Genetics


‘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


How a Young Woman Copes With a Rare Genetic Disorder

By Sarah Givner

‘My gums are peeling,” said a 22-year-old Elli Resnick to her mother as she removed a piece of salmon-colored flesh from her mouth.Other clues had been tipping off Resnick that she might be ill: She suffered from frequent bloody noses, always had a “potato chip feeling” in her mouth and, because she couldn’t eat salad, believed she hadRead More


LOTS Sufferers Combat Ignorance as Well as Symptoms

By Rachel Zuckerman

When people find out Shirley Webb has late onset Tay-Sachs disease (LOTS), their reactions have ranged from “But you’re older than 5 years old!” to “Why are you alive?” Once, at work, someone saw her pull away from her desk in her wheelchair and exclaimed, “I didn’t know you were crippled!”At 66, Webb, a co-founder of theRead More


Drug Trial Brings Hope to Late Onset Tay-Sachs Patients

By Rachel Zuckerman

Doctors are experimenting with an oral medication known as Zavesca as a possible treatment for late onset Tay-Sachs (LOTS) disease, it was reported at a conference in Philadelphia last month.New York University School of Medicine and Cleveland University Hospital both launched trials using the drug, whose chemical name is OGT918 or miglustat, onRead More


How a Mother Overcame a Malady

By Andrea Schleider

Kathryn Goldstein* of Monroe, N.Y., has no medical background, but this proud Orthodox mother of 11 has become an expert on one Jewish genetic disease. Three of her children were diagnosed with the genetic disorder, congenital hyperinsulinism.In 1978, after a healthy full-term pregnancy, Kathryn gave birth to Amanda, her seventh child. Two hoursRead More


Usher Gene Discovered

By Lea Winerman

Scientists have pinpointed the gene mutation responsible for most cases of Usher syndrome type 1 in Ashkenazi Jews. The syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes deafness from birth and progressive blindness beginning before age 10.The discovery, first reported in The New England Journal of Medicine in April, will allow doctors to more easily andRead More





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  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
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  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
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  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
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