Archive For The “Israeli Medicine” Category

Israeli MedTech Announces Clinical Trials For Breakthrough Radiation Cancer Therapy

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Israeli MedTech Announces Clinical Trials For Breakthrough Radiation Cancer Therapy

Alpha Tau Medical, an Israeli medical technology company that developed breakthrough radiation cancer therapy, announced on Wednesday that it would be starting a series of clinical trials with leading medical centers in Italy with the aim of receiving Europe’s CE approval by next year.

Portions of this article originally appeared in

Alpha Tau Medical was founded in 2016 to focus on R&D and commercialization of its breakthrough cancer treatment, Alpha DaRT (Dіffusіng Alpha-emіtters Radіatіon Therapy). The technology, initially developed in 2003 by Professors Itzhak Kelson and Yona Keisari at Tel Aviv University, delivers high-precision alpha radiation that is released when radioactive substances decay inside the tumor, killing cancer cells while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.

Early results from an ongoing pre-clinical trial at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel and the IRST (Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori) in Italy on patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) tumors, showed all tumor sizes reduced and more than 70 percent of the tumors completely disappearing within a few weeks after treatment.

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The startup says the technology has been tested on over 6,000 animals in a number of studies and has been found “to be effective and safe for various indications, including tumors considered to be resistant to standard radiotherapy.”

The treatment can be applied under local anesthesia in a short single session and can be combined with other modalities such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy to increase efficacy, and can even trigger anti-tumor immunity for the elimination of distant metastases, according to Alpha Tau Medical.

The upcoming clinical trials for the technology will take place at the Sapienza University of Rome, which is initiating Alpha Tau’s clinical trial protocol for SCC of the skin and oral cavity, and the IFO (Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri ), which is conducting its first study of Alpha DaRT for the treatment of cutaneous and mucosal malignant neoplasia (CMN).

The company says it is also collaborating with key cancer physicians worldwide to investigate the Alpha DaRT as a treatment for additional cancers, including pancreatic, breast, and prostate.

“The participation in Alpha Tau’s SCC protocol is a great clinical and scientific opportunity. I am proud to be able to offer this revolutionary treatment in the training course of physicians specializing in Radiotherapy,” said Professor Vincenzo Tombolini, principal investigator and radiation oncologist from La Sapienza.

“With strong, well-published findings from preclinical trials in over 6,000 animals in different types of tumors, we are proud to start Alpha TAU’s first trial investigating the Alpha DaRT as a treatment for CMN,” said Dr. Laura Eibenschutz, principal investigator and medical director from IFO.

Alpha Tau Medical CEO Uzi Sofer said the development “supports our mission to perform multiple clinical studies for different indications across the globe and build local production facilities to enable optimized local manufacturing and distribution.”

“This will help us rapidly bring to market our new Alpha DaRT cancer treatment approach and save lives,” he added.

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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Fast-Tracking Pharmaceutical Development with Artificial Intelligence

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Fast-Tracking Pharmaceutical Development with Artificial Intelligence

Pharmaceutical R&D has huge barriers to entry. The cost is just too expensive for ambitious startups to even consider, on average about $2.5 billion just to bring a new drug to market. And there’s also a public interest cost which is seldom discussed. Namely, the cynical fact that drugs that can’t make much money are never developed. Hopefully, both of these impediments will lessen in the near future. Once again, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are at the forefront in the drive reduce the time and cost to develop new drugs. How? By letting the molecules do the talking.

See previous articles on artificial intelligence by Diane Israel. More on Diane Israel.

The following article was originally published in

The cost of developing a new pharmaceutical drug, from the research and development stage to market approval, runs at about $2.6 billion, according to a 2014 report published by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) cited by the Scientific American. It also takes between 10 to 15 years.

Israeli scientists say they have developed a revolutionary smart method to discover and develop new drugs, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, that will dramatically shorten preparation time and reduce costs.Dr. Kira Radinsky, a renown data scientist and a visiting professor at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and Shahar Harel, a PhD student at the university’s computer science department, presented their system late last month at the KDD 2018 conference in London, an annual event on Big Data and Machine Learning that draws prominent world academics and industry leaders.

