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Sarah Yang

Are DNA Blueprints The Amnios Of The Future?

PUBLISHED ON 06/07/2012

Researchers at the University of Washington have found a way to virtually map the entire genome of a fetus using a blood sample from mom and a saliva sample from dad. Their findings were published in Science Translational Medicine. This breakthrough might help parents find out the complete DNA blueprint of their unborn child, which could help detect genetic diseases very early. This might be appealing to some because it’s less invasive and risky than an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test. But knowing about genetic makeup before baby’s born could lead to an ethical debate — some believe couples who know more about baby’s traits might choose abortions when they otherwise wouldn’t.

Scientists say that the DNA sequencing has a 98% accuracy, but it’s not ready for use right now and will pretty pricey to do (around $20,000 to 50,000). Some experts estimate that the procedure could be available in three to five years.

Would you want to find out the DNA Blueprint of your child? Are you getting any genetic testing during pregnancy?

PHOTO: Thinkstock