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Dead Sea & Arava Science Center (DSASCC)

The Laboratory for Skin Biotechnology and Biochemistry at the Dead Sea

Background:  

The natural resources of the Dead Sea area, specifically the unique solar radiation, water and mineral mud, are famous for their therapeutic properties. Thousands of patients, particularly those who suffer from skin pathologies, visit the area annually. In addition, tens of thousands of healthy visitors flock to the region to enjoy the refreshing and relaxing feeling of the skin following the exposure to the Dead Sea minerals. Recent scientific works showed that Dead Sea minerals inhibit the aging processes of the skin cells.

The Dead Sea branch of the DSASC, researchers from academic institutions in Israel and abroad, and private enterprises such as the AHAVA cosmetics company have long studied the therapeutic effects of Dead Sea minerals and climate. With JCA’s assistance the Laboratory for Skin Biotechnology and Biochemistry at the Dead Sea was founded in 2008 as a commercial enterprise. It will examine the effect of various substances from the Dead Sea area (water, minerals, mineral mud, active ingredients from plants and microorganisms) on skin in organ culture, skin equivalents and skin cells in tissue culture. In addition, the laboratory will supply research service for external research. Although the laboratory began operation in 2009, it is still missing critical equipment to establish itself as a leading laboratory for skin research.

Objectives

The development of the laboratory will contribute to the academic and demographic development of the Dead Sea area. In addition, it will support the branding of the Dead Sea area as a natural health and spa resort. A laboratory that will be supported by the facilities and manpower of DSASC, yet will act as a profit center, could supply the DSASC with income for additional research activities and employment. More specifically, the laboratory will:

  1. Create a service lab. that examines the effect of the biological activity of substances and creams on skin in organ culture, skin equivalents and skin cells in tissue culture for external scientific institutes, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
  2. Utilize the scientific facilities and the location of the laboratory at the Dead Sea area to increase collaboration with research institutes from Israel and abroad.
  3. Study the reaction of the skin to various Dead Sea-related therapies, including the unique solar radiation regime of the Dead Sea Area in combination with pharmaceutical drugs and/or Dead Sea ingredients on healthy skin, on skin pathologies such as Psoriasis, Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma, Atopic Dermatitis, Contact Dermatitis, and Vitiligo. Studies in the cellular, physiological and genetic level will help establish these therapies in the scientific community.

All stages will be guided by Prof. Yoram Milner, Director of the Myers Skin Laboratory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Contact:
Yael Maor

08-6688806/7