Christina Fan, while still a grad student developed a way to diagnose Down syndrome in a fetus through a simple test of the mother’s blood.
This is a leap in the current procedure which includes a far riskier approach with the use of amniocentesis. She and her colleagues are working to perfect the technique, as well as developing ways to use high-speed DNA sequencing to analyze individuals’ immune systems for the eventual development of custom treatments. Christina works as part of the Immumetrix team specialising in the field of ‘ImmunoGenomics’.
This ground breaking approach lends itself to discovering and potentially reversing many other related disorders. A real positive step towards creating reassurance for parents to be and a way to ensure the heath of all in a lot less invasive manner.
“In the far future, knowledge about the immune repertoire could even inform genetic engineering to give a person super-immunity or to reverse immune disorders.”
This does look to be a significant step away from the traditional methods of testing into a safer realm for both baby and mother.