What is genetic counseling?

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

According to JACC Journals, genetics counseling is “The process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease.”

The mode and risk of inheritance is clinically assessed with the family history. Some diseases may be genetic while others are not. According to JACC Journals, “Establishing the mode of inheritance identifies relatives who are at risk of disease development. Most CMPs are typically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait as a result of a single gene defect capable of causing the trait (i.e., monogenic origin). Thus, there is a 50% risk for first-degree relatives to be affected by the same condition.”

Genetic counselors help by identifying families that could be at a possible risk of a genetic condition. They provide a space for families to understand and analyze family history/inheritance patterns. They also assist with making the hard decisions. 

If you are interested in becoming a genetic counselor out of high school, you have to complete an accredited master’s program in genetic counseling. You also need to have a masters degree in genetic counseling. According to FNU, “To earn a master’s degree you usually need to complete from 36 to 54-semester credits of study (or 60 to 90 quarter-credits). This equals 12 to 18 college courses. Students typically spend between two and three years studying to earn a master’s degree, but it is possible to earn some degrees in just one year.” The master degree’s program is definitely harder than getting an undergraduate degree. 

There are also many influencers that have gone through genetic counseling. They may not openly share their experiences with their followers but some promote it. A certified Genetic Counselor that’s on Instagram @ dena.dna. I have explored her page a bit and it is very educational and purpose filled. Dena DNA has 2,720 followers. Another person that has gone through genetic counseling is a person on Snapchat. Their Snapchat is called, ‘Born Different’. They have 6.50 million followers.

One thing I learned from the dena.dna Instagram page is answers to commonly asked questions. Such as, “When should I start colon cancer screening?”. This is answered in her most recent post. There are also a lot more posts answering questions about genetic counseling.

‘Born Different’ is about people as they challenge stereotypes, break down barriers and battle to prove they have what it takes to succeed. The stories are all about how they have overcome something that some people didn’t think is possible. There are 23 seasons, with around 10 episodes per season. One of the most recent stories (March 21st, 2022) is about how this girl’s boyfriend helped cope with her severe Tourette’s. I have watched a couple of episodes myself, and I find them very breathtaking and addictive to watch.

Lin-Manuel Miranda bio

By: Mila Hart

Image taken from: Lin-Manuel Miranda Biography
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/nov/22/lin-manuel-miranda-his-dark-materials- interview-hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda was born on January 16, 1980 in New York City. His parents immigrated from Puerto Rico. He grew up in a Hispanic neighborhood in northern Manhattan called Washington Heights.

Lin-Manuel went to a public high school around Washington Heights, and it was in high school where he found his love for theater arts. All throughout high school Lin-Manuel was a part of his school’s plays and musicals. In high school he started to write the play ‘In the Heights’ at the age of 17. Later he went on to go to a very prestigious college for theater arts called Wesleyan College.

In 2002 Lin-Manuel worked with other directors and playwrights to put on ‘In the Heights’. After premiering in Connecticut, in 2005, and opening at the 37 Arts Theater off-Broadway, in 2007, ‘In the Heights’ went to Broadway in March of 2008.

After performing ‘In the Heights’ on Broadway, the musical went on a North American tour from 2009-2011, and later went on to be performed all around the world. In 2018 Warner Bros acquired the film rights for ‘In the Heights’ and set a release date for June 26th, 2020. For the next year, actors were casted and filming began in June of 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the film was not able to be released until June 10, 2021.

Aside from ‘In the Heights’, Lin-Manuel Miranda has worked on a number of award winning projects and movies. Lin wrote, composed, and starred in the ever so popular broadway musical ‘Hamilton’. It’s the story of Alexander Hamilton and his contributions to history, told through the music styles of rap and hip hop. It has won numerous awards including a Tony, Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Lin wrote the music for the latest Disney hit ‘Encanto’. The song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has broken records including becoming the first Disney track to top the U.S. chart since ‘Aladdin’s’ “A Whole New World” back in 1992.

