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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       July 4, 1996 V4, #120
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Enzyme Causing Self-Destruction of Living Cells Discovered

New research at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovot in Israel has revealed an enzyme which serves as a factor causing living cells to self-destruct. Prof. David Wallach of the Dept. for Membrane Research and Biophysics led the research and isolated the gene responsible for the unique enzyme. This may open the way to deal with auto-immune diseases.

Controversy Continues Over Shroud of Turin

By Jeri Watson (VOA-Washington)

Researchers from the University of Texas say a large piece of cloth known as the Shroud of Turin may have been made around the time of the death of Jesus. The teachings and life story of Jesus form the central beliefs of the Christian religion.

For hundreds of years, many people believed the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus. The Shroud shows a picture of a man executed on a cross, as Jesus was. It shows images of the front and back of a man who was beaten. It also shows that the man had sharp objects pushed into his head. The Christian Bible says Jesus was tortured in these ways before his death, in about the year 30.

The Shroud has been in a church in Turin, Italy, since 1578. The researchers recently reported their findings at a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology. The meeting was held in New Orleans.

In 1984, a study said it was not possible that the Shroud could have been used by Jesus. That study used a method known as radiocarbon dating. It showed the material of the Shroud probably was made between 1260 and 1390. This period of time is known as the Middle Ages.

Stephen Mattingly was one of the scientists who carried out the latest study of the Shroud. He says the radiocarbon dating used in 1988 examined more than the linen material of the Shroud. Mattingly says that study measured bacteria and fungi on the linen. He says some of these organisms still are alive and growing. He says they are growing because of their reaction with what he calls "modern carbon dioxide."

Mattingly says that if the bacteria and fungi are measured in addition to the linen, the results of the test would be wrong.

Mattingly says, "It is necessary to make the linen pure before measuring its age. Our findings mean that many objects that have been given dates by the radiocarbon-dating method must be looked at again."

The scientist whose tests showed the Shroud to be from the Middle Ages says he will study the University of Texas report. But the scientist, Paul Damon, says he believes the 1988 test results are correct.

Public Bus Transportation from Israel to Jordan Starts

Four public bus lines have started permanent service between Israel and Jordan.

One route, operated by the Dan Bus Company, will originate in Tel Aviv and travel to Amman by way of Afula, Beit Shean and the Jordan Bridge. Two other bus lines, operated by the Nazareth Tourism and Travel Company, will travel from Haifa and Nazareth to Amman and Irbid. A United Tours bus will transport passengers from Eilat to Aqaba.

The bus lines from Israel will be operated simultaneously with four Jordanian-owned bus lines traveling in the opposite direction.

Transportation Minister Yitzhak Levy said each of the four Israeli buses will initially make one trip to Jordan per day. The price of a ticket from Tel Aviv to Amman will be 23 shekels, (approximately $7). It will cost 5 shekels (approximately $1.50) to travel from Eilat to Aqaba.

New Diagnosis of Bladder Cancer Condition

An innovative way to diagnose success in bladder cancer treatment has been developed by Israeli scientists. The tests will show if there is an early need to remove the bladder thus preventing the spread of the cancer throughout the patient's body. The diagnosis also permits early preventive treatment.

The disease usually affects people over 50, and is the fifth most common form of cancer, with about 1,000 cases annually in Israel. The Israeli research results were published in the medical magazines, "Lancet," and the "American Journal of Clinical Oncology," which described them as having worldwide importance.

Jewish Burial Caves Shown in Detroit Exhibition

An archeological exhibition of finds from Jewish burial caves from the time of the Second Temple is on display in Detroit. It includes discoveries in three family burial complexes from the 1st century before the Common Era until the first century of it.

They were found during salvage diggings in 1989 on the slopes of Nahal Kidron. There were writings in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek on artifacts in the caves, revealing that those buried were Jews from northern Syria, as well as clay lamps, glasses and bottles made of glass, and gold earrings.

Later, in the Roman and Byzantine periods, Roman soldiers or local Christian residents used the caves, as proven by clay vessels with crosses stamped on them, or wooden coffins of the fifth and sixth centuries C.E. The earlier graves were not vandalized.

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