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More Genetic Testing On Infants

Babies in nearly every state and Washington D.C. are now being screened for a majority of serious genetic disorders, according to a new March of Dimes report.

The screening process involves pricking the heel of a newborn, then testing these few drops of blood for diseases like sickle cell anemia, and PKU, which occurs when the body cannot process food properly.

The report shows that in 2005, 38 percent of babies were born in states that required screening for at least 21 of 29 such conditions.
In 2008, that percentage had risen to nearly 100 percent.

Currently, Pennsylvania screens for just 9 of these disorders, but new laws requiring babies to be screened for all 29 disorders are expected to be implemented later this summer.


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