Russia vs. Ukraine

By: Abi Hernandez Castillo & Thalia Pliego

There have been many questions relating to why Vladimir Putin is invading Ukraine, however, it’s no secret why he is invading the independent country of Ukraine. According to ‘Vox’, Putin says that Ukraine isn’t a “real” country and claims that Ukraine is “fiction” that was created by communist Russia. 

According to ‘India Today’, the beginning of the formation of Russia and Ukraine starts in 1654 when it first tried to unite Kievan Russia under one ruler. A treaty was signed in March of 1954 between Russia and Ukraine in which Ukraine became an autonomous country, but foreign and defense matters remained with the Russian regime. However, this system lasted until 1782 when Russia had merged Ukraine into itself. The treaty was only signed to not only save Ukraine but to also save Russia itself. 

The Russian Empire was afraid of the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth Empire and the Turkish Empire so Russia wanted to keep Ukraine close. When the Soviet Union broke up in the 1990s, Ukraine had the third-largest atomic arsenal in the world. The United States and Russia worked with Ukraine to denuclearize the country and eventually Kyik, Ukraine gave hundreds of nuclear warheads back to Russia in exchange for security assurances that would protect Ukraine from a possible Russian attack. In 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and these assurances were tested.

This brought the relationship between Russia and the West to a very low point. Now we know that Russia and Ukraine have a bad relationship but why invade now? According to ‘INSIDER’ Russia is concerned with NATOs eastward expansion. NATO is a political and military alliance that was first formed in 1949. Putin has criticized NATO for expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

As stated earlier, back in the 1990’s Ukraine had to be convinced to denuclearize the country and because of this Russia also feared that Ukraine had the knowledge and desire to obtain nuclear weapons, and this was a threat to Russia. Although it wasn’t proven that Ukraine had nuclear weapons ready to go to Russia, Putin still felt threatened. 

Currently, there have been many updates since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine. According to ‘The New York Times’, the Russian shellings have blocked any efforts into creating safe exit corridors for civilians. There are many who are trapped due to blocked off corridors and are left without food, water, and medicine. The bombs that Russia has been dropping also destroyed a maternity hospital on Wednesday, March 9th. 

This war between Russia and Ukraine has not only impacted these two countries but as a result, the United States has also been affected economically. According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’, the inflation levels that are experienced on both sides of the Atlantic are levels that have not been seen in decades. Recently, there has been an increase in oil prices. Russia is one of the main providers of oil for Europe and due to the war, the oil may not be available for the United States to obtain, and to preserve what is left, the prices become higher. 

Anna Sorokin

Anna Sorokin is a Russian-born woman from Germany. Sorokin was born in Russia and moved to Germany when she was young. She later moved to Paris for an internship for the European art and culture magazine ‘Purple’, and relocated to New York in 2014.

Sorokin was sent to jail in 2019 for stealing over $200,000. Sorokin passed herself off as a German heiress by the name of Anna Delavey, with a net worth of 67 million dollars. She defrauded socialites, financial institutions, and hotels.

She was sentenced to jail on eight counts: three counts of grand larceny, and one count of attempted grand larceny. She was released in February 2021, on good behavior and six weeks later she was arrested again for overstaying her visa.

The Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna’ is a nine-part episode created by Shonda Rhimes. The episode starts with a disclaimer “This whole story is completely true. Except for all the parts that are made up.” The show follows the journalist Jessica Pressler, who worked for ‘New York Magazine’, as she investigates Sorokin’s story. The series attempts to tell her story through her friends, or people who thought they were. 

The show shows how Sorokin was able to scam everyone. Her character is portrayed as a visionary who wants to become a businesswoman. The series shows her as a smart woman and genius, but also a master manipulator, a liar, and a hustler who took advantage of others’ kindness.

After the release of the show, she was either loved or hated by the world. Some see her as a hero who felt that the rich got what they deserved, and for others, they felt sorry for the people she scammed. Despite being proven guilty, she said her Anna Delavey Foundation was legit, and that she is not a dumb socialite but a businesswoman.

To watch the Netflix trailer for ‘Inventing Anna’, please visit: