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The fate of the US-led 'Road Map' for the Middle East, which would lead to a separate Palestinian state by 2005, hangs in the balance. The enmity continues, but has not stopped a number of remarkable cross-border research collaborations from forging ahead.

In this article, Tania Hershman reveals the difficulties inherent in keeping these joint projects going. Many have run aground since the 1990s, but a few dozen persist, fuelled by the passionate commitment of project leaders. They include work on leishmaniasis and genetic hearing loss, a significant problem in Palestine.

Last year, a US geneticist allocated US$100,000 each to two groups of genetics students collaborating across the divide. Although the Road Map could trigger new cooperative ventures in research, many see engaging young scientists as a key component of regional peace.

Link to article in Science

Reference: Science, 301, 303 (2003)

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