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Genetic screening facts for kids

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Historic cost of sequencing a human genome
Total cost of sequencing a human genome as calculated by the NHGRI

Genetic screening finds out genetic susceptibility to a particular disease. Genetic testing identifies differences in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. It allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases. It can also be used to find out a child's parentage (genetic mother and father).

Genetic screening in a broader sense includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic diseases, or mutant forms of genes associated with increased risk of developing genetic disorders. Most of the time, testing is used to find changes that are associated with inherited disorders. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Several hundred genetic tests are currently in use, and more are being developed.

Since genetic testing may open up ethical or psychological problems, genetic testing is often accompanied by genetic counselling.

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