Newsletter : 5fax0710.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 10, 1995, V3, #125
All the News the Big Guys Missed
For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management
Israeli Research Isolates Gene Causing Deadly Disease in Children:
A team of researchers at the Genetics Department of Tel Aviv
University has isolated a gene causing the mortal illness, Ataxia
Telengitaxia, a rare hereditary disease in children. The discovery
is also related to cancer research. The disease is a nerve ailment
appearing in children below the age of 10. It causes imbalance and
then inability to walk. Later, malignant growths occur. So far, all
victims have died.
Transportation Agreement Opens Israel/Jordan Travel
An Israeli-Jordanian transportation agreement signed Sunday will
allow private motorists to cross the border beginning in August.
The agreement provides for the opening of uninterrupted bus service
between the two countries. Israeli buses will transport passengers
to destinations in Jordan. Until now, those traveling between the
two countries were obliged to switch buses at the border.
Lines are scheduled to run between Tel Aviv and Amman, Haifa
and Irbid, Acre and Zarka, and Eilat and Aqaba. Transportation
Minister Yisrael Kessar announced the addition of two bus lines
from Nazareth to Amman and Irbid.
Currently, bus service between Nazareth and Amman has not been
able to accommodate the large number of Arab residents wishing to
visit relatives in Jordan.
The agreement also permits commercial trucks to transport shipments
between the two countries, and between the territories
Avital Opens Dialogue with Jewish Leaders
Ambassador Colette Avital, Consul General of Israel in New York,
met last week with Orthodox rabbis, heads of major Jewish
organizations and other community leaders.
Although there was disagreement on the direction of the peace
process, all said they opposed extremist enmity toward the Israeli
Participants also discussed ways in which the Israeli government
could inform the American Jewish community on the expected IDF
redeployment in the West Bank.
Russians will Support Advancement of Israeli-Syrian Negotiations
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said Russia will take
advantage of its special relationship with Syria to advance the
peace process and that he would do his utmost to support the
Although Russia would join the efforts to further talks between
Israel and Syria, Kozyrev told visiting Deputy Foreign Minister
Yossi Beilin that this would not interrupt or ignore the role
played by the United States.
"We are among those that know Syria and Assad the best," the
Russian Foreign Minister said. "I have had long discussions with
[Assad], he is a knowledgeable man."
Beilin and Kozyrev agreed to establish a joint Israeli-Russian
committee that will conduct diplomatic and strategic discussions
twice a year. The committee will focus on fundamentalism,
terrorism, and bilateral issues.
Laser Treatment Can Improve Fertility
Bar Ilan University researchers have found that fertility in sperm
cells can be improved through using laser beam treatment. The
experiments have been conducted on mice, not yet on humans. About
40 percent of adult males in Israel suffer from some degree of
infertility. The Chief Scientist of the Ministry of the Health is
sponsoring the research, which previously was based on infra-red
radiation, which raised the calcium level in sperm cells.
New Hope for Heart Illness Patients
A six-hour heart operation -- the first of its kind in Israel --
was performed at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, and promises
new hope for terminal heart-insufficiency patients. Dr. Itamar
Shalit, the director of the Carmel Center, reported that the
operation involved a 57-year-old immigrant from Argentina who has
had two heart attacks which harmed the functioning of his heart
muscle. He could not survive a heart transplant, so the surgeons
removed a portion of muscle from his back, still connected to blood
supply and nerves, and attached it to his heart, strengthening
it, and implanting a pacemaker.
Lowering Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
An American company will produce a medical instrument to lower
blood sugar and cholesterol levels, under a world patent, using a
chemical material found in the spice "hilbeh" (fenugreek) which is
widely used by Yemenites, including the Yemenite Jewish community
in Israel. The Hebrew University researchers headed by Prof. Nissim
Gerati and Prof. Zecharia Madad of the Agriculture Faculty
discovered that this spice, grown chiefly in India and Indonesia,
is especially popular among Yemenites.
Eating it reduces the level of blood sugar and cholesterol
significantly. It gives an odor to the skin, but the researchers
found an odorless chemical substitute.
Preserving Ancient Mosaics
A new method of preserving ancient mosaics discovered in
excavations has been devised in Israel and is now in use. The idea
is not to remove or dismantle the mosaics from their original sites
and take them to museums. The latest major mosaic is at Tsippori in
north-central Israel and represents the Nile Festival, dating
probably from the fifth century of the Common Era. It contains
excellent pictures of people and animals and hunting scenes,
fishing, a stork killing a snake, a bird on a lotus plant, etc. The
mosaic is cleaned and treated on the spot, including the use of
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