With election speculation subsiding and the winter session of the Knesset ending we can now concentrate on productive good news of which there is no shortage… writes Michael Kuttner.

MORE MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS 

* Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot have reported a breakthrough of successfully detecting prostate cancer cells with high sensitivity using  CellDetect a noninvasive diagnostic test, developed at Kaplan over the past two years. Current screening tests for prostate cancer deliver a high rate of false positive results (as low as 25% specificity), leading to unnecessary invasive diagnostic tests such as biopsies. Trials of CellDetect, a new-generation cytopathological staining platform for accurate cancer detection, demonstrated successful detection of prostate cancer cells in urine samples with 91.3% sensitivity and 75% specificity.

CellDetect previously was proven effective for diagnosing cervical and bladder cancer in multiple clinical studies and it is expected that the technology can be implemented for use in additional cancer detection indications.

  • Next-generation diagnostic kits that can provide medical professionals with more immediate results are being developed. The new technology, in the form of a smart USB-like drive, is an electrochemical lateral flow immunosensor that conducts quantitative diagnosis of disease-related biomarkers and pathogens. The new $5 testing kit presents a breakthrough in diagnosis. Instead of waiting for lab results, medical staff will be able to receive immediate results and decide on a course of action.

* An Israeli startup is looking to use computer vision and artificial intelligence to help pathologists process and analyze biopsies for cancer more accurately and quickly. Today, most diagnoses of diseases including cancer are performed by pathologists, who examine tissue taken during biopsy and determine whether it is normal, benign or malignant. This painstaking process, using slides and a microscope, has remained stagnant over the past century, requiring years of training. Even a small cluster of unnoticed cancer cells can lead to a possibly fatal misdiagnosis. The company has developed software that uses computer vision, algorithms and artificial intelligence to scan biopsies. The software then processes the information — comparing it to thousands of other scans it has been fed previously — to identify problematic ones and flag them for the pathologists overseeing the process.

In a couple of months the technology, which is still under development, will be deployed in hospitals and research centers in Israel and the US.

SHARING AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY

Israel recently hosted 24 professionals from 10 Russian-speaking countries who participated in a tailor-made course in Israel organized by Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The professionals underwent an intensive program on entrepreneurship, marketing and post-harvest in agriculture, which was held at held at in Kibbutz Shefayim, on Israel’s coast.

The professionals arrived from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The objective of the course was to share advanced Israeli technologies and practices, including the use of know-how by private and cooperative entrepreneurs, modern marketing methods, post-harvest technology to preserve fresh produce, quality and safety of agricultural products in the local and export markets, and strategies for export of competitive products to meet international standards.

INTRODUCING SOME OF ISRAEL’S FEMALE AMBASSADORS

This short video introduces you to some of the country’s female ambassadors representing the Jewish State in various parts of the world.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zmwzrl-F_Mc?rel=0

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.]

 

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