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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guess where the World's only bone marrow registry for Arabs is...

Yes, you guessed correctly. It's in Israel.
Since 2008, Dr. Amal Bishara has traveled to 60 Arab villages in search of cheek-swab samples for the world's only Arab bone marrow registry, housed at Jerusalem's Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center. She has gathered 9,000 samples for the registry, resulting in six life-saving donations.

That might not seem like a lot, considering that about 1.2 million of the world's roughly 400 million ethnic Arabs live in Israel. But Bishara, who has a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Hadassah, first has to explain the need for a registry of unrelated, anonymous donors. Since Arabs frequently marry relatives, at least 60 percent of those needing marrow find genetic matches within their own extended families.

Using lectures, publicity campaigns, newspaper articles and social media, Bishara has spread the word that the registry is the best means of locating donors for Arabs suffering from blood cancers and a variety of genetic diseases. And her efforts seem to be paying off.

"A small girl needed a transplant recently and our phone did not stop ringing," Bishara tells ISRAEL21c. "People want to participate. Now my emphasis is on getting university students to join because they are committed, young and healthy." She'd like to beef up the registry to 50,000 names.

Prof. Chaim Brautbar began Hadassah's bone marrow registry 22 years ago, and it now includes 75,000 potential Jewish donors. The information is stored in a global registry of about 15 million names, says Dr. Shoshana Israel, head of the registry and Hadassah's tissue typing laboratory. She says several attempts to convince Arabs to participate had fallen flat until Bishara was brought in.
Read the whole thing.

I'm waiting for the first moron to say that we're an apartheid state because we have a separate registry for Arabs.

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At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel and the U.S. are the only two countries I know that go out of their way to help people that hate them. The U.S. goes so far as to borrow money [mostly from China buying our bonds] to give aid to people that not only hate us, but would like to destroy us. Does this seem sane to you?


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