Sunday, September 8, 2013

Researchers to Sequence Genomes of Newborns

 
Randomized trial is the first to explore the benefits and risks of genome sequencing in newborns.
 
By Tom Langford
 
Parents of some Boston-area newborns will have a rare opportunity to have their baby’s DNA completely analyzed as part of the first-ever randomized trial to explore the benefits and risks of genome sequencing (reading the entirety of a person’s DNA) in this age group.

The five-year study will assess the baby’s risks of future diseases and how that information affects the baby’s medical care, and the relationship between the parents, baby and baby’s pediatrician.

The study is funded by a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. It will be led equally by Robert C. Green, Harvard Medical School associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Alan Beggs, the Sir Edwin and Lady Manton Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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