, make a fist and push as hard as you can.

Shark attacks are rare but on the increase Down Under, due in large part to more people being in the water.

So surfer and Australian National University medical school dean Nicholas Taylor set out to discover how to reduce fatalities in the event of an attack.

Many fatal shark bites occur around the legs, leaving the victim to bleed to death despite making it back to shore.

In a study published by Emergency Medicine Australasia, Taylor found that a simple technique to compress the femoral artery was much more effective in stopping bleeding than traditionally-used tourniquets.

His study showed that by making a fist and pressing down on the artery around 89.7% of blood flow was stopped, versus 43.8% using a surfboard leash as a make-shift tourniquet.

The technique worked equally well with the patient wearing a wetsuit and without.

“I knew from my background in emergency medicine if people have massive bleeding from their leg, you can push very hard on the femoral artery and you can pretty much cut the entire blood flow of the leg that way,” he said in a statement released by the university on Friday.

“It is easy to do and easy to remember — push hard between the hip and the bits and you could save a life.”

Taylor hopes the technique will become widely known among Australia’s roughly half a million surfers, for whom shark encounters are less uncommon.

“I want posters at beaches. I want to get it out in the surf community. I want people to know that if someone gets bitten you can pull out the patient, push as hard as you can in this midpoint spot and it can stop almost all of the blood flow,” he said.

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The 2021 Israeli Unicorn Map

The global rise in venture capital didn’t skip Israel, which has been breaking new records the amount of venture capital raised by companies in 2021. In the first half of 2021, Israeli startups raised a staggering $12.2 billion a 125% increased compared to the equivalent period in 2020, the number of Unicorns, private companies valued at $1 billion or more has grown significantly, with several companies achieving “Decacorn” status – achieving valuations of $10 billion and up, including eToro, soon to complete a SPAC merger, and Rapyd payments.

According to CB Insights there are currently 832 unicorns globally, valued at a total of $2,702 billion. Generally speaking this breakdown applies to Israel as well, with a number of huge outcomes in fintech (Melio, Rapyd, eToro, Papaya Global, etc) and of course Cybersecurity.

What is less obvious is the growing number of Unicorns that grew in the consumer space in Israel and how diverse they are: consumer health, consumer insurance, media, music, gaming etc. Israel was historically known for semiconductors and cybersecurity but it’s now punching above its weight in consumer (B2C), gaming and commerce. As a fund that specialises in consumer tech, we at Remagine Ventures find it very encouraging and we believe we’ll see many more billion dollar companies built in Israel in the consumer space.

Global unicorn breakdown by category (Source: CB Insights)

Unicorns aren’t rare in Israel, but it’s hard to track them

Unicorns often attract media attention, as it’s not trivial to build a business valued at $1 billion. But they are by no means a rare occurrence – according to my updated list below, there are 57 current Israeli founded Unicorns. more than 20 new Israeli unicorns were added to the list so far in 2021.

But they are often hard to spot in global databases like Crunchbase, Pitchbook or CBInsights, because even though they originate from Israel, they are registered as US companies. In some Unicorns, the company was co-founded by Israelis but the centre of operation is US (like in the case of Coursera), so curators have to apply their own judgement on whether the startup is considered Israeli or not.

Another challenge with keeping this list current is that many of the Israeli unicorns ‘graduate’ by getting acquired or going public via SPACs or traditional IPOs. More than 17 Israeli unicorns graduated so far in 2021. In this post, I’ve included a visual for both current and graduated unicorns.

Without further ado, below are the updated 2021 Israeli unicorn landscape as well as recently graduated unicorns (with some exceptions):

The updated list of Israeli Unicorns (sep 2021), Credit: Eze Vidra (Remagine Ventures/VC Cafe)
Israeli graduated unicorns (2020-2021), with minor exceptions (Checkppoint, Wix, Mobileye, Autotalks) which exited earlier.

Worth remembering that Unicorn status isn’t necessarily runaway success

Becoming a unicorn doesn’t equal immortality – it’s just a value pegged in the private markets and Unicorns are susceptible to failure like any other startup. Case in point, Israeli startup Infibond, which delivered insights on users personalities based on their phone usage patterns, reached unicorn status and subsequently sold for scraps.

