LIFE-SAVING DOCTORAL STUDENT KNOWS HER FUNGI

Dalia Levinson, who is studying for her doctorate under the world’s leading authority on fungi, Prof. Solomon Wasser of the University’s Institute of Evolution (see Focus, Spring 1996) proved she has learned her subject well--and as a result saved the lives of a young Haifa couple. While on a picnic, the couple had eaten wild mushrooms, which poisoned them and put their lives in jeopardy. Doctors at the Haifa hospital where they were taken could not identify the fungi, which had been brought in the ambulance with the patients; neither could experts at the nearby Poison Control Center. The latter fortunately knew of the work on mushrooms being done at the University. Although Wasser was on sabbatical, his doctoral student, Levinson, was able to name the dangerous mushroom as belonging to the gushit hasatan variety. The doctors then prescribed the necessary antidote to save the couple’s lives.

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