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The chosen genes : Jews, genetics, and the future of ethnic medicine

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dc.contributor.advisor Alan Lightman. en_US Anthes, Emily Kennedy en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US 2007-11-15T18:09:13Z 2007-11-15T18:09:13Z 2006 en_US 2006 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M. in Science Writing)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Humanities, Graduate Program in Science Writing, 2006. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 53-60). en_US
dc.description.abstract All humans have certain genes that cause or predispose them to various diseases. In the ideal medical future, scientists will have hyperfast gene analyzers able to sequence anyone's DNA in a matter of minutes. In that future, a patient could have his entire sequence of DNA screened for mutations that cause or predispose him to disease, and health care would be truly individualized to fit the genetic profile of each patient. But science isn't yet able to make this future a reality; DNA sequencing remains too time-consuming and expensive to allow for such completely individualized medicine. In the meantime, scientists have discovered a useful shortcut: race and ethnicity. Many genes vary across racial and ethnic lines. Geography is linked to genetic variation, and people who have the same geographic ancestry are more likely, on average, to be genetically similar than people who do not. Although there is no gene for "race" or "ethnicity," many genes do occur in different ethnic groups at different frequencies. This means that doctors can use a patient's race or ethnicity - indicators of geographic ancestry - to make inferences about his genes, including his likelihood of developing specific diseases. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Today's Ashkenazi Jews are appealing research subjects because they are both genetically interesting and culturally willing. For the past half-century, Jewish communities have been getting the genetic scrutiny other populations can expect in the future. Such research has helped scientists make significant headway in diagnosing, treating, and preventing certain genetic diseases. But as the research studies continued, some Jewish communities began to worry about their implications. Lessons learned from the participation of American Jews in genetic research will be important for and applicable to many ethnic groups as the approach expands. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Emily Kennedy Anthes. en_US
dc.format.extent 60 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.title The chosen genes : Jews, genetics, and the future of ethnic medicine en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Science Writing en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 86108306 en_US

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