The real potential isn’t just in discovering what genes there are – it’s in discovering how we can stop those genes from leading to disease or serious medical conditions.

If researchers can crack that code, it could mean preventing deadly diseases or conditions before they even develop.

For example, about half of infant deaths can be attributed to unexplained genetic changes.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s are working to identify these conditions and prevent these tragedies by conducting trio studies. These studies compare a newborn’s genes to each of her parents’, allowing researchers to identify any new, unexpected genes in the baby. These genes could be inherited from the parents, or they could be spontaneous changes in the baby’s own genome.

Delving further into individuals’ genomes helps researchers understand whether those spontaneous gene changes are due to environmental exposures or are simply accidents. Discovering how and why these new genes form has the potential to save countless lives by preventing deadly birth defects before they happen.