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Negev Man Wins First Lotto Prize - Again

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A Negev resident has won first prize in the national Lotto lottery - for the second time in four months. The man, who owns a wood-and-metal marketing business said, "I'm a believing Jew, and I always tried to observe the Torah commandments. Suddenly, this luck falls upon me." Last October, the man chose all six Lotto numbers, but had to share the top prize - walking off with four million shekels. This time, he was the sole winner, and won 12 million shekels after taxes. He used the previous winnings to pay off his business' debts and to open savings plans for his four children. The odds of winning first prize twice within four months were estimated at 169 trillion to one by Dr. Moshe Barbi, a senior statistician at Bar Ilan University.


Tay-Sachs, the `Jewish Disease,' Almost Eradicated

By Ha'aretz

The genetic mutation disease Tay-Sachs, a fatal inherited disease of the central nervous system that mostly affects Ashkenazi Jews, has been almost completely eradicated, experts say, who claim that a genetic illness has become extinct for the first time.

"Last year not a single Jewish baby throughout North America was born with Tay-Sachs," said Prof. Robert Desnick of the Department of Human Genetics at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. Desnick is in Israel as the guest of Jerusalem's Hadassah hospitals. He said that of the 10 babies born in North America in 2003 with Tay-Sachs, not a single one was Jewish.

Figures from Israel paint a similar picture. According to Prof. Joel Zlotogora, who heads the Health Ministry's Department of Community Genetics, just one baby was born with Tay-Sachs in Israel in 2003. Insofar as is known, not a single baby in Israel was born with Tay-Sachs last year, but as the disease takes some six months to manifest itself, the figures for 2004 are not final.

Desnick said that the data for the past two years may stem from a coincidental fluctuation in the incidence of the disease, and that isolated cases may appear this year or the next. He stressed, nevertheless, that whatever the case may be, the disease appears to have disappeared almost completely from among the Jewish nation.

Prof. Gideon Bach, who heads the Department of Genetics at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, said the eradication of Tay-Sachs can be attributed primarily to the fact that the general public in Israel is advised to carry out, at the expense of the state, genetic tests to diagnose the disease before the birth of the baby. In the event an unborn baby is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, the pregnancy is usually terminated.

Another reason for the eradication of the disease, Bach said, is the work of the ultra-Orthodox association, Dor Yesharim. The association carries out tests on young individuals to check whether they are genetically "suitable." The results of these tests are passed on to the matchmaker. If there is a risk that a designated couple may give birth to children affected with Tay-Sachs, the matchmaker will report that the match is unsuitable. Bach, who works with Dor Yesharim, said that numerous intended couples have been split up in the wake of genetic testing.

Some 1,000 years ago a Jew developed the genetic mutation, which, it turned out, caused the fatal inherited disease. It has since been passed on among the Jewish people through the generations. Tay-Sachs is a fatal genetic disorder mostly found in children that causes progressive destruction of the central nervous system. In general, children affected by the disease do not live beyond the age of 4.


Why Not Boycott Israel?
Commentary (United Kingdom Daily Sport)

OK. So I understand that you are ticked off at Israel, and in love with the Palestinians. That's fine with me, as long as you have truly weighed all the facts. So, you want to boycott Israel? I'll be sorry to miss you, but if you are doing it - do it properly. Let me help you. Check all your medications. Make sure that you do not have tablets, drops, lotions, etc., made by Abic or Teva. It may mean that you will suffer from colds and flu this winter but, hey, that's a small price for you to pay in your campaign against Israel, isn't it?

While we are on the subject of your Israeli boycott, and the medical contributions to the world made by Israeli doctors and scientists, how about telling your pals to boycott the following. To reduce scarring and adhesions in gynecological surgery, Laproscopy and Laser Laproscopy were developed by Israeli medical research teams. An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis. So, if you know anyone suffering from MS, tell them to ignore the Israeli patent that may, more accurately, diagnose their symptoms.

An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands. This device electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries. If you wish to remove this hope of a better quality of life to these people, go ahead and boycott Israel. Young children with breathing problems will soon be sleeping more soundly, thanks to a new Israeli device called the Child Hood. This innovation replaces the inhalation mask with an improved drug delivery system that provides relief for child and parent. Please tell anxious mothers that they shouldn't use this device because of your passionate cause. These are just a few examples of how people have benefited medically from the Israeli know-how you wish to block.

Boycotts often affect research. A new research center in Israel hopes to throw light on brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease. The Joseph Sangol Neuroscience Center in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Hospital aims to bring thousands of scientists and doctors to focus on brain research. A researcher at Israel's Ben Gurion University has succeeded in creating human monoclonal antibodies that can neutralize the highly contagious smallpox virus without inducing the dangerous side effects of the existing vaccine...

But let's not get too obsessed with medical research?¦ there are other ways you can make a personal sacrifice with your anti-Israel boycott. Most of Windows operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel. So, set a personal example. Throw away your computer! The Pentium NMX Chip technology was designed at Intel in Israel. Both the Pentium 4 microprocessor and the Centrum processor were entirely designed, developed, and produced in Israel. Voice mail technology was developed in Israel. The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 in Israel by four young Israeli whiz kids. Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R.& D. facilities outside the US in Israel. So, due to your complete boycott of anything Israeli, you now have poor health and no computer.

But your bad news does not end there. Get rid of your cellular phone! Cell phone technology was also developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its biggest development center in Israel. Israeli scientists developed most of the latest technology in your mobile phone. Feeling unsettled? You should be. Part of your personal security rests with Israeli inventiveness, borne out of our urgent necessity to protect and defend our lives from the terrorists you support. A phone can remotely activate a bomb, or be used for tactical communications by terrorists, bank robbers, or hostage-takers. It is vital that official security and law enforcement authorities have access to cellular jamming and detection solutions...

I also want you to know that Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita - 109 per 10,000 - than any other nation. Israel has the highest number of start-up companies per rata. In absolute terms, the highest number, except the US., Israel has the greatest ratio of patents filed. Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies outside of Silicon Valley. Israel is ranked 2 in the world for venture capital funds, behind the USA. Israel has more museums per capita. Israel has the second highest publication of new books per capita.

Relative to population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. These immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom of expression, economic opportunity, and quality of life. Believe it or not, Israel is the only country in the world that had a net gain in the number of trees last year. So, you can vilify and demonize the State of Israel. You can continue your silly boycott, if you wish. But I wish you would consider the consequences, and the truth. Think of the massive contribution that Israel is giving to the world, including the Palestinians - and to you - in science, medicine, communications, security.


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