Team Number: 056 School Name: Santa Fe High School Area of Science: Medical Engineering Project Title: Calculating the Probability of Down Syndrome Problem Definition: There are many diseases in the world today, and one of most depressing ones is Down Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21. Down Syndrome victims are affected at birth, many born to live a slow, learning retarded, life. Many mothers are grief-stricken to discover the truth only at birth. This ignorance of a baby’s health is unacceptable in today’s medical advances. Down Syndrome is caused by several definite factors, however, the disease is not determinable unless clinical testing is done. Clinical testing is expensive however, and insurance pays only for pregnant women over normal maternal age (AMA (advanced maternal age)). Also, clinical testing is physically and mentally stressful for the mother as it requires a perquisite surgery. Once the test results arrive, if positive for Down Syndrome, the mother will have to make a difficult decision in a short period of time of whether or not to abort the baby. The goal of the program is to provide a simple yet effective way to set the stage for clinical testing. This program will be a home software, used as a probability calculator for the risk of Down Syndrome. If the risk comes up higher than 50%, then it will set the stage for clinical testing, which the insurance theoretically must pay for. A pregnant woman will type in several conditions into the program, and the output will be a risk percentage. This gives every woman the opportunity to discover their baby’s risk and so gives them a chance to make the abortion decision, which in some cases is kinder. This also gives the woman more time to mentally prepare for the possible consequences. Problem Solution: This program will be created by first collecting reliable, raw data from trustworthy sources. This data will consist of the medical background of Down Syndrome and statistics. These statistics will include the age of the pregnant women who had Down Syndrome babies, the period of incubation, the medical history of these women, and the numbers of women of each age who gave birth to babies with this disease. Population density and other data-affecting factors will be taken into account. From this data, I research and confirm the risk factors. Then, I write the computer code to account for the weight of each factor (2 or 3 factors total). Answers to each weighted score will determine the final percentage. The untested software is done. Using the software, I will back-test the women I have from my research; if the % is higher than 50% consistently, than I am successful in Part 1. If it consistently comes under 50%, then I have to check for errors. Part 2 is to (blind) test against women in very late stages of pregnancy. Part 3 is to finally check against random selections of women who gave birth or is in late pregnancy. Progress to Date: Right now, my progress has been to collect data. The data collecting part is very important, as one single mistake can offset the percentage and thus give wrong information. I need a lot of data; every single factor possible from every single reliable source. I need present data, past data, medical backgrounds, perhaps some family trees, and overall reliable statistics. I also need population density data, numbers data, and many statistics. I have almost all my data. Now, I need to sift through my data, factor in data-affecting factors, and determine between different data. The data collecting and sifting is the hardest part, as the actual programming is simple; Down Syndrome has at most 3 definite factors. As I have almost finishing data collecting, I am learning C++ and C from my mentor. Expected Results: If successful, Part 1 should test positive (over 50%). Part 2 is a blind test against women in very late stages of pregnancy. I will compare the results with the hospitals’ results when the babies are born (thus, late pregnancy stage is essential). The program should consistently test positive for babies that were born with Down Syndrome. Part 3 is a final stage testing against random selections of all women in late pregnancy stage or have given birth. Once again, it should test positive for actual Down Syndrome births. I will compare my results with the actual results. They should be consistent. My Citations: 1. CDC , last updated August 5th, 2004 2. National Down Syndrome Society, Copyright 1995-2004, 3. National Association for Child Development, Copyright 2003 4. MMRW CDC, 1994 5. Academic American Encylopedia Volume D, Copyright 1998 Grolier Inc, Danbury, CT Team Members: Luwen Huang Sponsoring Teacher: Dr. Chuck McClenahan