Down syndrome needs to be “blocked,” “fixed,” “cured,” and “silenced.”

offswitchFollowing up on the news from yesterday, headlines reporting on the development where scientists have “turned off” the extra 21st Chromosome that is the basis for Down syndrome spread a telling message of what news editors think will grab the public’s attention:

UMass researchers block Down syndrome chromosome

Down’s syndrome cells ‘fixed’ in first step towards chromosome therapy

New hope for Down syndrome cure

Scientists silence extra chromosome in Down syndrome cells

One mother poignantly comments on this development and wonders what else we may be silencing:

I am all for medical advancement that will cure illness but DS is not an illness. I am hopeful that this latest discovery may help design targeted, specific therapies for some of the more serious health issues that can come with DS however, most discussion in the mainstream media talks about how we will cure these problems by “curing” DS. It really bothers me because curing DS fundamentally changes every aspect of our kids. They will no longer be the people that they are.

* * *

In our rush to “cure” all of the perceived “devastating” consequences of DS, are we unwittingly going to “cure” all the beauty too?

If you could cure Down syndrome by silencing the 21st Chromosome, would you?


  1. In theory, the same technology should be able to “switch on” the male gender in me, right? Can you imagine my life if suddenly I were a male (or you were a female?) What would that do to my body? What would it do to my psyche? It would fundamentally change me, to be sure. But would I be better?

  2. Thanks for the quote! Interesting site, I look forward to checking out more.


    Dear Mark

    Perhaps this is an example of thought transference, but I wrote a text using basically the same words. Unfortunately it was written in English, but Google Translate can give you an idea of the content from the Portuguese.

    Best wishes

  4. Maria luci says:

    I would like to read more about this.
    I’m from Brasil.

  5. I don’t agree, my child’s personality is not in her chromosomes any more than mine is. It is in her soul.

    • Can you clarify, Leticia? You disagree that turning off the 21st chromosome would change your daughter or you disagree that Down syndrome should be cured?

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