Sickle Cell Anemia
By: Andrew Zavaleta and Connor Gallimore
What is Sickle Cell?
Sickle Cell Anemia is a recessive genetic disorder which effects hemoglobin and results in abnormal, sickle shaped blood cells. The sickling of cells reduces the cells flexibility and fluency at which it travels through the bloodstream, which can result in complications. Sickle Cell is primarily found in individuals of African American descent.
The above photos, in order from left to right, show a cell with the sickle cell mutation in the hemoglobin gene, a cluster of healthy blood cells, and a graph showing the disorder's prevalence.
More info about Sickle Cell
Sickle Cell Anemia is found more often in descendants of tropical or subtropical regions where malaria is or was common. In these areas, being a carrier (heterozygote) for the hemoglobin mutation gene is a positive benefactor and can offer immunity to malaria while still having a healthy proportion of normal red blood cells. This is one of the reasons why the allele frequency of sickle cell is so much larger than in other areas of the world. For additional information, here is a link with a video.