Health News – NoCamels – Israeli Innovation News http://nocamels.com NoCamels.com is the leading news website on Israeli innovations. We cover all the latest innovation in the fields of technology, health, environment and lifestyle. Sun, 11 Dec 2016 08:33:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jaw Dropping: Lab-Grown Bones Successfully Transplanted In 11 Jaws http://nocamels.com/2016/12/lab-grown-bones-transplant-jaws/ Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:54:39 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49915

Israeli biotech company Bonus BioGroup is growing live bones from patients’ own fat cells. And today the company reported that it successfully injected its lab-grown, semi-liquid bone graft into the jaws of 11 people in an early stage clinical trial evaluating bone loss repair.

The material, grown in a lab from each patient’s own fat cells, was injected into and filled the voids of the problematic bones. Over a few months it hardened and merged with the existing bone to complete the jaw, the company said.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Company Grows New Bones From Patients’ Fat

The transplant “was 100% successful in all 11 patients,” Ora Burger, the VP of regulation affairs, told Reuters. “Now we are going to conduct a clinical study in the extremities, long bones.”

The announcement was made in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Bonus Biogroup presented its results at the International Conference on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Spain yesterday.

Bonus BioGroup’s CEO Shai Meretski, who previously founded Pluristem Therapeutics, an advanced Israeli biomedical company that works with stem cells, told Reuters, “For the first time worldwide, reconstruction of deficient or damaged bone tissue is achievable by growing viable human bone graft in a laboratory, and transplanting it back to the patient in a minimally invasive surgery via injection.”

bones, Bonus biogroup, bones

Meretzki, with a bone sample

While the company’s announcement is encouraging, the technology is currently undergoing development and has yet to undergo more extensive clinical trials and approval by medical authorities regarding its effectiveness and safety. It is not yet generally available.

Photos and video: Courtesy

image description
image description
]]>
Teva To Market Syqe, The Revolutionary Medical Marijuana Inhaler Developed In Israel http://nocamels.com/2016/12/teva-markets-israeli-medical-marijuana-inhaler-syqe/ Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:24:22 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49745

This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

In a world first, Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Tel Aviv-based Syqe Medical signed a distribution and cooperation agreement to market medical cannabis in an inhaler.

Under the agreement, Teva will be the exclusive marketer and distributor in Israel of an inhaler developed by Syqe Medical for the delivery of medical cannabis. The accord marks the first time that a major global pharma company has agreed to market a medical cannabis product, according to Syqe.

The Syqe inhaler has been used for more than a year at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital with the approval of Israel’s Health Ministry. This makes it the first hospital in the world to prescribe cannabis as a standard medical treatment.

As part of the agreement with Teva Israel, the Syqe inhaler is expected to receive Health Ministry approval for home use by next year.

SEE ALSO: Meet The ‘Designer’ Strains Of Marijuana Bred In Israel To Treat A Wide Range Of Illnesses

Israel’s reputation as a high-tech hub and a lax regulatory environment has allowed the startup nation to become a leader in cannabis technology, with dozens of local firms focusing on the medical field. The international medical cannabis market is forecast to be worth approximately $20 billion within a decade. About 1 percent of the global population are potential medical cannabis users at some point during their lifetime.

“A deep commitment to patients coping with pain” 

“Teva Israel is entering the field of medical cannabis out of a deep commitment to patients coping with pain, which is one of the company’s core therapeutic areas,” said Teva Israel CEO Avinoam Sapir, who also serves as Teva’s director for Africa and the Middle East, and as director of Innovation in Emerging Markets. “State-of-the-art technology and groundbreaking medical devices — such as those developed by Syqe Medical, and which generate tremendous therapeutic value for patients and medical staff alike — integrate perfectly into the strategy of Teva Israel.”

Health News - Study: Cannabis May Relieve Parkinson's Related Pain

To read the full article, click here

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
Meet The Coolest Israeli Companies On Wall Street http://nocamels.com/2016/12/israeli-technology-companies-wall-street/ http://nocamels.com/2016/12/israeli-technology-companies-wall-street/#respond Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:53:35 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49365 Israel is the largest foreign presence on Wall Street following China and Canada. Some 70 Israeli companies are currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with many technology firms listed on NASDAQ.

“The level of Israeli equities listed on Wall Street is yet another example of Israeli innovation and the strong US-Israel relationship,” Daniella Rilov, executive director of the America-Israel Friendship League, said during a New York Stock Exchange event dedicated to Israel last month.

trading floor equities stocks 1200px-Sao_Paulo_Stock_Exchange

Until recently, Israeli companies were often criticized for their eagerness to “sell out” quickly in pursuit of an early “exit,” instead of offering their shares to the public. But in recent years, Israel has seen dozens of its companies going public in Tel Aviv, London, New York and elsewhere in the world.

From web design to driverless cars, here are five of the coolest Israeli companies on Wall Street:

Mobileye

Making driving safer and potentially saving lives, Israeli company Mobileye (NYSE: MBLY) develops driver assistance technology to prevent accidents, but is also one of the major developers of autonomous car technologies. Its systems use video cameras and advanced algorithms to identify and respond to other vehicles, bends in the road, pedestrians and traffic signs, providing advanced warning for drivers and thereby preventing car accidents.

SEE ALSO: Mobileye Teams Up With BMW, Intel To Manufacture A Driverless Car By 2021

Most recently, Mobileye announced it will collaborate with car maker BMW and technology giant Intel to manufacture a driverless car by 2021.

Founded in 1999 by Ziv Aviram and Amnon Shashua, the Hebrew University professor who developed the technology, Mobileye raised nearly $1 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, the largest-ever Israeli IPO. With a market cap of $8.5 billion, shares of Mobileye now trade for $39.

ReWalk

The brainchild of Dr. Amit Goffer, revolutionary exoskeleton ReWalk (NASDAQ: RWLK) enables paraplegics to walk and climb stairs.

For individuals with spinal cord injuries, standing and walking around freely remains a dream. But using the exoskeleton walking device ReWalk, wheelchair-bound individuals are now able to move freely.

At the forefront of medical technology, ReWalk’s exoskeleton is powered by a computer and motion sensors that work together to mimic natural gait. The innovative system corrects itself to pick up slight changes in the user’s center of gravity; it can be adjusted to a functional walking speed; and even enables users to climb and descend staircases.

In 2012, one woman completed the 2012 London Marathon in 17 days using ReWalk. And, in 2015, the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will provide ReWalk exoskeletons for eligible veterans with spinal cord injuries.

Founded by Goffer in 2001, ReWalk could soon make wheelchairs obsolete.

Caesarstone

Founded in 1987 by Israel’s Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Caesarstone (NASDAQ: CSTE) designs, engineers and manufactures stone surfaces. In recent years, it has become successful in the US luxury residential market, making Sdot Yam one of the richest kibbutzim in Israel.

In 2014, this kibbutz (a collective community traditionally based on agriculture) sold the majority stake of its Caesarstone’s shares to the public for $260 million, a hefty amount for its 400 members, who are now wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

With a market cap of over $1 billion, Caesarstone’s shares now trade for $29. The company has several manufacturing facilities in Israel and in the US.

SEE ALSO: A New Kibbutz? WeWork’s Urban Community WeLive Could Revolutionize City Living

Caesarstone pioneered the quartz surfaces, which consist of up to 93 percent quartz (a mineral found in nature). According to the company, this type of surface retains “the cool tactile qualities of nature’s strong stones, while offering freedom of design with enormous application possibilities, including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, flooring, wall paneling, furniture and more.”

While Caesarstone’s products are highly functional, their stunning designs have become widely popular among upscale interior designers around the world.

Caesarstone

Wix

Until recently, creating a website was a skillful task reserved for professional designers and web masters. But since Israeli company Wix launched its do-it-yourself platform a couple of years ago, anybody can create and publish their own websites, with easy-to-use, drag-and-drop tools and stunning templates.

Since the basic design (and domain name) package is free, 94 million small businesses (including hotels and restaurants) and individuals around the world are using Wix (NASDAQ: WIX) to build and maintain their web and mobile sites. With a market cap of $2.2 billion, Wix’s shares trade for $51 on NASDAQ.

The company was founded in 2006 by Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan on the belief that the internet should be accessible to everyone to develop, create and contribute. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with additional offices across Israel, Europe and the US.

Mazor Robotics

Mazor Robotics’ guidance systems enable surgeons to conduct spine and brain procedures in a precise manner.

Founded in 2001, the company’s intuitive interface helps surgeons plan operations in a virtual 3D environment, creating a surgical blueprint for better accuracy.

The story of Mazor Robotics (NASDAQ: MZOR) began at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The company was officially founded by Prof. Moshe Shoham and Mr. Eli Zehavi, but the work had begun years earlier with Shoham, the head of the Robotics Laboratory at the Technion, conducting research to develop a new and innovative platform for surgery.

Photos and videos: Rafael Matsunaga, Wix, ReWalk, Mobileye, Caesarstone

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/12/israeli-technology-companies-wall-street/feed/ 0
World AIDS Day: Israel’s PrePex Device Will Circumcize Millions To Cut HIV Risk By 60% http://nocamels.com/2016/12/africa-circumcision-prepex-hiv-aids/ http://nocamels.com/2016/12/africa-circumcision-prepex-hiv-aids/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:00:58 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49401 More than two-thirds of all people living with HIV, some 24.7 million in total, live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one of the benefits of circumcision, the removal of the foreskin of the penis, is a lower risk of HIV transmission. “There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60 percent,” the WHO states.

Last week, Israeli-American entrepreneur Tzameret Fuerst, the former CEO of Circ MedTech, the developer of PrePex, a non-surgical circumcision device, addressed the ninth annual Geektime Tech Conference in Tel Aviv. PrePex, the first medical device in Israel’s history to be approved by the WHO, allows for the performing of circumcisions on a mass scale, with no incisions, bleeding, or injected anesthesia.

PrePex has already been used in more than 250,000 procedures in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. In total, the company has delivered more than 1 million devices which, according to mathematical models, would prevent approximately 150,000 new HIV cases.  In addition, there are currently over 1,000 PrePex trained healthcare providers, 16 PrePex training centers and the company is collaborating with more than 45 NGOs on the ground.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Doctors Teach Male Circumcision To African Doctors To Combat Aids

The circumcision procedure, which usually happens when a boy is a baby (although some brave men opt for it in adulthood) is also practiced in Judaism and Islam as a religious ritual. Circumcision is widespread in the U.S., and according to a recent review by the Mayo Clinic, 77 percent of male babies born in hospitals are later circumcised.

However, until very recently, circumcision has not been widely practiced in sub-Saharan Africa due to the relatively high cost of the procedure, the need for a sterile environment and medical expertise – and the understandable reluctance of patients to undergo such a delicate procedure.

Enter PrePex, an ideal cost-effective circmucision device staring at just $12 per unit. A non-reusable device, with PrePex circumcisions can be carried out by lower-level medical professionals and nurses (a fact that is crucial in countries like Rwanda, which has just over 300 doctors treating a population of over 11 million) and does not require the sterile environment of an operating room.

A simple device

The PrePex device is made up of two rings and a special rubber strap. The rubber strap’s purpose is to cut circulation to the foreskin. The foreskin decays and falls off within a week, then the device is removed and the procedure ends.

pre_pex-hiv-circumcision-device-africa

PrePex device

At the conference, Fuerst explained how the company developed the product in 2009, after the WHO reported that circumcizing adult males can reduce the spread of HIV by 60 percent. A later study further explained that adult circumcision reduces bacteria on the penis, and thus the spread of the disease.

PrePex has been acknowledged by African governments as an effective means of scaling-up male circumcision programs and generating demand among men.  Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care recently included the PrePex device as an integral part of its national VMMC Action Plan with a target of circumcising 1.3 million men by 2018. South Africa and Uganda are in advanced stages of PrePex implementation, and have each set a goal of reaching more than four million men with male circumcision services. Other countries – such as Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Swaziland – are in varying phases of PrePex implementation.

Circumcising Rwanda

Rwanda is a country of over 11 million people of which three percent is HIV positive. In Rwanda, the Ministry of Health aims to circumcise 800,000 men by 2016, through a massive PrePex rollout. Fuerst traveled to Rwanda to oversee the procedure herself and held a joint press conference with the Rwandan Health Minister as well.

SEE ALSO: Breakthrough Israeli Device Will Circumcise 700,000 Rwandans To Prevent HIV/AIDS

“Circumcision is the most efficient tool to fight HIV/AIDS,” Rwanda Health Minister Doctor Agnes Binagwaho told the BBC.

tzameret fuerst

Tzameret Fuerst (speaking and pictured with Rwanda’s Health Minister)

“We are proud to demonstrate our commitment towards an AIDS-free generation together with our partners in the HIV/AIDS prevention field,” Circ MedTech’s CEO Eddy Horowitz said in a statement. “Through this initiative we can prevent transmission of diseases, reduce costs to public health systems and save countless lives.”

Currently available for ages 13 and up

The company says that the PrePex device is currently available for adult males and also for adolescent boys age 13 and above.

As for males under the age of 13, Circ MedTech Ltd. has received the CE Mark for the use of its PrePex Infant and PrePex Child devices, which will extend the range of safe male circumcision services to all ages worldwide. Clinical studies on the newly-developed PrePex sizes have resulted in positive outcomes and the devices for males under the age of 13 will be available in the near future.

“PrePex provides an easier, more convenient and cost-effective way of conducting male circumcision, both for patients and for healthcare providers,” Horowitz said in a statement. “With our introduction of the non-surgical device for infants and children, PrePex will improve the male circumcision experience for men, boys and infants worldwide.”

Health News: Israeli Device Used To Circumcise 700,000 Africans In The Fight Against HIV

The PrePex

International recognition

PrePex has been acknowledged by African Ministers of Health, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, US government officials and many others. The company has also won several awards as well. PrePex received the Gold Innovation Lions Award at the 2016 Cannes International Festival of Creativity; Laureate of the 2015 Tech Awards; and the GBH Health 2012 Business Action on Health Award. Also, it was just announced that Frost & Sullivan has recognized Circ MedTech Ltd. with the 2016 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation.

One of the many impressive endorsements came from none other than Microsoft Founder Bill Gates. In his 2012 Annual Letter, published on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website, he wrote: “Even in the ancient practice of circumcision, innovation has the potential to make a big difference. The new PrePex devices simplify the procedure and make surgery unnecessary. The first studies suggest that these devices are both safe and effective.”

Photos and Video: PrePex, Hoff Reshef

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/12/africa-circumcision-prepex-hiv-aids/feed/ 0
Israeli Startups Take Major Medical Competition By Storm, Win Top Three Awards http://nocamels.com/2016/11/medical-startups-medica-app-awards/ Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:23:59 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49760 Three Israeli medical startups – UpRight, Biop Medical and TytoCare – have won the top awards at the fifth annual MEDICA App Competition for Best Medical Mobile Solution. Held in Dusseldorf, Germany, earlier this month, the competition was part of one of the world’s largest medical trade fairs, which attracted over 5,000 exhibitors from 70 countries.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Top Israeli Startups Revolutionizing Everyday Healthcare

Of the 15 startups that made it to the final round of the competition, nine were from Israel. Each team had three minutes to pitch their mobile solution, followed by one minute for questions from the judges. Finally, after all the presentations were completed, the judges deliberated and chose the top three winners.

UpRight's team receiving the award

UpRight’s team receiving the award

UpRight: No more slouching

The first place, along with a €2,000 prize, went to UpRight, an app and a wearable device that help correct your posture. Founded in 2012 by Oded Cohen and Ori Fruhauf, UpRight’s discrete wearable device attaches to your lower back (under your shirt) and trains you to stand and sit upright. Every time you slouch, it gently vibrates, reminding you to correct your posture.

“We have a new Android app, improved features, and you can now finally find UpRight in retail stores in San Francisco and New York City,” Fruhauf tells NoCamels.

The company has so far raised $3 million from investors.

Biop Medical: Detecting cervical cancer

Biop Medical was awarded the second place, along with a €1,000 prize, for its innovative point-of-care testing device for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer, one of the most frequently occurring malignant tumors in women worldwide. The test is based on the notion that the characteristics of healthy and diseased tissue can be distinguished from each other optically, by using an automated system.

Biop’s optical device, which is pending an FDA approval, is used to view the cervix. The data are then analyzed on the IBM cloud using a special algorithm. The result is produced within minutes.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Ilan Landesman, BiopMedical is based in Netanya and has already raised $2.3 million from investors.

SEE ALSO: Israeli App Belong Helps Cancer Patients, Families Through Healing Process

TytoCare: Medical exams any time, anywhere

Third place, and a €500 prize, went to TytoCare, an Israeli startup that offers a telemedicine solution that enables virtual doctor’s visits and fairly comprehensive medical examinations to be carried out anywhere at any time.

