What is sickle cell?
Sickle cell anemia is a disease that causes mutations in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells. Sickle cell causes red blood cells which are usually flexiable to form stiff cresants that can clog the blood vessels. In the United States, one in every 500 African-American births and one out of every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic births is affected by sickle cell anemia. Another two million Americans carry the sickle cell trait.
What is Maleria?
Malaria is a diease that is caused by parasites that multiply inside of human red blood cells. Because the disease can only be transferred from person to person by mosquitoes, it is confined to areas of the world where the insects thrive. Every year malaria infects more than 300 million people and kills more than a million, particularly young children. In some ways though having sickle cell anemia may be a good thing when it comes to malaria. The picture below shows what it looks like when red blood cells are attacked by the malaria parsite.