Friday, February 24, 2017

Why We Need to Rethink Ethnicity-Based Genetic Testing

     This article discusses the importance of abolishing ethnicity- based genetic testing for mothers who are pregnant, but rather open up the genetic testing without ethnicity being the sole testing standards. Currently the data is skewed toward a European Caucasian population. This makes it hard to to interpret due to the genetic variance in minority races. This should be concerning and important because the US has been increasingly diversifying. Genetic testing is offered to women during pregnancy and allows the mother to see if there are any diseases or complications with the offspring before birth. However, the genetic testing is currently ran biased on the self reported ethnicity the mother provides. An example would be African patients are offered testing for sickle cell disease. Although, there are some diseases that are prevalent in certain minority groups, it doesn't inhibit other disease from happening that might not be getting tested for. With updated technology there is an inexpensive way to genetically screen multiple diseases at a time. This doesn't only allow physicians to better a universal disease panel to the parents but also promoting equality in genetics.
     I agree with this article that it is important to do genetic testing regardless of what ethnicity the child is. With so much diversity amongst individuals that are reproducing it is hard to determine the exact ethnicity of a child. Being able to create a common screening to check for multiple mutations and diseases regardless of race or ethnicity allows physicians to provide parents a more in depth result of the child's health.

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