Prenatal DNA Screening and Pandora's Box

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If you could know if your child was going to have an increased risk early onset breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease what would you do? Would you raise them differently? Would you change their diet? If you couldn’t prevent it, would knowing help anyone? We already have screening for trisomy and known genetic defects. But what would happen is we could screen the whole genome for pretty much any disease? It sounds like Star Trek science fiction, but in 5 years its going to be real. There was a pretty nice article about The Pandora’s Box of Genetic Screening. Once you know something, you can’t unknow it. Very similar to people who have their own DNA screened for genetic susceptibility for various diseases. The problem with any of these screens is that even if you have the information, what are you going to do for it?..

Would you screen your child for type 1 diabetes? We know the 20+ genetic loci that significantly increase the risk for developing diabetes. You can have yourself screened and if you know your genetic mutations you can screen your unborn and/or children for the same defects. If you’re screening your unborn for T1DM and you find out they have the same genetic traits as you what would you do with that information? There is no proof that they have a 100% chance of developing it, rather they have an…

SuFu, Ph.D.

I really thought this one was going to be a hot topic, I guess I was completely wrong!