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FDA approves novel genetic test that screens infants for predictors of mental handicaps

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Friday cleared a first-of-a-kind blood test that can help diagnose mental disabilities in babies by analyzing their genetic code. The laboratory test from Affymetrix detects variations in patients' chromosomes that are linked to Down syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome and other developmental disorders. About 2 to 3 per cent of U.S. children have some sort of intellectual disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Court says not to deport Filipino father of child with Down syndrome

The Tokyo District Court ruled Friday that a Filipino man should not be deported for illegally staying in Japan because his child who suffers from Down syndrome needs him. "There is a need to care properly for the child. But if the father is deported, the family he leaves behind will be in an extremely difficult position" financially and find it hard to do so, Presiding Judge Yutaka Taniguchi said in the ruling.

'Good Morning America' host Robin Roberts reveals same-sex relationship

By Andrea Burzynski NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts publicly acknowledged a same-sex relationship for the first time on Sunday afternoon in a Facebook post reflecting on her recovery from a blood disorder. Roberts, 53, included the information alongside a picture of her and her dog in a post marking a milestone in her recovery from the bone marrow transplant she underwent in 2012.

Lab experiment reverses Down syndrome in mice

US researchers said Wednesday they have found a way to reverse Down syndrome in newborn lab mice by injecting an experimental compound that causes the brain to grow normally. While the study in the journal Science Translational Medicine offers no direct link to a treatment for humans, researchers are hopeful it may someday offer a path toward future breakthroughs.

Japan firm starts Down's therapy test

A Japanese pharmaceutical company said Monday it will begin therapeutic testing of a drug it hopes will slow the decline in quality of life for some people with Down's syndrome. The firm will trial its "Aricept" donepezil hydrochloride drug, commonly used to treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, on people between the ages of 15 and 39 who have Down's syndrome. Down's is a congenital disorder frequently characterised by diminished mental faculty and physical abnormalities, including distinctive facial features.

Head blow leaves Australian with French accent

An Australian woman who now speaks with a French-sounding accent after a head injury eight years ago has revealed the experience has left her feeling frustrated and reclusive. Leanne Rowe, born and raised on the southern Australian island of Tasmania, was in a serious car crash which left her with a broken back and jaw. "Slowly, as my jaw started to heal, they said that I was slurring my words because I was on very powerful tablets," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Sunday.

Famous Russian actress fights Down's Syndrome prejudice

When Russian actress Evelina Blyodans gave birth to a son with Down's Syndrome, the first question from the doctor at the maternity hospital came as a shock: "Are you going to keep him?" In Russia, where most children with Down's Syndrome are still abandoned by their parents at birth, Blyodans, a popular actress and television host, not only kept her son, Semyon, but used her fame to push for greater awareness and tolerance.

We will shortly move the following features and focus stories: + Romanian writer denounces 'war' on intellectuals + Famous Russian actress fights Down's Syndrome prejudice + Seventy years on, Czechs hail Jewish football league + Pakistan hopes for Buddhist tourism boost + Moneyman strikes fear into Spain's ruling party Romania-France-literature-boycott,INTERVIEW BUCHAREST
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