Wellcome Image of the Month: Sickle Cell Disease

argylesock says… Here’s a graphic image of what goes wrong when a person has sickle cell anaemia. It’s caused by a recessive allele, meaning that if you’re heterozygous you’re a carrier. You don’t get the disease but if you have kids with another carrier, the kids might get sickle cell. Here’s the crunch line: sickle cell is protective against malaria. So black people are more likely to carry sickle cell than other people. Black people, who live in the Tropics or whose families came from the Tropics. Racism may be part of the reason that sickle cell doesn’t get so much research attention as other diseases. Here’s some peer reviewed argument that sickle cell should be classed as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). NTDs are the topic of the London Declaration which I’ve blogged about here, under my ‘tropical disease’ tag.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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