In the interim, budgets have been allocated, infrastructure put into place, and logistics coordinated. As of August 2015, every newborn birthed in Israel - Jew, Christian, Muslim, Bedouin, Druze, will undergo newborn screening via the "Guthrie" testing method - a painless heel-prick followed by genetic testing for the biomarkers which indicate presence of the disorder.
It has been estimated that in areas without SCID screening, as many as two undetected SCID babies die as a result of early infections for every child who is diagnosed later, purely by chance.
With an appropriate donor match, bone marrow transplants have been successfully utilized to treat and reverse the condition. In 2014, news broke of a new curative method utilizing stem cells. In May of 2015, a consortium led by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline filed for initial regulatory approval of a gene therapy method it has in development to treat SCID. Most recently, experimentation has progressed to replace faulty SCID genes via a system known as CRISPR gene-editing.
With the advent of new technologies, and with current and prospective treatment options for SCID in R&D pipelines, the criticality of early detection and intervention can not and should not be overstated.
With the vast heterogeneity of Israel's population, the current undertaking has the potential to build the most diverse, clinically relevant database of SCID DNA samples in existence, a boon to researchers and pharmaceutical and biotech firms alike.
In May 2015, Israel's Chief Scientist announced Israel's intentions to create a national genome-sequencing program and nationwide genetic database, a move which has the capacity to lead to far greater understanding and treatment of SCID and other rare genetic disorders.
His life was immortalized in the Hollywood feature film "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," starring John Travolta.