Monday, June 16, 2014

Serving a life sequence- updated

I did an illustration for MIT Technology Review last week, that is up on the site. It follows the story of a man that was able to sequence his son's complete genome, before the baby was even born.

 Many parents have this done on babies that they know are unhealthy, as a way to determine a possible cause of the health problems. The man in the article admitted that this was more for fun than for any practical health reasons. Which raised the question among some, of whether it's unethical to do this on a fetus when it's medically unnecessary. As one person interviewed for the story explained, "discovery of a bad mutation could lead parents to an 'irrevocable action.'" A baby enclosed in a playpen seemed like a good way of conveying the idea that genome sequencing can help babies when there's some medical problem, but it can also hinder the child if it's used to predict hypothetical conditions that don't yet exist.

The magazine is out now, where the piece is featured as well. I also did a small spot for the story, a few pages later, which you can see above. Here's a link to it. Thank you to Colin, the AD on this!

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