Technique inactivates Down-causing chromosome

Early-stage research could eventually lead to gene therapy

By Tina Hesman Saey, 14:40 PM July 28, 2013

Borrowing a trick from nature, researchers have switched off the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome in cells taken from patients with the condition.

Though not a cure, the technique, reported July 17 in Nature, has already produced insights into the disorder. In the long run it might even make the flaw that causes Down syndrome correctable through gene therapy.

“Gene therapy is now on the horizon,” says Elizabeth Fisher, a molecular geneticist at University College London. “But that hor...

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