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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

A tangled debate centers on newborns’ DNA

For years, doctors, scientists, and ethicists have debated whether people will benefit from decoding their DNA, the three billion letters of the genome that spell out traits and predisposition to disease. Now, that complicated conversation is moving to a new venue: the newborn nursery.

The questions swirling around DNA sequencing — how to analyze so much data, what conditions to look for and report back, what to do with unexpected findings — grow even more complicated when the person being sequenced cannot yet be involved in the decision.

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