Down's syndrome test. Amniotic fluid containing amniotic cells being poured into a test tube during a test for Down's syndrome (trisomy-21). The amniotic fluid, which surrounds the developing foetus, was removed using a syringe in a procedure called amniocentesis. Amniocentesis is usually performed between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy. The foetal cells in the fluid are then cultured for up to 4 weeks before chromosomal analysis takes place. In Down's syndrome, there are three rather than two copies of chromosome 21. This results in mental handicap and flattened facial features.
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