Health & Science

Health and Science are two of the most developed sectors in Israel and the country is a powerhouse of medical innovation with many game-changing medical advances being made on a regular basis. 'Health and Science' provides you with the latest updates on Israel's health trends, health tips, news and well as the cutting edge scientific discoveries and advancements.

PixCell Medical
Hillel's Tech Corner: Bringing blood diagnostics home

COVID-19 has served as an accelerator for the adoption of healthcare improvements left on the sidelines for years.

AstraZeneca tests diabetes drug for COVID-19 despite risk seen by doctors

The trial of 900 hospitalized patients, dubbed DARE-19, will test Farxiga against a placebo with results expected by December. The international study began in April.

Barzilai Medical Center's Chezy Levy appointed next Health Ministry D-G

“At such a time, with the need to prepare for a second wave of the coronavirus and to place the health system as one of Israel’s top priorities, Prof. Chezy Levy is the right person for the job."

Israeli specialist: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective treatment for COVID-19

The drug has been under investigation worldwide, including in the United States, after President Donald Trump called it a “game-changer” in the fight against coronavirus.

Fake MIGAL COVID-19 vaccine
Fake Israeli coronavirus vaccine being sold in South America

Boxes with MIGAL’s Hebrew logo contain small sealed vials of the fake vaccine and a set of counterfeit instructions for use – also in Hebrew.

Israel is opening: The latest COVID-19 restrictions and how to keep them

"We received a lot of joyful news today,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, as the government approved lifting more coronavirus regulations.

China to use COVID-19 vaccine by end of year even if trials not completed

The reason for this decision is because of the dwindling number of new coronavirus cases in China.

Israeli scientists: Gaucher’s disease drugs effective against coronavirus

Scientists found that antiviral treatment using both drugs led to a significant reduction in the replication capacity of the coronavirus.

Baby crying [Illustrative]
Masks too dangerous for children under 2, Japan medical group says

"Masks can make breathing difficult because infants have narrow air passages," which increases the burden on their hearts, the association said, adding that masks also raise the risk of heat stroke

Made-in-Israel anti-pathogen mask ‘Registered for Marketing’ by FDA

Sonovia developed an almost-permanent, ultrasonic, fabric-finishing technology for mechanical impregnation of zinc oxide nanoparticles into textiles.

An Israeli flag is seen on the first of Israel's El Al Airlines order of 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners
Israel's Ben-Gurion unlikely to welcome foreigners until mid-July

“Social distancing alone will forbid us from increasing travel."

Coronavirus vaccine appears safe in first-in-human trial

This vaccine did not cause any serious adverse effects, the researchers say, though they did report some side effects such as fever.

Dr. Assaf Zaritsky's research photos
Israeli scientists take leap toward understanding why skin cancer spreads

Melanomas are a form of aggressive skin cancer. The scientists say that they have made a first and important step in developing novel treatments and eventually a cure.

Despite COVID-19, pivotal pancreatic cancer study in Israel hits benchmark

Overall survival rate increased from 11.1 months to 19.9 in some trials. The 613 in CPI-613 stands for the 613 commandments of the Torah.

An illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the 2019 N
COVID-19 no longer infectious after 11 days, new study claims

These findings could cause changes in current discharge policies of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

THE AVERAGE person must play a part in slowing the virus – including more frequent handwashing/use o
Long-lasting coronavirus disinfectant developed by Israeli researchers

The coronavirus has been seen to last on surfaces upwards of 17 days, and common disinfecting breaks down rapidly. This new disinfectant is long-lasting.

Thousands sign COVID-19 global solidarity manifesto

“The COVID pandemic has exposed inequities and injustices that have long been part of our world."

Pregnant woman (Illustrative)
Pregnant women with COVID-19 show placenta injury - study

The research involved women who gave birth at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital between March 18 and May 5.

Bar-Ilan study finds that hearts that drum together beat together

"These results are particularly significant due to the crucial importance of groups to action, identity and social change in our world."

Drug touted by Trump as COVID-19 treatment tied to increased risk of death

Demand for decades-old hydroxychloroquine has surged as Trump repeatedly pushed for its use against the coronavirus, urging people to try it. "What have you got to lose," he said.

Kids with COVID-19 may have lower infectivity than adults - UK scientists

As Europe and the United States start to return to work after lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, world leaders are trying to work out when it is safe for children.

Tel Aviv startup Immunai aim to map the immune system
Hillel's Tech Corner: Tel Aviv start-up Immunai aims to map immune system

Understanding the immune system better could lead to effective cancer therapies.

