A recent article in the NYTimes discusses a new genetic test that puts patients with ocular melanoma in two categories: one that has a high probability of survival and another that faces almost certain deaths. By following two patients awaiting test results, the article focuses on how doctors approach the new test given that there is no treatment for patients in the second category (nearly certain death). As genetic test technology outpaces the treatment for the diseases we can now know we will have, should we still be tested for deadly diseases? Would you want to know if you might have an incurable disease?
Three new studies have identified a link between autism and a rare genetic mutation that is tied to the parent’s age. Scientists point out, though, that these studies are just the tip of the iceberg as the identified mutations account for a small percentage of autism cases. Nonetheless this is a significant finding in the search for the cause of autism, the prevalence of which is increasing significantly. Read the article for more details on the studies and their significance.