Pregnancy blood test could find Down’s syndrome -

Pregnancy blood test could find Down’s syndrome

Test would replace more invasive alternatives


Women at high risk for having babies with Down’s syndrome are currently given an amniocentesis test, which carries a risk of miscarriage; but in the future, that could be replaced with a blood test during pregnancy, researchers say. A Dutch team is looking for a way of testing a mother’s blood for chromosome disorders in the fetus, the BBC reports, based on “probes” that attach to specific points of a chromosome. It’s the same technique used to find problems in fetal DNA from samples taken from the womb’s amniotic fluid, but a blood test would be fast, non-invasive, and would pose no risk to the fetus. So far, the team has identified the male or Y chromosome from the fetus in the mother’s blood, which shows their technique works, and can be used as early as six to eight weeks. They’re now looking for probes to find the extra chromosome present in Down’s syndrome.

BBC News

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