‘WHAT IS Oobleck?’ you may ask. Why, a slimy green substance coined by Dr. Seuss!
Fun chemistry for the kitchen

There are amazing, fun and visually stimulating experiments you can do with simple baking ingredients, in your own home.

Sea Village Hadera on May 21, 2020
Is Israel heading for a second coronavirus wave?

"The numbers are very low, but the numbers were very low when we started this pandemic.”

Worry can become toxic
Is it possible to choose wonder over worry?

According to a study cited in Robert Leahy’s book 'The Worry Cure', 85% of the things we worry about never actually happen.

COVID-19 bridges borders, race, religion at Ben-Gurion University

At Ben-Gurion University, researchers, students and staff created community to help get through coronavirus.

Israeli students at the Orot Etzion school in Efrat wear protective face masks as they return to sch
Special report: Impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of Israel's future

The coronavirus crisis will affect nearly all aspects of Israel’s future, from health to macroeconomics, welfare, the labor market and education.

Children's drawings from lockdown show the world what they miss most. Juan, 8, and Mateo, 10, at the
Children with COVID-19 may be less contagious than adults, UK experts say

"It is unusual that children don't seem to play much of a role in transmission because for most respiratory viruses and bacteria they play a central role, but in this they don't seem to."

Coping with social isolation

The concern throughout this crisis was obviously to protect the physical health of all age groups, but perhaps only now is the psychological impact more apparent.

A key to physical and emotional immunity

Emotional and mental centeredness can keep us alert against the panic or anger.

US COVID-19 vaccine green lighted for second stage of human testing

The study, which was not designed to prove the vaccine works, offered an early glimmer of hope that it could provide protection against the virus.

Dr. Adi Stern
70% of coronavirus cases in Israel started in the US - new study

“There was this gap in policy and this gap allowed people to return from the US who thought that they could go wherever they wanted, so they probably spread the virus that way."

A medical worker holds vials containing the flu vaccine in Tel Aviv.
BCG vaccine doesn't protect against COVID-19, Tel Aviv U researchers find

The finding is significant as a previous study, yet to be peer reviewed, found that countries which had universal childhood BCG vaccination programs had fewer coronavirus cases.

Vaccine (illustrative)
Israeli institute completes coronavirus vaccine tests on rodents

If the experiment goes as planned, IIBR could complete vaccine development within a year or less.

A man wears a face mask  with David Star at the Nachlaot Neighborhood in Jerusalem on April 12, 2020
Could wearing a mask for long periods be detrimental to health?

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock has highlighted a number of studies linking prolonged mask use to headaches and lowered blood oxygen levels, which can weaken the immune system.

For COVID-19 patients, life after ventilators plagued with challenges

Ventilated patients can lose their independent capacity to breathe. Some people are presenting with small blood clots.

Coronavirus: Israeli start-up aims to save lives by tracking breath rate

“While the patients can wear the two markers in also when they are moving around, in a situation of breathing difficulties the most dangerous moments occur while they are sleeping or sedated.”

What is the new inflammatory syndrome infecting children after COVID-19?

According to WHO, its features are similar to those of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

A young Israeli man walks down the stairs to his apartment  the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv
Lonely singletons advised to find sex buddy to reduce spread of COVID-19

The Dutch government has issued guidance on intimacy during the coronavirus lockdown which advises having sex only with regular partners – or for singletons, only one person.

A medical technologist tests a respiratory panel at Northwell Health Labs
BGU student creates app to accelerate coronavirus vaccine trials

Daniel Iluz-Freundlich, a second-year medical student at Ben-Gurion University, developed app that will help find and register coronavirus patients for clinical trials.

FDA approves at-home coronavirus sample kit, suspends Gates-backed test

On Thursday, SCAN in a statement said it has been in talks with the FDA since March 1 and initiated its request for emergency use authorization (EUA) on March 23, submitting data on April 13.

The IDF holds a blood drive in light of the coronavirus crisis
IDF soldiers to be tested for coronavirus using new serological test

Antibody tests will help army determine how many soldiers are immune to the virus

Israel’s Pluristem: 75% of treated COVID-19 patients off ventilators

The survival rate is 87.5%, Pluristem Therapeutics reported.

Magen David Adom builds ambulance bus with potential for 13 patients

The first-of-its-kind ambulance bus can also transport 14 emergency medical staff.

Virtual image of human heart
Coronavirus can cause heart attacks and strokes - study

The virus can cause serious cardiovascular complications, including heart failure, heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes, and can even interfere with patient's existing heart-treatment medications.

