Sickle-cell disease

1949

Sickle-cell disease

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Linus Pauling molecular biology

Sickle-cell disease

Resistance

Suffering

James B. Herrick described the sickle-cell disease in 1904. Linus Pauling’s finding, in 1949, was the first to link a genetic disease to a mutation of a specific protein. In 1954, Vernon Ingram showed that the DNA of sickle-cell haemogloblin varied from normal haemogloblin by one amino-acid, only one letter in the DNA code. Except for bone-marrow transplants for children, there is no cure for sickle-cell disease.

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