Imagine you could skip the waiting time for a doctor’s appointment. TytoCare has developed an innovative hand-held instrument, called Tyto, which is able to detect and classify common diseases such as flu or ear infections. The kit includes a stethoscope, an otoscope and a computer-vision camera that helps the user diagnose the problem. In case a doctor is needed, the device can also be used to connect with a specialist for a remote consultation. The Tyto Stethoscope has already received FDA approval, and the other devices are FDA compliant.

Founded by Israelis Dedi Gilad and Ofer Tzadik in 2012, the company has so far raised $18.5 million from investors. Among the startup’s investors is US drugstore chain Walgreens.TytoCare, throat, doctor

The other six Israeli companies among the 15 finalists were: Vision-care app 6over6; bed-wetting solution TheraPeeElfi-Tech  for personal health monitoring, patient monitoring and diagnostics; MyndYou analytics for improving cognitive care; Somatix data-analytics software platform for digital health; and the Medivizor personalized health information app.

Photos and video: UpRight, BiopMedical, TytoCare

]]>
Edwards Lifesciences Buys Israel’s Valtech Cardio For Up To $1 Billion http://nocamels.com/2016/11/valtech-cardio-heart-valve-cardioband/ Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:42:32 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=49659

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, a California-based medical equipment firm specializing in heart disease, announced Monday it is acquiring Valtech Cardio Ltd., an Israeli company behind the Cardioband System, for up to $1 billion.

SEE ALSO: A Heart Of Gold: Researchers Use Gold Particles To Heal Heart Tissue

Valtech‘s system treats the most prevalent heart valve diseases, including mitral valve regurgitation (MR) and tricuspid valve regurgitation. The uniqueness of the Cardioband System is that it is done through the skin, allowing doctors to perform the necessary reconstruction with a direct annuloplasty (a surgical technique for the repair of leaking mitral valves) delivered through arteries, negating the need for open-heart surgery. Although such devices are complex and expensive, they cut down on many of the risks and costs associated with serious surgeries, making them more attractive to national insurances as well as patients.

Pricetag: $690 million, could be as much as $1 billion

Edwards will pay Valtech $340 million in stock and cash up front, plus up to $350 million more in performance-based milestone payments over the next 10 years, for a sum total of $690 million. Before the sale’s completion, slated for early 2017, Valtech intends to spin off its early-stage transseptal mitral valve replacement technology program. Edwards has an option to buy it, which could add another $300 million to the deal, bringing the total to nearly $1 billion.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Amir Gross, Yossi Gross, and Peregrine Ventures and headed by Eyal Lifshitz and Boaz Lifshitz, Valtech is based in Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv. The company has raised $70 million to date. Last year HeartWare signed an agreement to buy the company for $840 million but backed out of the deal in January.

SEE ALSO: This Company Invented A Machine Algorithm That Diagnoses Breast Cancer Earlier

“A toolbox of options” for medical treatment

According to the Mayo Clinic, Mitral valve regurgitation — also called mitral regurgitation, mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence — is a condition in which your heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward in your heart. As a result, blood can’t move through your heart or to the rest of your body as efficiently, making you feel tired or out of breath.

“As we continue to pursue multiple therapies to address the diverse needs of patients affected by heart valve disease, we saw an important opportunity to incorporate Valtech’s technologies into our comprehensive heart valve repair and replacement portfolio,” Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards’ chairman and CEO said in a statement. “We recognize that physicians will likely need a toolbox of options to treat their patients most effectively.  We are very pleased with the progress and future prospects of the multiple internal programs we have underway, and we believe the addition of Valtech’s talented team and mitral and tricuspid [valve] technologies will present even more opportunities to help patients.”

Valtech, Amir Gross, valtech cardio

Amir Gross (center) and the Valtech Cardio team

Photos and video: Valtech PR

]]>
Diet Startup ‘DayTwo’ Creates Unique Personalized Diets By Checking Your… Gut Bacteria http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israeli-personalized-diets-startup-daytwo/ http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israeli-personalized-diets-startup-daytwo/#respond Sun, 27 Nov 2016 10:52:23 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48878 High blood sugar level is a risk factor for many complications, such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. That’s why doctors recommend we control our blood sugar levels by keeping a healthy, low-sugar diet.

But DayTwo, an Israeli startup spun off the Weizmann Institute, suggests that people have different responses to food. As it turns out, ice cream is less harmful to some people than others, and so are many other foods.

It all depends on the different microbes we have in our guts. By studying and analyzing your individual gut microbiome – the vast collection of bacteria that you host – DayTwo claims it can translate your unique gut bacteria into a personalized diet, potentially preventing diabetes and heart disease. The startup provides a cutting-edge test and app for a one-time fee of $500.

SEE ALSO: Could Personalized Diets Prevent Diabetes And Heart Disease?

DayTwo‘s product is based on research (published in the sceintific journal Cell) conducted by Prof. Eran Segal and Dr. Eran Elinav of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science; the research technology was licensed to DayTwo.

According to the researchers, some people respond to so-called healthy diets, while others don’t. They claim that bacteria in our intestinal tract vary among individuals, and therefore people digest food differently.

Your gut microbiome is the collection of all microbes that exist in your digestive tract and help you digest food. In our gut alone, we have about 100 trillion microbes, similar to the number of cells that we have in our entire body. Your microbiome is unique to you, and influences the way your body reacts to different foods.

daytwo-guy-and-girl-eating-courtesy

“The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice,” Segal said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: It’s Official: One Glass Of Wine A Day Improves Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes

Founded in 2015 by CEO Lihi Segal and Yuval Ofek, DayTwo is the brainchild of Segal and Elinav. The startup has already received funding from billionaire Marius Nacht, the co-founder of successful Israeli cyber-security firm Check Point. His investment is estimated at a couple of million dollars.

“Foods that are perceived as healthy for everyone are not recommended for some people”

How does DayTwo work? First, you provide a stool sample, through a kit sent by DayTwo, along with your most up-to-date blood test results. DayTwo sequences the DNA of your gut microbes, the micro-organisms that help us digest.

Then, DayTwo’s technology predicts which foods are good for you. Analyzed by a patent-pending algorithm, the technology provides a unique nutritional profile designed just for you. The startup’s scoring system rates thousands of different foods and food combinations based on your gut microbiome analysis and lifestyle factors.

gut-bacteria-courtesy-of-daytwo

Then, you receive a nutritional report through a personalized nutrition app. The report provides you with specific food recommendations for normalizing blood sugar levels throughout the day and night. It generates food recommendations specific to your gut makeup, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The app also analyzes your daily eating routines and recommends healthy snacks.

According to CEO Lihi Segal, “our food recommendations are based on matching thousands of foods to the individual’s profile. The findings are very surprising: Foods that are perceived as healthy for everyone, such as rice, are not recommended for some people. In some cases, it turns out that foods like ice cream are not harmful.”

daytwo-app-courtesy

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israeli-personalized-diets-startup-daytwo/feed/ 0
Novel Treatment Reverses Effects Of Alzheimer’s Disease http://nocamels.com/2016/11/alzheimers-disease-reversed-treatment-cure-enzyme-gene/ http://nocamels.com/2016/11/alzheimers-disease-reversed-treatment-cure-enzyme-gene/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:29:41 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48476 Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that damages brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in brain functions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans live with the disease.

For years, researchers have been trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, but despite some success in slowing the progression of the disease, it remains incurable.

Now, Israeli scientists are focusing on the genes that could be responsible for the neurodegenerative disease, rather than on the plaque that clogs affected brains (one of the distinctive features of Alzheimer’s). After treating mice that had the “bad” Alzheimer’s gene, the rodents were able to identify Coke bottles and perform other cognitively sophisticated tasks!

SEE ALSO: Israeli Company Offers Hope For Alzheimer’s Disease With Unique Treatment

Social Awareness: 'Big Brother' Study Sheds Light On Mice's Social Structure

Potentially changing the paradigm of Alzheimer’s research, Tel Aviv University researchers have found that the APOE gene (which tells the body how to make a certain protein) has, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two faces: a healthy form, called APOE3, and a disease-related pathological form, called APOE4. They have developed a novel mechanism with which to convert the “bad” APOE4 to the “good” APOE3. Using certain enzymes, the researchers reversed the effect of the “bad” APOE gene.

TAU’s Prof. Daniel Michaelson, who led the study, explains that the normal APOE gene provides the interface that moves lipids — naturally occurring molecules that include fats, cholesterol, vitamins and other components essential to the health of cells — in and out of cells. “Whereas the healthy APOE3 does so effectively, the bad form — APOE4 — is impaired,” he said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: Study: People Who Treat Alzheimer’s Patients Should Have Creative Hobbies

The researchers devised an experimental approach to measure the “bad” features of APOE4, utilizing genetically manipulated mice expressing either good or bad forms of APOE. Mice with APOE4 exhibited impaired learning and memory, as well as damaged brain synapses, two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.

The TAU team then showed how mice, which prior to the “conversion” treatment exhibited disoriented behavior and seemed “lost,” were able following treatment to locate a submerged island in the middle of an artificial pond. Mice that had forgotten familiar objects — like Coca Cola bottles — suddenly exhibited sharp object recognition.

“APOE4 is a very important and understudied target,” Michaelson says. “It is expressed in more than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s patients. Anti-APOE4 treatments are thus expected to have a major impact on the patient population.”

Elderly couple

The study, recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, was led by TAU’s Prof. Daniel M. Michaelson and doctoral fellow Anat Boehm-Cagan, in collaboration with biotechnology company Artery Therapeutics.

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/11/alzheimers-disease-reversed-treatment-cure-enzyme-gene/feed/ 0
Extreme Athlete Lonnie Bissonnette Performs Daring BASE Jump With Revolutionary Israeli Wheelchair http://nocamels.com/2016/11/extreme-athlete-bissonnette-wheelchair-softwheel/ http://nocamels.com/2016/11/extreme-athlete-bissonnette-wheelchair-softwheel/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:50:00 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48745 It’s not every day that a world champion can thank an Israeli startup for his life. Canadian extreme athlete Lonnie Bissonnette, one of the world’s greatest BASE jumpers – those people who deliberately jump off cliffs – has expressed his gratitude for SoftWheel, whose revolutionary wheelchair landed him safely during one of his most daring jumps.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Company Reinvents The Wheel – Literally

Using SoftWheel to win the Canadian Para-Bobsleigh Championship (powered-sled races) last month, Bissonnette, who became paralyzed after a 2004 jump, performed an extraordinary BASE jump using SoftWheel, which he later featured on his Facebook page.

One of the world’s most prolific BASE jumpers, Bissonnette was attempting a “quadruple gainer” (an outward facing, inward rotating flip) in 2004, on his 1100th BASE jump, off a 150-meter-high bridge, when his parachute failed to open.

He crashed into the river at a speed of 70 miles per hour, and suffered a spinal-cord injury leaving him paralyzed. Lucky to have survived that accident, he was told by his doctor he would never jump again.

But 12 months later, he was back “flying” in the sky. Fearlessly jumping off all four objects in B.A.S.E (Buildings, Antennae, Span, and Earth) again, he became the world’s first paraplegic BASE jumper to have jumped from all four of the objects. No wonder that his motto, as stated on his blog, is “never give up.”

lonnie bissonnette base jump extreme athlete

Reinventing the wheel 

While Bissonnette is proudly using Israeli technology to perform bold BASE jumps, many other paraplegics use SoftWheel on a daily basis. The company, which literally reinvented the wheel, has developed the next-generation wheelchair that can wheel down a flight of stairs, and move across any terrain.

With an inner-suspension system for shock absorption, SoftWheel’s innovative technology enhances user-ride capabilities, providing stability for wheelchair users, effectively reducing the level of daily pain and discomfort that can result from wheelchair use.

SEE ALSO: UPnRIDE: This Segway-Like Vehicle Will Help Quadriplegics Stand Tall

According to SoftWheel CEO Daniel Barel, “we did not invent the wheel, but we did reinvent its technology, to a point where it significantly improves the riding experience, helping users to go further with less pain and increased comfort.”

SoftWheel’s integrated suspension technology has been on the market since 2014, giving thousands in 15 countries the freedom to go everywhere.

softwheel

From tractors to wheelchairs 

SoftWheel is the brainchild of Gilad Wolf, a farmer who found himself bound to a wheelchair for three weeks, after breaking his pelvis. Working with tractors, he noticed that they have a simple yet ingenious airbag-based shock-absorbing construct. He then built a wheelchair with a similar construct for each wheel.

Wolf’s invention is designed to absorb shock and can be adjusted for each rider. In regular wheelchairs, even premium ones, shock is spread evenly throughout the wheel, then transferred in its entirety to the rider. But SoftWheel’s wheelchair, called Acrobat, operates differently. When the wheel is subjected to impact, the inner suspension automatically shifts towards the source of the impact and then back to its position, in less than a second. This mechanism drastically reduces the shock felt by the rider, which makes it easier to traverse bumpy roads, go down curbs – or even stairs.

Photos and videos: Lonnie Bissonnette, SoftWheel

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/11/extreme-athlete-bissonnette-wheelchair-softwheel/feed/ 0
Israelis Develop New Drug To Fight AIDS: “We Are Destroying The Cells, The Virus Will Not Awaken” http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israelis-hiv-aids-drug-cure-research/ http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israelis-hiv-aids-drug-cure-research/#respond Sun, 13 Nov 2016 12:27:37 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48741 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

HIV and AIDS patients may find new hope in a drug developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is currently being tested at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The drug was inserted into test tubes containing the blood of 10 AIDS patients currently being treated at the hospital, and was found to decrease the HIV virus count in the blood samples by as much as 97 percent in just eight days, Channel 2 reported Monday.

SEE ALSO: One Israeli Researcher Is Outsmarting HIV To Cure AIDS

hivvirus

The active ingredient in the drug is a peptide, or smaller version of a protein, that was developed by Abraham Loyter and Assaf Friedler at Hebrew University. The peptide causes several copies of the virus’s DNA to enter the infected cell, instead of just one copy, causing the cell to self-destruct.

HIV is currently treated with a cocktail of drugs that slow the progression of the infection in the body but never rid the patient of the virus entirely. These drugs have allowed doctors to treat AIDS as a chronic illness as opposed to a fatal one.

Loyter explained that the new approach is superior to previous efforts.

“With our approach,” Loyter told Channel 2, “we are destroying the cells, so there is no chance that the virus will awaken one day, because there are no cells, there will be no cells that contain the virus.”

SEE ALSO: Breakthrough Israeli Research Improves HIV/AIDS Treatment, Could Lead To Cure

Loyter explained that “the drug enhances certain processes in the body during the spreading of the virus and that enhancement kills certain cells.”

In a separate but related development, the Health Ministry announced last week it would begin distributing prophylactic drugs for the first time to populations at higher risk of contracting HIV. The drugs, when taken regularly, have been found to be effective in preventing the spread of HIV during contact.

To read the full article, click here.

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/11/israelis-hiv-aids-drug-cure-research/feed/ 0
Israeli App Belong Helps Cancer Patients, Families Through Healing Process http://nocamels.com/2016/10/belong-app-cancer-community-treatment/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/belong-app-cancer-community-treatment/#respond Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:20:18 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48145 When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their life takes a complete turn, and so do the lives of those around them. There is no protocol to follow, and many families are unsure about the best way to approach the process of getting their loved ones back to full health.

Israeli app Belong helps patients and their families tackle this daunting task and get advice from people in similar situations, as well as from physicians.

SEE ALSO: Skin Cancer Breakthrough: Melanoma Cure Within Reach

Founded in 2014 by CEO Eliran Malki, CTO Irad Deutsch, and COO Ohad Rubin, Belong has already raised $1.5 million from private investors.

The app, which is currently free, provides chats with physicians and researchers; information on clinical trials; community support; and discreet medical file sharing. “It is like a hospital on your mobile,” Malki says.

The idea to develop the app came after each of the founders had family members diagnosed with cancer. “We all felt there was a lack of information,” Malki tells NoCamels. “Our idea was to build a solution that would help people manage the fight, to get information at the right time, from patients like them, so they can make fewer mistakes.”

“Empowered patients live longer”

Malki gives the example of a man from Los Angeles whose wife was diagnosed with colon cancer. They went to three different physicians and received three different opinions. Then, the husband used Belong to ask for advice about the best approach and got feedback from patients with similar circumstances, as well as explanations from different physicians to help him decide on the best course of action.

“Our aim is empower patients and their families,” Malki says. “Empowered patients live longer.”

The app is to be used on a case-by-case basis, since no one path is right for everyone. “All the information in the app is for educational information, it’s not consulting or medical advice in any way,” he stresses.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Researchers Make Breakthrough Discovery In Fight Against Breast Cancer

Prof. Dorit Nitzan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, tells NoCamels that Belong’s greatest advantage is “being at arm’s reach with senior doctors, nurses and experts. They are accessible to all for free.”