Moreover, several of the Israeli startups that chose a SPAC merger as an exit, are trading at lower valuations than they entered Wall Street with given that the valuations were set on future projections and not current revenues.

Israeli unicorns have evolved in recent years

In an interesting analysis published by Israeli venture firm Viola earlier this month, there are some new characteristics of the 61 Israeli unicorns companies included in their list:

  • Companies can reach Unicorn status in less than 5 years – compared to 6-10 years up to 2015
  • The average amount of capital raised by Israeli unicorns stands on $109.2 million, with a standard deviation of $55M
  • Companies are hitting Unicorn valuations with $25M or less in revenue, compared to $75M-$100M in the period of 2013-2016
  • The majority of Israeli unicorns are still managed by their founders, who come from relatively diverse backgrounds and prior experience. The CTOs of Israeli unicorns, are typically 8200 alumni or come from a strong tech units in the IDF
  • Most unicorns founding teams have 2-3 co-founders
  • Over 50% of the Israeli unicorn CEOs are based in Israel – a departure from the Israeli startup adage that in order to succeed the company has to be based in the US. Examples include: Monday, Similarweb, Wix, Ironsource,

Thousands of new millionaires, but more work is needed for Israeli tech to continue to thrive

High Tech represents 15% of Israel's GDP -  Israel's Innovation Authority
High Tech represents 15% of Israel’s GDP (Source: Israel’s Innovation Authority)

The impact of these new unicorns and especially the graduated unicorns which provide liquidity to both investors and employees (after lock up periods), have meant that potentially thousands of employees have become millionaires. For example, in the case of Ironsource alone, Israeli newspaper Calcalist estimated that over 230 employees made over $1 million. That’s generally great, but it hasn’t all been well received in the public opinion.

Much of the new riches have been going into real estate, which contributed to price increases and some public backlash on the increasing gaps in the Israeli society. Only 400,000 Israelis participate in the high-tech sector in Israel and there’s low inclusion in tech by large parts of the Israeli society, including Israeli Arabs and Orthodox Jews. Several great initiatives are getting traction and funding (Kamatech, Moona, etc) , but a lot more work is needed in order to increase the diversity in the tech industry, and address the talent crunch that Israeli startups already feel – competing with cash-rich unicorns, multi national tech giants and other startups.

Further reading:

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Formula E car: Pakistani students grabs second position in int’l competition

Pakistani students designed a Formula Electric car which took second place in a competition held in Russia’s capital city Moscow.

According to the rules, the contestants were required to come up with a vehicle in which a driver could sit. The Pakistani student came runners up in the competition which was the participation of 20 teams.

A team was made of 35 students from a private engineering university. There were five females in the group as well. Their impressive scores were proof of their hard work and sublime performance in the competition.

Uzair Mudassir and Saad Ahmed, who were part of the team, appeared on ARY News morning show Bakhabar Savera. They spoke about their project and performance in the tournament.

Uzair Mudassir, who was a part of the engineering team, said that designing the car was a learning curve for them and they want to show a positive image of Pakistan to the world.

Read More: Students of NED University develop Pakistan’s second Formula Electric sports Car

He said that technology is evolving by each day and it was important for them to represent Pakistan on a global scale.

Uzair Mudassir mentioned that they wanted the world to know that Pakistan has many students who are skilled in the field and have a passion to move forward.

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This WhatsApp feature lets users quickly access important messages

The popular instant messaging app WhatsApp offers a feature that allows users to save important messages so they can access them later without any hassle.

The feature called “Starred messages” lets users to bookmark messages they want to quickly refer back to later.

Here’s how this feature works:

Step 1: You first need to open any chat on WhatsApp and long press a message in order to save it.

Step 2: There is a star icon on the top of the screen. You need to tap on it to save it as an important message on the app.

You can also unstar a message in a similar manner. There is a section on WhatsApp that shows “Starred messages”. It is visible when you tap on the three-dotted button, present near the search bar icon.

READ: WHATSAPP TO ALLOW USERS TO CONVERT IMAGES INTO STICKERS

The drop-down menu will show a “Starred messages” option. If you want to unstar a message, you need to long-press on the message and then unstar that message by tapping on the star icon.

