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Laboratory scale distillations are almost exclusively run as batch distillations. The device used in distillation, sometimes referred to as a still, consists at a minimum of a reboiler or pot in which the source material is heated, a condenser in which the heated vapour is cooled back to the liquid state, and a receiver in which the concentrated or purified liquid, called the distillate, is collected. Several laboratory scale techniques for distillation exist (see also distillation types).

The boiling points of components in an azeotrope overlap to form a band. By exposing an azeotrope to a vacuum or positive pressure, it's possible to bias the boiling point of one component away from the other by exploiting the differing vapour pressure curves of each; the curves may overlap at the azeotropic point, but are unlikely to be remain identical further along the pressure axis either side of the azeotropic point. When the bias is great enough, the two boiling points no longer overlap and so the azeotropic band disappears. This method can remove the need to add other chemicals to a distillation, but it has two potential drawbacks. Under negative pressure, power for a vacuum source is needed and the reduced boiling points of the distillates requires that the condenser be run cooler to prevent distillate vapours being lost to the vacuum source. Increased cooling demands will often require additional energy and possibly new equipment or a change of coolant. Alternatively, if positive pressures are required, standard glassware can not be used, energy must be used for pressurization and there is a higher chance of side reactions occurring in the distillation, such as decomposition, due to the higher temperatures required to effect boiling. A unidirectional distillation will rely on a pressure change in one direction, either positive or negative.

The rate of congenital heart disease in newborns with Down syndrome is around 40%. Of those with heart disease, about 80% have an atrioventricular septal defect or ventricular septal defect with the former being more common. Mitral valve problems become common as people age, even in those without heart problems at birth. Other problems that may occur include tetralogy of Fallot and patent ductus arteriosus. People with Down syndrome have a lower risk of hardening of the arteries.

When screening tests predict a high risk of Down syndrome, a more invasive diagnostic test (amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling) is needed to confirm the diagnosis. If Down syndrome occurs in one in 500 pregnancies and the test used has a 5% false-positive rate, this means, of 26 women who test positive on screening, only one will have Down syndrome confirmed. If the screening test has a 2% false-positive rate, this means one of eleven who test positive on screening have a fetus with DS. Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are more reliable tests, but they increase the risk of miscarriage between 0.5 and 1%. The risk of limb problems is increased in the offspring due to the procedure. The risk from the procedure is greater the earlier it is performed, thus amniocentesis is not recommended before 15 weeks gestational age and chorionic villus sampling before 10 weeks gestational age.