Elsewhere in this issue, Kan and his colleagues demonstrate that the β chain of hemoglobin S is synthesized in reticulocytes of a human fetus aborted at the 15th week of gestation. Moreover, they show that a blood sample obtained from the placenta in the eighth month of pregnancy contains adequate numbers of fetal reticulocytes. They suggest that if placental aspiration earlier in gestation is shown to be a safe method to obtain fetal red cells, the antenatal detection of sickle-cell anemia could be accomplished by means of these technics. Earlier, the data of Walker and Turnbull1 and Huehns et al.
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