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Maternal and fetal biomarker firm Carmenta Bioscience said last week it has acquired an option for a global, exclusive license from Stanford University for preeclampsia biomarkers that it plans to develop into a diagnostic panel for the condition.

Since Sequenom launched the first noninvasive prenatal sequencing test for Down syndrome and other fetal aneuploidies in October 2011, the field has exploded.

Three months after launching its non-invasive prenatal test for trisomy 21 in German-speaking countries, LifeCodexx has accepted approximately 1,000 samples and is considering expanding the test to other European countries.

Citing the success of non-invasive sequencing-based prenatal tests for fetal aneuploidies, several researchers at last week's American Society of Human Genetics conference in San Francisco reported that they are looking to expand the technique to screen for other genetic disorder

The California Technology Assessment Forum has issued

GATC Biotech subsidiary LifeCodexx has launched PraenaTest, a noninvasive, sequencing-based test to detect fetal trisomy 21.

This story has been revised to clarify the tests' different no-call rates.

Dennis Lo's team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which pioneered a shotgun sequencing approach to noninvasively detect fetal aneuploidies from maternal plasma, has tested a new targeted sequencing approach to detect trisomy but has found it inferior to the previous method

As LifeCodexx is preparing the launch of its non-invasive prenatal trisomy 21 test in German-speaking countries this summer, the company is already thinking about expanding the test to additional indications in the future.

This story was originally published on April 27.

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Following its departure from the European Union, the UK is to implement a fast-track visa program aimed at attracting scientific talent to Britain, according to BBC News.

ScienceInsider reports that researchers in Brazil are concerned that a creationist was chosen to run the agency that oversees graduate study programs there.

The Washington Post reports that researchers are quickly analyzing the coronavirus that has been causing illness and sharing their findings.

In PLOS this week: common variant associated with BMI in Arctic populations, analysis of microRNA markers associated with being born small for gestational age, and more.