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92 Years Later, A Sickle-Cell Surprise [View All]

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Kind of Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 04:59 PM
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92 Years Later, A Sickle-Cell Surprise
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"Dr. Jeffrey Taubenberger, of the National Institutes of Health, looked into a microscope this summer and saw something unexpected. He had been looking for evidence of a flu virus. Instead, he found the earliest known proof of sickle-cell anemia. That's a hereditary disease that disproportionately affects African-Americans."

Journalist Maryn McKenna wrote about it for "Wired" magazine's Web site.

The soldier "was 21 years old. He was in a segregated company at what was then called Camp Funston. It's now called Fort Riley. It's in Kansas. He developed symptoms in the summer of something that seemed to be flu or pneumonia, and he was kind of sick for a couple of days. He had a roaring fever. His chest hurt. He had a cough that didn't produce anything.

But what makes it so especially interesting and poignant and worthy of bringing back to notice, is that it also illuminates current health questions today, that have to do with athletes and people who are working really hard and who may be subject to sickle-cell disease and not know it."
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