China / Society

China launches birth defects research

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-29 15:18

BEIJING - Chinese experts on Friday kicked off a research project looking into birth defects and genetic disorders, as 900,000 babies are born with mental or physical disabilities each year in the country.

The figure makes up about 5.6 percent of all newborns, said the Ministry of Technology when announcing the research, which will cover 79 major categories of birth defects and genetic disorders and involve surveys and analysis of biological samples.

The surveys will be based on the existing screening network for birth defects.

Although China started birth defect screening 20 years ago, only one percent of possible defects were covered at that time, so records are lacking on a large number of birth defects and genetic disorders.

The experts' findings will be used to create a database for further research and decision-making in this area.

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