Friday, November 20, 2009

Israel: We believe in Life; You Benefit

By Barry Rubin

You may be aware that while its enemies are threatening to wipe it off the map or are attacking it with terrorism and while many of those who should be its friends slander it daily, Israel does things that benefit all humanity. When you see four such medical and technological breakthroughs announced in one day, it should be hard to ignore.

There’s a now-famous Islamist slogan: We believe in death and you believe in life? Remember the implications of that for the rest of the world. But there’s also the opposite: We believe in life, including helping to save and better your life.

Here are the four latest examples:

-- A new Israeli invention allows cancerous tumors on the skin to be detected and examined before they become visible to the naked eye, Ben-Gurion University announced. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons usually diagnose skin tumors by the appearance of the tumor, normally with the naked eye, only rarely using a dermatoscope - a magnifying tool that allows tumors to be examined in detail. The newly developed instrument, known as OSPI, uses safe levels of radiation, projected at the tumor and returned to the gadget, which measures its character, including its contours and spread. OSPI also uses liquid crystals to carry out the examination.

--About 70% of all people with severe burns die from related infections. But a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University could cut that number dramatically. Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU's Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a new wound dressing based on fibers she engineered that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and then dissolve when they've done their job. A study published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Applied Biomaterials demonstrates that, after only two days, this dressing can eradicate infection-causing bacteria. The new dressing protects the wound until it is no longer needed, after which it melts away.

--A team at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center has managed to separate platelets and adult stem cells from the blood and bone marrow of patients with fractures and inject them - causing the bones to join together three to four times faster and repairing some breaks that would have failed to heal.
• Israel's water technology, including ways to recycle and clean water better is growing quickly. One of these companies Aqwise, which has a system which breeds bacteria to break down organic waste, saw its sales increase 50% in 2009. Israel expects to export $2.5 billion worth of technology by 2011. Hundreds of millions of people around the world still have no access to clean water.

Now if you want international attention and sympathy you can carry out terrorist attacks or you can save lives through humanitarian advances. Which should garner the most support?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.