Users can also remove all the saved messages in one go. A three-dotted icon on the top lets you do that.

READ: YOUR WHATSAPP TO SOON LOSE SHORTCUT TO MESSENGER ROOMS

There is also an alternate method that allows users to find a specific message if you don’t want to use the Starred message feature.

The app has a “Search” option in individual chats and in the main window that allows you to type the message you want to search and WhatsApp will quickly show the messages related to your search.

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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is all about teamwork

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is all about teamwork and how the player’s relationship with gang members affects the mission.

The game is all set to release on October 26 for platforms namely PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

We play as Star-Lord, also known as Peter Quill, who leads the group of Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket. He has to make them get their act together and onboard for the mission.

The intriguing part of the game is that other character’s decisions can play an important role throughout the story. They all have different styles of combat, approaches and strategies towards the mission and fighting the enemies.

Read More: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 coming to PlayStation 5 in 2023

The game is made in such a way that the players feel as if they are part of the Avengers. It also focuses on the decisions that are being made and how their relations can play the role in the outcome.

There is a Guardian Request System as well. It is influenced by the relations with the team members. The players can ask each other for help but they may not always be coming to your aid.

Guardians of the Galaxy has a signature equipment feature as well with Quill having guns and use his boots to fly around. The players can use their special skills to their advantage.

Read More: Black Panther makes an entry as a playable character in Marvel’s Avengers

A combination meter is effective in order to unlock different skills. The newly acquired abilities will make the player figure out the level of damage they can cause against the enemies and how many of them can be targeted.

The Stagger meters will be helpful in knocking the opponents down and make them at risk of further attacks.

The players can be able to acquire new materials by collecting supplies as the game progresses. The acquired equipment can be used for upgrading Quill’s weapons layout.

This allows Star-Lord to power his weapons or coming with an improved version of the scanner, which gives information about the enemies, which leads to better decision making and improve fighting skills.

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Bats with Covid-like viruses found in Laos: study

Scientists have discovered another clue to the origins of the virus that causes Covid-19, with bats living in caves in Laos found to be carrying a similar pathogen that experts suggest could potentially infect humans directly.

The virus has killed millions since it emerged in China in late 2019, and controversy continues to swirl around where it came from.

Some experts say it is animal-driven but others have pointed to the possibility the pathogen leaked from a lab.

Researchers from France’s Pasteur Institute and the National University of Laos said their findings showed that viruses genetically close to the SARS-CoV-2 virus “exist in nature” among bat species in the limestone caves of northern Laos, which neighbours China.

Of the viruses they identified among the hundreds of bats tested in Vientiane Province, three were found to closely resemble the virus that causes Covid-19, particularly in the mechanism for latching on to human cells.

“The idea was to try to identify the origin of this pandemic,” Marc Eloit, who leads the Pasteur Institute’s pathogen discovery laboratory, told AFP.

Eloit, whose team analysed the samples collected, said there were still key differences between the viruses found and SARS-CoV-2.

But he said the work was “a major step forward” in identifying the pandemic’s origin, confirming the theory that the coronavirus that has spread across the world could have started with living bats.

The authors of the study, which has been submitted to Nature for peer review, warned that their findings suggest the new viruses “seem to have the same potential for infecting humans as early strains of SARS-CoV-2”.

“People working in caves, such as guano collectors, or certain ascetic religious communities who spend time in or very close to caves, as well as tourists who visit the caves, are particularly at risk of being exposed,” the authors said.

‘Natural spillover’

International experts sent to China by the World Health Organization (WHO) in January concluded that it was most likely that the SARS-CoV-2 virus jumped from bats to humans via an intermediate animal.

A competing hypothesis that the virus leaked from a lab like the specialised virology laboratory in Wuhan was deemed “extremely unlikely”, although it has yet to be ruled out.

Martin Hibbert, Professor of Emerging Infectious Disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine — who was not involved in the Laos research — said the most closely related virus was found to be able to infect human cells “as easily” as SARS-CoV-2 and therefore might be capable of infecting humans.

