When Genetic Autopsies Go Awry

Technician Mike Lattari prepares a flow cell slide for loading onto a genetic sequencing machine at a Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. laboratory at the biotechnology company's headquarters in Tarrytown

A child, perfectly healthy, suddenly dies. It’s a heart condition, the doctor says, possibly genetic. The autopsy was inconclusive. It’s hard to know for sure. It just happens sometimes. It happens 11,000 times a year in the U.S. to people under the age of 45. Doctors call it “sudden unexpected death,” but that doesn’t give a grieving family any answers.

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