Sickle Cell gene mutation came from one African child born 7,300 years ago — Quartz


A one-time gene mutation in a West African human millennia ago gave them immunity to malaria and doomed some of their descendants to sickle cell anaemia, according to new research.

Today, about 300,000 children are born with sickle cell anaemia every year, with that number expected to rise to 400,000 in the next 30 years. The majority of these cases occur in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and India, and many of these babies are likely to die from the disease in which their red blood cells break apart, leaving their bodies starved of oxygen. It is caused by two copies of a gene mutation in their DNA. One copy is harmless; two copies can be deadly. Millions of people worldwide, frequently those with African heritage, are carriers of this mutant gene, but there are large gaps in…

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