Genetics 2013


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


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


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


Genetic Testing For Sephardic Jews Faces Reluctant Community

By Anne Cohen

Genetic diseases have been largely linked with Ashkenazim. But Sephardim too have ‘Jewish’ diseases — and a new generation is coming to terms with them.Read More


Decoding the Ashkenazi Genome May Offer Clues to Cancer, Diabetes

By Elie Dolgin

GENETICS 2013: Scientists have long been acutely interested in the genes of Ashkenazi Jews. They offer clues that could solve mysteries of diseases like cancer and diabetes.Read More


Yale Researchers Sally and Bennett Shaywitz Bust Dyslexia Myths

By Susan Fitzgerald

Yale researchers Sally and Bennett Shaywitz say there’s an upside to dyslexia. Those with the disorder tend to be out-of-the-box thinkers because they have trouble reading.Read More





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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?
  • 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."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
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