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NGS Leaders :: Would You Vote for Genomic Screening of Newborns?

Would You Vote for Genomic Screening of Newborns?

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Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Robert C Green, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Genetics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, and Director of the Genomes2People research program, www.genomes2people.org  

October 31, 2012 

Robert C Green : Genetic Screening NewbornsWhat would it be like to use genomic sequencing for newborn screening?

Would you want to know all, part or none of your baby’s genome?

Where will newborn sequencing save lives and where will it needlessly inflate fears and medical costs?

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, there are 8,000 births a year, and a growing program in translational genomics research called Genomes2People.

We have been thinking about these questions and have started to gather pilot data from the parents of newborns. We’ve already learned that, when asked, more than 70 percent of nearly 300 parents of healthy newborns say that want genomic screening!

We have proposed a pilot study to complete this survey and start piloting newborn screening through genomic sequencing under carefully monitored conditions.

Our proposal is one of three finalists in a competition organized by the Brigham - the BRIght Futures Prize. The winner will be selected by competition for public votes, with a $100,000 grant at stake.

Anyone can cast a vote (once) before November 1st for any of the three proposals. To see more about the contest, visit:http://brighamandwomens.org/research/BFF/default.aspx


They are all excellent projects in their own right – the other two tackle questions in multiple sclerosis and the immune system - but I’m convinced that members of the NGS Leaders community will be particularly intrigued by our efforts to study the potential medical impact and ethical issues surrounding newborn genome screening.

If you agree, we’d welcome your vote for our project before November 1 at http://bwhbriwebmaster.partners.org/?p=708 

Thank you for voting!

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