Sequencing of maternal plasma to detect fetal chromosomal aneuploidies is currently being offered by four US-based companies — Sequenom, Verinata Health, Ariosa Diagnostics, and Natera — and researchers now think that the technique can be expanded to detect sub-chromosomal deletions and duplications in the fetal genome as well.

Such aberrations are less frequent than fetal aneuploidy, but can cause conditions like DiGeorge syndrome, characterized by congenital heart defects, learning deficiencies, immune problems, abnormal facial features, and other problems.

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In Nature this week: association between genome-wide homozygosity and traits like height and cognitive ability, improved CRISPR-Cas9 editing, and more.

A survey examines how age, political leanings, and more influence how Americans view certain scientific topics, the Associated Press reports.

A researcher who pleaded guilty to making false statements in research reports has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison and must pay $7.2 million back to the NIH.

The BabySeq project to study the risks and benefits of sequencing newborns is underway.