Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New, non-invasive prenatal testing method

Some researchers in Stanford had discovered that using DNA sequencing on a pregnant mother's blood, one would be able to tell whether the baby she carries is having Down's syndrome. Since it is still at experimental stage, the sample size was only nine women, with 100% accuracy.

While this is a good move to protect the baby from miscarrying (a risk that is present with amnioscentesis - a procedure that is synonymous with prenatal testing today), I think this might make it easier for pregnant women to 'screen early' (as early as 14 weeks, the study cited) for genetic disabilities in the baby and might, might, just increase their propensity to abort any less-than-healthy baby!

Article here: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/1006/3

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