Researchers at New York's Colombia University and genetic-testing firm Natera have developed a new blood test that can help detect Down's syndrome in unborn babies without any risk of miscarriage.
Current tests for detecting Down's syndrome in unborn babies are not reliable and lead to miscarriage between 1 in 100 cases and 1 in 200 cases. However the new test has been found to be 100 percent accurate and works by analyzing the blood sample taken from the pregnant woman's arm and by analyzing the DNA of the fetus which is present in the blood stream of a woman just few weeks into pregnancy. The test can be used in the ninth week of pregnancy.
"At the moment pregnant women are presented with a really poor choice. They can either undergo a safe but pretty unreliable test to tell if they are carrying a fetus with an abnormality. Or they can go through an uncomfortable, invasive and risky procedure", the chief technology officer at Natera, Jonathan Sheena said.