Shutting down the extra chromosome in Down’s syndrome

NGeo downs
Image via National Geographic. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program.

Many genetic disorders are caused by faulty versions of a single gene.

But Down’s syndrome happens when people are born with three copies of the 21st chromosome, rather than the usual two. This condition, called trisomy, leads to hundreds of abnormally active genes, not just one. You cannot address it by correcting a single gene. You’d need a way of shutting down an entire chromosome.

Researchers have demonstrated the ability to do just that, using the gene XIST to shut down one copy of chromosome 21 in cells in the lab.

Read the full article here: Shutting Down the Extra Chromosome in Down’s Syndrome Cells

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