A Peek Into Baby's Genes
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|Mon, 10-07-2013 - 3:05pm|
Little Amelia Sloan is a pioneer: Shortly after her birth, scientists took drops of the healthy baby's blood to map her genetic code.
Amelia is part of a large research project outside the nation's capital that is decoding the DNA of hundreds of infants. New parents in a few other cities soon can start signing up for smaller studies to explore if what's called genome sequencing — fully mapping someone's genes to look for health risks — should become a part of newborn care.
It's full of ethical challenges.
Should parents be told only about childhood threats? Or would they also want to learn if their babies carried a key gene for, say, breast cancer after they're grown? Could knowing about future risks alter how a family treats an otherwise healthy youngster? And how accurate is this technology — could it raise too many false alarms?
Wow! Would you give this a try if the opportunity came your way? Would you want to know what the future holdsfor your baby?