But he stressed that the virus is “not an ancestor of the pandemic strain”.

“This work confirms the expected diverse nature of bat infecting coronaviruses and increases the evidence that natural spill-over events from bats to humans can occur,” said Hibbert.

The authors of the Laos study, which has been posted on the site Research Square, said their results suggest the pandemic coronavirus potentially evolved through mixing between different viruses and species of bats.

James Wood, Head of Department of Veterinary Medicine at University of Cambridge — who was also not involved in the research — said it suggests “recombination between different viruses was likely involved, rather than there being a simple evolution of a single lineage over a long period”.

In a comment to the Science Media Centre he said this not only underscores the likely role played by bats and perhaps other animals living closely together, but also shows the “risks inherent in living wildlife trade”, where markets can help drive cross-species zoonotic transmission.

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Docs startup Almanac raises $34 million from Tiger as remote work shift hardens

As companies continue to delay their returns to the office and find temporary remote work policies becoming permanent, the startups building tooling for remote work-first cultures are finding a seemingly endless supply of customers.

“Companies are finding the shift to remote work is not a one-time aberration due to Covid,” Almanac CEO Adam Nathan tells TechCrunch. “Over the past several months we’ve seen pretty explosive revenue growth.”

Almanac, which builds a doc editor that takes feature cues like version control from developer platforms like Github, has been seizing on the shift to remote work, onboarding new customers through its open source office document library Core while pushing features that allow for easier onboarding like an online company handbook builder.

In the past couple years, timelines between funding rounds have been shrinking for fast-growing startups. Almanac announced its $9 million seed round earlier this year led by Floodgate, now they’re taking the wraps off of a $34 million Series A led by the pandemic’s most prolific startup investment powerhouse — Tiger Global. Floodgate again participated in the raise, alongside General Catalyst and a host of angels.

The company wants its collaborative doc editor to be the way more companies fully embrace online productivity software, leaving local-first document editors in the dust. While Alphabet’s G Suite is a rising presence in the office productivity suite world, Microsoft Office is still the market’s dominant force.

“We see ourselves as a generational challenger to Microsoft Office,” Nathan says. “It’s not only an old product, but it’s totally outmoded for what we do to today.”

While investors have backed plenty of startups based on pandemic era trends that have already seemed to fizzle out, the growing shift away from office culture or even hybrid culture towards full remote work has only grown more apparent as employees place a premium on jobs with flexible remote policies.

Major tech companies like Facebook have found themselves gradually adjusting policies towards full-remote work for staff that can do their jobs remotely. Meanwhile, Apple’s more aggressive return-to-office plan has prompted a rare outpouring of public and private criticism from employees at the company. Nathan only expects this divide to accelerate as more companies come tor grips with the shifting reality.

“I personally don’t believe that hybrid is a thing,” he says. “You have to pick a side, you’re either office culture or ‘cloud culture.’”

Facebook adds a battery-powered smart screen to the Portal line

The Portal line has always been a kind of odd duck in the world of smart screens. Facebook’s most significant contribution to the category is almost certainly Smart Camera, which uses AI to track a subject and pan and zoom accordingly to keep them in frame. It was the first big line to bring the clever feature to market, though Google, Amazon and even Apple have since offered their own takes on the category.

Portal’s other primary appeal (versus a Nest or Echo) is its integration with Facebook’s own software like Messenger and WhatsApp. Beyond that, the line has struggled to differentiate itself from Amazon and Google’s head start in the world of connected home hardware and smart assistants.

Image Credits: Facebook

Today’s news brings an interesting new layer to the conversation, with the arrival of the Portal Go, a battery-powered portal smart screen. The 10-inch device sports a handle on the back for quick gripping and a battery that promises five hours of standard usage and up to 14 hours of music playback with the screen off (there’s currently no specific battery-saving mode).

It’s a clever addition to the line. We are, no doubt, pushing further into tablet territory here, but I’ve felt the impulse to pick up and bring my Nest Home into the other room more than once. Your mileage will vary.

Image Credits: Facebook

I haven’t seen the thing in person yet, but I do dig the design. It’s got rounded edges around some big black bezels and a fabric-covered backing that’s been all the rage in the smart home category for several years now. The Go is propped up in a wedged design, with two front-facing speakers and a rear-facing woofer.

