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

cpwill

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:2dance:

:D this would be awesome.


Scientists have corrected the genetic fault that causes Down's syndrome– albeit in isolated cells – raising the prospect of a radical therapy for the disorder.

In an elegant series of experiments, US researchers took cells from people with DS and silenced the extra chromosome that causes the condition. A treatment based on the work remains a distant hope, but scientists in the field said the feat was the first major step towards a "chromosome therapy" for Down's syndrome.

"This is a real technical breakthrough. It opens up whole new avenues of research," said Elizabeth Fisher, professor of neurogenetics at UCL, who was not involved in the study. "This is really the first sniff we've had of anything to do with gene therapy for Down's syndrome."...

"The long-range possibility – and it's an uncertain possibility – is a chromosome therapy for Down's syndrome. But that is 10 years or more away. I don't want to get people's hopes up."....


:D too late.
 

CanadaJohn

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:2dance:

:D this would be awesome.




:D too late.[/FONT][/COLOR]
This would, indeed, be wonderful news and potentially will save the lives of thousands of fetuses/developing lives that are aborted each year due to the condition.
 

Fiddytree

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A greater understanding of the disability would be much appreciated, however, just so those are aware, there are many individuals with Down Syndrome that do not appreciate being considered:

1. Uncorrected

2. A fault

3. Something to be cured
 

MoSurveyor

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:2dance:

:D this would be awesome.

:D too late.
They are doing amazing things with gene replacement these days. I suspect sickle cell anemia will have the same type of cure.


Of course, those patients will have to have 'GMO' tattoo'ed on their genitals, since some people seem so sensitive about what they put in their bodies. ;)
 

MoSurveyor

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A greater understanding of the disability would be much appreciated, however, just so those are aware, there are many individuals with Down Syndrome that do not appreciate being considered:

1. Uncorrected

2. A fault

3. Something to be cured
Autism is an excellent example, too. There are many mutations (in the biological sense, not the commonly uninformed negative meaning) that are quite beneficial if they aren't fully "developed" or are mitigated by other genes.
 

Dezaad

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A greater understanding of the disability would be much appreciated, however, just so those are aware, there are many individuals with Down Syndrome that do not appreciate being considered:

1. Uncorrected

2. A fault

3. Something to be cured
Be that as it may, I disagree with them. I think this is great news.
 

Fiddytree

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Autism is an excellent example, too. There are many mutations (in the biological sense, not the commonly uninformed negative meaning) that are quite beneficial if they aren't fully "developed" or are mitigated by other genes.
There are things my brother can do that impress everyone else, including myself, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum.
 

Fiddytree

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Be that as it may, I disagree with them. I think this is great news.
Wouldn't be the first time the non-disabled automatically presume the right course.

This : good news

therapies that improve common symptoms of DS, from immune and gastrointestinal problems, to childhood leukaemia and early-onset dementia.
This: presumptuous trash:


In a healthy person, almost every cell in the body carries 23 pairs of chromosomes, which hold nearly all of the genes needed for human life. But glitches in the early embryo can sometimes leave babies with too many chromosomes. Down's syndrome arises when cells have an extra copy of chromosome 21.
 
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Henrin

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Nature does nothing in vain. - Aristotle

I don't much find it desirable to pick and choose what traits we will allow through and which we will not. In my view it is the worst kind of social engineering to start meddling in the natural traits of people.
 

MaggieD

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A greater understanding of the disability would be much appreciated, however, just so those are aware, there are many individuals with Down Syndrome that do not appreciate being considered:

1. Uncorrected

2. A fault

3. Something to be cured
They have Down's Syndrome, for God's sake. They are mentally retarded. Their opinion comes from acceptance of self. That's a wonderful and beautiful thing. But full speed ahead on a cure -- that's what matters.

Nature does nothing in vain. - Aristotle


I don't much find it desirable to pick and choose what traits we will allow through and which we will not. In my view it is the worst kind of social engineering to start meddling in the natural traits of people.
Lordy.
 

MaggieD

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I said what I said and I stick by it. :shrug:
Of course you will. That's what we do here. That's why one has to be careful of his/her first stance out of the box.
 

Henrin

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Of course you will. That's what we do here. That's why one has to be careful of his/her first stance out of the box.
My first stance was fine, imho.
 

MaggieD

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My first stance was fine, imho.
Tell that to the aging parents of a Down's Syndrome child whose hearts are broken as they face their own mortality and wonder who is going to care for their beloved DS child.

Tell that to the higher-functioning DS child who watches his brothers and sisters grow up, go to college, marry, have children and move on as they look in the mirror and wonder why this has happened to them.
 

paddymcdougall

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It's a tough one. If something like sickle cell anemia can be fixed, that would be very cool.

But what happens if we turn off the gene? or the one for Down's Syndrome? will something else get affected?

And I don't think most of us are saying there is something somehow "wrong" about kids with Down's Syndrome; it's just if we can keep future kids from going through it, might that be a good thing? They have a disease; if we can stop it, is that a good thing?

I have relatives with PKU disease; if they do not keep protein out of their diet eventually (as I understand it, and I am far from knowledgeable) they will negatively cognitively impacted (i.e. "retarded"). I'm sure kids who got this disease before we knew how to deal with it were loved; but it must have been heartbreaking to watch their mental faculties decline.

