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Babies dna in secret vaults

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Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon May 24, 2010 8:25 pm

My friends, today at Daily Express: here is the link:

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/176880

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by AlexG on Tue May 25, 2010 4:33 am

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by AlexG on Tue May 25, 2010 4:35 am

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue May 25, 2010 6:47 am

According to people I know or heard, heel-prick tests in Portugal are carried out on newborn babies to screen for diseases, because I know that kind of heel-prick tests are carried out at Portuguese hospitals.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by May on Tue May 25, 2010 7:24 am

My son was born in 1990 and at 10 days old he underwent the heel prick test....... I was never asked for permission, nor was I notified if I had a choice, it was never really explained other than it had to be done to screen for genetic illnesses!
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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue May 25, 2010 7:35 am

By saying my comment above, let´s make this clear, I´m not defending or criticizing that kind of behaviour which can be read at the top of this topic, I also don´t want to be disrespectful to anyone here.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by dianeh on Tue May 25, 2010 9:11 am


Heel prick test


What to expect
This test is done when your baby is between 48 and 72 hours old.
You and your baby may be taken to a quiet room, where your baby’s heel will be pricked. A few drops of his blood will be collected on special filter paper. If you are concerned about the pain this might cause him, you could breastfeed him while the test occurs. Research indicates that this can comfort him.
The filter paper is left to dry, then sent to a newborn screening laboratory where the sample is tested for different conditions.
Why is it done?
The heel prick test is done to detect rare genetic disorders. In Australia, it usually screens newborn babies for the following conditions:

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Primary congenital hypothyroidism (CH)
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF).

There are other conditions that are only tested in some hospitals throughout Australia. If people in your local community have these conditions, your hospital is more likely to test for them:

  • Biotinidase deficiency
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Galactosaemia
  • Haemoglobinopathies
If you plan on leaving hospital early, ensure you have arrangements to carry out your baby’s heel prick test. This might mean a midwife visiting you at home or just bringing your baby to the hospital again.

Tandem mass spectrometry test
Blood from the heel prick test is sometimes also used in a test called the tandem mass spectrometry test. This test can detect more then 30 extremely rare disorders related to how the body breaks down protein and fat. Disorders screened include:

  • amino acid disorders
  • organic acid disorders
  • fatty acid metabolism disorders
You can ask your nurse or midwife exactly what conditions the heel prick test will screen. There are other conditions and disorders that aren’t tested, but if you have a family history of any disorders or conditions let your doctor or nurse know.





I have no problem with the heel prick test.



I have two cousins with PKU, and the first one almost died because of it, and suffered mild brain damage. If the heel prick test had been available back then, he would not have suffered at all. BTW, although they are my cousins, my family are not carriers. Their mother (my first cousin) is a carrier but it comes from the other side of her family.



I also have no problem with keeping the samples, as long as they cannot be matched to specific people in the future. I think that once they are tested, and if they are to be kept, that the individual identification of the sample should be removed.
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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by AlexG on Tue May 25, 2010 9:23 am

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue May 25, 2010 7:08 pm

I agree with you Dianeh, good point Alex.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Sabot on Tue May 25, 2010 7:42 pm

Difficult one. Why would we not want criminals apprehended? And it might act as a deterrent.

But I agree that it is a sneaky way of going about it, although I doubt that many would agree to this.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by dianeh on Tue May 25, 2010 11:13 pm

Ahhh, Sabot, but this information is open to abuse and corruption. While it sounds good in theory that it could be used to solve crimes in the future, what if it is used to discriminate against people with a specific gene, that has been identified perhaps as a bad or undesirable gene. Who knows what type of governments we may have in the future, and how this information could be used? Privacy must be protected.
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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Sabot on Tue May 25, 2010 11:23 pm

dianeh wrote:Ahhh, Sabot, but this information is open to abuse and corruption. While it sounds good in theory that it could be used to solve crimes in the future, what if it is used to discriminate against people with a specific gene, that has been identified perhaps as a bad or undesirable gene. Who knows what type of governments we may have in the future, and how this information could be used? Privacy must be protected.

