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Oluwato
Oct 7, 2008, 06:02 AM
Research News from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

New Blood Test for Down Syndrome

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have developed a new prenatal blood test that accurately detected Down syndrome and two other serious chromosomal defects in a small study of 18 pregnant women. If confirmed in larger trials, they say, the test would offer a safer and faster alternative to invasive prenatal tests such as amniocentesis that pose a small risk of miscarriage.

Researchers have long known that a pregnant woman's blood contains small amounts of DNA from the fetus. HHMI researcher Stephen R. Quake and colleagues at Stanford University devised an ingenious way to the scan fetal DNA present in the mother's blood to determine whether the fetus' cells contain extra chromosomes associated with several types of severe birth detects.

Research published in the October 06, 2008, early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stephen R. Quake, D.Phil., HHMI investigator

Stanford University

To read the news story, go to http://www.hhmi.org/news/quake20081006.html

DoubleWahala
Oct 8, 2008, 05:26 PM
The big question then is: what do you do, if you find out the fetus will develop into a child with Down Syndrome?

Won't most women decide to terminate the pregnancy? If that's the case, wont this "New Blood Test" indirectly fuel the perennial abortion debate?

Pro-Choicers, rejoice. This blood test for Down Syndrome further entrenches the "choice" of whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy.

DW