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A team of researchers at Oxford University have published a paper in the journal science which could lead the way to a new blood test that can predict whether a mother will experience a premature birth. The paper,Noninvasive blood tests for fetal development predict gestational age and preterm delivery tells how the scientists hope to create more predictable birth dates by using a low cost blood test was found to have the same accuracy as ultrasound in predicting delivery dates. A second study also examined a small group of expectant mothers, and found the blood test was able to predict with 80% accuracy which women would deliver full term and which would deliver prematurely.

The scientists hope to expand the trials to a much larger sample with the aim of eventually making the blood test widely available.

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