Fetal Cells Clinical Studies

These promising results encouraged the instigation of at least two large-scale studies, the largest of which was conducted under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the so-called NIFTY Study.[3] In this study, close to 3000 samples were recruited from pregnant women about to undergo invasive prenatal diagnostic testing because of an elevated risk for bearing a fetus with a chromosomal anomaly. These samples were then either processed by MACS or FACS and analyzed by multicolor FISH. All experimental results were compared to karyotypes obtained from the invasive procedure—the current gold standard. The results from this study, which were published in 2002, were in stark contrast to the euphoria that reigned a few years previously, in that fetal cells could, at best, be detected with a sensitivity of 48% using MACS and below 15% using FACS.[3] Consequently, the NIFTY Study reiterated the importance of large-scale well-designed and conducted studies in order not to be misled by short case reports such as high-profile publications.

An important aspect of the NIFTY Study that is frequently disregarded in other clinical studies is that it specifically addressed psycho-social issues concerning the introduction of a new noninvasive method for prenatal diagnosis, especially the potential problem of coercion. This part of the NIFTY Study clearly showed that coercion would not be an issue, and the introduction of such a noninvasive test would be especially welcomed by couples involved in assisted reproduction (ART) pro-

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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