Israeli gov't research center files patents for 8 coronavirus antibodies

Outgoing Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called move ‘another important step in developing a cure’

Israeli students at the Orot Etzion school in Efrat wear protective face masks as they return to sch
Pupils to return to school classrooms today

Number of coronavirus patients in Israel drops to 3,452, 48 intubated

Rambam Health Care Campus to look into effects of cannabis on COVID-19

Several types of cannabis have anti-inflammatory properties that could be very effective in treating COVID-19 patients.

Cow illustrative
BGU scientists manipulate cow microbiomes for the first time

The implication of this research, which was published in the academic journal Nature Communications, is significant, as it could potentially allow scientists to prevent cows from emitting methane.

Telescopy meets AI
Hillel's Tech Corner: AI meets telescopy at Scopio Labs

Scopio Labs, a Tel Aviv-based start-up, is changing the field of microscopy as we know it through its machine learning-based digital microscopy system.

Oxford coronavirus vaccine found protective in small monkey study

British drugmaker AstraZeneca last month announced it had teamed up with researchers at the Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute, which are developing the vaccine.

The great coronavirus vaccine hacking arms race - analysis

Where does this leave China, US, Israel and Russia?

OUTGOING HEALTH Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov appears at a press briefing at the Pri
Confounded by coronavirus? The 'legacy' of D-G Bar Siman Tov

Senior medical officials and others are beginning to grade Moshe Bar Siman Tov's management of the crisis.

Israeli students at the Orot Etzion school in Efrat wear protective face masks as they return to sch
All classes approved to open Sunday, but parents and teachers still unsure

Trains will wait until June 1 * Beaches to open Wednesday * Only 50 people intubated

Immunai co-founders (from left) Luis Voloch and Noam Solomon
Israel’s Immunai first to map whole immune system, scores $20m. investment

Immunai says it has mapped out millions of immune cells and their functions that could help detect, diagnose and treat cancer and many other diseases.

‘PSYCHOLOGISTS KNOW just how important the facial muscles are for social engagement.'
The importance of the asking someone 'How are you?' in days of COVID-19

While we may hope that many things go back to the way they once were, hopefully now when we ask “How are you?” we will do so with sincerity.

PROF. SABINA ALKIRE, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at Oxford Unive
A better future for the world’s poorest after COVID-19?

Prof. Sabina Alkire, laureate of the 2020 Boris Mints Institute Prize, explains how the Multidimensional Poverty Index can help tackle global poverty.

Woman shouting (illustrative)
Loud speech can leave coronavirus in air for up to 14 minutes - study

As Israelis are notoriously loud, it is perhaps in their own interest to continue wearing masks to stop the spread of the virus and "lower the curve."

Cleaning at the hospital's coronavirus ward

Keeping COVID-19 patients safe – behind the scenes.

AN ONLINE session at MassChallenge Israel.
The Israeli tech at the end of the coronavirus tunnel

How is Israel’s famed tech industry dealing with the challenges brought on by the pandemic?

BGU professor develops coronavirus test producing results in one minute

Clinical trials done in conjunction with the Defense Ministry on more that 120 Israelis showed better than a 90% success rate in comparison to the more common method.

Sanofi to accelerate coronavirus vaccine in Europe

The company said in a statement that it is currently in talks with the European Union and the French and German governments to expedite regional vaccine development.

An illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the 2019 N
Normal speech may spread coronavirus, twin antibodies may help fight virus

The following is a brief roundup of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Some of the 32 magnets swallowed by a toddler in Jerusalem
Israeli toddler swallows 32 magnetic beads and lives to babble about it

“They tried to calm me down and tell me that they had seen this before,” the child’s mother recalled. “But they said the situation had to be dealt with immediately.”

Red blood cells (illustrative)
Israeli-American Gamida hits goal in phase 3 blood cancer trial

The company uses umbilical cord blood, which like bone marrow and peripheral blood, is a rich source of stem cells for transplantation.

Doctors warned of deadly coronavirus-related syndrome in children

"The awareness of Israel's pediatricians has been raised regarding the syndrome," Israel Pediatric Association head Shai Ashkenazi said.

After years studying coronaviruses, Israeli team ready to develop vaccine

A group of scientists from Tel Aviv University is partnering with the Swiss company Neovii to bring the research to next level.

MesenCure entrepreneurs (from right): Dr. Dror Ben David, Dr. Shai Meretzky and Tomer Bronstein
Can this Israeli coronavirus drug 'completely prevent' lung damage?

Bonus BioGroup has completed a preliminary study of a new drug to treat acute and life-threatening respiratory distress in COVID-19 patients.

TEST TUBE with coronavirus label is seen at the end of January.
Will serological tests in Bnei Brak show if Israel is immune to COVID-19?

Until now, Israel has been solely conducting molecular tests for the detection of the novel coronavirus.

