On the other hand

June 16, 2019 by Michael Kuttner
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Like the endless blue skies and soaring temperatures of an Israeli summer, the daily dose of amazing positive achievements makes us aware that good news does occur even if you do not read or hear about in your local media.


Scientists cannot yet make a living copy of your brain. But researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have done something almost as astounding: on a chip, they’ve duplicated patients’ blood-brain barrier (BBB) using the individuals’ own cells. The BBB-Chip functions as it would in the patient.

Their achievement provides a new way to study brain disorders and, potentially, predict which drugs will work best for each patient.

Although scientists have created blood-brain barriers outside the body before, the investigators said they believe this is the first time such a structure has been created from induced pluripotent stem cells that were derived from a patient, matched the patient’s DNA and displayed a characteristic defect of the patient’s disease.

This approach allows the prediction of the best-suited brain drug in a personalized manner.

This is of particular importance for neurological diseases like epilepsy or schizophrenia, in which several FDA-approved drugs are available, but current treatments are largely based on trial and error.


About 250 million people around the world – 8% of children and 4% of adults — have food allergies. In the United States alone, a food allergy triggers anaphylactic shock every six minutes. Sometimes, these incidents are fatal.

An Israeli startup is developing a handheld digital food allergen biosensor for consumers.

It’s the only such device capable of detecting and identifying all the common allergens — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish — from a single food sample placed on a disposable pad and analyzed by the battery-operated biosensor unit.


Mosquitoes have killed many more humans than all wars in history.

It is the most dangerous creature in Africa responsible for killing more Africans than any other through the spread of malaria, dengue and other diseases. Malaria kills over a million on the African continent every year, most of these are children under the age of five.

While the threat in Israel is less lethal, they are super annoying. Who is unfamiliar with them buzzing around your bed keeping you awake all night with their infernal whining sound as they dive into attack like the once-feared WWII German Stuka dive bomber!

The best defence against mosquitoes is making sure they can’t get to your skin and an Israeli start-up  has developed a device that scans and locates the biting insects in a room, sending a message to a phone app allowing you to easily kill them.  A future model will be capable of eliminating them as well!

Developed over three years, the device looks like a box, the size of a compact smartphone that can be connected to the wall or stand-alone on a flat surface. It uses an infrared camera that marks the mosquito’s exact location with a red laser, once it lands, providing the essential ‘intelligence’ to the disgruntled humans to kill them.

Although the current model only helps locate the mosquito a future model will be able to eliminate the mosquito on its own. In reality, killing a mosquito is the easy part – the real challenge is in detecting them. Mosquitoes are adept at avoiding human vision, attacking us when we don’t notice them. But, once you know a mosquito is in the room and see where it landed, killing it is simple

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