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WASHINGTON (AP) — Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry.

But to uncover food poisonings?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is beginning a program to outsmart food outbreaks by routinely decoding the bugs' DNA.

First up is listeria, bacteria especially dangerous to pregnant women.

Federal and state officials are sequencing the genomes of all the listeria infections diagnosed in the U.S. this year, along with samples found in tainted foods or factories.

It's the first time the technology has been used for routine disease surveillance — looking for people with matching strains who may have gotten sick from the same source.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden calls it a new, more precise way to find and fight infections.

Published in National News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Doctors are sending a warning to new mothers who feed their babies with breast milk purchased online.

   A new study says testing shows the breast milk can contain potentially dangerous bacteria including salmonella.

   Researchers bought and tested more than 100 breast milk samples sold by women on one popular site, and 75 percent of those samples contained high amounts of bacteria that could sicken babies. Researchers did not identify the website.

   The research also cites several cases in which babies did get sick from a stranger's breast milk.

   Breast milk also is provided through milk banks, whose clients include hospitals. But they screen donors and pasteurize donated milk to kill any germs.

   Both online breast milk sites and milk banks charge fees.

 
Published in Health & Fitness

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