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Stanford student invents test to detect premature birth, pre-eclampsia

the Culture of Reinvention”Get
Lemelson-MIT Student Prize
the Maternal and Child Health Research Center
the University of Pennsylvania
the Universtiy of South Florida

Mira Moufarrej
Michael Elovitz
Stephanie Ros


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The New York Times
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In April, the invention won her $15,000 as a recipient of the 2021 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.She hopes the tests will lead to far fewer medical complications, costs, and lives lost — especially among Black women who are at higher risk for both preterm birth and preeclampsia. "These blood tests can empower mothers with concrete data to more strongly advocate for themselves during pregnancy and seek appropriate medical care early," Moufarrej told Insider.Currently, doctors use tools like ultrasounds to monitor a person's pregnancy, but those only provide a snapshot of what's going on and don't foreshadow what's to come. One of Moufarrej's blood tests, however, can predict preterm birth up to two months before delivery, which can allow clinicians and patients to be proactive. "Altogether these tests empower mothers to take control of their own healthcare in a system that is imperfect." After a clinician takes a routine blood draw from a pregnant patient, Moufarrej's tests work by measuring cell-free messenger RNA, which is a portion of the blood's plasma.

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