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Published on : Nov 10, 2015

According to the latest reports, scientists have successfully developed an accurate, low-risk, and non-invasive blood test to detect foetal genetic conditions, blood group, and sex in unborn babies. 

The DNA test is priced reasonably and is non-invasive, as opposed to the traditional methods including amniocentesis tests involving needles and that carries a minor 1 per cent risk of miscarriage, said that researchers. 

Additionally, the novel tests can also be conducted on mothers who are at risk of X-linked genetic recessive diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and haemophilia. The mothers whose newborns are at risk of haemolytic disease can also carry out the test. 

The test will use the blood obtained from the mother at the time of her first appointment with the general practitioner. It is also possible to conduct the test at an early stage of pregnancy, thereby eliminating the need for multiple appointments. The test therefore, ensures that the available resources are used at their best. 
 
While foetal blood grouping and sexing using the maternal blood sample has remained around for over a decade now, the new research provides a more sensitive and accurate method of detecting the foetal DNA, said Neil Avent, the leading corresponding author from the Plymouth University School of Biomedical and Healthcare Services. 

He also said that the novel technique represents a method that involves comparatively lower risk for early diagnosis of several condition, which in turn helps to administer possible therapies at an early stage for the potential benefit of both mother and the child. 

Ross Welch, who works as a consultant with Plymouth Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust in the department of fetomaternal medicine said that conducting test is an option for parents, especially the mothers since they have a right to know what lies ahead.