Scientists Switch Off Chromosome Responsible for Down's Syndrome

The breakthrough could lead to better treatments for this conditions

Down's syndrome is brought about by the presence of an extra chromosome, University of Massachusetts scientists explain.

What's more, they say they have been able to switch off this chromosome with the help of a gene dubbed XIST (i.e. X-inactivation gene).

Nature reports that the researchers first created stem cells with Down's syndrome. Later, they added said genes to the stem cells.

The result was that the latter were prevented from developing the condition.

Interestingly enough, the gene that the scientists used in their experiments is the same that turns off one of the two X chromosomes found in female embryos and ensures natural cell development.

It is to be expected that, at some point in the future, this breakthrough will lead to the development of better treatment options for people suffering with Down's syndrome.

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