A British company is claiming to have created a test that can not only detect pregnancy, but also whether a woman is carrying twins, a baby with a genetic defect like Down’s Syndrome or will have a miscarriage.
MAP Diagnostics’ test is based on the science and technology behind in vitro fertilization. During IVF, doctors can screen embryos and identify abnormal chromosome numbers as well as genetic mutations – factors that lead to miscarriages.
But unlike IVF treatment which is very invasive, MAP Diagnostics’ pregnancy test would be a home “pee test” that analyze proteins in the mother’s urine.
MAP Diagnostics states it is still fine-tuning the algorithm using “around 10,000 samples to improve detection of chromosomal abnormalities that cause Down’s syndrome, for example, before developing a home-testing kit,” according to a report in New Scientist.
Some say the test could be good for women or bad.
Indeed, a test that reveals a possible miscarriage could cause stress and lead to a decision to abort, said Zev Williams from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at New York’s Yeshiva University.
The test could also have ethical implications, especially if it is faulty.
Women could preemptively abort a healthy pregnancy.
It could cause irreparable damage to pregnant women and families.