Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

How rare sheep from biblical times may hold key to deadly genetic disease


Two newborn lambs mysteriously fell sick, quickly regressed and died in the spring of 1999 on a Texas ranch named for Saint Jude, the Roman Catholic patron of lost causes.

That launched an odyssey for Fred and Joan Horak, retirees breeding rare sheep traced to the biblical era and named after the Jewish patriarch Jacob, who is described in the Bible as raising similar sheep. Their quest to discover why the lambs died ultimately helped advance research into Tay-Sachs, a genetic disease that affects humans as well as animals.


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