Over at The Jewish Daily Forward's special section on genetics, reporters tackle topics from "discovering the newest Jewish genetic disease" to improving FDA's rare disease review process. An article by Debra Nussbaum Cohen examines Rabbis' reactions to advances in DNA sequencing technology. Avram Reisner of Congregation Chevrei Tzedek in Baltimore tells the Forward that "science has opened up a huge area of research and treatment in the area of the genetic code that just didn't exist 25 years ago. All of those developments have required authorities in Jewish law to consider what effect it has on their approach." In another Genetics 2010 special article, Gabrielle Birkner discusses the debate surrounding direct-to-consumer genetic testing and speaks with those in favor of, and in opposition to, the accessibility of personal genetic information. "An enzyme blood test — not a DNA saliva test — is the best way to determine carrier status for Tay-Sachs," Birkner writes, which is the basis for Adele Schneider's concern that "in a year or two, we're going to see babies born with Tay-Sachs to people who thought they were tested the right way," as the medical director of the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases tells the Forward. Misha Angrist at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy tells the paper that "that requiring health care providers to serve as gatekeepers for genetic information is unrealistic." Over at his blog, Angrist says: "To paraphrase all the DTC haters, 'show me the data.'"
From DNA to DTC
Aug 18, 2010