It’s got an ultrawide front-facing 12-megapixel camera that does the aforementioned smart panning, along a with a physical lens cover for privacy. The screen can also be titled up and down for an optimized viewing angle. The system doesn’t currently support far-field technology for a multiple speaker setup, which could complicate things as you move it around the house.

There’s also a new version of the Portal+, which features the same camera setup, coupled with a thin 14-inch tiltable display that can view up to 25 people at a time on a Zoom call. The Portal Go runs $199, while the new Portal+ is $349. Both devices are available for preorder today and start shipping October 19.

Image Credits: Facebook

Today’s news also finds Faceboook launching Portal for Business, aimed at positioning the smart screens as teleconferencing products. Per a release:

With Portal for Business, SMBs will be able to create and manage Facebook Work Accounts for their teams. This is a new account type that allows businesses to use their own company email addresses to set up Portal. These Work Accounts will also provide access to other popular Facebook work products in the coming year.

Using Portal Device Manger, IT departments can set up and remotely wipe employee machines. The system is available now as a closed beta.

For BioNTech, the COVID-19 vaccine was simply the opening act

BioNTech’s founding story dates back to the late 1990s, when CEO and co-founder Uğur Şahin, his wife and co-founder Özlem Türeci, and the rest of the seven-person founding team began their research.

Focused specifically on an area dubbed “New Technologies,” mRNA stood out as one area with tremendous potential to deliver the team’s ultimate goal: Developing treatments personalized to an individual and their specific ailments, rather than the traditional approach of finding a solution that happens to work generally at the population level.

Şahin, along with Mayfield venture partner Ursheet Parikh, joined us at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, his long journey as a founder, what it takes to build a biotech platform company, and what’s coming next from BioNTech and the technologies it’s developing to help prevent other outbreaks and treat today’s deadliest diseases.

“At that time, mRNA was not potent enough,” Şahin recalled. “It was just a weak molecule. But the idea was great, so we invested many years in an academic setting to improve that. And in 2006, we realized ‘Wow, this is now working. Okay, it’s time to initiate a company’.”

Audi launches its newest EV, the 2022 Q4 e-tron SUV

Audi has launched the Q4 e-tron, the fifth electric vehicle in its growing portfolio, as part of the German automaker’s plan to bring more than 30 EVs and plug-in hybrids to market by 2025.

The Q4 e-tron is Audi’s entry electric SUV model and the price reflects that. The vehicle, which was first revealed as a concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, has a starting price of $44,995, including the $1,095 destination charge. It’s worth noting that the Q4 electric vehicle is about $1,000 cheaper than the gas-powered 2022 Q5 SUV.

The Q4 e-tron is more like a family of vehicles with three members. There is the Q4 50 e-tron and a Q4 Sportback 50 quattro, a variation that is all-wheel drive and powered by dual asynchronous motors. Both of these vehicles have an estimated EPA range of 241 miles.

Then there’s the Q4 40 e-tron, which is rear-wheel drive and powered by a single asynchronous electric motor. The EPA estimates for the Q4 40 e-tron has not been released.  Here’s a breakdown of some of the basic specs below.

Audi Q4 e-tron

Image Credits: Screenshot/Audi

The new Q4, as TechCrunch noted earlier this year, is packed with tech in its stout-looking package, notably the option to add an AR-enabled windshield.

The Q4 is a larger compact SUV with a short overhang and wheelbase of 9.1 feet. This makes the Q4 look compact from the outside. Inside though, there is combination there’s an interior of 6 feet in length, the kind of space found in a large full-size class SUV. The Q4 40 e-tron and Q4 50 e-tron models come standard with 19′-inch wheels equipped with all-season tires. The Sportback variant of the Q4 50 e-tron quattro receives larger standard 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, according to Audi.

Importantly, the Q4 also shares the same architecture with parent company VW’s modular electric drive toolkit chassis, or MEB platform. This flexible modular system, which was first introduced by VW in 2016, was developed to make it more efficient and cost-effective to produce a variety of EVs.