Since its launch in January 2016, thousands of patients and family members have joined the Belong network, as well as hospitals, whose patients’ stress levels could be reduced by the app. The company is expected to charge healthcare providers, HMOs and insurance companies for the use of the app in the future. According to Belong, the app could save them money by better preparing patients for treatment.

doctor holding patient's hand

The information in the app is not monitored by Belong. The app has a similar approach to services like  TripAdvisor, where people share their experiences and users are left to make their own decisions at their own discretion. Users of Belong are encouraged to seek advice and opinions and then report back to their physicians to confirm the best approach.

Belong competes not only with similar apps, such as Cancer.Net, but also with Facebook groups and other online forums. However, Malki is confident. “We are growing by 30 percent every month,” he says. “We’re changing the way by which people are managing the process.”

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/belong-app-cancer-community-treatment/feed/ 0
No More Jet Lag! Israeli Researchers Beat Jet Lag By Reducing Plane’s Oxygen Levels http://nocamels.com/2016/10/less-oxygen-airplane-reduces-jet-lag/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/less-oxygen-airplane-reduces-jet-lag/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:17:23 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48567 Whenever you travel by plane across several time zones, you’re bound to experience jet lag. But this annoyance, which can keep you up for several nights after you land and disrupts your daily routine, could now be eradicated.

Israeli researchers have found that reducing oxygen levels on the plane can ease the effects of jet lag, and this finding could help airlines moderate cabin air pressure.

SEE ALSO: Study Reveals Oxygen-Rich Air Can Reverse Severe Brain Damage

airplane

The study, recently published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism, has found that changes in surrounding oxygen levels can reset the circadian clocks of mice. It shows that changing the concentration of oxygen in cells by just 3 percent, twice a day, will reset mouse cells’ circadian clocks. This internal clock makes it possible for organisms to coordinate their biology and behavior with daily environmental changes in the day-night cycle.

Just like humans, mice are prone to jet lag after a sudden shift in daylight hours. During Asher’s experiment, mice were left to eat, sleep and run on their wheels in oxygen-controlled environments. Altering oxygen levels during their normal sleep-wake cycle did not change their circadian rhythms, but once mice experienced a six-hour jump ahead in daylight hours, varying oxygen levels helped them to faster adapt their eating, sleeping and running habits to the new time.

For example, the scientists saw that a small drop in oxygen levels 12 hours prior to the six-hour daylight shift, or two hours afterwards, put the mice back on their circadian schedules faster.

SEE ALSO: What Could Be Worse Than Tiny Airplane Seats?

Many biological processes follow a set timetable, with levels of activity rising and falling at certain times of the day. Such fluctuations, known as circadian rhythms, are driven by biological “clocks” based on a 24-hour period. The body’s master clock, residing in the brain, synchronizes a multitude of peripheral clocks present in every single cell. Disruption to this optimum timing system in both animal models and in humans can cause imbalances, which can even lead to such diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver, among others.

Light, eating times and temperature are the major timing cues that synchronize circadian rhythms. But Dr. Gad Asher of Israel’s Weizmann Institute hypothesized that oxygen might also influence circadian rhythms, since its absorption in animals is linked with nutrient ingestion and maintenance of body temperatures.

The researchers suspected that a protein called HIF1α, which responds to changes in oxygen levels, was somehow involved. Indeed, they found that cells deficient in HIF1α fail to synchronize in response to oxygen variations, providing evidence that HIF1α is the molecular link between changes in oxygen levels and the resetting of circadian clocks.

“It was extremely exciting to see that even small changes in oxygen levels were sufficient to efficiently reset the circadian clock,” Asher said in a statement.

Sleeping woman

Presently, commercial airliners pressurize cabins to the same air density of a city 6,000-8,000 feet above sea level. This low-pressure saves wear and tear on the airplane, but so many passengers suffer from airsickness in response to this drop in oxygen levels, that some airlines are considering ways to increase the pressure on flights. In fact, Boeing designed its new 787 Dreamliner so that it can be pressurized to the equivalent of lower altitudes for this reason, according to the researchers.

“But although passengers may feel better with higher pressurized cabins during flights,” the researchers say, “they may lose the potential advantage of recovering from jet lag.”

mouse

Photos: TravelRest

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/less-oxygen-airplane-reduces-jet-lag/feed/ 0
Pregnant and Exhausted? Don’t Ignore The Symptoms. You Could Have Gestational Sleep Apnea http://nocamels.com/2016/10/pregnant-exhausted-gestational-sleep-apnea/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/pregnant-exhausted-gestational-sleep-apnea/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:52:14 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48286 Pregnant and tired? Don’t brush it off as just another symptom of pregnancy. You could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

One in every four pregnant women may suffer from OSA, the recurrent cessation or limitation of normal breathing during sleep. In addition to its being the cause of daytime fatigue, the consequences of untreated OSA include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and heart disease.

SEE ALSO: Excess Weight During Pregnancy Affects Children’s Health

Pregnancy

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea, and is caused by complete or partial obstructions of the upper airway.

According to the Mayo Clinic, this potentially serious condition has several possible treatments: Using a device that keeps your airway open while you sleep; a mouthpiece to thrust your jaw forward during sleep; and, in more severe cases, surgery – which involves removing and repositioning excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider.

In non-pregnant adults, protocols have been proposed for OSA screening, diagnosis and therapy; however, in pregnant women OSA is not typically diagnosed, is left untreated, and not fully appreciated as a risk factor for negative outcomes for mother and baby.

SEE ALSO: Viral Infection During Pregnancy Can Trigger Diabetes In Babies, Study Finds

In an article recently published in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, sleep researchers from Israel and the US recommend a new diagnosis, called “gestational sleep apnea” (GSA). This would allow health professionals to properly describe, diagnose and treat OSA in pregnant women, and would parallel other established transient diagnoses of pregnancy, like gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes.

“Currently, there is a lack of uniform criteria to diagnose, treat and classify OSA in the pregnant population, which in turn complicates efforts to determine the risk factors for, and complications of, gestational sleep apnea,” Prof. Yehuda Ginosar of the Hebrew University and Washington University said in a statement.

In terms of diagnosis, doctors and patients may attribute daytime tiredness to “just being pregnant,” rather than to sleep apnea. In terms of treatment, some physicians and patients might consider the disease too temporary to warrant a referral to a sleep-certified physician, which usually requires an overnight sleep study for diagnosis.

The pregnant woman in summer on grass

The researchers argue that establishing a specific diagnosis of gestational sleep apnea will require further investigation to determine criteria and therapies. But, like in the case of other gestational diseases, it will allow for more targeted surveillance of maternal and fetal outcomes, and facilitate epidemiologic research to monitor the course of the condition from its genesis.

“The time has come for our profession to wake up to the diagnosis of gestational sleep apnea,” said co-author Dr. Suzanne Karan of the University of Rochester. “This will allow us to research obstructive sleep apnea in pregnant women more effectively, and to develop and implement more effective treatments.”

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/pregnant-exhausted-gestational-sleep-apnea/feed/ 0
Israeli Researchers Discover Why Cancer Recurs – And Fight Back http://nocamels.com/2016/10/cancer-recurrence-treatment-cure-drug/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/cancer-recurrence-treatment-cure-drug/#respond Wed, 19 Oct 2016 04:00:56 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48441 Even with today’s safer and more targeted anti-cancer drugs, scientists have been unable to satisfactorily explain the phenomenon of why treated cancers so often recur. The common theory is that the cancer cell develops internal resistance to treatment, and overrides the toxic effects of the drug.

Now, a team of Israeli scientists provide the key for reducing recurrence, allowing anti-cancer drugs to do work as intended.

SEE ALSO: This Company Invented A Machine Algorithm That Diagnoses Breast Cancer Earlier

Health News: New Israeli Treatment Offers Hope For Cancer Patients

Led by Prof. Yuval Shaked of the Technion-Israel Institute, the study shows that tumor relapse occurs when the body, in effect, mobilizes itself in favor of the tumor, causing recurrence of the disease, increasing its aggressiveness and creating metastases (tumor spread). Even selective, highly focused treatments that almost exclusively harm cancer cells lead to a similar response.

“The administration of an anti-cancer drug is very aggressive intervention in the body,” Shaked said in a statement. “Therefore, the body responds to chemotherapy the way it responds to trauma. This creates the effect of a double-edged sword: although chemotherapy kills cancer cells, it also causes the secretion of substances that confer resistance to the tumor.”

The study, which was recently published in the scientific publication The Journal of Pathology, mice with multiple myeloma – a malignant disease of the plasma cells produced in bone marrow and spread throughout the body – were treated with the selective anti-cancer drug Velcade (bortezomib). Velcade is based on the discovery of ubiquitin, for which professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover of the Technion won the Nobel Prize (along with the late American biologist Irwin Rose) in 2004.

SEE ALSO: How Elephants’ Genes Are Fighting Cancer In Humans

Shaked found that treatment with Velcade led to a physiological reaction that actually reinforced the intensity of the myeloma in the mice. According to Shaked, the drug caused inflammatory cells in the bone marrow to enhance the aggressiveness of the disease and provide the cancer cells with resistance to treatment. Still, “treatment with Velcade is essential and necessary,” says Shaked, “but its disadvantage is that along with the benefit there is damage.”

Next steps: Inhibiting the mechanism that enhances the tumor

Understanding the mechanisms that enhance the tumor and accelerate the spread of metastases “will enable us to develop methods to inhibit them,” he stresses. In fact, when the researchers inhibited the secreted factor related to the activity of inflammatory cells, they observed a decrease in the proliferation of cancer cells. Now, they are working on various ways to inhibit the body’s response to anti-cancer treatments.

“Ultimately, we are talking about a trade-off between the intensity of the treatment and the intensity of the physical response,” Shaked says. “The moment the ratio is in favor of the treatment, and to the detriment of the response, we will achieve effective treatment without a ‘fine’ in the form of enhanced metastasis. In addition, we can inhibit the body’s response using existing drugs, thereby enabling the anti-cancer drugs to get the job done.”

Prof. Yuval Shaked

Prof. Yuval Shaked

The study was conducted by Dr. Ofrat Beyar Katz, a doctoral student at Prof. Shaked’s lab, along with Prof. Irit Avivi from Israel’s Rambam Hospital, and Prof. Yosef Yarden from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/cancer-recurrence-treatment-cure-drug/feed/ 0
This Company Invented A Machine Algorithm That Diagnoses Breast Cancer Earlier http://nocamels.com/2016/10/algorithm-breast-cancer-detection-zebramedical/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/algorithm-breast-cancer-detection-zebramedical/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 12:53:04 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48417 At a young age, British researcher Phil Teare lost his wife to cervical cancer. Left to raise their daughter alone and for her sake, he decided to dedicate his life and career to detecting cancer at earlier stages. Teare taught himself machine learning in order to recruit machines to fight diseases.

“I was told then by my wife’s oncologist that there was a ‘catch 22’ for women her young age,” Teare told NoCamels. “That for someone her age, invasive diagnostic procedures, while having a low chance of mortality, were still too high a risk when compared to the very low likelihood of her symptoms being those of cancer. And so the common practice was to assume it was not, and wait. But wait too long and it could be real, and spread. As it so tragically did.”

This led Teare to join the team at Zebra Medical Vision, an Israeli deep learning imaging analytics company, which battles breast cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The company has just announced the development of a new software algorithm using machine and deep learning for detecting breast cancer. The algorithm provides superior results compared to current tools, reducing misdiagnosis and false alarms.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, second only to skin cancers. About 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. As early detection is key to fighting breast cancer, women over 45 are advised to have a mammogram screening every two years. Approximately 10 percent of tests are sent for further evaluation due to suspicious findings, and approximately 5 women out of every 1,000 will develop breast cancer. Unfortunately, one of those 5 will be missed, and discovered too late. Furthermore, most women who are sent for biopsy follow ups turn out to be healthy – subjecting them to unnecessary tests and mental anguish.

 

big data internet hierarchy data visualisation

Automatic diagnosis

Unlike other companies, Zebra’s algorithms provide an actual diagnosis, completely automatically using only imaging data. This is a very new field – older technology was always driven by the radiologist, and never automatic. The algorithms are part of the Zebra Analytics Platform – a cloud based analytics engine that receives medical imaging studies, analyzes them and returns results to participating hospitals and physicians.

Reducing false negatives & positives

Zebra’s new algorithm  helps  provide better outcomes in two keys ways by reducing both false negatives and false positives. Less false negatives results in accurately detecting women with cancer, and fewer false positives means women will not have to undergo unnecessary tests and stressful procedures. According to the company, Zebra’s solution uses this technology to cut down the 20 percent of undetected breast cancer cases by more than half.

Zebra Medical Vision developed their mammography algorithm using thousands of patient studies, and utilizing innovative deep learning techniques. Presenting the company’s results at the recent SIIM Conference on Machine Intelligence in Medical Imaging (CMIMI), Dr. Elnekave, Zebra’s Chief Medical Officer, showcased algorithm results superior to those achieved by radiologists using current state of the art Computer Aided Detection methods for mammography.

SEE ALSO: Researchers Find Promising Therapy For ‘Treatment-Resistant’ Breast Cancer

“As a mammographer, I am cognizant of the vast variations in which breast cancer can manifest on a mammogram. Some of the most challenging cancer diagnoses are ones where the visual cues are not distinct lesions but rather regional asymmetry or architectural distortion in the breast tissue. I welcome Zebra Medical Vision’s algorithm that is a new generation of mammography analysis, which can help us in the mission of finding even the most subtle cancers as early as possible,” Dr. Maya Cohen,  Director of the imaging Institute at Rabin Medical Center and Director of the Breast Health Center at Herzeliya Medical Center, said in a statement.

Tools for radiologists

The mammography algorithm will be added to the company’s growing list of clinical algorithms which are part of an analytics engine that uses machine and deep learning to automatically read and diagnose medical imaging data. The Zebra engine has already yielded imaging insights that have been validated using hundreds of thousands of cases. Current algorithms are in the fields of bone health, cardiovascular analysis, liver and lung indications, and now mammography.

“We teach software to read and identify clinical conditions in imaging as part of our mission to help provide faster, more accurate radiology services at lower cost,” Elad Benjamin, Zebra Medical Vision’s CEO, said in a statement. “We use machine and deep learning to help diagnose diseases responsible for the highest mortality rates, and breast cancer is one of the top on that list. We believe that the tool we’re providing to radiologists, as well as new algorithms which we continuously release, will help them deal with the continuous pressure they face to increase output and maintain high quality of care.”

Headquartered in Kibbutz Shefayim in central Israel, the Company was founded in 2014 by  Eyal Toledano, Eyal Gura, and Elad Benjamin. Funded by OurCrowd, Marc Benioff, Khosla Ventures, and the Intermountain Healthcare innovation fund, the company has raised $20 million to date. On track to create one hundred new insights in the next three years, Zebra has already secured partnerships with Dell Services and has received financial backing from Intermountain Healthcare, one of the leading healthcare organizations in the US. Zebra continues to expand its relationships and work with ACOs, HMOs and other providers seeking to improve care at lower cost through the power of analytics, predictive modeling and preventative care.

zebra-team

Zebra Medical team

 

Photos: Zebra Medical Vision

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/algorithm-breast-cancer-detection-zebramedical/feed/ 0
Study: Inducing Labor Just As Safe As Natural Birth http://nocamels.com/2016/10/inducing-labor-water-breaks-poses-no-harm-mother-baby/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/inducing-labor-water-breaks-poses-no-harm-mother-baby/#respond Thu, 13 Oct 2016 12:14:25 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47713 Inducing labor after the water breaks poses no harm to mothers and their babies, according to a new Israeli study.

The study, conducted at Tel Aviv University, has found that natural, spontaneous deliveries and induced deliveries following the rupture of the amniotic sac in the mother share similar outcomes, contradicting common wisdom.

Induced labor — the process of jump-starting delivery using prostaglandin, a fatty acid compound with hormone-like effects, notably the promotion of uterine contractions — “has gotten a bad rep,” Dr. Liran Hiersch, the lead researcher, said in a statement. “We found little justification for this in the case of women whose water broke prematurely.”

SEE ALSO: Excess Weight During Pregnancy Affects Children’s Health

According to Hiersch, “people have an idea that everything natural is better, including childbirth. But induction is not necessarily more dangerous for mother and child than Mother Nature herself.”

The pregnant woman in summer on grass

No more dangerous than Mother Nature 

Most expectant mothers are warned about artificially induced deliveries. These warnings counsel that induction may cause a low fetal heart rate, an increased risk of infection to mother and baby, and uterine rupture or excessive bleeding after delivery. “We have found that induction produces healthy mothers and infants, with risk factors similar to those of spontaneous deliveries,” Hiersch said.

