Be the first to like.

Share

About 90,000 people in the U.S., mostly blacks, have sickle cell, the first disease for which a molecular cause was found. Worldwide, about 275,000 babies are born with it each year.

“Vexing questions of race and stigma have shadowed the history of its medical treatment,” including a time when blacks who carry the bad gene were urged not to have children, spurring accusations of genocide, Keith Wailoo of Princeton University wrote in a separate article in the journal.

The disease is caused by a single typo in the DNA alphabet of the gene for hemoglobin, the stuff in red blood cells that carries oxygen. When it’s defective, the cells sickle into a crescent shape, clogging tiny blood vessels and causing bouts of extreme pain and sometimes more serious problems such as strokes and organ damage. It keeps many people from playing sports and enjoying other activities of normal life.

… Read More

Image: By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. http://cnx.org/content/col11496/1.6/, Jun 19, 2013., CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30148180

Be the first to like.

Share
CBS News

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply