Deciphering Chromosome 21
Eileen O'Connor,
CNN Health Correspondent

12:34 PM EDT; May 12, 2000; Atlanta, GA (CNN) -- Researchers in Japan and Germany are gaining insight into the smallest chromosome in the human genome -- Chromosome 21. The scientists recently announced that they had sequenced Chromosome 21, which has been linked to Down Syndrome, one form of Alzheimer's, and several types of cancer.

According to Dr. Robert Waterston, Chairman of the Department of Genetics at Washington University in St. Louis, "each chromosome is like a volume of an encyclopedia." Sequencing the genome becomes particularly useful in helping scientists learn more about genetic disorders.