Emily Mullin reports:
If you were born in the United States within the last 50 or so years, chances are good that one of the first things you did as a baby was give a DNA sample to the government. By the 1970s, states had established newborn screening programs, in which a nurse takes a few drops of blood from a pinprick on a baby’s heel, then sends the sample to a lab to test for certain diseases. Over the years, the list has grown from just a few conditions to dozens.
The blood is supposed to be used for medical purposes—these screenings identify babies with serious health issues, and they have been highly successful at reducing death and disability among children. But a public records lawsuit filed last month in New Jersey suggests these samples are also being used by police in criminal investigations.
Read more at Wired.