Thursday, July 18, 2013

Researchers turn off Down’s syndrome genes

Silencing extra chromosome in cell cultures could lead to new treatments for the disorder.


Individuals with Down's syndrome carry an extra copy of chromosome 21, which causes pervasive developmental delays.

The insertion of one gene can muzzle the extra copy of chromosome 21 that causes Down’s syndrome, according to a study published today in Nature1. The method could help researchers to identify the cellular pathways behind the disorder's symptoms, and to design targeted treatments.

“It’s a strategy that can be applied in multiple ways, and I think can be useful right now,” says Jeanne Lawrence, a cell biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and the lead author of the study.
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