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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

If your genome is public, so are you, researchers find

By Eryn Brown





Using public websites, a team has uncovered the names of supposedly anonymous people who had their DNA analyzed for research purposes. 'Nobody can promise privacy,' one expert says


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Scouring information available to anyone with an Internet connection, a team of genetic sleuths deduced the names of dozens of supposedly anonymous people who had their DNA analyzed for scientific and medical research.

The snooping feat, which took advantage of genealogy websites that let people compare their DNA to search for relatives, was in full compliance with federal privacy regulations. Experts said it underscored a stark reality about genetic privacy in the age of social media: Don't count on it.

"Nobody can promise privacy," said Mildred Cho, who heads up Stanford University's Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics, and wasn't involved with the study.



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Whitehead Institute geneticist Yaniv Erlich and his team, who described their work Thursday in the journal Science, didn't provide a complete recipe that would help others ferret out the identities of research volunteers. Nor did they divulge the names of the people they were able to unmask.

Since the first draft of the human genome was published in 2000, scientists have scrutinized its 3 billion pairs of DNA letters to try to find variants that cause disease, to understand human physiology, and to unravel the evolutionary history of our species.

Toward that end, academic efforts like the 1000 Genomes Project post complete genomes online for public use. The idea is that providing free access to the data will allow scientists to compare DNA from many people and help them discover connections between genes and traits, eventually leading to the development of personalized, targeted treatments for a wide range of disorders.

Keeping genomic data private has been a concern all along. Worries that health insurers or employers might use information about genetic health risks to drop benefits or discriminate against workers inspired the 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which provides protection against abuse. Last year, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues recommended a variety of additional measures to further secure genetic data.

Potentially complicating these efforts are the legions of amateur geneticists who want to learn their risk for diseases or gain clues about their ancestry. As sequencing costs have dropped, these enthusiasts have sent vials of saliva, swabs of cheek cells, circles of dried blood or other types of DNA samples to private sequencing companies. Often, they post their tests results online, for the world to see.

Erlich has been interested in privacy since he worked as a professional hacker - breaking into corporate networks as a "vulnerability researcher" for a computer security company - to help support himself in college. He started planning the current research after hearing about a 15-year-old boy who had part of his genome sequenced in 2005 in order to find his biological father, a sperm donor.

The boy compared a pattern of repeating DNA letters from his Y chromosome to the corresponding patterns of men who had posted their genetic data on a genealogy website. Finding several men whose pattern matched his led him to his father's last name. He then used other clues to make contact.

Y chromosomes correlate with surnames because both are passed directly from father to son.

Erlich said he thought the boy's approach was "brilliant," and he wondered if his lab could do something similar with public genome data.

He and his colleagues started by analyzing the repeat patterns of Y chromosomes in published studies of genomes whose owners were known. They used a free genealogy website to look for surname matches.

In two of the cases, the Y chromosome data lined up with relatively common last names, so the results were of little use. But one of the samples - provided by sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter - matched the surname "Venter." From there, the team used a free Web directory and personal information that often accompanies genomes in public databases - age and state of residence - to zero in on the scientist.

Then they moved on to 10 mystery genomes collected from Utah residents who participated in public sequencing projects. They found surname matches for five people, then used those names to look at obituaries, family trees on file with the genomic information and other information to link nearly 50 related men and women to their DNA.

Analyzing census and genetic data, the team calculated they could find the correct surnames of white, middle- and upper-class men in the U.S. 12% of the time. Conducting a search using last name, year of birth and state of residence produced lists with about a dozen - a number small enough to investigate in more detail, Erlich said.

The discoveries in the new study point to a new level of vulnerability for research subjects who wish to remain private, Cho and others said.

To Laura Lyman Rodriguez, a policy specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., the bottom line is that research subjects should be told that their genomic data could be breached.

"It's important to be clear," said Lyman Rodriguez, who co-wrote a commentary that accompanied the report in Science.

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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