Research

I saw a tweet very much like the headline in the first panel and I followed up on it because I have a strong interest in genetics, and genetic research. What I found was that this study was being used to justify the thought that Jews are crazy. This made me very angry after the initial shock wore off. The fact is that Ashkenazi Jews are NOT more likely to have schizophrenia. Rather, a gene that is associated with increased risk for the disease was found in a study with Ashkenazi Jewish subjects. Researchers perform many studies on this population because schizophrenia is a genetically complex disease and the relative homogeneousness of the Ashkenazi Jew population makes it easier to evaluate genetic studies. This article explains the relationship of Ashkenazi Jews with research well. There have been many schizophrenia studies with identical twin subjects, but nobody is saying that identical twins are more likely to get schizophrenia.

I find this strip to be timely because I saw a CNN article this past week that claimed that Scientists confirm genetics of schizophrenia. Here again, the news agency is sensationalizing  a scientific study. While a big step forward may have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done. The genetics of schizophrenia are not known definitively by a long shot.

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