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China to establish newborns, embryos genome databases

Updated: Aug 8,2016 9:14 AM     Xinhua

SHANGHAI — A genome project for newborn babies was launched in Shanghai on Aug 7, to aid the early identification and treatment of hereditary diseases.

Jointly initiated by Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, the project will carry out genetic testing on 100,000 newborn babies over the coming five years.

The findings will be gathered in a database and a genetic testing standard for hereditary diseases will be developed, which will improve the identification and treatment of inherited diseases.

Huang Guoying, president of the hospital, said early identification can help doctors make better treatment strategies and improve the patients’ quality of life.

Also on Aug 7, the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling and Reproductive Hospital, which is affiliated with Shandong University, jointly launched China’s embryo genome project.

An embryo genome database will improve research and understanding of the development of embryos and improve diagnostic rates.

He Lin, with the Chinese Board of Genetic Counseling, said there are some 7,000 known inherited diseases and China sees about 900,000 babies born with birth defects every year.

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