A recent article published in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature12394) describes a study which has the potential to cure Down’s Syndrome. Under the supervision of Jeanne B. Lawrence, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Massachusetts, scientists showed that the third copy of chromosome 21 which causes this condition could be silenced. This method makes use of a natural silencing mechanism on one of the two X chromosomes, present in all female mammals. Also existing in male mammals, this natural phenomenon is known to “silence” the expression of cells in one of the two X chromosomes in females during the first stages of embryonic development. This silencing arises from the activity of a region known as XIST, and the result is a full silencing of the expression of all the genes in one of the two X chromosomes (silencing either the paternal or maternal X chromosome randomly) in somatic cells at a certain point during the initial stages of embryonic development. This process ensures gene dosage in women–and all female mammals—which means that only one of the pair of X chromosomes will be activated, thus compensating the expression of the genes in this chromosome with respect to male mammals, which only have one. Although this scientific work was only performed on cells cultivated in vitro, this discovery offers a potential solution for the treatment of this condition and will help identify the genomic processes involved in its development. It is clear that is not a cure per se, but a way forward in terms of basic research that will allow us to better understand the genetic factors at play in this disorder; any knowledge in this sense will also help to establish therapeutic objectives for its various associated conditions (CIVICA, 25-VII-2013).