Monthly Archives: October 2013

Gene Mapping For Babies

gene mapping for babiesToday, I read an article that made me smile. A little girl named Amelia Sloan became a pioneer of what’s known as genome sequencing. After the birth of Amelia, scientists took a sample of her blood and used it to map her genetic code.

The blood sample taken from her would be used to determine any health risks that she may have in the future. It all sounds good to me, but then of course, some people are reacting to this news in a negative way, which if I’m honest, actually made me think twice as well.

One of the questions being raised about this new procedure is how accurate it is. People are concerned about raising any false alarms and how it could affect the way a family would treat an otherwise healthy baby.

In my point of view, there’s nothing wrong with developing a new method that could save many lives in the future. In any disease, early treatment is key. I could probably disagree on the matter if mapping an infant’s genome would mean subjecting the little ones to painful and inhumane procedures, but this is not the case.

Newborn screening, a method that entails a little prick on a baby’s heel, has revolutionized health care in newborns. It prevented thousands of babies from developing disabilities and deadly diseases.

If newborn screening alone helped doctors detect 30 possible diseases, how good will it be if they could detect a hundred others? Something that’s possible if they develop and succeed in genome sequencing.