SEE ALSO: Mom’s Stress During Pregnancy Affects Baby’s Iron Levels

The researchers evaluated 625 women admitted to Israel’s Rabin Medical Center with prolonged (24-hour) premature rupture of membranes or water breakage. Women who did not exhibit the spontaneous onset of labor within 24 hours from the moment their water broke underwent prostaglandin induction. These were then compared to those women who did develop the spontaneous onset of labor within 24 hours of being admitted. No significant difference was found between the groups regarding maternal age, parity and obstetrical complications.

Women in the induction group were found to be at an increased risk for Cesarean section, but researchers believe this was due mainly to blocked birth canals and not the induction itself.

Artificial induction is a possibility for all expectant mothers who have approached two weeks past their delivery date, who experience high blood pressure or diabetes, who have a uterine infection or who simply haven’t experienced contractions despite their water having broken. These women are often hospitalized for 24 hours. But after 24 hours have passed without natural delivery, most medical professionals will induce labor artificially to reduce subsequent risks to mother and child.

Patients should be reassured

“There is a palpable fear among women who are waiting for the contractions to begin,” Hiersch says. “They fear fetal distress, they fear infection, umbilical cord trouble, but we have found no basis for their fears. These mothers should be assured that induced labor poses no increased risk to the health of their babies and themselves.”

Hiersch is currently working on predicting which women may spontaneously go into labor following the premature rupture of membranes.

ultrasound

The study, which was recently published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, was conducted by Dr. Liran Hiersch and Dr. Eran Ashwal, both of TAU‘s Sackler School of Medicine and the Helen Schneider Hospital for Women at Rabin Medical Center

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/inducing-labor-water-breaks-poses-no-harm-mother-baby/feed/ 0
This Flexible 3D-Printed Material Can Form Any Shape, Poised To Revolutionize Wearable Tech http://nocamels.com/2016/10/flexible-3d-printed-blocks-revolutionize-wearable-tech/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/flexible-3d-printed-blocks-revolutionize-wearable-tech/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:39:51 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48260 Israeli scientists have developed a new metamaterial that can form any pattern if you compress it: Squashing a cube made from this new material can make it smile [see video], but it can be designed to do almost anything, they claim.

Therefore, this 3D-printed material is poised to revolutionize soft robotics, prosthetics and wearable technologies.

SEE ALSO: ‘Limb Factory’ Gives Life Back To Disabled From All Over The World

For example, if your prosthesis keeps chafing and doesn’t snugly fit your limb, the new ‘programmable’ material could change your life.

SEE ALSO: 3D Printers’ Next Stop: Your Mouth

This new approach to forming a mechanical metamaterial – which is engineered to have a property that’s not found in nature and can be programmed to deform in a uniquely complex manner – could have future applications in wearable technologies, prosthetics and soft robotics, a sub-field of robotics that deals with non-rigid robots constructed with deformable materials like silicone, plastic, fabric or rubber.

In a recent Tel Aviv University study, published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, researchers show how they mix up the sub-units of a material to “program” its final pattern. Their method could pave the way for the development of more close-fitting, comfortable and user-friendly prosthetics.

“The possibilities are endless”

Developed by TAU’s Dr. Yair Shokef and Prof. Martin van Hecke of Leiden University and AMOLF, the Netherlands, the substance was used to 3D-print a metamaterial cube. A smiley-face pattern emerged on the side of the cube when it was compressed between appropriately patterned surfaces.

“We started with a series of flexible building blocks whose deformation properties varied with their orientation,” Shokef said in a statement. “We then developed a new design principle to enable these bricks to be oriented and assembled into a larger metamaterial with machine-like functionalities.”

This metamaterial, according to the researchers, has an unusual property. “On a seemingly normal cube, a programmable pattern of bulges appears when it is compressed,” Shokef says. “In the case of metamaterials, those designed by humans, the spatial structure determines the material’s behavior. By smartly combining the building blocks, we can program the material in such way that every desired pattern appears on the sides of a compressed cube.”

flexible material

There are many applications that could be derived from this groundbreaking study. “This type of programmable ‘machine materials’ could be ideal for prostheses or wearable technology in which a close fit with the body is important,” Shokef says. “If we can make the building blocks more complex or produce these from other materials, then the possibilities are endless.”

Photos and video: Tel Aviv University, Nature

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/flexible-3d-printed-blocks-revolutionize-wearable-tech/feed/ 0
Israeli Study Shows Female Oncologists Feel More Burnout http://nocamels.com/2016/10/female-oncologists-burnout-cancer/ http://nocamels.com/2016/10/female-oncologists-burnout-cancer/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:56:41 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47788 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

The tough act of balancing work and home life, along with other domestic and professional challenges, may be a contributor to the higher burnout rates found among female oncologists compared to their male colleagues. And by reducing these outside stresses, oncologists may be able to cope more effectively with patient death.

A Ben Gurion University study set out to look at gender differences in grief reactions, burnout and emotional distress among clinical oncologists, their reactions to patient deaths and emotional distress.

SEE ALSO: Research: Doctors Should Be Trained To Talk About Death

stress

The results, published in the journal Cancer, found that women reported significantly more grief over the death of their patients, more emotional distress and more burnout. While overall women reported more burnout, they reported emotional distress and grief responses only when they reached relatively higher levels of burnout compared to their male colleagues, who experienced these feelings even with moderate burnout.

For both men and women, however, higher levels of grief and emotional distress were felt among those who reported high levels of burnout.

SEE ALSO: Study: Doctors Should Set Personal Example With Medical Procedures

Burnout is a type of psychological stress in which sufferers feel exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and ineffectiveness, and it can lead to people leaving their jobs earlier than retirement age. The condition is a big issue among oncologists and many studies have documented its prevalence, yet few have attempted to determine what is associated with the high burnout rate. Gender is an important variable to examine in this context, primary investigator Dr. Leeat Granek of BGU’s Department of Public Health said.

The researchers surveyed 178 oncologists from Israel and Canada, 100 of whom were women.

The study results indicate that the medical system should look at the cumulative stressors oncologists face on a day-to-day basis, Granek said in a statement, and take into account gender differences when helping the physicians cope with patient death and dealing with burnout.

Health News: female doctors more tolerant than male counterparts

To read the full article, click here

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/10/female-oncologists-burnout-cancer/feed/ 0
Israeli Researchers Decode Autism Genes http://nocamels.com/2016/09/autism-israeli-genetic-signature-diagnosis/ http://nocamels.com/2016/09/autism-israeli-genetic-signature-diagnosis/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:03:06 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48203 According to the Autism Society, the prevalence of autism in US children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). This makes autism the fastest-growing developmental disability.

In a new study, Israeli researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev say they have taken “a step closer” to understanding the genetic basis of autism, which they hope will lead to earlier diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

SEE ALSO: AngelSense Helps Parents Keeps Track Of Autistic Kids

Dr. Idan Menashe, Mr. Erez Tsur and Prof. Michael Friger studied the sequences of over 650 genes that are associated with autism and discovered characteristics that distinguish them from other genes in the genome. Their research was recently published in Behavior Genetics

A unique signature

Among the distinct characteristics of autism genes is their exceptional genomic length, which is even longer than other brain-expressed genes of closely related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Additionally, the authors found a unique genomic signature in these genes that was shaped by negative selection, an evolutionary process that removes disruptive mutations from genes over generations.  

Menashe and his colleagues also searched for evidence of positive selection in these genes. Such a mechanism could explain the presence of autism in the human population. However, no indications of positive selection acting on autism genes were found. Thus, autism susceptibility mutations are maintained in the human genome probably because they cause the disorder only in combination with other genetic and/or non-genetic factors.   

Finally, the authors used the unique genomic characteristics of autism genes to identify additional candidate genes for the disorder. They showed that this evolutionary signature is highly efficient in capturing well-established autism genes. These findings broaden our understanding about the genetic mechanisms that are involved in autism, and provide new tools for the discovery of new candidate genes.  

Autism, Child stacking, child Autism,

Repetitively stacking or lining up objects is associated with autism.

“A step closer”

“We are a step closer to understanding the genes associated with autism and understanding the biological process that is involved in the disease,” Menashe told The Times of Israel. “This study gives us a tool to help identify additional autism genes, using the genetic signature we have found, and from there hopefully to be able to diagnose autism earlier.”

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/09/autism-israeli-genetic-signature-diagnosis/feed/ 0
Israeli Researchers Make Breakthrough Discovery In Fight Against Breast Cancer http://nocamels.com/2016/09/breast-cancer-breakthrough-treatment/ http://nocamels.com/2016/09/breast-cancer-breakthrough-treatment/#respond Sun, 25 Sep 2016 07:46:07 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=48119 Every year, one in eight women worldwide is diagnosed with breast cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. Early detection, while increasingly common, is not sufficient to prevent metastasis, the lethal movement of cancerous cells from a primary tumor site to colonies in vital organs.

But researchers across the world are frantically working on progress in treating and curing the disease. One Israeli study has found that combining genetic therapy with chemotherapy delivered to the tumor is particularly effective in preventing the spread of breast cancer.

SEE ALSO: Researchers Find Promising Therapy For ‘Treatment-Resistant’ Breast Cancer

“Death rates from breast cancer remain high and relatively unchanged despite advances in medicine and technology,” Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Noam Shomron, who led the study, said in a statement. “We wanted to find a way to stop metastasis from happening altogether. It’s the turning point, where survival rates drop exponentially.”

Health News: Researchers Find Method For Treating 'Treatment-Resistant' Breast Cancer

Stopping cancer in its tracks

In their study, TAU researchers delivered microRNAs (small RNA molecules) to primary tumors in mice to halt the spread of cancer. Their mission was to block a cancer cell’s ability to change shape and move. Cancer cells alter their structure in order to squeeze past other cells, enter blood vessels and ride along to their next stop: the lungs, the brain or other vital organs. “We chose microRNAs as our naturally occurring therapy, because they are master regulators of gene expression,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Research Succeeds In Isolating Cancer ‘Stem Cells’

The researchers explored the span of mutations in a tumor in order to identify precisely which ones to target. The scientists then procured an RNA-based drug to control cell movement and created a safe nano-vehicle with which to deliver the microRNA to the tumor site.

Looking at mutations that “other researchers have ignored” – those at the tail end of a gene (as opposed to those situated within the coding region of the gene) – the team noticed that mutations there were involved in metastasis.

Two weeks after initiating cancer in the breasts of their mouse “patients,” the researchers injected into primary tumor sites a hydrogel that contained naturally occurring RNAs to target the movement of cancer cells from primary to secondary sites. Two days after this treatment, the primary breast tumors were excised.

The mice were evaluated three weeks later using CT imaging, fluorescent labeling, biopsies and pathology. The researchers discovered that the mice that had been treated with two different microRNAs had very few or no metastatic sites, whereas the control group — injected with randomly scrambled RNAs — exhibited a fatal proliferation of metastatic sites.

Says Shomron: “We realized we had stopped breast cancer metastasis in a mouse model, and that these results might be applicable to humans.”

Cancer Cell

The research was led by Dr. Noam Shomron of TAU‘s Sackler School of Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. Natalie Artzi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Data on human genetics were provided by Prof. Eitan Friedman of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Israel’s Sheba Medical Center. The study was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/09/breast-cancer-breakthrough-treatment/feed/ 0
Israeli Wearable Device MotionCure Relieves Motion Sickness In Minutes http://nocamels.com/2016/09/wearable-tech-motioncure-treatment-motion-sickness/ http://nocamels.com/2016/09/wearable-tech-motioncure-treatment-motion-sickness/#respond Sun, 18 Sep 2016 12:05:33 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47982 If you get nauseous or queasy when on a boat, ferry or a plane, and even when you just ride the bus to work, you are not alone. Motion sickness affects one in every four people, for whom Israeli wearable device MotionCure could now provide relief within minutes.

Developed by Sidis Labs, MotionCure is a neck collar that uses tingling pulses to relieve the dizziness, nausea, and vomiting that people experience when their sense of balance is disturbed by constant motion.

SEE ALSO: Wear It Well: The Top Ten Wearable Tech Made In Israel

MotionCure

Founded in 2014 by Ohad Raz and Ami Dror, Sidis Labs came up with the idea for a motion sickness device after Raz completed his military service as a captain in the Israeli Navy, where “the problem of motion sickness was very close to my heart, as you can imagine,” he tells NoCamels.

Building on groundbreaking NASA research, MotionCure “creates customized pulses that are transmitted to the area of the median nerve that is at the nape (the back of neck),” he says. “Those help to reduce the signals that are sent from the brain to the stomach and basically calm down the stomach.”

SEE ALSO: MUV’s Smart ‘Ring’ BIRD Transforms Surfaces Into Giant Interactive Touchscreens

Raz describes the device as “an easy-to-use combination of a neck collar and a travel pillow that you wear on the plane.” In order to feel the pulse’s tingling sensations, all the user has to do is put in two AAA batteries and situate the device comfortably around the neck.

While previous attempts to help motion sickness include prescription, over-the-counter pills, and bracelets, “we are providing a natural alternative for drugs,” he says. “I think there is an understanding in the world that we should minimize the amount of drugs we take.”

Still, MotionCure is up against several competitors, in Israel and abroad. Israeli company Sea-Band, for instance, sells acupressure wristbands that are said to treat nausea as well as motion sickness. Similarly, drugs such as Dramamine and Travel-Ease are popular among people who face these symptoms.

Another problem might be its bulky nature. Wearing a big neck collar on your bus ride to work isn’t exactly subtle.

“Feel better in a matter of minutes”

MotionCure says its device can also be used by people undergoing chemotherapy, whose side effects include nausea and vomiting: “We didn’t plan for this to happen, but we keep getting feedback from people who have used it with chemotherapy and it helped them a lot,” Raz says. However, this was not independently verified.

MotionCure is sold for $150 on Amazon and on sidislabs.com. It is best used before the symptoms begin, but you can use it at the onset. Says Raz: “Either way, you will feel better in a matter of minutes.”

MotionCure

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/09/wearable-tech-motioncure-treatment-motion-sickness/feed/ 0
Stunning But Scary: Video Shows Bacteria Evolving Into Super Bugs http://nocamels.com/2016/09/video-bacteria-evolving-super-bugs/ http://nocamels.com/2016/09/video-bacteria-evolving-super-bugs/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2016 06:39:52 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47905

A sped-up version of  the evolution of antibiotic resistant E. coli.

With the help of a giant Petri dish, Israeli and American researchers are showing us evolution at its most ferocious.

The time-lapse video above shows the first large-scale glimpse of how bacteria (in this case E. coli) mutate into superbugs when faced with increasing doses of antibiotics, to become 1000 times more resistant than their original state.

A giant Petri dish

Seeking to better visualize how bacteria transform when treated with different types of antibiotics, Israeli and American researchers designed a simple experiment. Led by Professor Roy Kishony of Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and documented in the September 9th issue of Science, a team of researchers constructed a two-by-four foot Petri dish, dubbed the “MEGA-plate”, and filled it with 14 liters of agar, a seaweed-derived jellylike substance commonly used in labs to nourish organisms as they grow. The dish was split into different sections, with each portion receiving varying doses of antibiotics.

SEE ALSO: This Remarkable Discovery Shows Why Bacteria Are Becoming Tolerant To Antibiotics

The bacteria on the outermost part of the dish were not treated with any drugs at all, while the next portion had just the right amount of antibiotics to kill the bug. Each following section was given a dose ten times more powerful than the last, with the center portion getting a thousand times more antibiotics than the areas with the lowest dosage. In order to track how the E. coli developed, the researchers attached a camera to the facility’s ceiling, taking photos of the evolution over a span of two weeks.

 

Findings: Mutant superbugs

According to their findings, when faced with antibiotics, at first most of the bacteria perished, but there was always a small percentage of mutant bacteria that adjusted to the antibiotics and were able to survive. What happened then was a form of competition between mutated strains, as each sought to move on to parts of the dish that had higher doses of antibiotics. Most importantly, the experiment showed that the most resistant of the mutants proved to be capable of resisting the highest dose of antibiotics, effectively making them E. coli superbugs.

Superbugs have been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the greatest threats to human health after adapting to become resistant to all forms of antibiotics. Each year across the globe more than 700,000 people die, including about 214,000 infants less than a month old, due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Aside from being a strong visualization of evolution, and its role in the rise of superbugs, the experiment gives biologists a tool to better analyze how those superbugs develop.

