A partnership between the University of Florida and the American Diabetes Association will test the genetic risk for Diabetes in thousands of newborns in Florida. This was first intended as a pilot program for all the states.
It's called Project One, and it calls for a blood test that can identify genetic markers for Type 1 Diabetes so that the babies who turn up positive can be followed closely for the earliest sign that the disease is progressing. "If one is screened for the risk for Diabetes, and they know they're at increased risk, it gives the parents or parent the opportunity to monitor that child more closely to avoid what sometimes happens where the child's on-set causes him to come to the emergency room," says Mark Atkinson, M.D. of University of Florida Immunologist.
Babies are already tested for other illnesses with the same heel-stick blood test that would be used to screen for Diabetes. The A.D.A. is launching the $10 million project in Florida hoping that it will be picked up by other states later.