Fast Genome Tests Are Diagnosing Some of the Sickest Babies in Time to Save Them
March 8, 2018
(MIT Technology Review) – Usually it takes weeks for scientists to sequence an entire genome. But Friedman and her colleagues at Rady have sped up the process to less than a week, making it much faster to identify what’s wrong with critically ill babies so they can get the treatment they need to recover. Genetic diseases are the leading cause of death for infants in North America, affecting an estimated 4 percent of newborns. So while the work at Rady is still in the research stage, costing the hospital about $6,000 per baby, the hope is that it could lead to a standard medical test with the potential to save thousands of lives.