Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/5/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Major study will answer question by experimentation with children.

The National Institute of Health is funding a study to see what happens when babies have their entire genome sequenced and the parents are told. The aim of the study is to see if healthcare improves, or if it bring unintended consequences.

Is a baby the sum of his genes, or something more?

Is a baby the sum of his genes, or something more?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: genes, health, sequence, study, babies, ethics, questions, ethical


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The National Institute of Health announced the project on Wednesday saying they would screen several thousand babies at birth for genetic conditions to see what happens.

Already private genome sequencing is going public with individuals now able to purchase kits that allow them to have their genes sequenced. Such kits cost about $100, and can tell a person about their ancestry dating back to the earliest humans.

More expensive kits can cost thousands and can also tell a person if they have genetic markers for particular conditions. Such markers might include genes for heart disease, cancers, and obesity.

The NIH study will determine what happens when we have this data for babies. Will the babies grow up with better care, knowing they are at risk for genetic conditions? Or will there be too much information for parents to handle?

The agency is setting aside $25 million via the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to screen about 4 million children. Not all of those children will get the full test, thus forming a control group.

Tests will be conducted at four facilities, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital; Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City; the University of California, San Francisco and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The experiment also raises new questions. For example, who should have access to the information and for what purpose? Will doctors tell parents what they learn and should they?

Broader questions can be raised. For example, what if insurance companies made determinations based on DNA tests?

What happens when parents can sequence their child's entire genome before birth? Will elective abortions be used in cases where a baby might have an undesirable trait?

It should be noted that not all genetic conditions actually manifest themselves in patients, even if the risk factors are present. In these cases, parents could get bad news about their child that is unwarranted.

Perhaps the most troubling fact about the study is that it is being used as a platform for debating ethical questions when those questions should be answered before the study is conducted, not following.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Health

HEALTH DISASTER: Is nearly half of all Americans destined to contract diabetes? Watch

Image of The irony of the situation is that Americans are generally living longer, which is a factor in their increased lifetime chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Americans are also not dying in the same proportions that they were, because of better treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Has the United States reached the tipping point with diabetes and obesity? A shocking new study claims that nearly HALF of all Americans, if trends continue, will develop type 2 diabetes in the near future. Public Health England, in their most recent report ... continue reading


First large-scale shipment of new malaria drug shipped out Watch

Image of The recent shipment marks a new phase in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just as virulent - as far more easily transmitted than Ebola, malaria is making new inroads to populations in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, French drug maker Sanofi has announced the delivery of large-scale batches of an antimalarial drug made using ... continue reading


Very accurate colon cancer in-home detection kit approved by FDA Watch

Image of  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new at-home, DNA-based stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Screening for colon cancer is frequently arduous and invasive. Patients need to fast prior to a colonoscopy, and the colonoscopy itself be highly uncomfortable and not always accurate. There's now good news for those at risk. The U.S. Food and Drug ... continue reading


You'll think twice before you put this dangerous chemical back in your mouth! Watch

Image of Colgate's Total brand of toothpaste contains the chemical triclosan, which has been proven to cause disruptions in the endocrine system in mice and rats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A top-selling toothpaste uses the chemical triclosan which has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, and regulators are still reviewing whether or not it's safe to pt in soap, cutting boars and toys, while many consumer companies ... continue reading


New diabetes drug could help us all: Found effective in preventing cancer Watch

Image of Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new study, a drug widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes could help us all live longer. Said drug, metformin, which controls glucose levels, may also stave off cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless if the person is diabetic. LOS ... continue reading


Mutated gene increases women's chance for breast cancer by threefold Watch

Image of Doctors also could recommend more aggressive surveillance for breast cancer, such as annual mammograms or MRI breast screening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has found that mutated versions of a gene called PALB2 can dramatically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. Researchers say that women carrying the PALB2 mutation have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70. LOS ... continue reading


WAS WORLD'S THROAT CUT? Ebola vaccine research was earlier abandoned Watch

Image of It must also be noted that while the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. government often fund the early animal safety and efficacy testing of a vaccine, pharmaceutical companies typically fund the human clinical trials to take a drug or vaccine to market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With increasing fears of the Ebola virus in West Africa and elsewhere, world governments are now frantically trying to contain the disease. What is not widely known is the fact that there had been work on finding a vaccine for Ebola four years ago, that was ... continue reading


PLAGUE STRIKES HOME: At least six people tested for Ebola in U.S. Watch

Image of Said individual, who has recently traveled to West Africa where the current outbreak is taking place is said to be under

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least six people within the continental United States have been tested for the dreaded Ebola virus, the deadly hemorrhagic disease tearing through West Africa. While all six people tested negative, the states in which these people were from remains a tightly ... continue reading


NEW THERAPY: Will chemotherapy be rendered obsolete in 20 years' time? Watch

Image of Genome sequencing will help drug companies design medicines that can successfully target the tumor, according to Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which is part of the project.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chemotherapy is regime that many cancer patients undergo. Many feel that the cure is at times worse than the disease: Weeks of nausea, fatigue, pain and disorientation. Now, drugs that target cancer without harming healthy cells that trigger harmful side ... continue reading


COUNTDOWN TO GLOBAL INFECTION: Hunt is on for 30,000 Ebola carriers worldwide Watch

Image of The father of three, Patrick Sawyer became the first American to die from the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the death of 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, an American who contracted Ebola while caring for his sister with the virus, the hunt is on for people who may have been in contact. Officials hope to head of the deadly virus off at the pass - before it is too late. ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 36:23-28
23 I am going to display the holiness of my great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
12 Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14
1 Jesus began to speak to them in parables once ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 21st, 2014 Image

St. Pius X
August 21: On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter