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New Earlier, Noninvasive Paternity Test Developed

Experts Say the Test Has Important Medical, Legal Applications

Finding Fetal DNA in Mom's Blood continued...

By looking at the baby's DNA, researchers are able to spot places where the gene sequences are different from the mother's by only one letter. That letter will match the father's DNA. A sample of DNA from a suspected father can then confirm or exclude paternity.

When researchers tested 30 blood samples from biologic mothers and fathers who were grouped with unrelated men, they say they were able to correctly identify paternity in every case.

According to Ravgen's web site, the technology was used in 2009 to help prove that Michael A. Roseboro, who was on trial for his wife's murder, had fathered a baby with another woman. Prosecutors argued that the affair was motive for the murder.

Dhallen says he was motivated to develop the paternity test after being contacted by women who were eager to prove paternity and uncertain about whether to continue their pregnancies after situations involving violence, including rape.

"There are so many situations where people need to identify the paternity before the baby is born that are social, medical, and legal," he says.

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