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Amish at the Cutting Edge of Genetic Technology

Two groups of people that shy away from many technologies -- Amish and Mennonites -- are actually on the cutting edge when it comes to genetics.
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Two groups of people that shy away from many technologies -- Amish and Mennonites -- are actually on the cutting edge when it comes to genetics.

I visited a testing facility in the middle of a cornfield that caters to the children of these families, many of whom have genetic disorders due to the relatively narrow gene pool in their communities in rural Pennsylvania. Some of those disorders have poetic names like Maple Syrup Urine Syndrome and Chicken Breast Syndrome.

An Amish woman who works at the Clinic for Special Children as well as a doctor share stories of their Amish patients -- some heartbreaking, some life-affirming -- who are grappling with when and how to let technology into their lives.

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