Media Coverage

Rapid genome sequencing could revolutionize health care for acutely ill babies

The story of Maverick Coltrin’s medical mystery is gripping: Last October, he was just 6 days old when he stopped eating. Then the seizures came. His tiny arms and legs would stiffen for a few seconds as many as 30 times per hour. Doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego tried multiple tests and medications, but nothing revealed what was wrong. When Maverick turned dusty blue, his parents asked, “Do you think he’s going to survive?”

The answer: “We’re doing everything we can.”

“Everything” was about to have a new meaning.

DNA Testing Offers New Hope for Infants with Genetic Disease

Studies suggest that whole-genome sequencing can be done more quickly and cheaply, offering fast diagnoses that can save ailing babies.

While genetic diseases pose the single biggest source of infant mortality in the U.S., many of these disorders are so rare and little understood that an accurate diagnosis can take weeks or months.