Winter is well and truly here but rainfall is still far below what we require. Meantime, there is no shortage of further medical advances, amazing innovations and heartwarming human drama… writes Michael Kuttner.
ISRAEL CREATES FURTHER MEDICAL MIRACLES
Benefitting humanity and being a light unto the nations has always been the destiny of the Jewish Nation. Here are some latest examples of how this is being put into practice in our time.
* A Tel Aviv University study that set out to find what makes some pancreatic cancer patients more likely to survive the deadly disease than others hopes to use the results to develop an effective cocktail of drugs to fight the aggressive cancer as well as other types, researchers said. Despite all the treatments afforded by modern medicine, some 75 percent of all pancreatic cancer patients die within 12 months of diagnosis, including many who die within just a few months.
* Expectant mothers who take folic acid and multivitamin supplements before and during pregnancy appear to be far less at risk of bearing children with autism, a study led by the University of Haifa suggests. Women who take the supplements prior to pregnancy are 61 percent less likely to have an autistic child and those who do so during pregnancy are 73% less at risk, an international research team found.
* A northern Israel-based startup has developed a “smart” sock — a wearable medical device that helps improve circulation in the legs for treating venous and lymphatic diseases:
ElastiMed’s sock uses battery-operated technology to activate electric pulses that compress and massage the legs to stimulate circulation. The pulses mimic contractions in the calf muscles that in turn increase blood flow. The smart sock is aimed at athletes, pregnant women whose feet and legs often swell from fluid retention, and patients suffering from chronic wounds and other disorders such as varicose veins, Lymphedema (damage to the lymph nodes), and venous thrombosis. Left untreated, some of the conditions can lead to significant pain, itching, swelling and other dangerous medical complications.
* A UK family is racing against time to raise funds for specialised surgery in Israel which offers the only alternative to amputation for their six-year-old daughter:
She is suffering from a condition called proximal focal femoral deficiency which will leave her left leg more than 20cm shorter than her right if left untreated.
NHS doctors say the best option is an above-the knee-amputation to allow a prosthetic limb to be fitted.
But her parents have rejected amputation and want their daughter to undergo specialised leg-lengthening surgery offered by Dr Dror Paley, a world expert in treating the condition, at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Dr Paley believes the surgery can give her a full range of motion by the time she reaches mid teens.
JERUSALEM CITY CENTRE TO BECOME A CLEAN AIR ZONE
The City Council approved a new municipal “reduced emission area” bylaw that restricts the entry of heavy and polluting vehicles into the city center. Its enforcement is planned through cameras and a computerized system which will analyze the details of entering vehicles, according to the vehicle’s license plate.
“The decision will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life and air quality in the city center, reduce transportation loads, and turn the center of Jerusalem into one of the areas with the cleanest air – ‘mountain air clear as wine’” said a statement from the municipality.
AN AMAZING TRUE STORY
Watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Om7BkH6QQ&feature=youtu.be – and marvel at how dramatic miracles still occur.
Consumer warning: keep a supply of tissues handy.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel.
[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]