Researchers engage in excavations at Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria
Bulgarian fossils show early arrival of Homo sapiens into Europe

The research pushes back by thousands of years the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe, a milestone in the history of a species that arose in Africa about 300,000 years ago and then spread worldwide.

Border Police go about coronavirus inspections in Mea Shearim, a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Does living in an Orthodox yeshiva increase coronavirus?

According to a new study by Prof. Ayal Kimhi, two to three factors can explain the gaps in infection between municipalities.

COVID-19 patients lose smell, taste and now touch - survey

These symptoms may be an important way to distinguish COVID-19 from other viral infections.

'COVID toes': New coronavirus symptom?

Most of the patients who contracted this skin condition were otherwise healthy and asymptomatic - many went untested. "It's a great indicator that a patient had already contracted COVID-19."

Italian COVID-19 patient from Bergamo bids farewell from the university clinic Saint Josef in Bochum
Men have high levels of enzyme key to COVID-19 infection, study finds

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is found in the heart, kidneys and other organs.

Rats infect humans with hepatitis, why remains a mystery

A rat strain of hepatitis E is contagious to humans, but no one knows how – and medical examinations worldwide have not been searching for it.

Image of rod through Kamel Abdel Rahman's head
Medical miracle in Jerusalem: Surgery saves man with rod through head

“I did not feel any pain at all. I do not know how to explain it," said Kamel Abdel Rahman. "The rod just went through, one side to the other," recalled one of the Hadassah doctors.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion welcomes students on their first day back to school (May 10, 2020)
60% of eligible students show up for daycare, kindergarten on Sunday

Finance Ministry pushing to open additional grades * Travelers report crowded bus stations and long waits.

US FDA authorizes first at-home saliva test for COVID-19

The decision is part of the FDA's efforts to expand testing capabilities for the fast-spreading virus, which has caused over 70,000 deaths in the United States.

Grandson visits his grandmother at her home in Moshav Haniel, on April 5, 2020
Coronavirus: Can I visit my grandparents? Health Ministry guide

“No kissing, no hugging, no touching,” said Health Ministry deputy director-general Itamar Grotto.

A Rachashei Lev volunteer with a cancer patient; the ‘Party Ambulance’ rolls up next to a child in h
Top Israeli physician: All childhood cancer to be curable by 2040

Prof. Shai Izraeli says ‘When you talk about specific cancers, like Hodgkin lymphoma and standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the rate of survival is more than 90%.’

bioreactor pluristem
Israel's Pluristem FDA approved for study in treatment of severe COVID-19

Six critically ill coronavirus patients in Israel who were considered high-risk for mortality were treated with Pluristem and survived.

FDA allows use of Israeli start-up's AI to detect COVID-19 in CT scans

Aidoc's AI system can detect and prioritize findings from CT scans associated with coronavirus

Vectorious' in-heart microcomputers
Hillel's Tech Corner: Vectorious - Taking technology to heart. Literally.

The Vectorious team, which is now more than 30 members strong, has successfully implanted in-heart micro computers in multiple countries across Europe and Israel.

Israelis wear face masks for fear of the coronavirus as they walk through the market in Ramle on May
How did Israel crack the coronavirus code and what's next?

Israeli doctors and scientists look back at how the country has handled COVID-19 and predict what might happen next

Prof. Moran Bercovici, Dr. Federico Paratore, Vesna Bacheva and Dr. Govind Kaigala - Group photo via
New method of separating particles could lead to improved COVID-19 test

The finding has been hailed as “a fundamentally significant contribution to the field that only comes along every 10-20 years."

Inna Waissenberg
A couple (or roomates) workout for any time, even during coronavirus

Take a break from fighting to work up happy endorphins.

Bacteria (illustrative)
Israeli disinfectant kills 100% of viruses, bacteria

The Israel Institute for Biological Research developed a disinfectant that kills 100% of viruses and bacteria, and is currently being used in mikvehs in Bnei Brak.

DOCTORS WERE puzzled to find that patients who kept to their instructions and avoided sweets didn’t
The glycemic index – A conceptual breakthrough in combating obesity

The following is intended to clarify how weight can be controlled when hunger is kept at bay using a reliable, informative tool called the glycemic index.

‘NUTRITIONALLY, WE need more vegetable-based protein.’
Feeding the world amid diminishing resources and coronavirus

“COVID-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread,” Arif Husain warned.

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is treated an the Intensive Care Unit (I
Suppressing immune system could provide counterintuitive COVID-19 therapy

Immunologists warn that interfering with the body's natural immune response may be dangerous.

Technical Area 21 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
New coronavirus strain more contagious than original - study

The strain was originally seen spreading in Europe, after which it spread to the rest of the world and is currently the most common strain.

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