Monday, June 02, 2008

Some Scottish Snippets

These two articles are from the Scottish Snippets newsletter

DNA Study in Orkney and Shetlands

The genes of hundreds of residents in Orkney and Shetland are to be studied
to try to establish why Scotland - and the northern islands in particular -
has the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. Residents
who suffer from MS as well as those who have no history of the disease,
will be asked to give blood. Scientists will then compare the two samples
in the expectation that they will be able to unravel the mystery as to why
rates of MS are so high in Orkney, Shetland and Scotland and also to
provide possible answers for patients who suffer the disease around the
world. They hope to be able then produce new drugs to combat the effects of
the debilitating illness. Due to the stable population and lack of
immigration in Orkney and Shetland it will be easier to pick out the signal
of a genetic effect there from all the "background noise".

First Jewish Tartan
The first record of a Jew in Scotland is in 1691 and since then they have
been an integral part of the country and its people. Jews were never
persecuted and there were no pogroms, no Holocaust, no national or state
sponsored antisemitic laws. When England was burning and exiling its Jews
in the Middle Ages, Scotland provided a safe haven from English and
European anti-Semitism. Now, after over 300 years, an official Jewish
tartan has been created and registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority.
It was designed by the only Scottish-born Rabbi living in Scotland, it's
100 per cent Kosher - being a non wool-linen mix. It incorporates many
aspects of Scottish-Jewish cultural and religious history, with the
colours, weave and number of threads picked for their relevance to
Judaism.The blue and white represents the colours of the Israeli and
Scottish flag with the central gold line representing the gold from the
Biblical Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and the many ceremonial
vessels. The launch of the new tartan coincided with Israel's 60th
anniversary celebrations.

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