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Fetal electrocardiography, an infant but vigorous young discipline, seems to be rapidly emerging as a useful tool for that biological research and medical practice which concerns the unborn heart. Based upon wide experience, it will be useful to survey the status of fetal electrocardiography, pointing out the possibilities as well as limitations. The significance in terms of capability for early study of the developing heart, the diagnosis of fetal life, multiple pregnancy, origins of congenital heart disease, as well as the study of intrauterine difficulties as in labor is presented and discussed in detail. On the basis of a discussion of present-day instruments and the types of "noise" encountered, it is suggested that improved low-noise amplifiers are desirable; it is suggested further that the use of averaging, correlation, and other computer-based techniques may hold substantial promise. 9152.