(London Daily Mail) Out of America there is always something new. The latest example of its unparalleled contribution to medical progress is the announcement by the University of Washington that scientists have succeeded in removing the extra copy of chromosome 21 in cell cultures derived from a person with Down’s syndrome.

Since it is the possession of three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome that defines Down’s syndrome, it is clear this breakthrough has startling potential for addressing a condition which is far and away the commonest form of congenital disability.

The senior gene therapy researcher on the project, Dr David Russell, was properly cautious: ‘We are certainly not proposing that the method would lead to a treatment for Down’s syndrome.

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