SEE ALSO: Researchers Say Technique Can Neutralize Anti-Biotic Resistant Bacteria

Inspired by Hollywood

The inspiration for the experiment ultimately came from a Hollywood movie. Seeking a visually captivating way to teach evolution to students in a graduate course, Kishony drew upon an idea from a digital billboard he saw advertising the 2011 film ‘Contagion’, about a deadly viral pandemic. As a marketing tool, the producers of the film created a giant lab dish showing swarms of painted, glowing microbes creeping slowly across a dark backdrop to spell out the title of the movie.

“We really did not invent the MEGA-plate,” Kishony explained in an interview. “It was invented in Hollywood, of all places.”

Given the circumstances, this may be a case of life imitating art.

 

Photos and Videos: Technion, Harvard Medical School

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/09/video-bacteria-evolving-super-bugs/feed/ 0
UPnRIDE: This Segway-Like Vehicle Will Help Quadriplegics Stand Tall http://nocamels.com/2016/09/rewalk-founder-upnride-quadriplegics-walk/ http://nocamels.com/2016/09/rewalk-founder-upnride-quadriplegics-walk/#respond Mon, 05 Sep 2016 11:06:03 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47583 UPnRIDE, a revolutionary Segway-like device that allows quadriplegics to stand up and move around almost anywhere, is poised to change the life of thousands of paralyzed people when it will be unveiled at the Rehacare International convention in Germany, later this month.

The Israeli device was developed by Dr. Amit Goffer, who already founded the revolutionary exoskeleton ReWalk, which enables paraplegics to walk and climb stairs. His new device will help quadriplegics (people paralyzed from the neck down) to stand and be mobile.

SEE ALSO: Innovation Nation: 10 Israeli Technologies That Are Changing The World

 

The brain behind ReWalk, Goffer is himself a quadriplegic who does not have full use of his arms, which means he cannot use the ReWalk to walk. In fact, this incredible device can only be used by roughly 10 percent of handicapped individuals.

That is why Goffer, who is confined to a wheelchair, has been working on a more comprehensive solution over the past three years. Similar to a stand-up Segway or an electric scooter, the patented UPnRIDE moves over different kinds of terrains with the user’s guidance, using a joystick operated by hand or by mouth. Automatic balancing assures a safe ride uphill, downhill, and on slanted surfaces, in both standing and sitting positions.

“Being able to stand and move is extremely important for people’s physiological health and their dignity,” Goffer says. According to him, the UPnRIDE reduces secondary complications of long-term sitting, lowering the need for hospitalization, medications and physiotherapy.

“Shifting attention away from the disability”

Standing wheelchairs were first created in order to facilitate better circulation and other health benefits for the wheelchair-confined, and to provide a chance for eye-to-eye social interaction. However, according to UPnRIDE Robotics CEO Oren Tamari, “most other standing wheelchairs don’t allow travelling on surfaces that aren’t plain.”

While using the device, a set of jointed braces and harnessing straps provide support when transitioning between sitting and standing positions. Cutting-edge motion technology and real-time computing ensures automatic balancing and stability when UPnRIDE maneuvers on sloped sidewalks, parking lots and ramps, maintaining a constant center of gravity to minimize the risk of hazardous situations.

ReWalker Oliver, Ursel & Andre – Berlin, Germany

ReWalk, Goffer’s previous invention

According to Tamari, UPnRIDE, which is expected to cost roughly $32,000 (wheelchairs typically cost $15,000-$50,000) will significantly cuts healthcare expenses, by reducing the need for standing and physiotherapy apparatuses – a major cost saving for insurers, hospitals, patients and their families.

A comprehensive solution  

SEE ALSO: ReWalk, The Revolutionary Israeli Tech That Allows Paraplegics To Walk, Nabs FDA Approval

Meanwhile, the ReWalk exoskeleton already has a market cap of $73 million on Nasdaq. In 2012, one woman completed the 2012 London Marathon in 17 days using ReWalk. And, in 2015, the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will provide ReWalk exoskeletons for eligible veterans with spinal cord injuries.

“An extremely good feeling”

Founded in 2013, UPnRIDE Robotics is headed by Tamari and by president and CTO Goffer, both graduates of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who left ReWalk to found UPnRIDE. The startup received a grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist, $1.7 million in funding from Israeli crowd-funding platform OurCrowd, and additional funds from angel investors. So far, UPnRIDE has raised $3 million, and is in the process of raising another $4 million, Tamari says.

upnride

Dr. Amit Goffer using UPnRIDE

David Stark, OurCrowd general partner, tells NoCamels that “Amit’s personal need for an upright mobility solution fueled his drive to develop the UPnRIDE, which will one day benefit wheelchair-bound people all around the world.”

But money isn’t everything; Goffer’s true passion is to improve the lives of millions around the globe. Just last year, Goffer – who became quadriplegic as a result of a 1997 accident – was able to leave his home standing up, for the first time since the accident, using UPnRIDE: “It was a very strange feeling, an extremely good one.”

Photos and video: UPnRIDE, Technion

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/09/rewalk-founder-upnride-quadriplegics-walk/feed/ 0
Mediterranean Diet Is Better For Your Heart Than Taking Statins http://nocamels.com/2016/08/mediterranean-diet-heart-disease-statins/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/mediterranean-diet-heart-disease-statins/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 14:30:58 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47543 A Mediterranean diet is better than statins at lowering the risk of an early death from heart disease for millions of people, said some of the world’s leading heart experts. A global heart disease conference in Rome concluded that patients should be prescribed the diet – which includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, legumes, whole grains and nuts – before being prescribed statins.

SEE ALSO: Study: Mediterranean And Low-Carb Diets Have Long-Lasting Health Benefits

Speaking at a global heart disease conference in Rome, Italian expert, Professor Giovanni de Gaetano, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy, explained that so far research has focused on the general population, which is mainly composed of healthy people. The study sought to find out what happens to people who have already suffered from cardiovascular disease. Is the Mediterranean diet optimal for them as well?

For the study, the researchers looked at 1,200 Italians with a history of heart disease over a period of seven years. They found that those who adhered more closely to a Mediterranean diet were less likely to be among the 208 people who died during the course of the study. In fact, he researchers found that people who ate a mostly Mediterranean diet had a 37 percent less chance of dying during the study period.

Mediterranean diet: Supplemental to statins?

Statins are popular worldwide and several studies have shown they can lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the likelihood of major heart problems. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 28 percent of Americans over 40 were taking some kind of statin when surveyed in 2011 and 2012.

Experts hailed the new findings as “extraordinary”, showing that diet was “more powerful than any drug”. High consumption of vegetables had the greatest impact on survival, followed by oily fish intake, amount of fruit eaten and consumption of mono-unsaturated fat, found in olive oil.

“This study suggests that even if you are already receiving medical care, if you add a Mediterranean diet, it will have further benefit,” said Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, in an interview with the Telegraph. “Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even if you have had a heart attack or stroke is really important and continues to benefit you.”

Israel: Land of vegetable lovers

Israel sits in the Mediterranean crescent, a region praised for its diet rich in vegetables, fish and unsaturated fat. In a study published last year which examined the eating habits of residents of of 187 countries, Israelis were found to have the ninth most healthy diet in the world.

SEE ALSO: Hebrew University Student Invents World’s First Bacteria-Free Food Packaging

Vegetables - Health News - Israel

 

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/mediterranean-diet-heart-disease-statins/feed/ 0
Skin Cancer Breakthrough: Melanoma Cure Within Reach http://nocamels.com/2016/08/melanoma-israeli-skin-cancer/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/melanoma-israeli-skin-cancer/#respond Tue, 23 Aug 2016 08:15:29 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47506 Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and melanoma – the most aggressive of all skin cancers, which accounts for 2 percent of skin cancer cases – is responsible for nearly all skin cancer deaths. Melanoma rates have risen rapidly in the US over the last 30 years. In 2013, Israel’s Health Ministry recorded 1,634 new cases of melanoma, nearly twice the number diagnosed in 1980. Although scientists have identified key risk factors, they have struggled to find a way to halt its spread.

Now, Israeli and German scientists have potentially discovered how the cells of melanoma invade the rest of the body and ways to stop that spread.

SEE ALSO: ‘Cure For Terminal Cancer’ Discovered With Breakthrough Immunotherapy

In a breakthrough study published Monday in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the team details how melanoma evolves from pigment producing cells called melanocytes into tumors, and then spreads, or metastasizes, in the rest of the body.

Tumors initially form on the dermis, the outer layers of skin often in the form of dark colored moles. If caught early, doctors can easily remove the moles and prevent the cancer from spreading. If the mole is allowed to expand into dermis, the cells can be absorbed into the body’s circulatory system and travel to major organs and lymph nodes, where the disease becomes deadly and more aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are needed.

Melanoma Cells

Melanoma cells

“The threat of melanoma is not in the initial tumor that appears on the skin, but rather in its metastasis – cancer cells sent off to colonize in vital organs like the brain, lungs, liver and bones,” team leader Dr. Carmit Levy, of Tel Aviv University explains.

SEE ALSO: Vanity Best Tool In Fight Against Skin Cancer

According to the study, the way that the tumor spreads is through releasing microscopic bubbles called vesicles which contain microRNA genetic material. This genetic material triggers changes with skin cells which are the equipped to receive and then carry the cancer to the rest of the body, in what the study calls “trafficking before invasion.”

Two chemicals hold the key

The researchers say that they have also discovered two chemicals that could stop the process of metastasizing in its tracks.

The first chemical, dubbed only with an alpha-numerical designation of SB202190, prohibits vesicles from travelling from tumors into healthy skin cells. U0126, the second chemical, prohibits the cells from morphing after being exposed to vesicles so that they will be unable to accept cancer cells.

Both chemicals could be good contenders for drug treatments, according to the report.

Levy’s team from Tel Aviv University worked with Dr. Shoshi Greenberger from the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Dr. Ronen Brenner with Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and Prof. Jorg Hoheisel and Laureen Sander from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

“Our study is an important step on the road to a full remedy for the deadliest skin cancer,” Levy says. “We hope that our findings will help turn melanoma into a nonthreatening, easily curable disease.”

carmitLevy

 

Photos: Tel Aviv University

 

 

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/melanoma-israeli-skin-cancer/feed/ 0
Serving Up A Balanced Meal: Could Israeli Startup ‘Plate My Meal’ Teach Iranian Kids Healthy Eating Habits? http://nocamels.com/2016/08/plate-my-meal-healthy-food-portions/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/plate-my-meal-healthy-food-portions/#respond Tue, 16 Aug 2016 08:44:26 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47033 “Globesity,” the term used by the World Health Organization to describe the global epidemic of obesity, is spreading fast. According to the WHO, more than 1.9 billion adults in the world are overweight, of whom 600 million are obese.

Now, Israeli startup Plate My Meal is offering a simple yet effective way to instill healthy eating habits and prevent obesity from a young age, with a five-piece plastic plate set for toddlers. The plates, which are divided into different compartments, indicate the recommended portions of different kinds of foods, including dairy products, vegetables and grains.

SEE ALSO: These Israeli Companies Fight World Hunger With Innovative Technologies

In addition, the set suggests the appropriate time for each meal: Breakfast (7-8 a.m.), mid-morning snack (10-11 a.m.), lunch (12-1 p.m.), mid-afternoon snack (3-4 p.m.), and dinner (5-7 p.m.).

“I envisioned a product that would help parents encourage their children to eat healthy, so I developed a very simple, three-step system: when, what and how much to eat,” Plate My Meal CEO Dror Tamir (also the co-founder of startup Steak TzarTzar, which grows crickets for human consumption) tells NoCamels. The plate set costs $30 and is currently available on the company’s website, with additional online retailers coming soon.

SEE ALSO: Study: Mediterranean And Low-Carb Diets Have Long-Lasting Health Benefits

plate my meal - set

The company, which dubs its three-step system “the 3D healthy eating concept,” based it on US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines for Americans. The system not only teaches toddlers proper serving sizes, but also the different food groups and how to mix them up to make a healthy meal.

“The government spends billions of dollars every year trying to educate the public,” says Tamir, who questions its success, in light of the growing obesity epidemic. “Instead of talking about losing weight or dieting, we have to talk about our habits.”

According to the company, the Israeli health ministry has endorsed Plate My Meal. Even the ministry of health in Iran – which has no diplomatic relations with Israel – contacted Tamir about the plate set, since Iran is also combating a national obesity problem. In a recent crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Plate My Meal raised $10,030, further proving the interest in its product.

Some of the advantages Plate My Meal claims to have over its competitors – MyPlate, Diet Plate, and Create Your Plate, to name a few – is that it recommends portion sizes and foods from different groups, while simultaneously tailoring each plate for a specific meal and therefore a specific time of the day. Plate My Meal also contains one plate for each recommended meal of the day, whereas some of its competitors offer one plate for all meals, according to Tamir.

Peanut butter or tahini? 

Evidently, Plate My Meal caters to some cultural dietary differences. For instance, the American set contains one dairy portion for lunch and one protein for dinner, whereas the Israeli set contains the opposite (protein for lunch and dairy for dinner), in accordance with local customs. The food suggestions also take these cultural differences into account: The portion of fat in the middle compartment of one of the plates contains drawings of both tahini (Mediterranean) and peanut butter (American) as options.

Vegetables - Health News - Israel

Plate My Meal plans to create sets for the whole family, not just for children, and also cater to other dietary restrictions, such as vegetarianism and veganism. Most importantly, encouraging healthy eating habits from a young age are fundamental for the prevention of obesity, and that’s what Plate My Meal is trying to achieve.

Now, all that’s left to do is to actually fill your plate!

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/plate-my-meal-healthy-food-portions/feed/ 0
Israeli Researchers Find Way To Spot Tumor Cells Invading The Brain At An Early Stage http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-researchers-spot-tumor-cells-invading-brain/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-researchers-spot-tumor-cells-invading-brain/#respond Tue, 09 Aug 2016 09:11:31 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47078 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Metastatic melanoma is the deadliest of the skin cancers; when malignant melanoma metastasizes to the brain, it is a death sentence for most patients. The mechanisms that govern early metastatic growth and interactions of metastatic cells with the brain’s microenvironment are still shrouded in mystery.

Now, a Tel Aviv University study shows a new way of detecting brain micrometastases months before they transform into malignant and inoperable growths. According to the research, micro-tumor cells hijack astrogliosis, the brain’s natural response to damage or injury, to support metastatic growth. This knowledge may lead to the detection of brain cancer in its first stages and permit early intervention, the university said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: How Elephants’ Genes Are Fighting Cancer In Humans

Cancer Cell

The study was led by Dr. Neta Erez of the Department of Pathology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and published in Cancer Research.

SEE ALSO: To Stop Cancer From Spreading: Shoot The Messenger

Erez and her team used mouse models to study and follow the spontaneous metastasis of melanoma in the brain. She and her partners went over all the stages of metastasis: the initial discovery of melanoma in the skin, the removal of the primary tumor, the micrometastatic dissemination of cancer cells across the body, the discovery of a tumor and eventual death.

Imaging techniques used today cannot detect micrometastases. Melanoma patients whose initial melanoma was removed may believe that everything is fine for months, or years, following the initial procedure.

Yet after the removal of the primary tumor, micrometastatic cells travel across the body to the brain or other organs, and are undetectable at the micro level. These cells learn to communicate with cells in their new microenvironment in the brain — cells which are, at first, hostile to them. But eventually a tumor appears. And then it generally is too late for treatment.

Erez calls the period of the initial growth of disseminated micrometastatic cells in distant organs the “black box” of metastasis. “We believe that we have found the tools to characterize this black box,” said Erez. “And this is key to developing therapeutic approaches that may prevent brain metastatic relapse.”

Students and researchers at Dr. Neta Erez's lab

To read the full article, click here

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-researchers-spot-tumor-cells-invading-brain/feed/ 0
Baby Keeping You Up? Nanit’s Innovative Monitor Helps Parents Get A Good Night’s Sleep http://nocamels.com/2016/08/nanit-baby-monitor-camera-parents-sleep/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/nanit-baby-monitor-camera-parents-sleep/#respond Sun, 07 Aug 2016 13:24:19 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47161 One of the biggest problems new parents deal with is severe lack of sleep: Newborns and babies often wake up in the middle of the night, leaving mom and dad exhausted by dawn.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Research Finds Parents’ Interrupted Sleep Is The Equivalent Of No Sleep At All

In order to learn more about your baby’s sleep cycles, and adjust yourself better to their snooze patterns, startup Nanit, which was founded by Israelis, has come up with a smart baby monitor, which not only alerts you when your little one wakes up, but also documents on video every minute of their sleeping hours, using innovative computer vision technology.

Nanit tracks four measures: sleep quality – which is the ratio of the time the baby is asleep to its time in bed; how much time the baby sleeps through the night; how many times the parents attend to the child throughout the night; and sleep onset – how long it takes the baby to fall asleep.

