“A tangled debate centers on newborns’ DNA,” quotes Prof. Susan M. Wolf, Founding Chair of the Consortium, on issues raised by newborn sequencing. Genetic testing in children has historically been limited to testing that is of health importance, allowing the child to make any further testing decisions later. Genome sequencing in newborns challenges this approach and raises difficult issues concerning return of results and incidental findings. Prof. Wolf is currently writing a book on this topic funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award.
The bacterium Clostridium difficile can cause life-threatening gastrointestinal infections that are becoming more common and more difficult to treat. In 2008, Michael Sadowsky, PhD, director of Consortium member center The Biotechnology Institute, and his colleagues put good bacteria via a fecal transplant into a C. diff-infected colon and re-established a healthy bacteria ecosystem.