April 12, 2016 | Pip

Random testing for genetic diseases has always unnerved me. But a proof-of-concept study has made me realise it's not always about poor health.

Scientists analysed over half a million people's DNA for signs of more than 600 childhood genetic diseases. Among them were 13 people who carried the gene for cystic fibrosis, but didn't develop the disease. Working out what protects these lucky few could pave the way for future treatments.

I'm not sure whether I'd want to know if something that could harm me was lurking in my DNA. But I can see why some people would, especially if it helps medicine progress.

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Cystic fibrosis is a severe genetic disease that affects people's lungs from birth.

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