Although most of the germs children normally encounter result in familiar, quickly curable infections and illnesses, as we recently witnessed with H1N1, viruses and bacteria are evolving rapidly, resulting in virulent new strains or agents that can cause life-threatening infections. With mutating or changing infectious agents, vaccines are not available to prevent these infections. Also, diseases that were once geographically confined can now spread throughout the globe, and children are being seen with much less familiar, often very rare infections. Such infections can even prove deadly if the disease-causing microbe and the treatment for it are not identified quickly. While medical scientists have been able to identify many disease-causing bacteria for half a century, it takes a minimum of 24 hours to identify an infectious organism, using existing technologies. For some infections, a diagnosis may not even be made approximately half of the time despite advances in laboratory testing. For some microbes, it may take one to two months of growth in highly specialized media with rigid protocols before the organism is specifically identified. Advances in DNA testing provide the only real hope to fundamentally change the approach to the diagnosis of infectious diseases, enabling hospitals to detect any and all potentially infectious agents in a timely fashion.