“Parents know their child best; we are just giving them the information, so they can make the best decisions for their child,” Tor Ivry, co-founder and CTO of Nanit, tells NoCamels.

nanit baby monitor

Nanit uses machine learning technologies to monitor the baby’s sleep behavior by live-steaming the crib in HD to an app on the parent’s smartphone. The monitor itself – a slick, white device – provides a bird’s-eye view of the crib, streaming video that uses algorithms to analyze the baby’s movements. The computer vision technology allows the app to differentiate between a sleeping baby and a restless baby, so if the app senses motion in the middle of the night, the parents will be alerted through the app.

How does Nanit help you optimize your baby’s sleep? Here’s an example: One of Nanit’s beta testers realized that when they gave formula to their baby right before he went to sleep, it took him longer to fall asleep. Thus, Nanit can give parents the tools to better manage their baby’s sleep.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Researchers Reveal What Lack of Sleep Does To Your Brain

The mobile app provides a comprehensive sleep report each morning, through which parents can watch a time-lapse video and see a summary of the night’s events. In addition to the sleep analysis, Nanit has a night-light, built-in temperature and humidity sensors, and it can also play nature sounds or white noise to help your baby fall asleep.

Nanit is available on the company’s website for $329 for the hardware and $100 for a year of analytics. Pre-orders are $279, and $50 for the analytics. If the parents decide to only buy the hardware, they will still receive real-time alerts and a free 30-day trial of the analytics.

Baby sleep guru 

Founded in 2014 by Ivry, CEO Assaf Glazer and COO Andrew Berman, this revolutionary baby monitor has already received $6.6 million in funding from several investors.

baby crying

Obviously, Nanit competes against many other baby monitors, some more sophisticated than others. It also competes against one of Israel’s most revolutionary inventions in this field – respiratory monitor BabySense (by HiSense), which is placed under the baby’s mattress and alerts parents when breathing stops or becomes irregular, protecting babies against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Some call Nanit a “sleep guru,” while others call it a “baby translator.” No matter what you call this monitor, we hope it gives you a good night’s sleep!
sleeping baby

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/nanit-baby-monitor-camera-parents-sleep/feed/ 0
Israeli, Indian Entrepreneurs Join Forces To Tackle India’s Healthcare Challenges http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-indian-entrepreneurs-tackle-healthcare-challenges/ http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-indian-entrepreneurs-tackle-healthcare-challenges/#respond Wed, 03 Aug 2016 11:40:44 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=47011 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Amid Bollywood music and dancing, mouthwatering curries and masalas, more than 600 innovators, entrepreneurs and healthcare professionals in four cities, in Israel and India, took part in a hackathon aimed at resolving health challenges for India’s poor.

SEE ALSO: In Face Of Water Crisis, Indian Minister Praises Israeli Technologies: “Israel Is My Guru”

Some 100 teams in Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore spent 36 hours together, face-to-face and online, and came up with ideas including a toothbrush that detects anemia, mobile phone applications to monitor the food intake of infants, and a smart pillbox to remind patients to take their tuberculosis medication.

The India Israel Affordable Healthcare Hackathon, which ran for three days in the four cities and ended recently, was organized by the Pears Program for Global Innovation, which is run by the Tel Aviv University. The program is a partner of OLAM, an organization promoting global Jewish service and international development.

The aim of the hackathon was to expose Israeli technology to the challenges of developing markets and turn the attention of Israeli entrepreneurs to the potential that Africa and India hold for their products. There are over 1,000 startups in the healthcare sector in Israel but most of them target the US and European markets.

“The best teams of the hackathon will be invited to join the Pears Challenge year-long fellowship program for outstanding Israeli innovators who want to develop technologies to address the health care needs of poor people in India,” Aliza Belman Inbal, director of the Pears Program, said by phone. “The hackathon was an amazing first step in this journey. We hope to create a pipeline of commercial ventures that deal with these problems.” The Indian winning teams will get placed at a parallel program in India.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Pesticide Company That Fights Pests With Bumble Bees Now Launches In India

The teams had to tackle pressing health problems by finding, among other challenges: an anemia diagnostic test for young girls; a technological solution to monitor food and milk intake among infants; screening and diagnosis solutions for hearing impairment; real-time monitoring devices for pregnant women in remote areas; a way to manage the side effects of chemotherapy in remote areas; improved access to funding for cancer treatments and a technology driven-solution to give psychological counseling for cancer patients by connecting them to doctors and counselors.

taj mahal

To read the full article, click here

Photos and video: Pears Program

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/08/israeli-indian-entrepreneurs-tackle-healthcare-challenges/feed/ 0
New Liquid Salt Blend ‘Umamix’ Cuts Sodium Intake In Half Without Sacrificing Flavor http://nocamels.com/2016/07/umamix-salt-less-sodium/ http://nocamels.com/2016/07/umamix-salt-less-sodium/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:12:19 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=46679 These days, any nutrition aficionado will advise you to reduce sugar and carbs and warn you of their dreary tag-alongs, obesity and diabetes. But buried deep in health columns is something doctors have been saying for decades: high salt intake is just as bad.

SEE ALSO: Study: Mediterranean And Low-Carb Diets Have Long-Lasting Health Benefits

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “high sodium consumption raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death.”

Low-sodium salt is one option, but if you’ve ever tasted it, chances are you won’t have liked it. Trying its luck, Israeli company Salt of the Earth has come up with a new “salt” called Umamix, which is made of natural extracts, vegetable concentrates, and a little bit of Red Sea salt.

umamix new salt less sodium

Cutting sodium intake in half, the product comes in liquid form, and its brown color is reminiscent of soy sauce. But like soy sauce, the blend is more expensive than regular sea salt: it is expected to cost $5-$9 per kilogram. Umamix is named after umami, the fifth taste (along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter). 

SEE ALSO: Ari Fruchter’s New Dead Sea Project: ‘The World’s Healthiest Gourmet Sea Salt That Will Also Promote Peace

According to Salt of the Earth, a can of tuna contains 350-450 mg of sodium; with Umamix, you can reduce it by 29 percent, without sacrificing the flavor. In other foods, the reduction is even greater: the company’s tests on hamburgers showed a 45 percent reduction – which means almost cutting sodium intake in half; and mayonnaise spiced with Umamix has 31 percent less sodium.

“Salt is necessary for life, of course, but most of us consume twice the recommended maximum level and that is a big problem,” Revital Ben Shachar, marketing manager for Salt of the Earth, tells NoCamels.

Adding a savory flavor

Salt of the Earth, established in 1922 with headquarters in Atlit, Israel, produces salt from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The company is Israel’s main salt manufacturer, and exports to 30 countries worldwide. With Umamix, the company seeks to capitalize on the demand for healthy alternatives.

Salt of the Earth says it is collaborating with several organizations to introduce its new product to the market: Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; the Chopping Block Culinary School in Chicago; Israeli hospitals and bakeries; and giant food manufacturer General Mills. For now, the condiment is not available to consumers.

Social Awareness: Israeli Entrepreneur Hopes Dead Sea Salt Will Promote Peace In The Middle East

The Dead Sea

“We want to build a strong foothold [in the food service industry]  in order to be able to show the validation of the product and its different applications,” Dror Levy, the company’s retail export manager, tells NoCamels.

“In several taste panels we have conducted, many people actually preferred Umamix to the regular salt,” Levy says.

Whether you like the taste of Umamix or not, one thing is certain: Reducing sodium intake will benefit your health!

salt

Photos: Salt of the Earth

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/07/umamix-salt-less-sodium/feed/ 0
Skin Deep: Temporary Electronic Tattoo Can Read Your Emotions http://nocamels.com/2016/07/electronic-tattoo-emotion-mapping/ http://nocamels.com/2016/07/electronic-tattoo-emotion-mapping/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:09:24 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45989 A penny for your thoughts? Put your coins away. A new stick-on electronic tattoo could help reveal what people are really thinking.

Developed by Professor Yael Hanein, head of Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the user-friendly electrode can be used to improve the therapeutic restoration of damaged nerves and tissue – and could even lead to new insights into our emotional life.

SEE ALSO: Light Beams, Not Pacemakers, Could Be The Future Of Heart Treatments

Stick-on monitoring

Consisting of a carbon electrode, an adhesive surface that attaches to the skin, and a nanotechnology-based conductive polymer coating that enhances the electrode’s performance, the tattoo records a strong, steady signal for hours on end without irritating the skin.

The tattoo allows users to continue on with their regular schedules, while monitoring their muscle activity for many hours, for a range of medical and other purposes. “Our tattoo permits patients to carry on with their daily routines, while the electrode monitors their muscle and nerve activity,” Hanein said in a statement.

Mapping of emotions

One major application of the new electrode, already under development, may be the mapping of emotions. “The ability to identify and map people’s emotions has many potential uses,” Hanein said. “Advertisers, pollsters, media professionals and others – all want to test people’s reactions to various products and situations. Today, with no accurate scientific tools available, they rely mostly on inevitably subjective questionnaires. To address this need, researchers worldwide are trying to develop methods for mapping emotions by analyzing facial expressions, mostly via facial photos and smart software. Our skin electrode provides a simple, convenient solution: monitoring expressions and emotions based on the electric signals received from facial muscles.”

SEE ALSO: Using DNA Nanotechnology, Israeli Scientists Develop The Future Of Flexible Display Screens

Conducted within the framework of an EU project, and partly supported by the BSMT Consortium of Israel’s Ministry of Economy, the study Hanein led was presented at an international nanomedicine workshop at Tel Aviv University in June.

Nanotechnology temporary tattoos

The new skin electrode is based on a fusion of nanotechnology with a very basic and commonplace product: the temporary tattoos that children love so much. “We used readily available materials and conventional industrial printing techniques, in order to simplify and speed up the development process,” Hanein explained. “Our ‘electric tattoo’ consists of three parts: a carbon electrode, an adhesive surface that sticks temporary tattoos to the skin and a nanotechnology-based conductive polymer coating, with special nano-topography, that enhances the electrode’s performance. The result is an efficient skin electrode that records a strong and steady signal for many hours, and does not irritate the skin. The user just fixes it onto the skin at the right spot and forgets about it, then carries on as usual while the little ‘tattoo’ measures and records muscle activity.”

TAU-Arm

Additional applications

According to Hanein, this is only the beginning. The new skin electrode has many more potential applications: a study initiated recently in collaboration with researchers at the Tel Aviv Medical Center uses it to monitor the muscle activity of patients with neurodegenerative diseases; physiological data measured in specific muscles may be used in the future to indicate the alertness of drivers on the road; patients in rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury may utilize the ‘tattoo’ to improve muscle control; and amputees may employ it to move artificial limbs with remaining muscles.

Photos: Tel Aviv University

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/07/electronic-tattoo-emotion-mapping/feed/ 0
Israeli Prostate Cancer Test Reduces Need For Biopsies http://nocamels.com/2016/07/prostate-cancer-test-reduces-biopsies/ http://nocamels.com/2016/07/prostate-cancer-test-reduces-biopsies/#respond Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:47:09 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=46432 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men after skin cancer, with almost 190,000 new cases in the US expected for 2016 and about 26,000 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer.

SEE ALSO: To Stop Cancer From Spreading: Shoot The Messenger

Prostate cancer can often be detected before symptoms arise by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) — a substance made by cells in the prostate gland — in the blood. A high level of PSA could be indicative of cancer and if a blood test finds this, the patient will most often be sent for a biopsy.

Lung cancer cell dividing

But here lies the problem. Because PSA is secreted both by normal cells and cancer cells, its levels could be high for other reasons and not necessarily cancer: age, an inflammation of the prostate gland, or even a bicycle ride. But most often when doctors receive a high reading, they send their patients to do a biopsy, just to be on the safe side.

“There are roughly 1.5 million primary biopsies done in the US a year,” says Israel-born Arnon Chait, the CEO of Cleveland Diagnostics, based in Cleveland, Ohio. “On average 70 percent come back negative.” That is good news for the patient, but at a cost of about $4,000 per biopsy, health providers are not happy.

SEE ALSO: Harmless? Herbal Medicines Could Interfere With Life-Saving Cancer Treatments

Thus Cleveland Diagnostics (CDX), founded by Chait and his partner Boris Zaslavsky in 2013, is developing a technology and test kit that can identify the PSA that specifically comes from cancer cells. “We don’t look at the level of PSA in the blood – which is not specific to cancer,” Chait said. “Our test asks: where did this PSA come from, normal cells or cancer cells? This will help health providers save billions of dollars and patients won’t have to undergo unnecessary procedures.”

Potentially, said Chait, the new IsoPSA test, expected to enter the market in the last quarter of the year, could replace the current PSA test in the screening process in health centers. This same technology could also be used in other applications, to detect breast cancer and ovarian cancer, Chait said, as well as for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

To read the full article, click here

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/07/prostate-cancer-test-reduces-biopsies/feed/ 0
Life-Saving Wearable Tech: This T-Shirt Monitors Your Heart And Vital Signs http://nocamels.com/2016/07/healthwatch-wearable-technology-monitors-heart/ http://nocamels.com/2016/07/healthwatch-wearable-technology-monitors-heart/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:46:14 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=46149 If you or a someone you care about has suffered from a heart condition, you know how important early detection is.

That’s why Israeli startup HealthWatch has developed hWear, a high ‘tech-xtile’ wearable technology that monitors ECG (the electrical activity of the heart) and vital signs in real time.

SEE ALSO: Light Beams, Not Pacemakers, Could Be The Future Of Heart Treatments

hWear by HealthWatch

hWear is a sleeveless shirt that can be worn under any blouse, shirt or dress. Its fabric is embedded with ECG sensors that monitor the patient’s condition. If there are any irregularities, the shirt will send immediate updates using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to both the patient and their doctor, so the situation can be promptly addressed and treated.

Oftentimes, patients aren’t aware that they are having a cardiac episode, as heart problems can appear in many different forms. When this happens, problems can be left unchecked, and therefore untreated, until the next doctor’s appointment – when it could be too late.

healthwatchcover

It’s important to note that hWear itself is not the solution to the problem. Should the wearer experience any heart problems, hWear will only notify them and not actually rectify the problem. Once the wearer receives a notification, however, they can quickly consult a physician. With hWear, patients are able to take care of medical issues before they become life threatening.

SEE ALSO: One Heart Sometimes Beats As Two Dozen: New Study Could Improve Heart Disease Treatment

HealthWatch, hWear’s developer, is located in Ra’anana, Israel. The company was founded in 2010 by CEO Uri Amir, who has spent the past few decades creating and manufacturing medical devices.

In an interview with NoCamels, Amir describes the company as “weaving health into everyday life.”

Washable and FDA-approved 

hWear is one of the first heart-monitoring shirts on the market. It has little competition; while some wearable technologies like the “D-shirt” and “NuMetrex” monitor people’s heart rates, hWear monitors all vital signs – pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure – giving both doctor and patient much more information.

Despite the advanced technology of this potentially life-saving product, hWear is quite simple to operate. No skin preparation or shaving is needed. Just slip on FDA-approved garment, and you’re ready to go. You can even put it in the washing machine along with the rest of your clothes!

Making health awareness as simple as getting dressed in the morning

Wearable technology is a rapidly growing industry. According to research firm Gartner, the industry is expected to grow by more than 18 percent this year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 610,000 Americans die of heart disease each year. Fortunately, hWear can potentially save thousands of lives by making health awareness as simple as getting dressed in the morning.

healthwatch

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/07/healthwatch-wearable-technology-monitors-heart/feed/ 0
Wearable Device Livia Promises To ‘Turn Off’ Menstrual Cramps, Alleviate Period Pain http://nocamels.com/2016/07/wearable-technology-livia-turns-off-menstrual-cramps-alleviates-period-pain/ http://nocamels.com/2016/07/wearable-technology-livia-turns-off-menstrual-cramps-alleviates-period-pain/#respond Mon, 04 Jul 2016 13:35:15 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=46080 Most women suffer pain during menstruation; oftentimes, the aches can get bloody awful. It happens every month, and painkillers don’t always alleviate the cramps.

Now, an Israeli device called Livia is offering a solution to these scheduled periods of discomfort, by sending weak electric pulses to your abdomen. This wearable technology, which clasps onto your pants and is hidden under your blouse, can be discreetly worn in public (it certainly doesn’t cramp your style!) and also helps women stay away from painkillers.

SEE ALSO: Medasense’s Pain Assessment Monitor Among Winners Of Prestigious Startup Competition

Livia is marketed as “the off-switch for menstrual cramps.” It consists of a small square device with two gel pads attached to it, which are placed on the affected area of the abdomen.

SEE ALSO: Music For Medicine: How Musicians Are Easing The Pain Of Patients

The device utilizes a technology similar to Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), usually employed in physical therapy, to block pain receptors from processing the hurtful sensation in the brain and thus work its magic.