That is why I say that it is a difficult question.

I can't say that I would be keen to part with my DNA, but I suspect that this is a personal thing. It's mine. It belongs to me. If you see what I mean.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Cath on Tue May 25, 2010 11:25 pm

Difficult indeed. I don't like these kind of databases because of the security issues. There's money involved. A life insurance company would be delighted to get access to such a database.

And as for the Police, catching criminals? Fine by me, as long as they realise that someone's DNA at the scene of the crime doesn't necessarily mean that's the person "whosdunnit".

eta Agreed Dianeh, that's also a concern.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by dianeh on Tue May 25, 2010 11:36 pm

Cath,not just a life insurance company but also a health insurance company (pre-existing conditions and all that).

And Cath, yes, it is often overlooked by law enforcement officers around the world, that DNA at the scene of the crime does not always mean the person did it. DNA doesnt come with a date and time stamp.

And Sabot, yes, it is personal, and you should have to give informed consent for it to be available for use by anyone other than the health department. I have always signed the forms at the hospital to allow my records (or my children's) to be used in research, but I wonder how long they are able to keep those records for, in the name of research. It should have a specific time limit, and then be discarded, or have identifiers removed from it.
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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue May 25, 2010 11:41 pm

I see that this topic here is raising to many questions, with a friendly debate.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Sabot on Tue May 25, 2010 11:47 pm

Pedro Silva wrote:I see that this topic here is raising to many questions, with a friendly debate.

I think it is a Moral Issue, Pedro. But very interesting. We all know how unsafe these Data Bases are.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Cath on Wed May 26, 2010 4:12 am

Forgot about Health Insurance Dianeh. It's because things are different in my country. The Insurance companies are obliged to accept everybody for the basic care.

Both a Moral Issue and a Safety Issue I think Sabot.
If people can hack their way into the Pentagon, they sure can hack their way into these Data Bases.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by dianeh on Wed May 26, 2010 9:10 am

Cath, not in ours. We have a two tiered system, with all doctor's visits and basic hospital care as part of Medicare (universal system) and a private hospital system as well where a person can choose which hospital and doctor they want. There are exclusion for pre-existing conditions in the private hospital cover, which are in the form of waiting times. For example, there is a waiting period of 9 months for maternity services. This means that I cannot go to a private hospital to have a baby until the nine months waiting period are up, which means I need to go to the public hospital. This stops women from joining up to private coverage when they get pregnant just to get into a private maternity hospital.

DNA can provide pointers to certain conditions, making them a higher probability but by no means a certainty. This information could be used to refuse coverage for certain conditions. And it should not be allowed.
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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Cath on Wed May 26, 2010 6:39 pm

That's interesting Dianeh. Not sure if people will appreciate it if I'm going to tell in extenso about how it used to be over here until a couple of years ago (3-5 not sure). But depending on your salary you'd be in the Ziekenfonds or a Private Insurance.
And I've been lucky, I earned enough to get the Private Insurance.
Which was fun, because you could change one company for the other if you wanted. Most of them paid for max 3 IVF attempts. Changing after 3 attempts would get you another 3 free attempts. lol.
Nowadays you can choose to get additional packages to the general insurance, but it's up to the insurance company if they accept you or not for those additions.

I agree with what you say about the DNA.
Certain conditions might be present, but they don't know yet what makes the difference, why one person indeed gets cancer and the other doesn't. Research will go on and where will it stop? And who's deciding about the ethical issues of the research?
Do we really want to live forever?

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Sabot on Wed May 26, 2010 6:47 pm

I want to live forever, otherwise I won't have time to do everything.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Cath on Thu May 27, 2010 7:49 am

You should have started doing "it" earlier Sabot.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by dianeh on Thu May 27, 2010 9:28 am

We all should have started earlier Cath.

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Re: Babies dna in secret vaults

Post by Sabot on Thu May 27, 2010 10:00 pm

Cath wrote:You should have started doing "it" earlier Sabot.

I spent too much time destituting myself bringing up children. And it costs serious money to do what I want to do. On my Pension I am reckoning "Forever".

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