“Silencing” the extra 21st chromosome

Over the summer, there was some new research about Down syndrome.  It has seetheabilitycaused quite a  bit of controversy. A Scientist was able to turn off one of the 21st chromosomes in a lab. As you know people with Down syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome. So this means that scientist may be able to turn off the extra chromosome that makes people have Down syndrome.

When I heard about this I had mixed feelings. Some talk was about “curing” Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome are not sick. It is only a small part of them and they do not need to be cured.

There some positives to this research that make me feel hopeful. There are some people with Down syndrome that have health problems like heart defects. If scientists could turn off that chromosome in the heart cells that would fix the heart problem that would be awesome.

If I had the choice to turn off the extra chromosome in me I would not do it. I love who I am and have a great life. I have to take medication to help my thyroid so if that could be cured, I would do that but only that.

This new research makes me feel worried and hopeful for the future. I am worried about new mothers being pressured to use this to eliminate Down syndrome. In our world we have lots of diversity. That makes our world such a great place to live. On the other hand, I am hopeful that people with Down syndrome can have other health issues cured to help have a better quality of life.

I listened to a radio interview about this and you can go to the link below to hear the interview. Let me know what you think!

http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2399009337

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