OB GYN, physician, Uncategorized

Weekly Wrap Up: Top Interesting Articles

This week I was drawn to stories about sacrifice for the betterment of others, the power of oxytocin for infant bonding with men/adoptive parents/women alike, and the surprising truth about the storing and potential sale of DNA material from the “blood spot” heel prick test done on all newborns.

Links to the articles and commentary below:

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He Donated Blood Every Week for 60 Years and Saved the Lives of 2.4 Million Babies

CNN

Love this man’s dedication- it is inspiring and heartwarming. Also important, is this highlighting of this miracle of modern medicine which has altered the lives of so many people. We sometimes take for granted these advances in pregnancy and maternal/fetal care.

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Is Maternal Instinct Only for Moms? Here’s the Science

National Geographic

The physiologic response with oxytocin that occurs when meeting or caring for a newborn spikes earlier in women, but catches up in men quickly. The chemical response that would also occur in the bodies of adoptive parents gives new meaning to “biologic parents”. Interesting take by national geographic.

 

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DNA of Every Baby Born in California Is Stored. Who Has Access to It?

CBS

While the newborn screening law was enacted by the state legislature, the authorization to store every child’s DNA and sell it to researchers is actually in a separate regulation enacted by the Director of California Department of Public Health. It says that a child’s “blood specimen and information,” collected during a test paid for by the child’s parents, becomes “property of the state.”

Compelling article. As a physician and also mother of 3 children, I understood the importance of the heel prick “blood spot” genetic screening test for a newborn. However, I naively assumed the sample was discarded after the test. The storing of DNA, with potential selling to outside researchers never entered my mind as a possibility. While I can appreciate the need to store the samples to continue improvement with the testing and researching new genetic tests, there will need to be regulations/laws in place about what 3rd parties can do with this material. Technology is outpacing our current laws and protection of personal data (DNA in this case) is paramount.

 

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