Genetics


Zebrafish Provide Key to Unlocking Secrets of Fanconi Anemia

By Mark I. Levenstein

The zebrafish, an inch-long fish indigenous to the Ganges River in East India and Burma, is proving to be a useful animal for understanding Fanconi Anemia.Drs. John Postlethwait and Tom Titus of the University of Oregon’s Institute of Neuroscience told the Forward that they have almost completed mapping the protein sequence of the lastRead More


Gene Found for Dystonia-related Disorder

By Mordechai Shinefield

Scientists have unlocked the gene responsible for a rare and debilitating genetic disorder.Rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism, or RDP, is a rare genetic disorder whose sufferers share symptoms with both dystonia and Parkinson’s disease. In an article published in the July 21 issue of the neuroscience journal Neuron, a research team detailed itsRead More


Cord Blood Transplants Eyed As Therapy for Some Diseases

By E.B. Solomont

In a medical development with potentially far-reaching effects, researchers have transplanted cord blood into newborns with a rare genetic disease, preserving their brain development and performing a life-saving treatment for babies with a fatal genetic disorder.Scientists from Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina atRead More


Scientists Seek New Crohn’s Treatments

By Mordechai Shinefield

Researchers are exploring two possible new treatments — one in trials, the other still speculative — for Crohn’s disease, a genetically linked digestive-tract disorder suffered by an estimated 500,000 Americans, mostly Jews of Ashkenazic descent.Discovered by Dr. Burrill Crohn in 1932, Crohn’s, which is similar toRead More


Supplements Holding Hope As Treatment For Canavan

By E.B. Solomont

New research indicates that acetate supplements may be an effective therapy for Canavan disease, a degenerative and ultimately fatal disorder of the brain and central nervous system.Currently, there is no cure for Canavan disease, a recessive genetic disorder that is carried by one in 40 Ashkenazic Jews. Canavan patients have a mutation of theRead More


‘Neverland’ Producer Searches for a Cure to Son’s Bloom’s Syndrome

By Ariella Cohen

In the press notes to the 2004 movie “Finding Neverland,” director Mark Forster ruminates on the “deep human need for illusions and dreams” and “belief in the face of tragedy.”Producer Richard Gladstein does not offer anything quite so sentimental when I ask him, about one year after the film’s blockbuster success, to muse on itsRead More


Where To Go for Support and Help

CANAVAN FOUNDATION450 West End Avenue, #10C New York, NY 10024 (212) 873-4640 (877) 4-CANAVAN Fax: 212-873-7892 www.canavanfoundation.org info@canavanfoundation.orgThis volunteer nonprofit foundation’s goals are to support research and to educate the medical community and at-risk populations.FANCONI ANEMIA RESEARCH FUND1801Read More


Annual Guide to Jewish Genetic Diseases

The Forward presents this section to provide information on some of the more serious Jewish genetic diseases. There are about 20 “Ashkenazic diseases,” not counting the higher rates of at least four cancer-related genes. The diseases are more prevalent in the Eastern European Jewish population because of centuries of endogamy — literally,Read More


Israelis Champion American Stem-cell Legislation

Dr. Shulamit Levenberg pulls out a dish of human embryonic stem cells from an incubator and carefully places them under a microscope to see how they are beginning to take form as human tissue.Levenberg, a researcher at the Technion University in Haifa, is working on cutting-edge tissue engineering research with the help of human embryonic stemRead More


Truckers Spread Message of Niemann-Pick Awareness

By Jacob Savage

With their stereotypically gruff demeanor, truck drivers are not often known for their charitable efforts. But in Fort Atkinson, Wis., truckers are playing a key role in raising public awareness of Niemann-Pick disease, a debilitating genetic disorder that often kills its victims before they reach adulthood.W & A Distribution Services, aRead More





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