X-Message-Number: 10386
From: "Geoff Lee" <>
Subject:  Defences Against Death - Something of Interest
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 12:13:19 -0000

 In the August 1997 Issue of National Geographic, there is an article by
 John L. Eliot which starts as:
> Mongoose Edge: Immunity to Venom
> "Eye to eye and head to head . . .
> This shall end when one is dead."
> Thus Rudyard Kipling's tale pits the valiant mongoose Rikki-tikki-tavi
> Nag the cobra, doomed by the mongoose's lightning quickness.

John Eliot  then goes on to indicate that  Sara Fuchs, an Israeli
researcher, and her
collaborators have discovered that Rikki-tikki-tavi had an added advantage
in that
mongooses are relatively immune to snake venom.
"Relative to their body weight, a mongoose can withstand 20 times the
 venom that is lethal  to a mouse," says Fuchs."

  Long Life 

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