Chen Nachum, co-founder and CEO of Livia, explains the technology through the gate control theory of pain, which hypothesizes that there are “gates” that can prevent pain sensation from traveling to the central nervous system.

“The nervous system can only handle one type of pain at a time, one type of signal,” he tells NoCamels. “So, if you create a signal that is not pain but a tingling sensation, and you transmit it to the body faster than the pain, then the nervous system will be busy with that signal and not with the pain.”

livia

However, Nachum explains that there is a specific difference between TENS and the technology behind Livia. “Livia’s  wave shape is different, making it so effective for pain,” he says. “So, if you use a physical therapy device and if you use Livia, it feels similar but the body is reacting differently to the pulses.”

He could not go into further detail at the moment, since the company is currently trying to patent its technology.

Raising $775,000 in just one month 

Over the past years, Prof. Bari Kaplan, an OBGYN at Israel’s Beilinson Hospital, has constantly been looking for an alternative to painkillers to help his patients. And so, in April 2015, he co-founded Livia, along with Nachum.

Livia recently raised nearly $775,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo, 1340 percent more than its initial goal. According to the company, with additional funds from private investors, the company already has more than $1 million in funding.

Taking care of back pain  

Livia is also said to work for back pain in the lower abdomen area of the body, which can be an advantage to women who suffer increased levels of back pains during their periods.

But with all its alleged advantages, some have criticized Livia for not being very discreet: If you don’t wear the right shirt, the device could potentially draw unwanted attention to your abdomen.

Pending FDA approval 

The company is expected to officially launch its product in October, for $85-$149. In the meantime, Livia is working on obtaining FDA approval.

The feedback from women who tested Livia so far has been encouraging, saying the device has really helped them, according to Nachum: “The responses I get are amazing, way beyond what I imagined.”

livia

Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/07/wearable-technology-livia-turns-off-menstrual-cramps-alleviates-period-pain/feed/ 0
Taking The Uncertainty Out Of Breastfeeding: MomSense Measures Breast Milk Intake http://nocamels.com/2016/06/breastfeeding-momsense-app-breast-milk-intake/ http://nocamels.com/2016/06/breastfeeding-momsense-app-breast-milk-intake/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:53:32 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45924 While parents who bottle-feed their babies can measure exactly how much formula is given, nursing mothers never know how much breast milk their baby actually consumes.

Now, Israeli startup MomSense is offering a mobile app that monitors babies’ milk intake in real time, revealing how many cubic centimeters (cc) of milk are consumed during breastfeeding. The company’s patented Smart Breastfeeding Meter consists of a smartphone app and an $89 earphone set that contains a nursing sensor which is placed beneath the baby’s earlobe.

The goal of MomSense is to make mothers feel more confident that their infants are getting enough nutrition by allowing them to accurately measure and control the consumed quantities of breast milk. The app monitors and analyzes the baby’s gulping for factors such as intensity, speed and frequency, to approximate the amount of milk consumed.

50 percent of new moms give up on breastfeeding 

Research shows that the predominant reason women give up breastfeeding (50 percent of new nursing moms eventually give up) is the belief that they are not providing enough milk; so, they then turn to bottle-feeding, which can regulate how much their babies are consuming.

SEE ALSO: Researchers Discover Breast Milk Not Always Healthy

By continually keeping track of each nursing session with MomSense, the app – available for both iOS and Android smartphones – gradually builds an ongoing record of breastfeeding patterns by amalgamating detailed nursing reports collected over time.

This technology also allows mothers to listen to their babies’ gulping sounds, thus enabling caregivers to acquaint themselves with the child’s regular eating sounds, thereby being able to detect anything that might deviate from their daily routine.

Making sure your newborn gets sufficient nutrition 

MomSense advises against using the app on premature babies, and all babies weighing less than two kilograms due to the fact that their chambers might be weak or not fully developed. Furthermore, it is advised to only employ the device once the colostrum (the earliest form of liquid produced by the milk ducts) is replaced by milk, which usually takes a few days after childbirth.

The company has also addressed concerns regarding radiation and safety by advising mothers to put their phones on airplane mode when nursing in order to avoid emissions from their smartphones.

According to reports in the media, the startup, which was founded in 2013 by Dr. Osnat Emanuel, has had several funding rounds after its initial $1 million seed round; however, a spokeswoman for MomSense declined to comment.

momsense

Earlier this year, MomSense was awarded the “Top Choice of the Year” award by Baby Maternity Magazine in the Nursing Aids category. Before earning the award, the app was tested by 50 new mothers, pregnant women and caregiver professionals.

SEE ALSO: Study: Breastfed Babies Are Less Likely To Develop ADHD

Now, after almost four years of research and development, MomSense’s technology is finally available to reassure new moms around the world that their babies are getting sufficient nutrition. According to Emanuel, “breastfeeding is a significant period for both mother and baby. We want to create a breastfeeding experience that gives mother a sense of calm and confidence which encourages her to continue breastfeeding and benefit from it.”

momsense

Photos and video: MomSense

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/06/breastfeeding-momsense-app-breast-milk-intake/feed/ 0
Israeli Startup Nano Dimension 3D Prints Human Stem Cells http://nocamels.com/2016/06/nano-dimension-3d-prints-human-stem-cells/ http://nocamels.com/2016/06/nano-dimension-3d-prints-human-stem-cells/#respond Thu, 09 Jun 2016 07:09:28 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45673 Using plastics, nylon and metals to 3D print objects has already transformed the way companies around the world manufacture their prototypes and products. But the printing of stem cells – multicellular organisms capable of giving rise to more cells of the same type – provides for a much more serious application of the technology, one that could save many lives.

Israeli company Nano Dimension has successfully lab-tested a 3D bioprinter for stem cells, making it very possible that human tissue and organs can be manufactured using 3D printing in the not too distant future. 3D bioprinting is the process of creating cell patterns in a confined space using 3D printing technologies, where cell function and viability are preserved, creating tissue-like structures that are later used in the medical and tissue engineering fields.

SEE ALSO: 3D Print Your Own Homemade Superfood With Israeli Tech ‘Green Onyx’

Nano

In order to develop these high-quality cells, Nano Dimension turned to another Israeli startup, Haifa-based Accellta, to collaborate on the trial. The feasibility study confirmed that the combined know-how and technologies of the companies enabled printing of viable stem cells using an adapted 3D printer.

“3D printing of living cells is a technology that’s playing a significant role in medical research”

According to Nano Dimension CEO Amit Dror, “3D printing of living cells is a technology that is already playing a significant role in medical research, but in order to reach its full potential, for the field to evolve further, there is a need to improve printing speeds, print resolution, cell control and viability as well as cell availability and bio-ink technologies. By combining our high-speed, high-precision inkjet capabilities with Accellta’s stem cell suspension technologies and induced differentiation capabilities led by a world-renown group of experienced engineers and scientists, we can enable 3D printing at high resolution and high volumes.”

The companies will consider the formation of a new venture for these future solutions, and do not intend to invest significant capital directly to expand this activity. Such funds would be raised by and for the use of the joint venture.

SEE ALSO: Israeli 3D Printing Makes Life-Saving Blood Recycling Machine 96 Percent Cheaper

3D bioprinting enabled by the two companies’ technologies, means that Nano Dimension and Accellta have the potential to accelerate high-fidelity and high-viability manufacturing of living cellular products. Accellta’s unique, robust and reproducible suspension-based cell culturing systems produce billions of high-quality stem cells per batch and represent a transformative step in terms of stem cell production. Accellta’s technology can deliver large quantities of high-quality cells, which can be an enabler for printing even larger and more complex tissues – even whole organs in the future.

embryonic-stem-cell

Embryonic stem cell

According to Accellta chairman and CEO Dr. Itzchak Angel, “Accellta and Nano Dimension have joined forces in this initial trial to evaluate and adapt the joint potential of our technologies. We hope and believe that this will bring the mutual capabilities and know-how of both companies to create 3D bioprinting solutions that combine a high precision, high-throughput printer with dedicated bio-ink technologies, derived from stem cells. By enabling high precision 3D bioprinting and differentiation of stem cells into required tissues, our combined technologies have the potential to enable vast areas of development.”

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/06/nano-dimension-3d-prints-human-stem-cells/feed/ 0
Double The Sweetness, Half The Sugar: DouxMatok Tricks Your Brain Into Cutting Sugar Intake http://nocamels.com/2016/06/douxmatok-cuts-sugar-intake-by-half/ http://nocamels.com/2016/06/douxmatok-cuts-sugar-intake-by-half/#respond Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:56:36 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45082 There is something about sugar most of us simply can’t resist. With just one small bite, it enters our blood stream and rushes the body with pure energy. Our bodies are hardwired to love it, and that’s why the addiction to sugar is so hard to kick.

SEE ALSO: Thirsty? ‘The Right Cup’ Turns Water Into Your Favorite Drink Using Scent – Not Sugar

Public health bodies recommend eating a diet low in sugar to prevent the onset of diabetes. Fortunately, Israeli startup DouxMatok is coming to the rescue with a healthier solution which could revolutionize how manufacturers and consumers worldwide use sugar. DouxMatok has engineered a new form of sugar that offers the same sugar experience with half the calories. The sugar looks the same, but it’s physically altered to maximally satiate our tongues, so we consume less and protect our health.

Telling your brain: Enough sugar!

To make DouxMatok sugar, the company attaches regular sugar to a micron-sized, food-safe silica molecule (one of the most common substances on earth), using molecular bonding. This greatly increases the particle’s surface area, so when the sugar dissolves on the tongue, the taste buds are exposed to more of the sweet taste, and we feel satisfied.

SEE ALSO: Meet Valiber, The Smart Spoon That Tells You Exactly How Sweet Your Beverage Is

According to founder Eran Baniel, DouxMatok sugar tricks the brain into believing it consumed more than it actually did. “DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste. When we tested it in the UK, our product had the exact same taste profile as sugar, with none of the aftertaste caused by artificial sweeteners.”

The technology would allow us to continue to consume the sugary chocolate and cakes we love, while experiencing fewer of sugar’s pernicious side effects, the most common being unwanted weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

The tongue test

The product is a lab-based transformation of sugar, which requires no artificial chemicals. The enhanced sugar works by modifying how the molecules interact with the receptors on the tongue. DouxMatok’s technology coats the sugar molecules on to organic carriers using a natural mineral, which transports multiple sugar molecules together to the taste receptors on the tongue.

The gustatory system, through which the body perceives taste, is not a fully efficient process. When consuming food or drink with a sweet flavor, usually containing sugar syrup or powder, many of the sugar molecules move through the mouth and miss the sweet taste receptors.

Consumers ingest these sugar particles without registering their sweetness, and therefore the sweetness of the product as a whole. If people could taste every sugar molecule in a cup of regular soda, they would most likely find it undrinkable.

Sugar

Founded in 2014, DouxMatok won the award for Outstanding Company at “Agravest 2015″, a conference organized by Israel’s Ministry of Economy and other companies. The startup recently partnered with the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry in Boston to optimize its technologies and is currently in the process of raising $4 million for research and development.

The implications of what DouxMatok is doing are far reaching. And who knows, perhaps in the near future, the age-old coffee/tea question ‘one lump or two?’ may soon be replaced with the statement ‘one lump is just as sweet as two’.

coffee
Photos and video: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/06/douxmatok-cuts-sugar-intake-by-half/feed/ 0
Not Just Asthma: Exposure To Air Pollution Raises Heart Disease Risk http://nocamels.com/2016/05/air-pollution-raises-heart-disease-risk/ http://nocamels.com/2016/05/air-pollution-raises-heart-disease-risk/#respond Mon, 30 May 2016 08:52:42 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45526 Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, known to cause lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, including asthma. According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution causes 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide annually.

SEE ALSO: Exposure To Air Pollution In Womb Raises Risk Of Autism, Study Finds

But air pollution is not only linked to respiratory diseases. A new Israeli study shows that air pollution can worsen blood sugar levels, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease, particularly in people with diabetes.

Health News: Israeli Researchers Use Skin Cells To Repair Damaged Hearts

The study, which was conducted by Israel’s Ben Gurion University and the Soroka University Medical Center, was recently published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“The continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected gives us cause for concern”

“While air pollution is linked with relatively small changes in cardio-metabolic risk factors, the continuous nature of exposure and the number of people affected gives us cause for concern,” Dr. Victor Novack of BGU and the Soroka University Medical Center, who led the study, said in a statement. “Even small changes in glucose levels and glycemic control can contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”

SEE ALSO: Following Israel’s Most Devastating Sandstorm, Eyes Are On Air Pollution App BreezoMeter

The study examined the effects of air pollution exposure on 73,117 adults living in southern Israel, where levels of particulate matter can escalate due to its location in the global dust belt.

To assess air pollution, the researchers used daily satellite data on how much sunlight was blocked by particles in the air. By examining this and other weather data, the scientists developed a model that allowed them to estimate daily air pollution exposure for each study participant using their address.

They then analyzed the results from 600,000 blood samples taken from the study subjects between 2003 and 2012. All of the study participants were known smokers or were diagnosed with diabetes, ischemic heart disease (a disease characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart), and hypertension (or dyslipidemia), which occurs when levels of fats in the blood are too high or low.

The study found participants tended to have higher blood sugar levels and a poorer cholesterol profile when they were exposed to higher levels of air particulates in the preceding three months compared to those exposed to lower levels of air pollutants. In all, particulate matter exposure was associated with increases in blood glucose, LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol), and triglycerides, or fats in the blood. Exposure to particulate matter was also linked to lower levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.

The associations were stronger for people with diabetes; however, those who were taking medications other than insulin to treat diabetes experienced a protective effect. This group experienced smaller changes in blood sugar and cholesterol levels following air pollution exposure.

diabetes

Although air pollution did not have an immediate effect on blood test results taken within as little as seven days of exposure, the researchers found that cumulative exposure over the course of three months was tied to risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“We found an association between air pollution exposure in the intermediate term and undesirable changes in cholesterol,” researcher Maayan Yitshak Sade of BGU and Soroka University Medical Center said in a statement. “This suggests that cumulative exposure to air pollution over the course of a lifetime could lead to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Other authors of the study include: Itai Kloog of BGU; Idit F. Liberty of BGU and Asuta Medical Center in Beer-Sheva; and Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public Health. The research was supported by a grant from Israel’s Environment and Health Fund. 

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/05/air-pollution-raises-heart-disease-risk/feed/ 0
LifeBond’s Stomach Closure ‘Glue’ Gets EU Approval http://nocamels.com/2016/05/israeli-lifebond-stomach-closure-glue/ http://nocamels.com/2016/05/israeli-lifebond-stomach-closure-glue/#respond Sun, 15 May 2016 11:25:31 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=45080 This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.

LifeSeal, the no-leak sealant solution for patients who have undergone gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, is now approved for use in the European Union. The sealant, developed by Israel-based LifeBond, will allow doctors in 32 countries to use the unique “glue” that prevents leaks after bariatric and GI operations.

SEE ALSO: After Thousands Of Years Of Stitching, Israelis Invent New Wound-Closure Method

In addition, the company said, LifeSeal is now also on the fast track to FDA approval. The product was given the FDA’s Expedited Access Pathway (EAP) designation, and is now eligible for quicker approval consideration, which the company hopes will take place after it begins its new international study, which will include sites in the US and Europe. The FDA reserves its EAP designation for products that provide a solution for an unmet medical need.

LifeBond's lab

LifeBond’s lab

“LifeSeal offers surgical units and hospitals with an innovative, high-quality surgical tool that both easily integrates into the surgical practice, and has been proven in clinical studies to make a major positive difference for patients,” said Ittai Harel, chairman of the board of LifeBond and managing general partner at Pitango, the venture capital firm that led the company’s recent $27 million Series D investment round.

Generally, patients who have undergone bariatric or GI surgery will have their incisions stapled or glued, neither of which is an ideal solution. Staples have been known to leak, while glues can break down over time. In both cases, the risk of infection rises considerably as the patient’s insides are exposed to air.

In addition, the closures, which must remain in place for months, are difficult for patients to live with, and they often break, even if they have been secured well, because of patient activity like scratching.

SEE ALSO: New Israeli Innovation Can Patch Incisions With No Stitching Or Scarring

To solve this, LifeBond has developed a proprietary adhesive platform technology that quickly turns into a polymer (in the form of a hydrogel matrix – a clear, flexible and strong seal) that adheres strongly to physiological tissue surfaces. The properties of the polymerization process and the hydrogel matrix can be controlled to fit a variety of applications.

