A DARK INHERITANCE

LINKING AN AMISH HEREDITARY DISEASE WITH CEREBRAL PALSY, A PEDIATRICIAN CHALLENGES

It is fall in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, and Jacob Stoltzfoos is working his field much the way his forebears did three centuries ago--tugging at the yoke of a Belgian draft mule. The only sounds he hears are the snap of a rein across the mule's hindquarters, the simple mechanical whirl of his corn-harvesting machine and the creak of his oak-plank wagon as he hauls another stack of feed corn to his son-in-law's silo. Like their ancestors, Jacob and his kin light their farmhouses with gas lanterns and drive carriage horses--never automobiles--back and forth to town.

Jacob and his family are Old...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!