As we approach the Jewish festival of Passover and the night that is “different from all other nights”, it is appropriate that there is much in the recent news that positively distinguishes the Jewish State from the norm.
In medical news, Israelis have been developing some unique treatments and devices that will make a big difference to the lives of the chronically sick. The Renaissance Guidance System developed by Israel’s Mazor Robotics allowed doctors in Denver to perform the first ever Deep Brain Stimulation procedure on a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease – whilst he was asleep! The 65-year-old patient responded well to the treatment. Lupus sufferers eagerly await the next Phase II trials by Israeli biotech XTL Biopharmaceuticals of hCDR1 (Edratide) – the first new treatment for Lupus in 50 years. And scientists at Israel’s Technion continually “think outside of the box”. They have been using a 3D scanner to develop unique objects, including the first ever inhalation mask specially designed for babies.
Israel’s unparalleled medical innovations can be on a large or small scale. Winter hospital overcrowding will be alleviated by Israel’s largest Emergency Room – a new 5,000-square-meter fortified ER at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva that can treat 200,000 patients a year. On the other hand, at the microscopic level, Israel’s prominence in the revolutionary field of nanotechnology has led to the discovery of anew way to tackle ovarian cancer. Tel Aviv University scientists have devised a cluster of nano-particles that use chemotherapy to target tumor cells directly. It has achieved a 25-fold improvement in effectiveness with a dramatic reduction in the toxic effect on healthy organs. No other country acts like Israel in the face of humanitarian crises. This week’s program on Tel Aviv radio TLV1’s “Out of the Comfort Zone” features some of the staff that are treating injured Syrians at the Western Galilee hospital in Nahariya. Remember that Syria is technically still at war with Israel. And whilst the UN and its member nations make profound speeches about the situation in the Ukraine, Israelis are busy saving lives. Israeli citizens are raising funds and have airlifted several wounded Ukrainians to Israeli hospitals for treatment.