Researchers explain a new blood test may be available soon that provides potential parents a large list of potential genetic diseases they carry that could be detrimental to the health of their baby. These tests are an extension of human genetics sequencing and may be available before the end of the year.
Some disorders are recessive and rare. However, diseases like cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and thalessemias can be fatal for infants and have been estimated to cause up to 20 percent of deaths in infants.
Analyzing ancestor information, scientists discovered the general areas in which certain diseases originate or are carried. Cystic fibrosis is most common in Northern European individuals while Tay-Sachs is prevalent in Askenazi Jews and the French Canadians.
Scientists have created a test that potential parents can take which would inform them of whether or not they carry more than 400 specific genetic abnormalities. If both parents carry the same gene, a 25 percent chance exists that it will be passed onto the baby.
Researchers are working diligently to fix any open-ends within the testing method and are trying to make the results readable for the general public so the test can be released.
Screening tests may decrease the severity of emotional pain a couple experiences if they understand the risks involved with their baby.