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Breakthrough test detects Down syndrome

January 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A new blood test can detect Down syndrome in unborn babies.Until now, amniocentesis has been the most common way to find indications of Down syndrome or other abnormalities.

Amniocentesis requires inserting a needle through a woman's abdomen. It carries the risk of infection, and one in 300 women miscarries.

Doctors say this new blood test may make amniocentesis a thing of the past since it gets the same results without disturbing the womb.

In a recent study, the DNA-based blood test detected every single case of Down syndrome.