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Method May Widen Prenatal Screening - Blood Test Effective In Hub Study

Publication Date: 
February 27, 2014
The Boston Globe
Carolyn Y. Johnson

Professor Hank Greely weighs in on noninvasive prenatal testing and why he believes it will soon be "widely adopted" in this Boston Globe article by Carolyn Y. Johnson. 

A large new study led by Boston researchers shows that a simple blood test is more accurate than the standard methods to screen for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome in a fetus, paving the way for a new generation of prenatal genetic tests to be offered to all pregnant women.

The research published Wednesday is the first US study to compare these new genetic tests with current screening tools in large numbers of low-risk pregnant women. It found the new tests produced far fewer false positive readings.


”I think noninvasive prenatal testing is likely to be very, very widely adopted,” said Hank Greely, director of the center for law and the biosciences at Stanford University. “I think that is likely to lead to some increase in the number of Down syndrome fetuses that are aborted. How big an increase, I don’t think we know.”