Genetics


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

By Karen Iris Tucker

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.Read More


Coriell Institute Gives Patients a Genetic Crystal Ball — With Consequences

By Doni Bloomfield

A new program offers participants a sneak peek at their medical risks for common genetic diseases. But advance knowledge has its ups and downs.Read More


Non-Jews Hit by ‘Jewish’ Diseases Fall Through the Cracks of Genetic Screening

By Gabrielle Birkner

Tay-Sachs is probably the best known ‘Jewish’ disease. But the vast majority of babies born with the disease are not Jewish.Read More


IBD Patients Reveal Their Lonely Childhood Stories

By Linda Kriger

Growing up can be hard. But try sharing with a friend your most intimate problem: that you live with a disease ravaging your waste disposal system.Read More


Eating Salad as a Gluten-Free Experiment Dedicated To Mom

By Yermi Brenner

When Yermi Brenner learned he was at risk of developing celiac disease like his mother, he went on a gluten-free diet. Countless salads later, he is not impressed.Read More


New Research by Israeli Scientists Shows Imprints of Brain Activity

By Nathan Jeffay

Patterns of activity in the brain change depending on what we are doing. Israeli scientists are exploring if imprints of these patterns remain for hours or days, like footprints in the sand.Read More


How Do You Cope When a Disease Causes Your Body To Attack its Own Skin

By Maia Efrem

Pemphigus is a rare autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own skin. The ailment has a higher incidence among Ashkenazi Jews.Read More


A Common Mutation Behind Parkinson's Disease May Have Other Side-Effects

By Talia Bloch

GENETICS 2013: A study published in March in Nature Neuroscience reported that mutations on the LRRK2 gene, responsible for approximately 15% of Parkinson’s among Ashkenazi Jews, leads to the malfunctioning of a disposal system in the cell that recycles old proteins.Read More


Genetic Diseases That Affect Sephardic Jews

By Forward Staff

Here is a list of diseases that are often screened for in Sephardic Jewish couples who are planning to have children because of an elevated risk of carrying a recessive mutation.Read More


Gut Wrenching Story: One Woman's Struggle With Ulcerative Colitis

By Linda Kriger

When we speak of our gastrointestinal tract, which we rarely do, we often resort to euphemisms. One writer shares the tale of her unfriendly relationship with the toilet.Read 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?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • 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.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • 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?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
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