A very simple and effective DNA screening test has been developed by the US-based genomic testing company to detect 193 childhood-onset diseases, including anemia, epilepsy, muscular atrophy, cancer, and metabolic disorders in the newborn’s genes.


The company revealed that the genetic test can be done at home with a gentle cheek swab and helps parents to get an early insight into their baby’s health. The test - Sema4 Natalis, screens over five times the number of genetic diseases than a standard hospital test.

The DNA screening test covers atypical epilepsy, spinal muscular atrophy and childhood cancers - there are confirmed medical interventions that may positively influence a baby’s future health when introduced at an early stage and can be used for children up to 10 years of age.

The company states that the use of Sema4 Natalis should be appropriately reviewed and approved by a medical practitioner to make sure the test is medically suitable for the child.

Eric Schadt, Founder and Chief Execute Officer of Sema4, reveals that until now parents have been unaware of early onset diseases, with diagnosis is often late by the time symptoms show up. This breakthrough in science and medicine can now identify babies at risk for diseases and promptly provide interventions - as simple as vitamin supplements in a short span of time make the real difference. This can also help paediatricians guide prescription choices to prevent adverse effects or incorrect doses of medications, including antibiotics.

Sema4 Natalis uses advanced DNA sequencing to examine a baby’s genes with the accuracy of the next-generation technology. The test may help to attend the issue of undiagnosed paediatric illness by using next-generation DNA sequencing and analysis to supplement traditional new-born screening, the company stated.