By Bernadette Toner

Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands this week presented early-stage results for an inexpensive prenatal blood test to detect chromosomal abnormalities such as trisomy 21.

The test, which is based on MRC-Holland's Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification technology, interrogates cell-free fetal DNA extracted from maternal blood plasma drawn in the first trimester.

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