(NBC NEWS) The U.S. government is funding an ambitious set of studies into what happens if you screen the entire genome of newborns. The goal is to find out whether such testing brings better health care or unwanted information overload.
Do parents even want to know what fate might await their babies? Can doctors find out anything useful medically? Do you get information that freaks you out? All over the country, thousands of newborns will be enrolled in this experiment, the National Institutes of Health announced on Wednesday.
They’re not necessarily looking for new diseases in the babies yet, says Dr. Eric Green, director of the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). They want to know what happens if you even go down this road of whole-genome sequencing.
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