The Trisomy 21 Act which was introduced in Congress a couple of years ago. (Down Syndrome is usually caused by having an extra copy of the twenty-first chromosome, hence the name.) Unfortunately the bill died in committee. It has been resurrected by a bipartisan team of legislators, two of whom have kids with Down Syndrome.
What will this bill do? Expand and intensify Down Syndrome programs at NIH and the CDC; create a research database; and create at least six Translational Research Centers of Excellence. Translational research is research that can go from the lab to the clinic - in other words, medicine. This is truly an exciting time to be working on Down Syndrome.
More information is available at this website. At the bottom of the page is an easy to use template to send an e-mail message to your congressperson requesting co-sponsorship of the bill. It will automatically insert your representative based on your address (just in case you don't know who it is). I completed this before I wrote this blog post.
Please share this with colleagues, friends and family members!
"...there is good and bad speculation, and this is not an unparalleled activity in science...Those scientists who have no taste for this sort of speculative enterprise will just have to stay in the trenches and do without it, while the rest of us risk embarrassing mistakes and have a lot of fun." - Dan Dennett