Radinsky and Harel’s system seeks to tap into the modern-day, computerized processes of screening and selecting molecules with the greatest therapeutic potential – of which there are more than stars in the galaxy, making this an enormous task.

Their working hypothesis is that drug development “vocabulary” is similar to that of a natural language.

Harel said in a university statement that the system he and Radinsky developed, founded on artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning, “acquired this language based on hundreds of thousands of molecules.”

“We are essentially presenting here an algorithm which addresses the creative stage of drug development – the molecule discovery stage,” said Harel. “This capacity leans upon our mathematical innovation, which enables the computer to understand the chemical language and to generate new molecules based upon a prototype.”

The researchers instructed the system to propose 1000 drugs based upon old drugs and were surprised to discover that 35 of the new drugs generated by the system are existing, FDA-approved drugs developed and approved after 1950. Radinsky said in a statement that the system “is not only a means of streamlining existing methods but also entirely new drug development and scientific practice paradigms.”

“Instead of seeking out specific correlations based upon hypotheses we formulate, we allow the computer to identify these connections from within a massive sample size, without guidance. The computer is not smarter than man, but it can cope with huge amounts of data and find unexpected correlations,” she added.

Radinsky indicated that a similar computerized process is how, in another study, the scientists managed to find the unknown side effects of various drugs and drug combinations.

“This is a novel type of science which is not built upon hypotheses tested in an experiment, rather, upon data that generated the research hypothesis,” she said.

The Technion said in a statement that the breakthrough is particularly significant in light of Eroom’s Law, which asserts that the number of new drugs approved by the FDA should decline at a rate of approximately 50 percent every nine years. The term was coined in 2012 in an article published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and is a reverse order of Moore, the name of Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel. Moore observed that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles every two years. In contrast, Eroom’s Law notes that each year, fewer and fewer drugs are marketed.

Dr. Radinksy projects that “this new development will accelerate and reduce costs of development of new and effective drugs, thereby shortening the time patients will have to wait for the drugs. In addition, this breakthrough is expected to lead to the development of drugs that would not have been generated with the conventional pharmacological paradigm.”

The system is currently being deployed for use in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies to further analyze the additional generated molecules, the scientists said.

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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Spinal Cord Injury Recovery May Have A Very Simple Solution

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Spinal Cord Injury Recovery May Have A Very Simple Solution

As first reported by, spinal cord injury causes permanent changes, with symptoms which will embody loss of muscle operate, strength and sensation, further as loss of different body functions supported by the spine. probabilities of complete recovery area unit slim and also the method are long and tough, even with aggressive rehabilitation and particularly if treatment isn’t immediate.

A new study revealed within the Journal of Neurotrauma in July by researchers at Tel Aviv University claims that a prompt, uncomplicated treatment is also the only, fastest thanks to traumatizing a funiculus injury and diminish symptoms love inflammation and scarring.

The study was conducted by Dr. Angela Ruban and Dr. Yona Goldshmit from TAU’s Sackler college of medication. Goldshmit is additionally associate degree adjunct analysis fellow at the Australian Regenerative medication Institute at Monash University in Melbourne.

The main plan

The main plan, Dr. Goldshmit says, is to dam the body’s natural reaction to funiculus injury, by reducing the secondary injury as before long as attainable.

“Primary mechanical injury to funiculus tissue kills a particular quantity of neural cells. however there’s secondary injury thanks to the discharge of excess glutamates, that area unit answerable for extra useful incapacity,” Dr. Goldshmit same in a very release, “This is that the role of the catalyst injection we tend to devised.”

“We accomplished that injecting the catalyst reduces those temporary high aminoalkanoic acid levels, ever-changing the balance of concentration between brain and blood,” Dr. Ruban tells NoCamels.

More on Diane Israel.

But it’s a tough state of affairs, she warns. “When you’re making an attempt to have an effect on the central system, there area unit several aspect effects as a result of it’s therefore delicate.”

The treatment was tested on research laboratory mice and over the course of 5 days, the animals showed vital recovery from the injury, consistent with the study.

“The treatment enhanced the survival of neurons at the lesion web site} and enabled nerve fiber regeneration into the injury site, that resulted in vital useful recovery compared with the untreated mice,” Ruban same within the university statement. “This indicates that drug intervention with blood salt scavengers following funiculus injury is also neuroprotective and will produce a regenerative setting.”

The Analysis

The key takeaway isn’t to attend to diagnose or treat it, Ruban said. “It’s the same as salicylate, which may rescue an internal organ patient from irreversible injury if taken at intervals the primary few hours of an attack. we advise administering the injection even in cases of associate degree unsure identification. There’s no aspect result to the injection, however, it’d simply mitigate secondary injury and dramatically improve the standard of a person’s life,” she additional.

“When this new treatment is obtainable to paramedics, the implications of injuries may be dramatically reduced,” she said

Goldshmit same the goal was to scale back the number of salt that’s discharged initially. If we tend to do this, she explained, “we will moderate the inflammation and scarring, thereby weakening the injury to the tissue and sanctionative neural cells to survive.

First discovery

Ruban developed the blood salt scavenging approach with the late faculty member. Vivian I. Teichberg of Israel’s Chaim Azriel Weizmann Institute of Science back in 2006, dominant the degree of salt in patients with diseases as well as brain tumor and ALS.

They didn’t focus specifically on funiculus injuries initially, instead of making an attempt to treat “neurological and pathological things with a brand new approach to evaluating neurotrauma,” Dr. Ruban same of her work with Teichberg. Dealing specifically with spine trauma solely came later with this explicit study. What took therefore long? Dr. Ruban tells NoCamels that the solution is attributed to the character of a being a high-level research worker.

Our spinal treatment, the injection of the catalyst, gave the impression to be an excellent straightforward quicky for the matter, she explained, and once you return up with a simple answer as a man of science, different scientists now say it’s too obvious, it won’t work.

“It’s within the nature of a research worker to look for one thing a lot of sophisticated,” she says, “but within the finish, this easy answer was one that truly looked as if it would work.”

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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Israel Researchers Lead The Way In CBD Cosmetics

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Israel Researchers Lead The Way In CBD Cosmetics

Our relationship with Pot (Marijuana) is changing rapidly, both legally and socially. Not only are states moving (or have moved) to legalizing marijuana, namely Colorado and Washington, with several other states legalizing for medical use only, marijuana’s key ingredients, including CBD oil, are proving their health benefits as mood stabilizers, pain medications, and now as topical medicines, including cosmetics. By that, we’re talking about CBD oils, balms, ointments, etc., (or simply Cannabis without the psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana) being used as ointments to combat skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, which are some of the most chronic autoimmune skin diseases.

And Israeli researchers are leading the way in CBD as topical oil remedies as the World Health Organization moves to redesignate CBG as 100 percent safe!

What the table set, the following article, excerpted from, provides the details. You can find the entire article here.

CBD is a chemical produced by the cannabis plant, is non-psychoactive, and believed to comprise anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, painkilling and anti-aging properties.

Kaye says current trials on CBD and topical applications in Israel – considered to be the world leader in cannabis research – have shown that the cannabis compound could help manage “psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, some of the chronic autoimmune skin diseases. Once we started to see that it is effective topically, it is very natural that CBD would go into a broad range of topicals [lotions, balms, oils].”

Indeed, an image of this recognizable green leaf has become ubiquitous on creams, lotions, toners and facemasks promising new ways to hydrate skin, clear complexions and clean pores. CBD is the new “it” additive for beauty products.

“CBD is more like a wellness product today than a pharmaceutical,” Kaye tells NoCamels. “It’s going to be the next additive in everything. Just like Omega 3. It’s going to be in everything.”

