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All the Babies' Genomes

China is kicking off a newborn genome project, according to the state news service, Xinhua.

As Xinhua reports, the project is being jointly run by the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and the Children's Hospital of Fudan University and plans to analyze the genomes of some 100,000 newborns in the next five years. What the project uncovers is to be housed in a database and used to develop genetic testing standards for hereditary diseases. The researchers hope that the project will lead to not only a better understanding of hereditary diseases, but also improve their identification and treatment.

The Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and Reproductive Hospital also announced its launch of an embryo genome database, Xinhua adds. That database is to bolster embryonic research and the understanding of development as well as aid in diagnosis, it says.