Chromosomal aneuploidy is a main cause of human prenatal and postnatal morbidity and mortality, and the most frequent genetic cause of mental retardation. Prenatal testing for trisomies is available to women of advanced maternal age, with ultrasound findings consistent with Down syndrome or with previous fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities. Currently, fetal genetic material is collected through procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling to enable the definitive diagnosis of fetal genetic diseases. These invasive procedures are associated with the risk of fetal loss. <br><br> <strong>Technology</strong><br> The invention relates to non-invasive methods for determining the genetic status of a fetus. Chromosomal aberrations such as fetal aneuploidy, in particular Trisomy 21 (T21) or also known as Down syndrome (DS), may be diagnosed from mother`s blood via evaluation of differential expression of microRNAs (miRNAs).<br><br>
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
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