Faster genome tests can help save babies

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In California, doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego are now able to sequence babies genomes in 19.5 hours instead of the former week or so it took, and definitely surpassing the 13 years it took to sequence the first human genome years ago. The new sped-up genome tests help diagnose babies faster which leads to getting the treatment they desperately need much quicker than before.

While the faster genome tests are still in the research stage and cost around $6,000 per baby, they hope it will become a standard test someday to deliver treatments to newborn babies faster and thereby saving lives since genetic diseases are the leading cause of death for infants in North America, affecting about 4% of newborns.