Biblical and Talmudic human genetics
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Neither the Ta'nach nor the Talmud is a scientific genetics textbook, yet each contains information relevant to human genetic health issues, and each makes note of various pathologies linked to defective genes. For example, from a hereditary viewpoint of the transmission of traits, recommendations are presented concerning which couples are suitable marriage partners and which are not. The first recorded case history of a geneticallv transmitted disease (i.e., hemophilia) is cited in the Talmud. The interactions between the environment and genetics (i.e., nature and nurture) in molding phenotype are noted, as well as hints for the newly discovered science of epigenetics. Rather a new science, epigenetics is the study o[ mechanisms that alter gene expression that can be transmitted from one generation to the next, but do not involve a change in the DNA sequence (i.e., are not mutagenic). Traits controlled by autosomes and by the X and Y sex chromosomes are discussed, as are sex-limited and sex-influenced traits. This manuscript reviews some of the human genetics noted in the Ta'nach and in the Talmud.
Babich, H. (2013-2014). Biblical and Talmudic human genetics. Derech HaTeva, 18, 65-69.
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