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December 20, 2002 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Jewry's Role in

We ek

Human Health

Anti-Israel Petition
Circulating At U.N.

The cause of the dread disease pellagra, afflicting many southeastern
Americans around the turn of the century, baffled investigators. Symptoms
included acute gastric upset, painful skin lesions and mental aberrations, all
too often leading to death. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929), a U.S. Public
Health Service physician born in Hungary, linked its onset to diet
deficiencies. His findings led to the isolation of a vitamin B factor
(nicotinic acid) that cured the ailment when combined with improved
nutrition.
Similarly, health professionals of Jewish origin have dispro-
portionately led the way with lifesaving breakthroughs before and during
this century. The names of some like August von Wassermann (1 866-
1925) and Bela Schick (1877 1967) remain attached to their discoveries:
the Schick Test that predicts susceptibility to diphtheria, and the
Wasserman Reaction for diagnosing syphilis. Others have also blazed
pathways to disease control and eradication.
The Polish-born biochemist, Casimir Funk (1884-1967), found a
preventive for beriberi and coined its name a "vitamine" which came to
designate a whole spectrum of nutritional elements. Currently on the
frontiers of molecular biology, Nobel Prize winner Walter Gilbert (1932-)
is advancing the science of genetic engineering by mapping the human
genetic blueprint.
Yet another respected researcher in microbiology, Mathilde Krim
(1926-), has usefully applied molecular virology to probe for the causes of
cancer and AIDS. And Canadian biologist Sidney Altman (1939 ) shared
a Nobel Prize for discoveries related to RNA molecules that could help
strengthen the body's defenses against viral attack.
Dental science has an international leader as well. Landmark
studies of dental disease by Irwin Mandel (1921-) earned the discipline's
counterpart of the Nobel Prize: the ADA Gold Medal - Award for
Excellence. Among others not mentioned in previous columns areJewish
medical practitioners, scientists and public figures whose gifts to human
welfare are better known than their names:
Ludwig Traub ( 1 8 1 8 1876), a founder of experimental pathology.
Julius Bernstein (1839-1917), widely regarded as the father of modern
neurophysiology. Julius Cohnheim (1839-84) who helped
modernize pathology and proved that tuberculosis was
contagious. George Haym (1841 1933), the discoverer
of blood platelets. Joseph De Lee (1869 1942), a
designer of medical instruments used worldwide.
Martin Heidenhain (1864-1949), a founder of
the field of cytology. Adrian Kantrowitz
(1918-) who designed the famous Kantrowitz-
General Electric pacemaker.
The achievements continue with Alelander Marmorek (1865-
1923), a pioneer in typhus and diabetes research. Isaac Hays (1796 1879),
a founder of the AMA in 1847. Adam Politzer (1835-1920), a preeminent
authority on ear disease who established the field of otology. Oscar
Minkowski (1858-1931), an originator of insulin treatment for diabetes.
Adolphus Solomons (1826-1910) who with Clara Barton co-founded the
American Red Cross. Alexander Wiener (1907-1976), a co-discoverer of
the Rh blood factor.
What's more, advances in medical technology bearing Jewish
signatures include digitalis, the world's first oral contraceptive, the
invention of the laryngoscope, modern tranquilizers, the first practical birth
control pill and the wonder drug, streptomycin.
- Saul Stadtmauer

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New York/JTA — Arab nations are
circulating a resolution to have the
U.N. Security Council condemn the
recent killings of three U.N. workers
by Israeli soldiers.
Several diplomats say the resolu-
tion may be supported by 14 of the
15 council members, but the United
States is likely to cast a veto if neces-
sary, the Associated Press reported.
In another development, U.N.
Mideast envoy Terje Roed-Larsen
criticized the Israeli military's con-
duct in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip at a Security Council meeting.
He called for Israeli soldiers to
behave "with greater restraint and
discipline."

Hebrew-Mizo
Dictionary Created

Jerusalem/JTA — A dictionary was
published that translates Hebrew
words into a language spoken by
a group that describes itself as one of
Israel's lost tribes.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the
dictionary contains hundreds of
entries in Hebrew, English and Mizo,
the language spoken by the Bnei
Menashe in northeastern India.
Members of the Bnei Menashe
believe they are descended from the
biblical lost tribe of Menashe. Many
have immigrated to Israel in the past
few years after undergoing formal
conversions to Judaism.

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Visit many more notable Jews at our website: www.dorledor.org

12/20

2002

12

COMMISSION FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF JEWISH HISTORY
Walter & Lea Field, Founders/Sponsors
Irwin S. Field, Chairperson
Harriet F. Siden, Chairperson

680880

Canadian Indian
May Be Prosecuted

Ottawa/JTA — A Canadian Indian
leader who praised Hitler could be
fined or jailed for breaking
hate crime laws.
Chris Axworthy, attorney general
in the province of Saskatchewan, said
he has asked police to investigate
whether to press charges against
David Ahenakew. B'nai Brith Canada
has written to Axworthy asking that
Ahenakew be prosecuted for hate
crimes. According to David Matas,
B'nai Brith Canada's senior legal
counsel, Ahenakew's conduct
amounted to "the most extreme of
cases."

News Digest

In a profanity-laced address at a
conference, Ahenakew said Hitler
carried out his genocidal campaign
against the Jews because "the Jews
damn near owned all of Germany
prior to the war." Hitler "was going
to make damn sure that the Jews did-
n't take over Germany or Europe,"
the 69-year-old former leader of the
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian
Nations added.
Other Canadian Indian leaders
have distanced themselves from his
remarks and, on Tuesday, Ahenakew
apologized and said he embarrassed
his people.

Rio, Ramallah
Are Sister Cities

Rio de Janeiro/JTA — Jewish leaders
in Rio de Janeiro are questioning a
decision by city officials to declare
Rio the sister city of Ramallah.
Members of the Jewish community
are asking members of the city coun-
cil how the twinning arrangement
came about and what it will entail,
the new president of the Rio de
Janeiro State Jewish Federation,
Osias Wurman, told JTA.
Last June, the Rio City Council
awarded its highest honor to Pales-
tinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat,
who has his headquarters in
Ramallah.

Presidents Group
Rejects Meretz

New York/JTA — Meretz USA's bid to
join the Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish Organizations
was rejected.
The vote, at a meeting of the
umbrella group of American Jewry,
came after the conference's member-
ship committee recommended reject-
ing Meretz USA, saying it has too
small a budget and scope of impact.
However, some conference members
say the 17-14 vote was political. The
conference leadership "really doesn't
want us on board," said Charney
Bromberg, executive director of
Meretz USA, a peace and civil rights
group associated with the left-wing
Israeli political party. "There's no
question that we belong. Some of the
largest and most important organiza-
tions in Jewish life said so at the meet-
ing."

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