Scientific Discoveries in Israel Sally Chemistry, P.2
DISCOVERIES IN ISRAEL… • Molecular Biology • Capsule endoscopy • Cancer research
Molecular Biology: Israel • -In 1970, Prof. Michel Revel, molecular biologist and physician, began working on interferon, a human gene that acts as a natural defense of the human body against viruses. -By 1979, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Ares-Serono Group decided to open Interpharm, an Israeli subsidiary in Rehovot. -The company offered the money necessary to express human genes to reproduce interferon and to isolate beta interferon. - By 1981, Prof. Michel Revel discovered that interferon also modulates the immune system and he produced the beta gene.
Molecular Biology: Israel: Continued • -This beta gene, Beta-Interferon was able to treat with multiple sclerosis. It quiets down the immune system and reduces attacks by over 50%, and it also reduces the disease's progression rate. -It is estimated today that 80 percent of the estimated 700,000 multiple sclerosis patients worldwide are treated with interferon, although there are three companies - including Interpharm - that make the gene. -Interferon-beta is not just for relapsing MS patients, its prescribed for patients with other types of the disease. -Currently, Prof. Michel Revel is working on combinational drugs that will repair the damage done to the nervous system.
Capsule Endoscopy: Israel -The capsule endoscopy procedure was invented by Gavriel Iddan, an Israeli electro-optical engineer, and after 20 years of work, Iddan signed a patent for capsule endoscopy inn 1997. -Capsule endoscopy procedures involve swallowing a video camera the size of a multivitamin, and allowing the video-imaging shell to glide through your digestive tract, transmitting images of your intestines to a data recorder worn around the waist, which are then downloaded onto a computer for examination.
Capsule Endoscopy: Israel: Continued -Capsule endoscopy procedures help to diagnose Crohn's, an inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and other small-intestine conditions. -More than 65,000 patients worldwide have swallowed the M2A capsule -Gavriel Iddan and his associates are determined to create solutions for the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the large intestine and colon.
Cancer Research: Israel -Cancer research was introduced to Israel in the 1950s by the Weizmann Institute. -One of Israel's first cancer-research discoveries was made by Prof. Isaac Birnbaum and Prof. Leo Sachs. They laid the foundation for differentiating between cancer cells and normal cells, and understanding the transformation of a normal cell into a cancerous cell. -While working on blood cells, Sachs discovered that cells have to "make decisions" about whether they will grow or differentiate more.
Cancer Research: Israel: Continued • -That early discovery led to other cancer-cell discoveries, including the properties, activities, and biology of the P53, a protein that is central to cancer biology. -P53 can be mutated in many human cancers because it instructs cells to stop proliferating and die, rather than mutate into cancerous cells. But when P53 mutates, there is nothing to prevent cells from developing cancer. -The P53 research led to more more discoveries, such as a DNA repair mechanism that could allow cells to repair damage and reconstruct a normal gene from a damaged one.
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