Learn more about Diane Israel.

Not all cosmetics promoting CBD – just like not all beauty products already on the market — are of equal value. So Israeli companies with the medical cannabis science behind them are entering into joint ventures with cosmetics companies already on the market.

MGC Derma, based in Slovenia, is a joint venture between MGC Pharma and industry-credentialed cosmetics manufacturer, Dr. M. Burstein.

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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Can Cancer Cells Be ReProgrammed? Israeli Researchers Are Doing Just That

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Can Cancer Cells Be ReProgrammed? Israeli Researchers Are Doing Just That

I can’t believe this story isn’t all over mainstream media. If this reporting is accurate, and I have no reason to question its veracity, our knowledge of biochemistry has become so precise that interventions like the one discussed below can not only prevent certain cancers from developing (that otherwise would have) but could prevent other diseases, even aging. Truly phenomenal what is going on with medicine in Israel.

This article was originally published by here.

Israeli Researchers Say They Can Reprogram Cancer Cells Back To Their Pre-Cancer State

By Simona Shemer, NoCamels June 05, 2018 7 Comments

Cancer cells typically acquire a common set of properties, including unlimited proliferation potential, self-sufficiency in growth signals, resistance to cell death, and an ability to activate invasion and metastasis, as described in a seminal 2000 study by American biologists and cancer researchers Douglas Hanahan and Robert Weinberg. While cancers are diverse in type and etiology, the researchers also say they all share metabolism abnormalities, regardless of cellular or tissue origin. Tumor cell metabolism is now seen as cancer’s Achilles’ heel, providing a unique therapeutic opportunity to effectively eliminate tumor cells by targeting their energy metabolism.

Now, a group of researchers from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new molecule that they claim inhibits the growth of cancer cells and reprograms them to act non-cancerous. The groundbreaking treatment is based on preventing the expression of the protein VDAC1, which is highly expressed in different types of tumors and found to alter cancer hallmarks, including the rewiring of pathways for growth and survival that underlie the malignant phenotype.

See related article: Israeli firm produces drinking water from the air.

VDAC1 is a “gatekeeper” of the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, and is the “key to opening and closing the door to mitochondrial metabolism,” says the head of the research team Professor Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of the Department of Life Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN), an independent research institute facilitating pre-clinical studies of biotech research located within BGU. VDAC1 is crucial for supplying the high energy demands that characterize malignant cells, the university said in a statement.

“As VDAC1 controls cell energy and metabolic homeostasis, depletion of VDAC1 in cancer cell blocks the communication between the mitochondria and the rest of the cells,” Shoshan-Barmatz tells NoCamels.

Cancer cells have a lot more VDAC1 than normal cells, she explains, so the team looked for ways to prevent their formation. The researchers developed a molecule called siRNA, which, when applied to the cells, began inhibiting their growth. When applied to mice with tumors, Shoshan-Barmatz says, it caused the tumor to shrink to about 10 percent of an untreated tumor, indicating a rewiring of the cells. The study was conducted on mouse models of three different types of cancerous tumors — those of brain cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.

Applying the molecule resulted in inhibiting tumor growth, eliminating cancer stem cells, and leading the cell in the residual “tumor” to differentiate into normal-like cells, Shoshan-Barmatz says. In other words, the cells would resume the behavior of pre-cancerous cells.

“These normal-like cells have different properties from the cancer cells,” she explains. “They are sensed by the immune system. The cells still have their original mutations, we don’t fix the mutational genes. We do modify the activity of these genes to be like normal cells.”

“No strategy like this has been studied. It controls cancer cells and cancer stem cells. We eliminate cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, which doesn’t always kill every cancer cell,” Shoshan-Barmatz said, “It’s a very promising strategy.”

She added that although the new approach was still in its early stages, the researchers were thrilled with the initial results “that demonstrate the potential of this novel molecule for cancer treatment.”

