For the first time ever, Scientists showed they could genetically sequence a fetus using blood and saliva from the Parents. DNA sequencing for kids is here.
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2012 saw researchers at the University of Washington sequence a near-total genome of the fetus. This method could potentially be used to detect genetic defects and disease in children while they are still in utero. At very least, the information gleaned from such a practice could provide scientists and medical practitioners deep insights into genetic disease.
This type of DNA sequencing is no cheap feat: it costs around $50,000 USD,
but giving the quick and steady decline of genetic testing costs, it could soon be in the hands of many middle class citizens. Like all things genetic, this report raises a myriad of ethical issues: Will we pick traits we like? Will we abort fetus’ that cannot be spared a crippling disease? This raises all sorts of ethical questions.
Only time will tell, but 2012 was certainly the year that genetic sequence pre-birth became a reality.