Newsletter : 5fax0620.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
June 20, 1995, V3, #112
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Computer Program to Improve Phone Conversations on Internet
A new version of Internet-Phone has been produced in Israel to
allow "natural" phone conversations through Internet, with both
parties talking simultaneously. This could become a cheap
substitute for international phone calls. The Vocaltech Co. has
produced the new program and signed agreements with suppliers in
the U.S. involved in Internet connections.
Rabin Speaks of July 1 Deadline
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says it is "very doubtful"
that the July 1 target date can be met for agreement on the
expansion of Palestinian autonomy, if the Palestinians insist on
reaching agreement on all aspects of a planned Israeli troop
Rabin outlined the government's plan to withdraw from some
Palestinian cities to two parliamentary committees on Monday. He
said he is only willing to make a partial withdrawal in the short
term, to be followed by Palestinian elections, with a further
withdrawal to be negotiated later.
After the committee meetings, Rabin told reporters that if the
Palestinians insist on knowing the full details of the second
phase of the withdrawal now, it will take more than the 10 days
remaining before the July 1 target date to negotiate it. It
is not clear whether the two sides have already agreed on the
first phase of the withdrawal.
One well-placed Israeli official says they have, and that the
current argument is about a future Israeli withdrawal from the
tense West Bank city of Hebron. But other Israeli officials say
the timing of withdrawals from the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem
are also still in dispute. And Palestinian officials say there is
still a wide gap between the Israeli and Palestinian visions of the
next stage of the peace process.
Edomite Site? Or Nomadic Crossing Point?
With ancient incense burners emitting mysterious fumes of myrrh and
frankincense, the Israel Museum -- now celebrating its 30th
anniversary -- has uncovered finds from the archeological
excavations at the Ein Hatzeva Temple in the Arava Rift.
The exhibition, "On the road to Edom, the Discoveries at Ein
Hatzeva," implies an identification of the temple as an Edomite
site during the era of the Kings of Judah. However, not all
researchers agree with that; Ein Hatzeva is astride the roads where
the Spice Caravan Route went through from the Arabian Peninsula
through Petra and to the Gaza coast. The site was called Tamar in
Biblical times and may have been the first station on Israeli soil
of this ancient historic route. Three fortresses from early Israeli
times (from the 10th to the 6th century before the Common Era) have
been unearthed there. They were defense points for the trade and
travel routes of the convoys. The ruins of a khan, or camel caravan
inn, have also been found, on which were built a fortress in Roman
New Method of Treating Skin Cancer
The Ichilov Medical Centers in Tel Aviv and the Jezreel Valley
(Afula) have reported new methods of treating skin cancer from
experience accumulated at the Ecological Institute which indicates
that Interferon Alfa prevents the recurrence of the ailment.
Some 40 patients have been treated this way in the past six years;
in only six of them, did the cancer recur. This is a much lower
rate than in patients not treated with this medication. Melanomas
are now being discovered earlier due to the alertness of physicians
and the cancer therefore penetrates less and is easier to treat.
Herpes Virus Used as Nerve Treatment
At the Medical Faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the
herpes virus -- after being "neutralized" and then "enriched"
through genetic engineering -- is being introduced into genes as
medication to cure nerve ailments. This includes brain cells.
The diseases involved include Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, muscular
dystrophy, cerebral strokes, multiple sclerosis and damage to the
spinal column. It is also hoped the method will work with
congenital genetic shortcomings causing hereditary muscular
diseases. Dr. Yisrael Steiner of the Neurological Division heads
the research team developing this new method, based on the
discovery some 40 years ago of the DNA genetic codes and their
importance in tracing the onset of many diseases of a genetic or
Scientists think one way of combatting them is by intervening in
the processes occurring in the brain and the nervous system. This
can be done by introducing a healthy gene in place of the affected
one to get the body working normally again. Steiner's team has
isolated an archetype of the herpes virus from humans. The negative
elements causing the disease are removed, and are replaced by a
healthy gene, which is then re-introduced into the nervous systems
of laboratory mice.
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