With additional mutations for genetic diseases continuing to be discovered among Ashkenazi Jews, genetic screening advocates are urging people to get tested for newly identified diseases, even if they have already been tested for other diseases.
Drugstores stock tests that gauge blood sugar levels, predict ovulation, ascertain pregnancy and determine whether illegal drugs are in the bloodstream. And back in May, the Walgreens pharmacy chain announced that it would offer testing kits of another kind: ones intended to detect genetic diseases.
A two-year pilot program that promotes genetic disease awareness and offers carrier screening will be introduced in Atlanta as a result of a $1.5 million grant from the Marcus Foundation, the philanthropy of Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus.
An emerging therapy that attacks cancer cells continues to show promise, most recently in two international studies on women who have breast and ovarian cancer and are carriers of cancer-causing mutations particularly prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews.
For a long time, Sheryl Grossman felt like she was alone in the world. Growing up in Flossmoor, Ill., she didn’t understand why she was so small, and why she had to see so many doctors. At the age of 14, her parents told her that she had Bloom’s syndrome, a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects cells’ normal process of DNA repair, resulting in small body size and a high vulnerability to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and immune disorders.
A lawsuit now working its way through federal court is adding an interesting twist to the heated debate over genetic patenting.
Advances in genetic analysis and its medical applications are bringing unprecedented, if uneven, change to the world of Jewish law. Most often, the matter of genetics is considered in the context of issues on either end of life’s spectrum: those that relate to fertility and to the identification of post-mortem human remains.
A federal court ruling striking down patents on two cancer-causing genes has the potential to shake up the world of genetic patenting.
It has been a year filled with anxiety, fear and disappointment for sufferers from Gaucher disease, who are continuing to deal with the fallout from last year’s shutdown of a pharmaceutical plant.
The Social Security Administration has added two genetic diseases that affect Ashkenazi Jews to its Compassionate Allowances list, expediting the awarding of disability aid to sufferers and their families.