Down Syndrome: an Informative Essay

Topics: Down syndrome, Chromosome, Gene Pages: 2 (491 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Down Syndrome: An Informative Essay

Down Syndrome is the name for babies born with a disorder related to their chromosomes. It is caused when meiosis occurs and an error occurs in the cells development. The reason for this defect is often because the parent is over 40 or for some other reason their meiosis is not "Up to par."

The actual defect is an extra chromosome is developed during cell development. The abnormal development results in 47 chromosomes rather than the usual 46 (23 from each parent).

This extra gene causes problems in the child's physical and mental development. There are an estimated 5000 babies with Down Syndrome born in America every single year. While the chances of having a Down Syndrome baby are slim, (1 in 1000) it is still an issue that to-be parents should discuss and prepare for.

People with Down Syndrome are identified by many physical
characteristics. Some of these are: larger or almond shaped eyes (sometimes Brushfield spots on the irises), smaller than normal features, such as smaller ears or a smaller nose, short stubby fingers, a single palmar crease on their hands, and having exceptional social intelligence.

Because Down Syndrome is cause by a cell abnormality during meiosis, it can not really be proven that Down Syndrome is hereditary. A perfectly healthy mother could have a Down Syndrome baby even though there was never any sign of the disorder in her pedigree. There are however, three different kinds of Down Syndrome. 95% of Down Syndrome babies have Trisomy 21. This is the presence of extra genetic material on the 21st pair of chromosomes. Around 4% have what is called Translocation. This is where the extra chromosome 21 decided to break away and attach itself to another chromosome. The last 1% is made up of those with Mosaicism. This is where some cells have Trisomy 21 while others do not.

There is no cure for Down Syndrome. There is also not way to prevent it. Once faced with the fact you have a...
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