This is one of the most exciting—and frightening—news stories I’ve seen in a long time: Scientists have successfully mapped the genetics of a baby in its mother’s womb. They used the mother’s blood and father’s saliva to predict the baby’s genome (its genetic map), then checked the baby at its birth. They were 98 percent accurate in their predictions.
Why is this so exciting? First, such tests could replace existing procedures, minimizing risks to the unborn child. Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are used today to test for abnormalities such as Down syndrome and spina bifida. However, these procedures may lead to miscarriages. Genetic testing that uses samples from the parents would eliminate such invasive procedures.