Blood test may detect fetal health problems

July 6, 2012 9:48:06 AM PDT
A simple blood test may detect abnormalities in the unborn.

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 is reported in the journal Nature. It can be done without knowing who the father is.

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

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