DNA testing on newborns reveals hidden risks

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There has been a long debate about whether newborns should undergo genetic testing.

The results of a new study suggest it may be a good idea.

Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Baylor College of Medicine conducted D.N.A. sequencing on 159 infants.

Almost 10 percent carried mutations that revealed a risk of diseases that could be treated in childhood, like heart problems and hearing loss.

Surprisingly, the diseases were not in their family history.

Three of the babies had gene mutations that put them at a higher risk of adult-onset cancers.

The researchers said they are not recommending that it becomes part of the standard newborn screening at this time.

However, they do plan on following the babies and their parents long-term.

Of the 159 newborns who were tested as part of the BabySeq project, 127 were healthy and 32 were being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Researchers said those babies were not necessarily being treated for genetic conditions.

You can read the full study here.

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