But I agree DS is a little different than other diseases. And we've made so much progress in ensuring they get access to as much as they can; it's been impressive. But would it be wrong to be able to prevent it?

I dunno. Tough one.
 

Fiddytree

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They have Down's Syndrome, for God's sake. They are mentally retarded. Their opinion comes from acceptance of self. That's a wonderful and beautiful thing. But full speed ahead on a cure -- that's what matters.
Most have what was referred to a mild to moderate mental retardation, but that is hardly what defines a good life. Individuals with intellectual disabilities have taken up the mantle for decades against abeist rhetoric.
 

Fiddytree

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Tell that to the aging parents of a Down's Syndrome child whose hearts are broken as they face their own mortality and wonder who is going to care for their beloved DS child.

Tell that to the higher-functioning DS child who watches his brothers and sisters grow up, go to college, marry, have children and move on as they look in the mirror and wonder why this has happened to them.
It does not need to be all heart-break. In the past, it was rather interesting to see what was assumed a person with an intellectual disability could do and what they could not do (hint: it changed with societal biases, not entirely based off what the individual could actually do). While legal and social complications come forward, there are options and services available. Many live in semi-independent housing, others are fully independent. I am not saying it's not often difficult, but a decent chunk (not all, or perhaps not even most) of it is as a result of societal biases. Furthermore, individuals with DS can have post-secondary education, marry, and have children.
 
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Fiddytree

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And I don't think most of us are saying there is something somehow "wrong" about kids with Down's Syndrome; it's just if we can keep future kids from going through it, might that be a good thing? They have a disease; if we can stop it, is that a good thing?
However, Down Syndrome is not a disease.
 

paddymcdougall

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However, Down Syndrome is not a disease.

Sorry, I was trying to relate fixing the genes to curing a disease.

Again, I agree that DS is a tough one. Should we "fix" it?

But things like hemophilia, I'm sure we'd all be in favor of fixing.
 

Rainman05

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Nature does nothing in vain. - Aristotle

I don't much find it desirable to pick and choose what traits we will allow through and which we will not. In my view it is the worst kind of social engineering to start meddling in the natural traits of people.
Yes... but back then, children with down syndrome died really fast. I mean really fast. Nobody would keep a kid alive that wouldn't be useful around the home. I am ofc not including the nobility and aristocracy who may have the means to keep a child with a disability at home.

The rest of the people back then had children to help out with the duties at home. Farmers had a few kids, preferably boys, to help out with the farmwork. Smiths to help out with the manufacturing of tools and weapons. etc. A child with a disability would have either been killed or left to die... or just disgarded to the temples or the religious institutions that had charitable works.

So this isn't social engineering. It's the way nature works. If we had no civilization, no modern medicine, no nothing... and be just like animals, the least powerful/adaptable/able among us would be dead very early in life and not be able to pass on those genes. It is because we refute our condition and evolved beyond anything nature could have ever produced that we can allow people who aren't particularly fit to survive in the natural world survive in our world.
 

Fiddytree

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So this isn't social engineering. It's the way nature works. If we had no civilization, no modern medicine, no nothing... and be just like animals, the least powerful/adaptable/able among us would be dead very early in life and not be able to pass on those genes. It is because we refute our condition and evolved beyond anything nature could have ever produced that we can allow people who aren't particularly fit to survive in the natural world survive in our world.
Interesting how this mirrors eugenicist rhetoric down to the core, isn't it?
 

Rainman05

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Interesting how this mirrors eugenicist rhetoric down to the core, isn't it?
I will be frank with you. People keep saying eugenics, I never really studied what it is. Tried once, got bored, didn't care.

If it does match the rhetoric, than that's that.

I am not applauding natural selection fiddy. I am just saying how it is. Human society has garnered the technological and societal advancements to ignore natural selection to a great degree. Now we need to consider what are we going to do, now that we have the power to choose. Do we choose to form a society that is going to factor in natural law to some degree, or we will continue to build our world and our society in spite of it.
 

paddymcdougall

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Technology is just about always a two-edge sword.

I'm very uncomfortable with messing with genes. On the other hand, farmers and animal breeders do it all the time.

The question always is where to stop? Sickle cell anemia and hemophilia seem like "no brainers" - but fixing eye color or sexual orientation or left-handedness seems all wrong.

And do we know enough about genes to muck with them? If we get rid of sickle cell anemia, are getting rid of something else that could be beneficial?

Nature does it by trial and error. We will do it through what we think we know. And I know we WILL do it, whether we should or shouldn't do it. Once the capability is there, we'll use it.
 

Henrin

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. So this isn't social engineering. It's the way nature works. If we had no civilization, no modern medicine, no nothing... and be just like animals, the least powerful/adaptable/able among us would be dead very early in life and not be able to pass on those genes. It is because we refute our condition and evolved beyond anything nature could have ever produced that we can allow people who aren't particularly fit to survive in the natural world survive in our world.
I figured someone would claim I'm arguing against medicine, but no, I'm not arguing against medicine, but against changing who we are as individuals and undiversifing the species to weed out what we see as weakness or imperfection. I realize that this isn't the best example for such an argument but none the less I feel it's the right position to take.
 
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