Silencing the extra Chromosome 21

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Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered a scientific breakthrough that suppresses the effects of the extra chromosome that causes Down Syndrome. But some worry this new research further marginalizes people with Down syndrome. Could this be the beginning of the end for the genetic condition?



A scientific breakthrough has given new hope to people with Down syndrome and their families.

One in 800 Canadians is born with an extra chromosome 21. And with that added genetic material comes a higher likelihood of developmental delays, learning difficulties and other medical complications, such as congenital heart defects and leukemia.

Down's syndrome cells 'fixed' in first step towards chromosome therapy -- The Guardian

New research published this month in the journal Nature has shown a way to silence the effects of that extra chromosome. But some worry about the potential applications of the research.

To discuss this topic, we were joined today by the following guests:

Jeanne Lawrence is the lead researcher of this study. She's the interim chair of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and she was in Worcester.

Renee Forrestall has a 22-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome. She was in our Halifax studio to speak to her concerns of this new research breakthrough.

Christie Hoos is the mother of four children -- her 8-year-old daughter Rebecca was born with Down Syndrome. Christie writes a blog called So Here's Us. Christie Hoos is encouraged and hopeful about the new research and she was in Burnaby, BC.

Will Brewer was born with Down Syndrome. He's a photographer and actor. He lives in Halifax and shares his thoughts on the issues raised with this new study.


What do you think about this scientific breakthrough? Let us know. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Find us on on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And you can always write to us at PO Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.


This segment was produced by Halifax Network Producer, Jennifer Henderson.

Mail: Families of Police Shooting Victims

We have a little time to get to some mail. Yesterday we gained insight from two people who have lost loved ones in police shootings. We spoke to them in the aftermath of the police shooting of Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

Sammy Yatim shooting: 6 things police are taught about using force -- CBC News

And then we heard from you.

Lance Speck of Toronto sent us this:

I am offended to the bone that police would behave in such a way. This is a watershed event that will forever change the way the public sees the police. The public needs hard evidence that there are consequences of doing something really bad.

Bruce MacNeil posted this:

We expect police to be trained, professional, prepared, and calm - fear and haste seem to win.

To which, Rob DiMeo tweeted:

We expect youth to drop the knife when surrounded by police. Wait for answers before judging Toronto's Finest.

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