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Missing chromosomal abnormalities in utero will be reduced with a new form of testing that can be done in under 2 days. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are methods that detect changes in known sequences of genes rather than using karyotyping, which takes up to 14 days for results. The genetic material is obtained from amniotic fluid (fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb), and chorionic villus sampling (tissue from the placenta). These tests provide answers to whether the foetus may have genetic abnormalities such as Down's syndrome, however, the methods still miss many physical and mental abnormalities that karyotyping detects. Other congenital abnormalities can be detected with ultrasound scanning.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Lancet
About: New in utero tests on offer
Date: 29 June 2005
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