Genome Tests Impact on Newborn

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New studies are revealing that a 50 hour genome test could benefit seriously ill newborn babies.The test will give doctors a wealth of information about what could be causing newborns’ life-threatening illnesses. This would allow them to more efficient and quicker in providing adequate therapies to the babies and identify problematic genetic variants that multiple family members may share. According to researchers, more than 20 percent of infant deaths are due to a birth defect or genetic diseases, the kind caused by a problem with a single gene. There are thousands of these diseases, and most hospitals don’t have the means to test for all of them. Once a baby shows symptoms though, fast diagnosis becomes crucial.

This article reminded me of the class lecture we had on September 27. We learned that the lack of science kills people. The first example was the sudden infant death syndrome. The belief was that babies should not be picked up, kissed or hugged especially when not crying and that babies should be place on their tummies to sleep. This untested theory killed tens of thousands of babies in US, Europe, Australia.
Today, thanks to science we know that there is greater chance of crib deaths when babies sleep on their tummy. We also know other things that benefit babies such as breast feeding and reading to them. I think that these genetic tests could be very useful in caring for ill babies that could be due to a genetic disorder. I don’t see the harm in doctors performing these DNA it could possibly help many children get an earlier diagnosis and better outcome.
Personally, I don’t like science classes but I am thankful for it. Sure, science isn’t perfect but I think there would be more deaths if it weren’t for scientific discoveries. There is still a lot more things that need to be done such as finding a cure for cancer but so far the advancements have been sufficient. For example, we’ve discussed the benefit science played in regards to discovering that smoking is harmful. I understand that science can kill people as well but I think that more people would die if science didn’t exist. What do you think of the progress science is making? Do you believe these tests shouldn’t be done?

1 Comment

This research is actually incredible; many babies have died in previous decades because they were not diagnosed with an illness quickly enough. The actual genome testing is impressive and interestion in its own right. When the test is conducted, an infant's entire genetic code is analyzed and sequenced in order to reveal genetic diseases. Amazingly enough, this test can be conducted in a very timely manner, with doctors receiving the results within 50 hours. All of this can be accomplished by simply taking a blood sample from the infant. I just hope that this form of testing continues to be developed. This process can go a long way in improving infant survival rates.
Here is a link to the article I read:

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