web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Broader Lessons from Genetic Studies of the Ashkenazi Jewish Population


While we know that exposure to pathogenic organisms can cause disease (e.g., stomach flu), little is known about whether there is a common core set of microbes (microbiome profile) that is shared between healthy people or individuals with the same disease. We already know that changes in diet, antibiotic treatment and various conditions, including obesity, may shift our normal bacterial balance. Small studies have shown a lower diversity of the gut microbiota found in Crohn’s disease patients compared to unaffected individuals, raising questions about the possible role of commensal bacteria in disease development. Moreover, the fact that the major genes found to be associated with Crohn’s disease are involved in the processing of microbial antigens and immune response further implicate commensal bacteria in the Crohn’s disease risk.

Despite preliminary data indicating substantial differences in gut microbial content between healthy individuals of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, no studies have compared a composition of the bacteria between Ashkenazim and non-Jewish Europeans. It should not be surprising if such differences exist, given the unique dietary and lifestyle traditions observed by Jews including kosher food and a mandatory hand-washing before meals (“netilat yadaim”) that could reduce exposure to infection. Therefore, under- or overrepresented microbiota in this population may help guide future efforts in developing novel treatments targeting commensal bacteria.

The use of isolated populations in genetic research has been demonstrated to be of special value by revealing how  small inter-individual differences in their human genome sequence increase the chances of detecting mutations that are disease-associated. Therefore, to help advance our understanding of complex diseases, the Ashkenazi Genomic Consortium was established. The “Ashkenome” is a new collaborative initiative seeking to identify how the unique genetic make-up of this population contributes to various conditions, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, or aging. This information, along with microbiome data, can be used in future studies of more diverse populations and help lead to early diagnosis, a better means of prevention, and novel treatments for complex diseases such as Crohn’s.

Inga Peter is the Associate Professor in the Department of Genetic and Genomic Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Her research interest is to identify variations in the human genome that can explain susceptibility to common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease that can lead to early prevention and personalized treatment of these conditions. She graduated from Tel Aviv University and completed her training at Tufts University in Boston. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and 3 sons.

About the Author: Inga Peter is the Associate Professor in the Department of Genetic and Genomic Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Her research interest is to identify variations in the human genome that can explain susceptibility to common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease that can lead to early prevention and personalized treatment of these conditions. She graduated from Tel Aviv University and completed her training at Tufts University in Boston. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and 3 sons.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Broader Lessons from Genetic Studies of the Ashkenazi Jewish Population”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
More than 40 were killed in the bombing of a Yemeni refugee camp by the Saudi-led strike force.
Attack on Yemeni Refugees Makes Israel Look Like the Girl Scouts
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Something-Cooking-logo

Until the year I decided to put a stop to all my tremors. I realized that if I wanted my family to experience Pesach and its preparations as uplifting and fulfilling, I’d have to relax and loosen up.

Teens-032715

David looked up. “Hatzlacha, Dina,” he smiled. “I hope everything goes well.”

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

More Articles from Dr. Inga Peters

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the influential paper published by a Mount Sinai physician, Dr. Burrill Crohn, and his colleagues that for the first time characterized a disease associated with severe inflammation of the intestine. Patients with what was later named Crohn’s disease develop diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, and often lose weight. Crohn’s is now classified as an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, causing chronic inflammation. It affects young individuals, and, even though it is not curable, it can be treated and controlled by medications and surgery.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/broader-lessons-from-genetic-studies-of-the-ashkenazi-jewish-population/2012/08/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: