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Gene-Silencing Strategy Opens New Path to Understanding Down Syndrome, University Massachusetts Medical School Study



10/23/2013 7:31:06 AM

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The first evidence that the underlying genetic defect responsible for trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, can be suppressed in laboratory cultures of patient-derived stem cells was presented today (Oct. 22) at the American Society of Human Genetics 2013 annual meeting in Boston. People with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome 21, which results in a variety of physical and cognitive ill effects. In laboratory cultures of cells from patients with Down syndrome, an advanced genome editing tool was successfully used to silence the genes on the extra chromosome, thereby neutralizing it, said Jeanne Lawrence, Ph.D., Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at the University Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

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