Lindsay Weekes knew something was wrong as soon as her son was born.
Her pregnancy had been easy. The baby was a strapping 6 pounds, 12 ounces, with thick, curly black hair like his father’s. But from the first moment Quinlan drew air, Lindsay could see he was tense, his muscles rigid.
Within 24 hours, Quinlan was whisked away from their hospital to an intensive care unit at a nearby medical university. There he began a battery of tests in hopes of diagnosing his disorder, the start of a tortuous journey that has thrust the family into the center of a global economic race to push the limits of medicine.
The search for an answer has taken Quinlan to the cutting edge of the emerging field: the use of genomics, the study of our DNA, to tailor health care. The United States has long been the industry’s undisputed leader, performing much of the research that first decoded our DNA about 15 years ago.
But now China is emerging as America’s fiercest competitor, and it is sinking billions of dollars into research and funding promising new companies both at home and abroad — including a laboratory that handles some of the toughest cases at Boston Children’s Hospital, where Quinlan has become a favorite of the staff.
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