Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Blood test may predict premature birth

Familiar with the Back to Sleep campaign to eliminate sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS one of the leading causes of infant death? Called Safe to Sleep today it urges parents to put babies to sleep on their backs never on the stomach until age 1. S Premature birth test being trialled
Celia Hoffman | 10 June, 2018, 15:59

"In the case of the preterm prediction, "[it's] mostly maternal genes" producing the relevant RNA, rather than the placenta-based transcripts from the due-date predictor, says Stanford University graduate student Mira Moufarrej, a lead author of the study, in a press release.

He said that the findings affirmed the existence of a "transcriptomic clock of pregnancy" that could serve as a new way to assess the gestational age of a fetus.

Researchers have developed an low-cost blood test they say can predict a pregnant women's due date and potentially identify women at risk for of preterm birth; Virginia's governor has expanded Medicaid in the state; and the American Medical Association is expected to take a stance on over-the-counter birth control this weekend.

In the second test, researchers studied blood samples from 38 pregnant women who were already at risk of preterm labor because of early contractions or a previous preterm delivery.

Preterm births is the largest cause of infant mortality in the United States.

This is no small thing: Some 15 million babies are born prematurely every year worldwide, the researchers say.

The noninvasive procedure may help doctors prepare for hard pregnancies, which can endanger the child's life.

More news: House Republicans Close In on Immigration Proposal

A newly developed blood test can predict the gestational age and preterm birth risks of expecting mothers. At present, the test has a precision of about 45% in predicting a baby's birth time, compared with 48% of ultrasound in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Until now, there were just a few tests which predict the premature birth available but they all tended to work on women which had a high risk and showed accurate only 20% accurate results, as per the study.

For the study, the team used blood samples collected during pregnancy to identify which genes gave reliable signals about gestational age and prematurity risk. Quake said the team is developing plans for a large clinical trial in the general population. "It tells us a lot about human development in normal pregnancy".

For thousands of years, pregnant women have wondered about that and now a team of researchers may have hit upon a way to do it.

The researchers report that their blood test demonstrated higher mean accuracy than methods based on mass spectroscopic measurements of the ratio of two proteins in blood [sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4 (IBP4)], and also exhibited higher predictive value than ultrosonographic measurements of cervical length, or fetal fFN evaluation.

Scientists from the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Alabama-Birmingham also contributed to the study.

It is nearly as if the molecular message being sent by RNA "is a little bus that travels back and forth and is letting Mom know what's going on", Cheng said. What's so cool to Cheng is that there's probably a molecular conversation going on, and researchers might get to the point where they'll find that Mom's responding.

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