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.
Three weeks ago I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my bat mitzvah. It is perhaps the Friday after the celebration of my bat mitzvah that I remember the most vividly; coming home from school I noticed my grandmother’s car parked in the driveway, and while we usually celebrate Shabbat with my grandparents, it was unusual to see her car in the driveway so early in the day. The situation grew more auspicious as I walked in the door and saw my mom standing in the kitchen with tear trails streaking her face. My youngest sister, only 4 years old at the time, was sitting at the table doing a puzzle. As fate would have it, the 10th anniversary of my bat mitzvah is also the 10th anniversary of my youngest sister’s diagnosis with diabetes.
Chicken soup dripping in schmaltz, sweet noodle kugel swimming in cream and butter and sprinkled with brown sugar, potato pancakes fried in oil, with that deep fried odor that permeates the house for days (can’t you just smell them right now?), beef brisket made any number of ways. I imagine many of us have a special family recipe handed down to us, for any or all of these and other traditional Jewish food dishes that are typically served during any holiday. Even if we don’t have a stained or yellowed recipe card, we have searched the web for someone else’s traditional recipe.
An artificial pancreas was taken for a test drive recently in Israel. This new technology, if it proves successful, could be a huge breakthrough in diabetes care and control.
For many, going down to the Dead Sea to bathe in its mineral-rich waters is a sweet treat. Now, researchers are finding that just the opposite is true for diabetics — which is a good thing. A preliminary study has shown that diabetics who immersed themselves in the uniquely salty water were able to significantly reduce their blood sugar levels.