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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

The Sickle Cell/Malaria Link Revisited

April 25, 2013

Tags: DNA Day, World Malaria Day, Anthony Allison, malaria, sickle cell disease, balanced polymorphism, DNA Science

Eman is a medical student in Liberia.
Today is both DNA Day and World Malaria Day. As I was pondering how to connect the topics, e-mail arrived from my “son,” a medical student in Liberia. He had malaria, again, and this time it had gone to his brain.

I “met” Emmanuel in 2007, when he e-mailed me after finding my contact info at the end of my human genetics textbook, which he was using in his senior year of high school. He is my personal link between DNA Day and World Malaria Day. But the dual commemoration also reminds me of the classic study that revealed, for the first time, how hidden genes can protect us – that carriers of sickle cell disease do not get severe malaria. (more…)

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