Karen Iris Tucker

Should More Ashkenazi Jews Get Tested for Cancer-Causing BRCA Gene Mutations?

Should more Ashkenazi women get tested for the cancer-causing BRCA gene? Subsidized screenings are available for all — but doctors are divided on whether that’s the right approach.

Life-Saving Screening: A radiology technician examines a mammography test.

Should All Ashkenazi Women Get Tested for BRCA Gene Mutations?

No family history of breast cancer? If you’re Ashkenazi, a new study says you should get tested anyway — but some experts disagree.

Her Medical Choice: Angelina Jolie inherited a faulty BRCA gene and underwent surgery for her children’s sake.

How Angelina Jolie Changed Things For People With BRCA Mutations

A year after Angelina Jolie went public about her double mastectomy, interest in genetic testing has increased. But a worrying trend is also shaping up: unnecessary breast-removal surgeries.

Genetics Lab Refuses To Share Data That Could Save Lives

Since the Supreme Court ruling one year ago, Myriad Genetics is no longer the only lab in the United States conducting BRCA testing. But it refuses to share lifesaving data it has collected.

For the Benefit of Mr. Epstein: In the 1960s in the UK, Jewish businessmen were not particularly common in the entertainment business.

Meet the Fifth (Jewish) Beatle — Manager Brian Epstein

Beatles manager Brian Epstein struggled with his sexuality and his Judaism right up until he died of a drug overdose. We discuss his legacy with the author of ‘The Fifth Beatle.’

At Supreme Court: Lisa Schlager and daughter Rachel protest Myriad Genetics? claim to a patent on the BRCA gene, which they say raised the cost of testing.

BRCA 'Jewish' Cancer Gene Mutations Often Go Untested — At Deadly Cost

Testing for BRCA genetic mutations, tied to breast and ovarian cancers in Jewish women, isn’t common, despite proven risks. Marcia Watson-Levy learned the danger firsthand.

Sue Friedman: The founder of FORCE speaks at its annual meeting supporting those with BRCA mutations.

Delays Plague Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research

Regulatory hurdles plague a new class of cancer drugs that showed encouraging results. Those obstacles have frustrated carriers of cancer-causing mutations, for whom medicine might prove helpful.

Mourning Peeps: Karen Iris Tucker cradles her bichon frise, Peeps. With the end nearing, Tucker wonders how to mourn her beloved pet in an appropriately Jewish way.

Sitting Shiva for Spot?

There is no Jewish roadmap for how to properly mourn pets, nor any universal law or tradition for how to close the circle of a pet’s life, writes Karen Iris Tucker.

Sandra Bernhard Shows Her Softer Side

Sandra Bernhard is beloved for her withering onstage attacks. She’s more spiritual these days, trading kabbalah for shul, and building a home with her ‘cold WASP-y’ girlfriend.

Fighting Parkinson?s: Eugenia Brin (right) was diagnosed with Parkinson?s in 1999. Five years later, researchers discovered the genetic cause of her disease: a mutation in the LRRK2 gene that is particularly common among Ashkenazi Jews. Here, she stands with Michael J. Fox Foundation co-founder Deborah Brooks.

A Tremor in the Research Force

Genetics has long been thought to play a relatively minor role when it comes to the development of Parkinson’s disease. So it came as a surprise to the medical community five years ago when Dr. Susan Bressman and her colleagues at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York reported that a single genetic mutation in a gene called LRRK2 accounted for a significant portion of all cases of Parkinson’s disease among Ashkenazi Jews.