“Several of our findings are particularly noteworthy. First, VDAC1, which is overexpressed in most cancer cells compared to healthy cells, offers a potentially wide applicability for this treatment. Second, treatment with siRNA against VDAC1 inhibited growth of cancer cell but not of non-cancerous cell, pointing to a potentially safe treatment. And most significantly, siRNA treatment of several cancer types in mouse models resulted in reprogrammed cancer cell metabolisms, leading to reduced tumor growth, induced disappearance of cancer stem cells and prompted cell differentiation. Thus, we discovered a code for reprogramming cancer cells so that they lose their oncogenic features,” Shoshan-Barmatz said in a statement released by BGU.

The researchers have teamed up with BGN Technologies, the technology company of Ben-Gurion University fostering entrepreneurship and bringing tech innovation from lab to market, in order to attract investors and raise funds, as they want to bring their findings to clinical trials on humans. While they are already in talks with some companies, Dr. Ora Horovitz, senior vice president of Business Development at BGN Technologies said, “We are now seeking partners for the further development and advancement of this promising patented treatment towards the clinic in the hope that it will lead to a novel path for cancer treatment.”

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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Dark Web Activity Shows Medical Device Hacking Threat

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Dark Web Activity Shows Medical Device Hacking Threat

In June, reports from Norway prompt a hacker might have taken healthcare data from 1/2 the country’s population.

“Medical knowledge is incredibly wealthy with PII (personal placeable information),” says Leon Lerman, the chief executive officer of Cynerio, AN Israeli cyber outfit protective hospitals in Israel and also the North American country from cyber threats. “Unlike credit cards, medical knowledge can’t be canceled and thus have an extended lifespan for hackers to use the info for fraud and medical fraud.”

Indeed, medical knowledge is deemed a high-value product – prime for fraud and insurance fraud – on darknet forums and there’s a rising demand for such knowledge.

According to a 2017 Sixgill Threat Report, health care breaches were the second highest of any business, right when the business, however conjointly logged the largest increase from year to year — thirty.7 % of the info breaches in 2017 versus twenty two.6 % in 2016.

See related article on cybersecurity.

Medical devices tempt hackers

From MRI machines to pacemakers, hypoglycemic agent pumps to X-rays, healthcare administration systems to practice files square measure all rife with personal info that’s simple to access.

“The drawback is that the total health care business isn’t aware enough of the hazards. Medical devices and systems square measure simply hackable and hackers, hacktivists, and threat actors square measure a lot of and a lot of inquisitive about the know-how of the way to clean up medical devices, the way to hack hospitals and medical centers,” Israeli tells NoCamels.

The health care system remains slow on addressing better-known vulnerabilities, change the code, stopping arcanum sharing. In different words, the remissness in securing connected devices and systems makes health care the proper target.

“You will see medical devices with the best user and password: admin and admin. this can be the alphabet of what to not kill today’s cybersecurity atmosphere. I wouldn’t be stunned if within the close to future we’ll see a lot of and a lot of knowledge breaches of medical records,” says Israeli.

Indeed, international knowledge breaches happen daily. However, the healthcare business is especially in danger attributable to the Brobdingnagian variety of devices wanting to be secured.

Earlier this year, Malware science laboratory researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Desert incontestible the relative easy exploiting unpatched medical devices, love CT and MRI machines, that don’t continually receive in progress security updates.

The researchers showed however AN wrongdoer will compromise the pc that controls the CT device inflicting the CT to emit high rates of radiation, which might damage the patient and cause severe harm. They conjointly aforesaid attackers will block access to medical imaging devices (MID) or disable them all together as a part of a random attack, that has already occurred worldwide.

“CTs and MRI systems don’t seem to be well-designed to thwart attacks,” Dr. Nir Nissim, head of the Malware science laboratory at BGU’s Cyber Security research facility, aforesaid during a statement. “The middle development method, from thought to plug, takes 3 to seven years. Cyber threats will modification considerably over that amount, that leaves medical imaging devices extremely vulnerable.” But it’s not all doom and gloom. Cybersecurity outfits square measure tweaking their algorithms to stay the health sector safe from hackers.

