Microbiology

Robert Guthrie (1916–1995)

Robert Guthrie (1916–1995)

Robert Guthrie developed a method to test infants for phenylketonuria or PKU in the United States during the twentieth century. PKU is an inherited condition that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build to toxic levels in the blood. Untreated, PKU causes mental disabilities. Before Guthrie’s test, physicians rarely tested infants for PKU and struggled to diagnose it. Guthrie’s test enabled newborns to be quickly and cheaply screened at birth and then treated for PKU if necessary, preventing

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