Predicting the spread of melanoma

Scientists at Ben Gurion University, working with others at the University of Texas, have used microscopic cameras to film live cancer cells. They then used artificial intelligence to identify cells with metastatic potential that were likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Unique way to mend a broken heart

A 29-year-old Israeli staggered into Sheba Medical Center with a left ventricle aneurysm (ruptured heart artery). Cardiologist Professor Victor Guetta performed a “first in the world” procedure using a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) occlude (normally used to open arteries) to plug the hole.

Treatment for refractory seizures

Israel’s Teva has launched a generic version of Sabril (vigabatrin) in the US for the treatment of refractory Complex Partial Seizures (CPS). It is meant for adults and children over 10 with this form of epilepsy who have failed to respond to several alternative treatments.

ReWalk’s soft suit completes trials

I reported previously about ReStore, the soft suit exoskeleton from Israel’s ReWalk that enables stroke patients to walk. ReStore recently completed successful trials at five US rehabilitation centers and ReWalk has now applied for US FDA and European CE approval.

Freezing bladder tumors

Israeli startup Vessi Medical has developed unique bladder-specific cryotherapy technology for treating surface cancer on the inside lining of the bladder. Existing therapies are invasive and have a high recurrence rate. Vessi has conducted clinical trials and hopes to begin human trials shortly.

Early pregnancy blood test for genetic disorders

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a new blood test to detect genetic disorders in fetuses as early as 11 weeks into pregnancy. DNA in the mother and father’s blood is sequenced. Then fetal DNA fragments in the mother’s blood is checked for any mutations.

Placenta membrane restored vision

Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam hospital have restored vision to a woman suffering from chemical burns on her eyes. They took amniotic membrane from a mother who had undergone a Caesarian section and sewed it underneath the patient’s eyelids. After a short recovery, she could see!                                                                                                                                                                                         

Eat healthy in Israel

The Israel Ministry of Health has been running a TV and social media campaign against processed food. It recommends alternatives such as fresh chicken, legumes, and fresh vegetables. Jacob has created a page of the videos with English translations.

A center for stem cell donations

Israel has just opened the Ezer Mizion Stem Cell Harvesting Center - the first Israeli medical center specially designed to collect stem cells for bone marrow transplants. It will enable the public to donate stem cells in a dedicated environment, without having to spend up to 7 hours in hospital.

Hotline saves Israeli lives

ERAN is Israel’s only crisis intervention hotline, with 1,200 vetted and highly-trained volunteers, plus 25 full and part-time staff.  They handled nearly 200,000 calls in 2018 and prevented some 800 likely suicides. ERAN has also trained 25 ex-pat Israelis in Canada to help cover overnight shifts.