September 1, 2015 Statins made her feel wretched, so she took a DNA test to find out why. But even the doctor with the genetic testing company admits that the test doesn't tell you much more than you already know.
Ultrasound is often used for prenatal screening. It's just one of several prenatal screenings available to pregnant women.
January 26, 2015 A simple blood test can analyze bits of fetal DNA leaked in the mother's bloodstream. It's less risky than invasive alternatives like amniocentesis, but it doesn't tell as much about fetal health.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/368449371/381529361" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The CRISPR enzyme (green and red) binds to a stretch of double-stranded DNA (purple and red), preparing to snip out the faulty part.
Illustration courtesy of Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley
June 26, 2014 This technique for manipulating genes borrows a strategy from the way bacteria fight viruses. It's still experimental, but the possibilities excite medical researchers hoping to tailor treatments.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/325213397/325909329" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Vera Wojtesta was one of 300 babies flagged by New York's newborn screening program as at risk of having life-threatening Krabbe disease.
Ben Shutts/Courtesy of the Wojtesta family
December 23, 2013 States screen newborns for rare genetic disorders, but increasingly those disorders don't have simple cures, if they have any cure at all. Sometimes the diagnosis isn't clear cut, either. That leaves some parents not knowing the fate of their child.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/255226663/256482209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
January 17, 2013 A 2008 federal law is supposed to protect people from having their genes used against them. But it only applies to health insurance — not, for example, long-term-care insurance. That's exactly the type of insurance people might seek after learning they're genetically predisposed to some medical problem down the road.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/169634045/169644071" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor