Will Gattaca come true?

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Noninvasive, early fetal tests for sex, paternity and chromosomal conditions will change pregnancy dramatically- and raise tricky ethical questions.

A scientist in Hong Kong had recently shown that a pregnant woman’s blood contains a small amount of fetal DNA, and the prenatal screening world was buzzing about the potential of that discovery. Accurate blood tests, it was said, might soon reveal abundant information about the fetus as early as seven weeks of pregnancy. Rabinowitz drew on that excitement in 2004 when he founded Gene Security Network, later renamed Natera. Among the tests the company would develop was one to diagnose Down syndrome.

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