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Brand New, Already with a Genome Sequence

Doctors and researchers at Brigham & Women's and Boston Children's Hospital are beginning to sequence newborns' genomes as part of their BabySeq project, CBS Boston reports.

The BabySeq project, led by Brigham & Women's Robert Green, aims to enroll some 240 healthy babies and 240 infants from the neonatal ICU. Half of each group will undergo sequencing and have some 1,700 genes linked to childhood-onset diseases examined.

As CBS Boston adds, this would give physicians and parents a glimpse of future possible conditions. Women at the Stroller Strides Fit4Mom class tell the station, though, that there could be plusses and minuses to knowing.

"I think it will help you cope with whatever it is that you're going to have to cope with anyways," Kristen Feig from Newton says.

Natick's Emily Haranas says that if she had been asked when her kids were born, she would've agreed to it. But now, she says "it is a little scary, the thought of actually finding something out." 

The project, CBS Boston adds, also plans to follow that group of infants to see whether knowing such genetic information influences their care or raises issues of privacy or genetic discrimination.