News FocusMedicine

Fast Technology Drives New World of Newborn Screening

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Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2272-2274
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5550.2272

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The ability to scan a single blood sample for some two dozen inherited disorders is about to cause an explosion in neonatal screening for which few health systems are prepared. Public health experts have argued that the new technology will generate false alarms, trigger costly backup tests, focus on rare diseases for which there are no treatments, strain counseling services, and burden families with medical costs. But advocates of expanded screening--many of them parents of affected children--regard these arguments as a smoke screen.