Genetics


Is Intermarriage the Answer?

By Rebecca Spence

At one point in the 1970s, genetic counselors adopted a radical stance on the issue of intermarriage: They routinely advised Jews who carried the genetic mutation that leads to a rare neurological genetic disease found in the Ashkenazic population to marry non-Jews. Their logic was that if a carrier bore offspring with a non-Jew, the likelihood of the child inheriting the genetic mutation would be greatly reduced.Read More


New Fanconi Genes Found

By Eric Herschthal

Two new genes related to Fanconi anemia were discovered in August 2005, bringing to 11 the number of genes identified as having links to the disease.Read More


Where To Go for Support and Help

Here you will find a list of places to go for support and help.Read More


Poll Finds Most Are Ignorant of Gaucher

By Elisha Sauers

In a recent telephone survey, researchers presented the following set of symptoms to hundreds of hematologists and oncologists from around the world: A 42-year-old man has complaints of chronic fatigue and bone pain, while suffering from a low blood-platelet count and an enlarged liver and spleen.Read More


Dutch Team Investigates Cancer Risk

A team of researchers with the University of Amsterdam Academy Medical Center has rejected the notion that Jewish genetics are at the root of an increased risk of cancer among sufferers of Gaucher disease.Read 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, “marrying within.”Read 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


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