| 8.2°C Dublin

DNA test for Down babies

A blood test to check for Down syndrome could almost eliminate the need for invasive procedures, new research suggests.

The highly-accurate test looks at DNA to predict whether a woman is carrying a baby with the syndrome.

Current testing combines a blood test with a scan to measure the space between the spine and the nape of the baby's neck.

The "false positive" rate is about 5pc, meaning 5pc will be told they are carrying a Down baby when they are not.

All of these pregnant women are offered further, invasive tests, which have about a 1pc risk of miscarriage.

If these women were given the DNA blood test, almost all invasive procedures could be avoided, according to experts from Hong Kong.

Teen kicked victim in head

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy, who kicked a Chinese man's head "like it was a football", during a gang attack in Dublin, has been remanded on continuing bail pending sentence.

The boy has pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children's Court to assault causing harm at Sean McDermott Street, on May 31 last.

Judge Ann Ryan adjourned sentencing him for four weeks to get an updated probation report.

Scary Spice 'snubs family'

Former Spice Girl Mel B has not spoken to members of her family for two years, her sister has claimed.

Danielle Brown said she checks on her older sister by following her on Twitter.

The 30-year-old, who recently had a second baby, said: "I don't even know if she's aware I've had a baby."

Brown said she had not heard from Scary Spice, who lives in Los Angeles, since having a difference of opinion about Mel B's film producer husband, Stephen Belafonte.