According to the company, the sealant is stronger and longer-lasting than others on the market, and uses only natural ingredients instead of chemicals, so it is much better tolerated in patients than other sealants.

lifebond

To read the full article, click here

Photos: Courtesy

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/05/israeli-lifebond-stomach-closure-glue/feed/ 0
Study: Overweight Teens Are At Increased Risk For Life-Threatening Heart Disease In Adulthood http://nocamels.com/2016/05/overweigt-teens-increased-risk-heart-disease/ http://nocamels.com/2016/05/overweigt-teens-increased-risk-heart-disease/#respond Wed, 04 May 2016 08:39:02 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44846 Parents, take note: A nationwide, long-term study of 2.3 million Israeli adolescents conducted from 1967 through 2010 has found a link between elevated body mass index (BMI) in late adolescence and life-threatening heart disease in midlife.

SEE ALSO: Excess Weight During Pregnancy Affects Children’s Health

BMI is the value derived from the weight and height of an individual (weight divided by the square of the height – kg/m2). Normal BMI values are considered to be in the range of 18.5 to 25.

Start diet today

One-third of adolescents are either overweight or obese

Overweight and obesity in adolescents have increased substantially in recent decades, and currently affect a third of the adolescent population in some developed countries.

Some studies suggest that an elevated BMI is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes. However, a determination of the BMI threshold that is associated with increased risk of fatality has remained uncertain.

SEE ALSO: Wait, What? Eating Carbs At Night Could Benefit Obese People

In light of the worldwide increase in childhood obesity, Israeli researchers Prof. Jeremy Kark and Dr. Hagai Levine from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with Dr. Gilad Twig of Sheba Medical Center and other colleagues in Israel, set out to determine the association between BMI in late adolescence and death from cardiovascular causes in adulthood.

Their study, which was recently published in the prestigious medical journal The New England Journal of Medicine, was based on the body mass index values of 2.3 people, starting at 17 year olds.

The results showed that 9.1 percent died from cardiovascular causes, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and sudden death. But those with elevated BMI had the highest risk. The BMI threshold associated with fatal risk was shown to be 22.5.

“Our findings appear to provide a link between the trends in adolescent overweight during the past decades and coronary mortality in midlife,” Kark said in a statement. “The continuing increase in adolescent BMI, and the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents, may account for a substantial and growing future burden of cardiovascular disease, particularly coronary heart disease.”

heart attack

The timing of exposure to obesity during a person’s lifetime may play an important role

How might adolescent BMI influence cardiovascular outcomes in adulthood? The researchers considered two possible pathways. First, obesity may be harmful during adolescence, since it has been associated with unfavorable metabolic abnormalities, increased blood pressure, impaired glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Furthermore, the timing of exposure to obesity during a person’s lifetime may play an important role.

Second, BMI tends to track along the life course, so that overweight adolescents tend to become overweight or obese adults, and overweight or obesity in adulthood affects the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Scientists involved in this research are affiliated with the Department of Medicine and the Dr. Pinchas Bornstein Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Sheba Medical Center; Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps; Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University; Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine; Israel Ministry of Health; Department of Medicine, Mount Auburn Hospital; and Harvard Medical School. The study was funded by a research grant from the Environment and Health Fund in Jerusalem.

Health News: Israeli Researchers Use Skin Cells To Repair Damaged Hearts

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/05/overweigt-teens-increased-risk-heart-disease/feed/ 0
Vegetables Irrigated With Treated Wastewater Expose Consumers To Drugs, Scientists Warn http://nocamels.com/2016/04/vegetables-irrigated-wastewater-expose-drugs/ http://nocamels.com/2016/04/vegetables-irrigated-wastewater-expose-drugs/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:44:36 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44735 Treating greywater and using it for agricultural irrigation is one of the best ways to conserve and recycle water. But now, an Israeli study shows that eating vegetables and fruits grown in soils irrigated with reclaimed wastewater exposes consumers to pharmaceutical contaminants. This new experiment found residues of carbamazepine – an anti-epileptic drug commonly detected in wastewater effluents – in the urine of people who consumed vegetables grown in wastewater-irrigated soil.

SEE ALSO: In Face Of Global Shortage, World Leaders Praise Israel’s Water Technologies

“Fresh water scarcity worldwide has led to increased use of reclaimed wastewater, as an alternative source for crop irrigation. But the ubiquity of pharmaceuticals in treated effluents has raised concerns over the potential exposure for consumers to drug contaminants via treated wastewater,” according to the team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center.

Vegetables - Health News - Israel

Study co-author Prof. Benny Chefetz of the Hebrew University acknowledges that “Israel is a pioneer and world leader in reuse of reclaimed wastewater in the agriculture sector, providing an excellent platform to conduct such a unique study.” However, his study – one of the first to directly address exposure to such pharmaceutical contaminants in healthy humans – shows that additional safety measures should be considered when treating wastewater for agricultural use.

SEE ALSO: How Israelis Are Helping Solve California’s Devastating Drought

The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology, followed 34 men and women divided into two groups. The first group was given reclaimed wastewater-irrigated produce for the first week, and freshwater-irrigated vegetables in the following week. The second group consumed the produce in reverse order.

The volunteers consumed the produce, which included tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce, according to their normal diet and drank bottled water throughout the study to neutralize water contamination.

“We have demonstrated that healthy individuals consuming reclaimed wastewater-irrigated produce excreted carbamazepine and its metabolites in their urine, while subjects consuming fresh water-irrigated produce excreted undetectable or significantly lower levels of carbamazepine,” Prof. Ora Paltiel of the Hebrew University, who led the study, said in a statement. “Treated wastewater-irrigated produce exhibited substantially higher carbamazepine levels than fresh water-irrigated produce.”

Research showed that healthy individuals who consumed reclaimed wastewater-irrigated produce excreted carbamazepine in their urine

She further warns that “those who consume produce grown in soil irrigated with treated wastewater increase their exposure to the drug.” Although the levels detected were much lower than in patients who actually consume this specific drug, “it is important to assess the exposure in commercially available produce.”

Most importantly, this study demonstrates that “human exposure to pharmaceuticals occurs through ingestion of commercially available produce irrigated with treated wastewater, providing data which could guide policy and risk assessments,” Chefetz concludes.

Photos and infographics: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/04/vegetables-irrigated-wastewater-expose-drugs/feed/ 0
Israeli ‘Liver On A Chip’ Could Help Scientists Fight Cancer, Develop New Medications http://nocamels.com/2016/04/life-saving-liver-on-chip/ http://nocamels.com/2016/04/life-saving-liver-on-chip/#respond Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:00:46 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44641 Israeli researchers have developed a tiny “liver-on-chip” that could help scientists fight liver disease, cancer, and a host of other conditions.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Makes Breakthrough Discovery In Liver Disease Treatment

The chip is made up of human tissues, with sensors for oxygen, glucose, and lactate. Measurements can be tracked in real time, and readouts appear immediately on a computer. The technology, developed at Israel’s Hebrew University, will enable the study of cellular processes, and will further the understanding of what happens when cells are damaged due to disease.

Health News: Israeli Team Finds Mechanism For Producing Stem-Cells Efficiently

In the study, led by Prof. Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, researchers explain their use of micro-sensors to measure changes in cells when they are exposed to new drugs. Liver toxicity can limit the use of new medications, so the tool can be used to screen for less toxic drugs.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Scientists Develop New Human Stem Cells With Half A Genome 

The scientists used the chip to study the medication troglitazone (Rezulin), which had been used for diabetes and inflammation until it was removed from the market in 2000 because it induced severe liver injury. The drug cost its manufacturer more than $750 million in lawsuits.

Interestingly, conventional tests did not show liver damage from troglitazone, but the new liver-on-chip technology detected mitochondrial stress. The mitochondria are the organelles that generate energy for the cell. They are found in every cell of the human body except red blood cells, and convert the energy of food molecules to power most cell functions. Mitochondrial stress can be an early sign of eventual cell death – which the chip can detect early on.

Redefining cancer research 

“The ability to measure metabolic fluxes using small numbers of cells under physiological conditions can redefine the study of neuro-degenerative disease, stem cells, and cancer, in addition to drug discovery,” Nahmias said in a statement.

According to a Hebrew University statement, the study demonstrates it is possible to monitor in real time metabolic functions of cells exposed to different drug concentrations over a long period of time, using ‘organ-on-chip’ micro-devices.

nahmias_0

Dr. Yaakov Nahmias

An alternative for animal experiments 

The study, recently published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could revolutionize in vitro methods (studies that are performed with microorganisms outside their normal biological context), presenting a real alternative to animal experimentation for evaluating toxicity of chemicals.”

Photos: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/04/life-saving-liver-on-chip/feed/ 0
Harmless? Herbal Medicines Could Interfere With Life-Saving Cancer Treatments http://nocamels.com/2016/04/herbal-medicines-interfere-with-cancer-treatments/ http://nocamels.com/2016/04/herbal-medicines-interfere-with-cancer-treatments/#respond Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:12:23 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44488 Nearly two-thirds of the herbal medicines used by cancer patients in the Middle East have potential health risks, according to a new Israeli study. These seemingly harmless plants and extractions were found to interact with conventional cancer drugs and chemotherapy, negatively affecting life-saving anti-cancer treatments.

SEE ALSO: To Stop Cancer From Spreading: Shoot The Messenger

The study, led by Prof. Eran Ben-Arye of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Cancer. It concludes that herbal remedies such as turmeric may increase the toxic effects of certain chemotherapies, while gingko biloba and green teas could increase the risks of bleeding in some cancer patients. Other herbs, including black cumin, can reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

In all, 29 of the 44 most popular herbal products in 16 Middle Eastern countries – from Turkey to Tunisia – were associated with safety-related concerns.

herbs, spices

The findings are based on a survey conducted by Ben-Arye and his colleagues, who asked more than 300 cancer care providers about the kinds of herbal medicines their patients were using. They found that 57 percent of the providers had patients who used at least one herbal remedy.

SEE ALSO: Israelis, Palestinians Join Forces To Explore Local Flowers To Combat Cancer, Diabetes

The countries with the highest rates of herbal medicine use include Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Qatar. Stinging nettle, garlic, black cumin and turmeric were among the most used herbs, with other items such as camel milk and honey also making the list.

A skeptical view of alternative medicine

Cancer care providers generally have a skeptical view of these alternative medicines, but the study notes that they support having a physician consultant who can speak to “the effectiveness and safety of these herbal practices, along with conventional cancer treatments.”

Ben-Arye emphasizes that, “in the majority of cases, patients seek to combine the best of the two worlds and do not perceive herbal medicine as a real alternative to modern oncology care.”

However, in many cases, there is a lack of communication between the patient and cancer care provider. According to the study, more than 20 percent of patients who use complementary and traditional medicine, including herbal agents, “are often reluctant to disclose this practice to their conventional medical professional.”

Health News: female doctors more tolerant than male counterparts

Detrimental effect

The researchers hope the new study will urge cancer care providers to offer “open, non-judgmental” advice about the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicine and improve physician-patient communication.

Hopefully, their findings will raise awareness to the detrimental effects of certain herbal products for cancer patients receiving conventional treatment.

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/04/herbal-medicines-interfere-with-cancer-treatments/feed/ 0
Breakthrough Blood Test For Alzheimer’s Disease To Undergo Clinical Trials http://nocamels.com/2016/04/israeli-blood-test-screens-alzheimers/ http://nocamels.com/2016/04/israeli-blood-test-screens-alzheimers/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:41:42 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44174 In order to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, medical professionals must conduct a long series of tests to assess a patient’s memory impairment, cognitive skills, functional abilities, and behavioral changes. The process also includes costly brain imagining scans and, in some cases, invasive cerebral spinal fluid tests to rule out other diseases.

Now, a new discovery by a team of Israeli and American researchers seeks to effectively screen and diagnose Alzheimer’s using a blood test. The new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, proposes a new biomarker for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease: The activity-dependent neuro-protective protein (ADNP), whose levels can be easily monitored in routine blood tests. The study also found that higher ADNP levels tested in the blood correlate with higher IQ in healthy older adults. The researchers now plan to move forward into clinical trials in order to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments.

SEE ALSO: Study: People Who Treat Alzheimer’s Patients Should Have Creative Hobbies

Elderly couple

The research was led by Tel Aviv University‘s Prof. Illana Gozes, and spearheaded by Dr. Gad Marshall, Dr. Aaron Schultz, and Prof. Reisa Sperling of Harvard University, along with Prof. Judith Aharon-Peretz of Rambam Medical Center and the Technion Institute of Technology.

Early intervention

During the study, significant increases in ADNP levels were observed in patients ranging from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s dementia. ADNP levels tested in plasma and serum samples, as well as white blood cell RNA levels, distinguished among cognitively normal elderly, MCI, and Alzheimer’s dementia participants.

The investigators analyzed blood samples taken from 42 healthy adults, MCI patients, and Alzheimer’s disease patients at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. After comparing the ADNP expression in the blood samples, the researchers prepared plasma samples and once again compared the protein levels.

“Early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients”

“This study has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests, and it is known that early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients,” Gozes said in a statement. “We are now planning to take these preliminary findings forward into clinical trials — to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments.”

SEE ALSO: Understanding Gender Differences Could Improve Autism And Alzheimer’s Treatment

This new research is based on Gozes’ earlier investigation of neuronal plasticity and nerve cell protection at the molecular, cellular, and system level, and her discovery of novel families of proteins, including ADNP, associated with cross-communication among neural nerve cells and their support cells. “Interestingly, we also found that the more ADNP in the serum, the higher the person’s IQ level,” Gozes said.

Health News: Researchers Identify Protein That May Be Key In Alzheimer's Treatment

]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/04/israeli-blood-test-screens-alzheimers/feed/ 0
Israeli Researchers Find Key To Long-Term Preservation Of Organs For Transplant http://nocamels.com/2016/03/longer-preservation-organs-transplant/ http://nocamels.com/2016/03/longer-preservation-organs-transplant/#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:45:10 +0000 http://nocamels.com/?p=44033 When transplanting donated organs, time is of the essence. Transplantation stands the best chance to succeed when performed as quickly as possible after the donor surgery. A heart or lung is kept viable for transplantation for only six hours before deterioration begins. A pancreas or liver go to waste after 12 hours in storage, and a kidney can be kept outside the body for less than 30 hours.

Keep cool, not frozen

One of the main problems standing in the way of storing organs for more than a few hours is ice growth. When organs are frozen, expanding ice crystals damage the cells in a way that they cannot be revived.  Therefore, organs which are removed from a donor are kept cooled but not frozen.

A Hebrew University team led by Prof. Ido Braslavsky is now contributing significantly to the effort to perfect the process of preserving cells, tissues and organs in sub-zero temperatures. This would enable long-term banking of tissues and organs and efficient matching between donor and patient, eventually saving the lives of millions of people around the world.

“The ability to freeze organs and to then thaw them without causing damage to the organ itself would be revolutionary in terms of our chances to save lives,” Braslavsky said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: Israeli Scientists Develop New Human Stem Cells With Half A Genome 

Ido Braslavsky

Prof. Ido Braslavsky at his lab, where his team investigates ice-binding proteins and new methods in cryopreservation of cells.

Braslavsky’s area of specialty is so-called “antifreeze proteins,” ice-binding proteins that help organisms resist or withstand freezing in water and on land by inhibiting the formation and growth of crystalline ice. Ice-binding proteins were discovered some 50 years ago in Antarctic fish and are now known to exist in cold-resistant fish, plants, insects and microorganisms. They actively inhibit the formation and growth of crystalline ice, and their superiority over other antifreeze substances is that they are needed in very low amounts to do it effectively.

Braslavsky and his team collaborated with Prof. Peter Davies from Queen’s University in Canada to investigate the mystery of exactly how ice-binding proteins stop the formation of ice crystals. They discovered that antifreeze proteins bind permanently with ice. “We found that proteins in insects are much more efficient in inhibiting ice growth than proteins in fish, but fish proteins bind faster to ice,” according to Braslavsky.

Learning from frozen foods?

This finding, recently published in the scientific journals Langmuir and RSC Advances, could be crucial for the advancement of using these proteins to help preserve frozen organs as well as frozen foods.

Many are familiar with ice cream that has lost its texture in home freezers, or meat that has lost a lot of its liquids and doesn’t look or taste fresh after thawing. Ice-binding proteins may allow the control of ice in frozen food and the developments of new frozen treats. Some food manufacturers have already started using ice-binding proteins in their products.

popsicles

Braslavsky’s pioneering work in studying the interaction between antifreeze proteins and ice is now expanding to developing a cryopreservation technique (a process by which cells susceptible to damage caused by chemical reactivity or time are preserved by cooling to sub-zero temperatures) that will allow revival of cells and tissues while restoring their form and function.

Clearly, Braslavsky’s technique could be instrumental in ending the organ transplant shortage.

Photos: Dr. Amir Bein
]]>
http://nocamels.com/2016/03/longer-preservation-organs-transplant/feed/ 0