Scientists are developing a smartphone app that they say can accurately detect Down syndrome in infants soon after birth. Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects about 1-in-1,000 children worldwide, causes physical and intellectual disabilities. Early detection is beneficial to the development of children with the disorder, but that requires sophisticated medical tests not available everywhere. In developed countries, Down syndrome is often detected during prenatal screenings. But in less-developed countries, these tests are often not available. Marius Linguraru, a principal investigator at Washington’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, said genetic defects can be hard to diagnose after a baby is born.
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