Fetal DNA in maternal blood

31. Aug. 2015 • Biologické vedy

Fetal DNA in maternal blood

Did you know that during pregnancy, fetal DNA is present in the mother’s blood? It is possible to separate the DNA from a sample of the mother’s blood and find out many things about the baby’s genes.

Every human cell contains DNA. When DNA has to be analyzed in order to learn about a particular person’s genes, a blood sample may be used. A pregnant woman’s blood, just like everyone else’s, contains her own DNA. However, it also contains the DNA of her developing baby. The baby’s DNA gets into its mother’s blood from the placenta cells. Such DNA serves as a very valuable and easily accessible source of information about the baby. We can obtain information about a fetus’s genes, inherited traits and changes in the makeup of its genes and chromosomes from the mother’s blood sample. Today, such DNA is analyzed in connection with muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Down syndrome and other disorders. Details obtained in this non-invasive way (by simply drawing blood) contribute to the improvement of health care of pregnant women.

This issue may be studied in the field of:

  • Molecular biology
  • Medicine


Author: Dennis YM LO

Source: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(97)02174-0/abstract

Photo: http://fotky-foto.sk/

Published by: ZČ

Translation: Dorota Jagnešáková

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