JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Birth date prediction. Dr Nigel Simpson studying a computer screen showing electrical signals (red trace) from the uterus of a woman nearing the term of her pregnancy. This test predicts the date of birth of her child, accurate up to two weeks in advance, and could prevent women beginning labour unprepared. It could also prevent false alarms. Electrodes on her abdomen measure the tiny electrical signals controlling uterine contract- ions, which build up in the weeks before labour. This technique is known as electrohysterography. Simpson works at the University of Leeds, England, where the system was developed.
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