According to Technology Review, Veritas Genetics is offering its gene-sequencing service to parents in China. Veritas is a spinoff of Harvard University's Personal Genome Project, it notes.
Its myBabyGenome service costs $1,500, is ordered by a doctor, and examines the child's risk of developing some 950 diseases as well as certain physical traits. It also examines genes associated with drug reactions, Tech Review reports. It adds that company says the test could reveal hidden problems.
However, Tech Review says that the myBabyGenome service also raises concerns, as the link between some gene variants and disease risk is unclear and as the test is trying to predict how children will look and act. "I think it's vastly premature to peddle a completely unproven set of data, especially to a vulnerable population like neonates," the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Jim Evans tells Tech Review.
Tech Review notes that the BabySeq project in the US is examining the risk and benefits of sequencing newborns and that some parents have shied away from testing.