A Brief Look at Down Syndrome

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It's hard to believe a random error in cell division known as nondisjunction can be the reason for so many birth defects. This one mistake is the cause of 1 in 691 babies being born with what is known as Down Syndrome. In every cell in the human body, there is a nucleus. Typically there are twenty three chromosomes in each nucleus. Down Syndrome occurs when there is extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Down Syndrome is a chromosomal condition that causes low muscle tone, small stature, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Although, each person with Down Syndrome is a unique individual and may have these characteristics to different degrees. The cause of nondisjunction is still unknown, although scientists have made steps further to understanding this genetic disorder. For centuries, people with Down Syndrome were thought to need special help with their education, until an English physician named John Langdon Down published his work in 1866 which excelled among others who had tried to explain the description of someone with Down Syndrome. Down was named the “father” of Down Syndrome. In 1959, French physician Jerome Lejeune identified Down Syndrome as a chromosomal condition. Instead of 46 chromosomes, Lejueune observed 47 chromosomes in the individuals with Down Syndrome. In 2000, a team of scientists identified and catalogued each of the 329 genes on chromosome 21. It has been discovered that there are three different types of Down Syndrome,
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