There are several special research projects underway at the NBDPS.
A few centers ask permission to request a blood spot from the state lab. State labs collect a few drops of blood onto a card from every baby born to check for certain rare inherited conditions. They usually have leftover blood spots, which are eventually discarded. We could use these spots in addition to the cheek cell samples.
Exposures at work
We have worked with scientists who specialize in work exposures to assess a mother's exposure to specific chemicals. They investigated what is known about exposures in a variety of jobs. Then they looked at the job title and activities the mom reported to assess her exposures to certain substances
Family History and Oral Clefts
A positive family history is an important risk factor for many birth defects, including oral clefts. Approximately 25-35% of cleft lip/palate and 10-20% of cleft palate alone have a family history of clefting.
Three centers are collaborating on this project. Mothers of children with oral clefts are asked to complete a family history questionnaire to supplement the information in the interview. It is estimated to take approximately 20 minutes. The questionnaire is included in the cheek cell sample kit. Family studies may help identify genes involved in clefting and their interaction with environmental agents.