Unlikely Genetic Cousins Emerge

Tracking down a rare mutational link between Bedouins and Ethiopians.

Contributing Editor
05/18/2016 (All day)

Beersheva, Israel — Nearly four years ago an Ethiopian Israeli couple brought their two children to the office of Dr. Ohad Birk, director of the Genetics Institute of Soroka Medical Center in this southern Israeli city.

Dr. Ohad Birk: Developing a genetic screening test for a mutation “is a true joy.” Dani Machlis/BGU

Fighting Genetic Disease Among The Bedouins

Ben-Gurion University team seen making headway with testing, outreach.

Israel Correspondent
04/21/2015 - 20:00

There has been a 30 percent reduction in the infant mortality rate in Israel’s Bedouin community of southern Israel during the past few years, and much of that success is due to the diagnosis and prevention of many genetic diseases that have plagued the community for centuries Much of the research into these diseases, which can cause everything from severe developmental delays and fatal heart malformations to blindness and immune deficiencies, has been taking place in the southern city of Beersheva under the leadership of Dr. Ohad Birk. 

Dr. Ohad Birk, left, with Dr. Khalil Elbedour in a Bedouin village. Courtesy of Ben-Gurion University

In Sinai, American Tourists And Guide Kidnapped By Bedouins

07/12/2012 - 20:00

Two American tourists and their Egyptian guide were kidnapped Friday in the Sinai Desert, according to Egyptian military and police officials.

The Bedouin kidnappers are demanding the release of a jailed tribesman, according to news reports.

The tourists and guide were taken when the kidnappers stopped their tourist bus, according to the Associated Press.

Robberies and kidnappings in the Sinai have increased since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.

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