Genetics


Web Site Gives Golf Fans the Chance To Caddy for Charity

By Jasmine Marcus

Last March, after placing a successful bid on the Web site caddyforacure.com, golf lover Jon Huzarsky, a senior vice president of a Manhattan investment bank, was able to spend a day caddying for professional golfer Steve Stricker at the World Golf Championships. The caddying opportunity, which Huzarsky heard about from a friend, was “by far, the greatest golf experience of my life.”Read More


Documentary Offers New Breast Cancer Treatment: Sensitivity

By Olivia Wiznitzer

Joanna Rudnick’s poignant new documentary, “In the Family,” opens to soft, sad music and an unlikely story. Joanna, a dark-haired young woman with expressive eyes, is laughing somewhat nervously as she confides in her boyfriend, Jimmy.Read More


Doctors Look To Raise Tay-Sachs Awareness Among Louisiana’s Cajuns

By Nate Sugarman

Tay-Sachs disease has been significantly curbed in the Ashkenazic Jewish community, thanks to increased awareness and a comprehensive screening process — which is especially popular in Hasidic communities.Read More


September Named Tay-Sachs Awareness Month

By Nate Sugarman

The Senate this July voted unanimously to name September National Tay-Sach’s Awareness Month. The resolution was introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and co-sponsored by Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana. At this point, Tay-Sachs, a hereditary degenerative neurological disease, has no cure. The National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, Inc., the oldest genetic disease organization in America, has endorsed Brown’s resolution.Read More


Consortium Maps 21 New Crohn’s Genes

By Mordechai Shinefield

One of the largest collaborative research teams ever assembled has concluded a decade-long study that may unlock the secrets behind Crohn’s disease.Read More


Author Squares Jewish and Medical Ethics

By Barbara Trainin Blank

In an article she wrote this past spring for the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, bioethicist Laurie Zoloth approached from a Jewish perspective the moral choices posed by advances in genetic and medical research. While acknowledging the public sense of “moral panic” at the thought of genetic enhancement, she argues that the commandment to heal, the priority of saving a life and the belief that the natural world is as yet unfinished have provided a justified context for experimental therapy, including genetic research, in Judaism. While we must be concerned about “ethical boundaries” for genetic enhancements, “[h]umans are mandated to actively use and control the natural world, to act as partners in God’s creation, and to do tikkun olam (repairing the world),” she writes.Read More


Doctors Unveil Two Gaucher Studies

By Lana Gersten

A broad screening program in Israel for Type 1 Gaucher disease, the most common of the Jewish genetic diseases, is proving controversial, Israeli researchers noted in a September 2007 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.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


Where To Go for Support and Help

A list of places to go for Support and HelpRead More


Fighting Pain — With a Paintbrush

By Olivia Wiznitzer

Beautiful paintings and other works of art line the room. A rapt and attentive audience looks upward at the sea of color, expressing the personalities and feelings of those struggling with what it means to have a genetic disease.Read More





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  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
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  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
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