Tests currently used to determine whether an unborn child has Down syndrome carry a small risk of miscarriage, but a new test for the genetic abnormality could solve that problem by getting results from a maternal blood sample. The test, expected on the market this year, analyzes fetal RNA and DNA in the maternal blood serum for specific genetic markers found on chromosome 21. The number of copies of each of these markers reveals whether the fetal DNA has an extra copy of the chromosome–the genetic variation that causes Down syndrome.
Cost: Not available
Other products in this section:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
If we weren’t the first industrial civilization on Earth, would we ever know?
Fossils and objects are unlikely to survive more than a few million years. Searching for chemical traces of industrialization offers an intriguing alternative.
Gene therapy could free some people from a lifetime of blood transfusions
Correcting a genetic mutation lets beta thalassemia patients make healthy blood cells.
Pet cloning is bringing human cloning a little bit closer
People are copying pets to preserve a physical, and spiritual, connection to dead children.