Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute genetically sequenced every cell in the brain’s immune system (microglia). In Alzheimer’s disease, they found Disease-Associated Microglia (DAM) trying to keep the brain healthy, but restrained due to insufficient or mutated key regulatory proteins like TREM2. It may lead to new therapies.

Shedding light on cancer

Israeli biotech Todos Medical has developed the “Total Biochemical Infrared Analysis” (TBIA) method for screening of solid tumors. The patient’s white blood cells are exposed to a spectrum of light. Analysis of the results reveals where the immune system has responded to tumor presence.

Preventing breast cancer in diabetic women

Diabetic women recovering from the aggressive HER2-positive form of cancer double the risk of recurrence if they take insulin. Now a Phase III trial led by scientists at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital has shown that the anti-diabetic treatment metformin can prevent recurrence.

Six Israelis win Howard Hughes awards

The prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded 5-year grants of $650,000 each to 41 international biomedical scientists. Six of them (14.6%) are Israelis – three from the Weizmann Institute, two from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one from Israel’s Technion.

An autism database

Ben-Gurion University scientists and Soroka University Medical Center doctors have established the hospital-university-based (HUB) autism database to benefit scientists, patients and their families. One goal is to help identify different autism subtypes, likely generated by different causes.

Extending the margins

I’ve reported previously on MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical and how it detects whether all cancerous material has been removed during breast cancer surgery.  Now MarginProbe is to be extended for similar testing during surgery for prostate, colon, lung and pancreatic cancer.

UK diabetics love their Dario

Clinical Commissioning Groups in three UK regions have named the Dario™ Blood Glucose Monitoring System the first choice of all patients with type 1 diabetes, for “Smart meters with carb counting.” It comes after Dario’s launch of a direct-to-consumer channel in the UK.

The protein that kills cancer cells

Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of Israel’s Ben Gurion University has developed many new treatments to kill cancer cells by targeting the protein VDAC1 that controls cell death. A new Israeli biotech, Vidac, is trialing these treatments. VDA-1102 ointment for pre-skin cancer is in Phase 2.

Check you’re not dehydrated

Currently, dehydration can only be formally identified in hospital using blood tests or urinalysis. Now a non-invasive device from Israeli startup sZone can measure your hydrations levels at home or even whilst running. sZone is vital for athletes, the elderly, children, and the chronically ill.

New treatment for Huntington’s disease

Israeli biotech Mitoconix Bio is developing a new treatment for Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. It works by inhibiting mitochondrial splitting. Mitochondria contribute to important brain functions, including regulation of cell growth.