Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA

(American Chemical Society) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome is the most common birth defect, occurring once in every 700 births. However, traditional noninvasive prenatal tests for the condition are unreliable or carry risks for the mother and fetus. Now, researchers have developed a sensitive new biosensor that could someday be used to detect fetal Down syndrome DNA in pregnant women’s blood. They report their results in the ACS journal Nano Letters.