Ten Truths of Genetic Screening

May 14, 2015


As we celebrate the giving of the Torah (Old Testament) during the Festival of Shavuot, we will read the Ten Commandments aloud as part of this joyous holiday in order to reaffirm our covenant with the Torah and its laws.

So while you are filling yourself with cheesecake and blintzes, take a look at our own ‘Top 10’ list highlighting important factoids about genetic screening.


Ten Truths of Jewish Genetic Screening:

1. Even if you have no family history of a genetic disease, it’s still essential to get screened since 80% of babies born with a genetic disease have no family history of that disease.

2. It’s very common to be a carrier for a recessive genetic disease. The best way to find out is to take action and get screened!

3. Interfaith couples are still at risk.

4. Even if only one of your grandparents is Jewish, screening is still important for you.

5. People with Ashkenazi, Sephardic or Mizrahi background all have higher likelihood to be carriers for certain genetic diseases.

6. There are a lot more genetic diseases in addition to Tay-Sachs, so make sure your screening panel is up-to-date.

7. EACH pregnancy is at an independent risk, so those who are having additional children should make sure to get screened or to update their screening.

8. You can accurately screen saliva using state of the art genetic sequencing technology.

9. The best time to get screened is before pregnancy.

10. Even if both partners are carriers for the same disease gene, there are many options available to help them plan ahead for a healthy family.


In keeping with the theme of ‘10’, share this post with ten of your friends to positively impact their future!


Headquartered in Atlanta at Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics, JScreen is a national non-profit offering at-home comprehensive and affordable genetic testing and counseling.

ReproGEN – determines risk for having a child with a genetic disease

CancerGEN – tests for genetic changes that increase risk for many types of cancer

If a person or couples’ risk is elevated, genetic counselors will privately address the results, options and resources to help plan for a healthy future.

JScreen believes that a combination of education, access to state-of-the-art testing technology, and personalized support by qualified medical professionals are key to preventing devastating genetic diseases.