Early in my time at my school we had a magnet program for students with developmental needs. Among them were students with Down’s syndrome. They were very special and sweet. I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing them at school functions.
Well, all of the beauty I saw in the Down’s syndrome kids has been brought forth by science. It is because of them and how their bodies function that advances in cancer research are taking place.
The findings could lead to new treatments for cancer, the researchers reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday, and further study of Down’s patients might reveal more ways to fight tumors.
The researchers at Harvard University and elsewhere made use of a new kind of embryonic-like stem cell called an induced pluripotent stem cell or iPS cell. These cells, made from ordinary skin, can be transformed to act like powerful stem cells, the body’s master cells.
Using iPS cells from a volunteer with Down’s syndrome and mice genetically engineered to have a version of the condition, the researchers pinpointed one gene that protects against tumors.
“It is, perhaps, inspiring that the Down’s syndrome population provides us with new insight into mechanisms that regulate cancer growth,” they wrote.
(H/T: Reuters via Yahoo)
Yes, those children that so many are quick to abort, because they would be a hardship, might just provide the keys to unlock the doors that keep us from entering into an deeper understanding of cancer.
I just thought this was an amazing story. 🙂 There is value in everyone.