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Life sciences/Genetics/Human genetics/Medical genetics/Genetic testing/Genetic screening

Doctors could routinely use a new genetic test to screen couples for severe, recessively inherited diseases that they might pass to their offspring, says new research in Science Translational Medicine.

Combined with genetic counseling, this technology may reduce the incidence of severe recessive childhood diseases and help to speed up diagnosis of these disorders in newborns.

A proposed set of federal guidelines designed to sharply limit terrorists’ and criminals’ access to synthetic DNA would largely achieve security goals without harming research, experts said at a day-long discussion at AAAS. But a few experts at the meeting suggested that tightening and fine-tuning the tools and lists used for sequence and customer screening could make them more effective.