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Genetic Linkage

The Forever Fix is Published! A Short Reader’s Guide

Great display at Albany Barnes + Noble
Reports are trickling in as people read my new book, The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It (St. Martin's Press). It’s been amazing to hear the emotional ups and downs that accompany the experience, taking me back to how I felt writing the book.

For months, the words poured out, seemingly out of my control. I’d interview parents and researchers, usually late in the day, and be unable to sleep, immersed in their stories.  Read More 
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Gavin's Story: Whole Exome Sequencing Finds Mystery Mutation

In a hotel ballroom on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on a midsummer Saturday in 2010, an unusual roll call was under way at the Family Conference for the
Foundation for Retinal Research
. Betsy Brint, co-head of organization, was calling out what sounded like code words – CEP290,  Read More 
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Personal Genome Sequencing: Too Much Information?

October 11-15, 6,200 researchers and clinicians met in Montreal for the 12th International Congress of Human Genetics. After my brain recovered from the long days of meetings, one panel discussion emerged as my favorite: what I thought was going to be a dull comparison of DNA sequencing technologies turned out to be a spirited look at  Read More 
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Make-up: What's DNA Got To Do With It?

I couldn’t help but stare at the ad: the sleek double helix winding behind the coiled container of makeup looked eerily like the covers of my human genetics textbook and upcoming book about gene therapy, both of which have DNA as a backdrop to faces. The standard beige goo that is Revlon’s Age Defying with DNA Advantage™ cream makeup swirls symmetrically upward, resembling more a soft-serve ice cream cone before the indentations are licked away than it does the molecule of life. I decided to investigate. Read More 
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Blaming Genes in the Workplace

Think it’s a great idea to send off a spit sample to see which future health conditions lurk in your DNA? In the U.S., the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prevents employers from using that information  Read More 
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My Microbiome

My Microbiome

Yesterday I committed a terrible crime. I walked away from a treadmill at the Y without scrubbing the handles.

“Ricki, get back here,” admonished the attendant as I headed for the elliptical. “You forgot to wipe down!”

“But I’m not sweating, and I never get sick. I won’t pass along  Read More 
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Creating Life and Curing Blindness

I’ve been at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy annual meeting this week, garnering tales for my book, tentatively entitled “The Forever Fix.” It is largely the story of 9-year-old Corey Haas, who was on his way to certain blindness when gene therapy performed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in September 2008  Read More 
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GeneticsWatch

I met Cynthia in a van from the airport, headed to the annual meeting of familytreedna, where I was to speak about genetic testing. A beautiful blonde who looked decades younger than her 60 years, she’d led a painful life, with type 1 diabetes since childhood, just like her father, brother,  Read More 
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