In Israel, city Sourasky eye ANd Rambam healthcare field recently declared an agreement with Cynerio to shield its medical device system from knowledge breaches and different cyber threats. whereas each medical facilities already had cybersecurity in situ for hospital networks, the new agreement specifically safeguards medical devices.

“The hospital became aware that there’s an outsized and growing variety of connected medical devices in its system that may become susceptible to cyberattacks, that was a priority thanks to the sensitive and valuable patient knowledge it handles. Most of the devices employed in healthcare’s clinical atmosphere square measure outside the scope and capability of ancient IT security technologies, that elevated the problem to a essential threat. The hospital wanted a technology that would show what’s happening within the medical device system, what number devices might be affected and conjointly facilitate to shield them,” Eyal Kellner, CTO of Rambam Hospital, aforesaid during a press statement.

“We square measure operating with most of the hospitals in Israel and leading North American country health systems, to secure their weakest link – the connected medical device which might be used as a hidden entree by hackers to the patient knowledge,” Cynerio’s Lerman tells NoCamels.

“Protecting medical devices is vital however it’s simply a part of the challenge. there’s a complete system supporting these devices which incorporates gateways love medical imaging image archiving and communication systems, nurses stations, clinical servers, DICOM printers, and middleware, that’s conjointly vulnerable and desires protection,” says Lerman.

“When it involves hospitals or medical practices or health care corporations, ransomware may be a superb thanks to clean up medical services that square measure in some cases rescue. Ransomware may be a great way to form simple cash as a result of once it involves rescue infrastructure and medical devices, they recognize they’ll be able to fire cash during a faster approach and recognize they’ll apprehend quicker,” says Israeli.

Morals and ethics aren’t robust on the dark net. This under-the-radar marketplace may be a haven for cybercriminals to set up ANd execute their crimes and since it’s an anonymous platform wherever society’s regular rules don’t apply, Israeli says, the mix of sensible folks, unhealthy guys, and well-paying customers tends to guide to shrewder crimes.

“We do see folks talking concerning morals on the dark net however they don’t very go farther into it. within the short term, they give the impression of being for the profit and name,” says Israeli.

The current threat to international health care is Orangeworm. Symantec knew this new attack cluster earlier this year and showed however it’s targeting the health care sector and connected industries.

While Israeli health care hasn’t suffered Orangeworm’s attacks, however, Lerman and Israeli say that even with prime cybersecurity measures in situ, each country may be a seeming target.

“Many of those attacks square measure targeting previous and unpatched systems which each and every hospital has, with Israeli hospitals being no exception thereto. As happened with WannaCry – that conjointly affected some Israeli medical facilities,” says Lerman.

“It is safe to mention that as a lot of threat-actors develop their skills of harming the healthcare sector, Israel can face a better chance of experiencing a cyber attack against its medical establishments throughout international hacktivist events love OpIsrael,” says Israeli.

And whereas the consolation is that a lot of cybersecurity corporations square measure that specializes in the healthcare sector, says Israeli, the image remains rather bleak.

“Hacking medical devices and motility down medical systems may be a terribly simple approach for terrorists to require action,” says Israeli. “In the long run, I will see terrorists or the other hacktivists that don’t very care concerning people’s lives, take it into action, as a result of this can be what they require. they require to clean up medical establishments so as to damage communities.”

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HealthTech Update: Stem Cells and Toilet Cameras

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HealthTech Update: Stem Cells and Toilet Cameras

This week’s health tech update examines the latest hi-tech stem cell research, and another early detection technique that’s far from hi-tech (per se) but very effective. The question is whether you can get used to having a small camera in your toilet bowl!


Senecio of Kfar Saba put a twist on an existing mosquito-control method of releasing sterile male mosquitoes in infested areas by using airplanes rather than vans, greatly increasing the coverage perimeters.

“Releasing millions of sterile male mosquitoes from airplanes traveling at 250 kilometers per hour, in what I call Operation Infinite Romeo, presents monumental challenges,” writes Wanetick.

Among these challenges are sourcing the fragile insects, packaging them in containers, estimating the number needed per acre (four sterile males for every wild female) and determining optimal flying routes and times of day for release. “Senecio has developed sophisticated algorithms and robotic processes set up in assembly‐line formation” to accomplish these tasks.

Netanya‐based BioGenCell is developing a stem-cell therapy to treat a painful vascular disease called critical limb ischemia, a leading cause of amputations. The company’s BGC101 compound, when mixed with the patient’s own stem cells taken from a simple blood draw, creates natural artery bypasses and enhances the formation of additional blood vessels to better supply blood to the damaged tissue.

While other biotech companies are pursuing cures for the same disease using stem cells from bone marrow, BioGenCell’s method is less invasive. When injected, the BGC101 formula “knows” to grow only where revascularization is needed.

OutSense, based on Kibbutz Nahsholim, is developing a device that clips onto a toilet bowl to facilitate frequent and hands-free screening for signs of colorectal cancer.

The device’s spectral isolation and imaging technologies rapidly analyze solid waste for indicators including blood content, microbiome stability, texture and color that could be warning signs for cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or Crohn’s disease. The smart device can even distinguish among different people in a household based on Bluetooth signals from their nearby devices.

“Such frequent screenings should be at least as successful in detecting digestive diseases as submitting to expensive and invasive colonoscopies once every decade,” writes Wanetick.

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Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

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Anti-Anxiety, Stress Proteins Discovered By Israeli Researchers

By Diane Israel

Anxiety and its kinfolk, namely fear and stress, are by definition traumatic experiences for which we would all like to rid ourselves, go hand-in-mind with the human condition. And while we cannot extract it like special forces from a hostile environment, we can do something almost as good.

Almost everyone would like to be happier. But what we often focus is on just that. Happiness. Meaning, when we project future happiness upon our being, rarely, if ever, do such musings consider how merely reducing those moments, those moments when we can’t think straight, might be another path to the same end.

An acquaintance of mine put it this way:

When you’re reacting instead of responding, your suffering some degree of an anxiety attack.

And while her words are true, and qualify as an important self-awareness tool to add to our personal psychology, more traumatic experiences call for scientific innovations like the recent breakthrough by Israeli researchers that addresses this problem head-on.

Many people have difficulties with turning off their response to stress factors. According to Weizmann Institute of Science researchers, they may be missing a special set of proteins.

A pounding heart, sweating palms, tense muscles and that metallic taste in your mouth is normal – when you perceive a threat to your existence, be it through anxiety, fear, or stress, each of which overlaps the other considerably.

It’s a typical anxiety response, one that often comes along with the “flight or fight” reaction generated by an adrenaline rush brought on by stress.

People who have a tough time turning that response off often have suffered a psychological trauma as the result of a frightening experience such as a missile attack or other type of physical threat. Such victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other conditions related to stress and anxiety include anorexia, depression and a myriad of anxiety disorders.

According to the findings of a new study led by Dr. Alon Chen at the Weizmann Institute’s Neurobiology Department, however, there is solid evidence that three related proteins are responsible for the body’s ability to turn off the stress response.

The research, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that urocortin proteins 1, 2, and 3 are crucial for returning the body to normal.

To identify how exactly this is done, Chen and his team tested the gene expression levels of genes involved in the stress response in a group of genetically engineered mice who were lacking the proteins, and a control group of mice.

The levels remained constant both during and after stress in the engineered mice, who were missing the proteins. In contrast, patterns of gene expression in the control mice showed significant change 24 hours after the stress.

In other words, without the urocortin system, the “return to normal” program could not be activated, and the stress genes continued to function.

“This may have implications for anxiety disorders, depression, anorexia and other conditions,” noted Dr. Chen. “The genetically engineered mice we created could be effective research models for these diseases.”

Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at

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