Pregnancy comes with a lot of exciting moments, but it also comes with a lot of worries too. Everyone wants their child to be happy, healthy, and thriving, so the idea of your newborn baby potentially having a genetic disease can be overwhelming. Most of us wouldn't find out until much further down the line when problems become evident. However, geneticists have developed a do-it-yourself DNA test that is able to detect up to 193 different genetic diseases including cancer, anemia, and epilepsy.
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The test was created by Sema4 and is named "Sema4 Natalis", with Natalis meaning "of one's birth" in Latin. The test uses advanced DNA testing to analyze a baby's genes. All you need to do is swab the inside of a newborn's mouth. The test is currently available to purchase online for $649. It's not just for babies either, as it can be effective for kids up to 10 years of age.
Once the swab is taken, the sample is sent back to the company for sequencing and analysis. Parents can expect to receive the results in a pretty timely fashion, with a turnaround time of just two weeks. The company also offers aftercare, with a genetic counselor following up with the family and their doctors to discuss the results. As well as being able to show if your child will be prone to any genetic diseases, the test can show how the infant will respond to 38 medications that are commonly prescribed to children.
The advanced test is being hailed as one of the first of its kind. While last year's 23andme offered people the chance to analyze their DNA to discover their ancestry, nothing of this magnitude has been offered previously to parents. It might be a little pricey, but if it gives you peace of mind or the chance to prepare for the future, it could be worth every dime.
Do you think that it's worth testing, or would you rather deal with any illnesses as they arise? Let us know in the comments.