We are ALL FOR non-invasive procedures, especially when they're just as accurate — or better — than invasive ones!
The latest one to come about comes from being able to map a baby genome while it's in the womb, without fluid from the amniotic sac!
Blood and saliva samples — from mom and dad!
This new test can pinpoint around 3,500 genetic disorders, too, like spina bifida and Down syndrome, the most common genetic disorders in the U.S. , and is safer than amniocentesis.
They tested it by mapping the genome using this method, and then testing the cord blood after the baby was born. It worked.
The issues lies in two things: cost, and ethics.
If they can keep the costs down, this could be fab.
But finding out heartbreaking news might move some parents to abort, so ethical problems arise.
This is what one of the professors of pediatrics said:
”In my experience, full information for parents permits ethical decisions for a family. A longer term ethical issue concerning the ability to predict disease development in later childhood or adulthood from fetal DNA will also need to be addressed. Hopefully, this new information will prompt development of nutritional, pharmacologic, behavioral, environmental, and other strategies to reduce genetic disease risk.”
The impact of this could be huge.
We just hope the world is ready to sit down and discuss it rationally (which it usually isn't).
What are UR thoughts about this??
[Image via AP Images.]