Dr. Yuval Tal, head of Immunology, Hadassah Medical Center (Hadassah)

Israeli immunologist saves boy allergic to light; BBC hails success of Israeli cancer treatment; Bar-Ilan University researchers discover link between stress and autoimmune disease; and much more!

by Michael Ordman


Immunologist saves boy allergic to light

An Israeli boy suffering from solar urticaria (an allergy to light) has been saved by doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. They inject him every three weeks with omalizumab, previously only prescribed to adults with severe asthma. He can now enjoy Israeli sunshine again.

BBC report hails success of (Israeli) cancer treatment

According to the BBC, the CAR-T cancer therapy, (invented by Professor Zelig Eshhar of Israel’s Weizmann Institute) is curing 40% of UK lymphoma patients who were otherwise untreatable and terminal. Amazing case stories – but doesn’t mention Israel of course!

Link between stress and autoimmune disease

Researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have found that chronic stress causes bacteria in the gut to become more “violent”. In response, the immune system kicks in and can increase the risk of autoimmune disease in susceptible individuals.
https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sick-from-stress-592054 https://cfbiu.org/uncategorized/new-israeli-research-finds-link-between-stress-and-increased-risk-for-autoimmune-disease/

A model of the brain

Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University and in Los Angeles have used patient-specific stem cells to create a personalized model of the human blood brain-barrier. This model can potentially predict which brain disease treatments will work best for an individual patient.

Hot glue to seal wounds

There are several innovative Israeli surgical sealants (see here) to help bond wounds after operations. Now researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute together with Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a hot-glue gun with non-toxic bio-degradable glue to fuse torn human tissues together.

Improved infant oxygen monitor

Over 100 religious women students from Jerusalem College of Technology / Machon Tal conducted a 44-hour hackathon developing solutions to various challenges. The winning team designed a wireless oxygen saturation monitor for infants. Click to see some great photos.

More successful fertility treatments

The number of successful fertility treatments in Israel continues to rise. Details presented to the Israel Fertility Association conference also showed that technology improvements had reduced the incidence of IVF twins. Israeli women can receive public funds for IVF up to age 45.

Microbiome analysis startup gears up

I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup DayTwo which provides personalized nutrition suggestions based on your microbiome (gut bacteria). DayTwo has just raised $31 million for expansion in Europe and Asia, where it can help reduce diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Motorcycle medic delivers her own baby

Magen David Adom paramedic Lita Barzon was seven months pregnant when she went into early labor. Her husband called the emergency services and, helped by the phone operator, Lita delivered her baby a few minutes later. Medics then arrived and mother and baby are doing well.

Kurdish children arrive for heart surgery

Three children, aged five, two and 11 months, from Kurdistan have arrived in Israel with their mothers to receive life-saving medical treatment from Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart.