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November 27, 1995 | From Times staff reports
Why could the mongoose Rikki Tikki Tavi attack deadly snakes with impunity in Kipling's "Jungle Book?" Because he has a uniquely mutated receptor for a brain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The toxins in many snake venoms, including that of cobras, bind to the acetylcholine receptors of their victims, blocking nerve-muscle communications.
April 30, 1991 | United Press International
The snake and scorpion venom business has become so profitable that officials in the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan have imposed export quotas. The official Tass news agency said Monday that Ayaz Mutalibov, leader of the southern republic, signed a decree controlling the export of the venom, along with medicinal herbs and other folk medicine. The law also sets up snake and herb farms to increase the profitable business.
June 19, 1991
Mary Hewitt Loveless, 92, a physician who developed an injection to prevent shock from bee and wasp stings. While others were grinding up entire bees and other stinging insects for inoculations, she focused on venom sacs, injecting patients with venom to enable them to build up a tolerance. Her methods were questioned by many doctors as too dangerous, but in 1979 the Food and Drug Administration approved a venom immunization against bee stings. In Westport, Conn., on June 2.
March 3, 1989 | From Associated Press
A researcher who keeps 1,000 venomous snakes for scientific purposes was in serious but stable condition Thursday after being bitten by a Pakistan pit viper. William E. Haast, 78, was extracting venom from the viper when it bit his thumb, a hospital spokesman said.
August 31, 1998 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II
Snake venom may hold the promise of fighting breast cancer, according to USC researchers. While studying the properties of copperhead snake venom, biochemist Francis Markland and his colleagues told an American Chemical Society meeting last week in Boston that the venom contains a protein that could block tiny cells known as platelets from binding together. They then figured the protein might help slow the growth of cancer by blocking the invasive actions of tumor cells, Markland said.
April 26, 1992 | From Associated Press
Researchers increased a natural insecticide's ability to kill crop-eating caterpillars by making it produce a scorpion venom toxin. The natural insecticide is an insect virus. Scientists at UC Davis made the virus more effective against caterpillars by inserting a scorpion gene so the virus produced the deadly toxin.
April 9, 2001 | STEPHEN HARTKE, Stephen Hartke is a composer and professor at the USC Thornton School of Music. He lives in Glendale
Musicians and critics view each other with morbid fascination. One group works with the incorporeal reality of sound and the other with the translation of that experience into personal opinion. The art of music is ultimately timeless while the craft of criticism is at best transitory.
August 9, 2004 | Ronald Brownstein
The 2004 presidential election is generating a level of intensity both inspiring and frightening. Inspiring because it holds the promise of improving the anemic participation in elections. Almost all polls show that the share of voters closely following news about this campaign is up from 2000. Americans are sending the same message with their wallets: President Bush, Sen. John F. Kerry and Democratic interest groups all have raised unprecedented sums, much of it from small donors.
November 27, 2000 | JAMES P. PINKERTON, James P. Pinkerton, who writes a column for Newsday in New York, worked in the White House of President George Bush. E-mail:
Politics hath no fury like the fury of a woman scorned. And no woman has been more scorned than Katherine Harris, Florida's Republican secretary of state. But last night, after nearly three weeks of abuse from Democrats and the media, Harris hath had her revenge. The loser, of course, is Al Gore. And the winner, maybe, is George W. Bush. Yet even greater furies have been loosed in the three weeks since election day, far fiercer than during the campaign itself.
November 2, 1991
'We came here out of goodwill' --Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli prime minister For two days . . . we have heard much criticism and many charges. We can respond to each and every charge, to every misrepresentation of history and fact--and there were quite a few--and we can refute every contention. We, too, can cite morality, justice and international legality in our favor. But is this what we have come here for?
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