Simple blood test used to find abnormalities in a fetus

July 5, 2012 2:21:42 PM PDT
The days of pregnant women having a large needle jabbed into their abdomens may be numbered.

For the second time in a month scientists say a simple blood test can detect abnormalities in a fetus.

The technique is even more streamlined than one announced a few weeks ago -- which requires a father's saliva and a mother's blood.

This latest method, reported in the journal "Nature", can be done without knowing who the father is, much less obtaining a sample of his DNA.

The father-free method promises to make fetal sequencing possible in every pregnancy.

Determining a fetus's genome might give women more reasons to end a pregnancy, but researchers say it would also let doctors identify conditions that can be treated before birth or immediately after.

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