Sickle cell anemia summary

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Sickle cell disorder is inherited and is transmitted from parents to children through the sickle cell trait present in their DNA (Piel, 17). As a result of the character trait, red blood cells take on a crescent appearance rather than their usual disk shape, and the patients seem to have elevated Plasmodium parasite levels borne by the female Anopheles mosquito (Robertson, 25). According to Anthony Allison, a molecular biologist who once lived in Kenya, parents of a heterozygous gene type have children with the sickle cell trait, which is most prevalent in areas with high malaria cases, such as along the coast and around lakes.

Relationship between genetics and culture

The major source of livelihood among the ancient people was hunting and gathering, but this has changed with time. Therefore the most commonly used food may relate to the genetics of individuals. For example, when a person drinks milk, the milk sugar lactose is converted into galactose and glucose by lactase enzyme present in duodenum thus producing energy for the human body (Williams, 16). As young mammals seize to feed on milk, their potential to produce lactase stops hence is not able to digest milk becoming intolerant to lactose. When they consume milk, the lactose passes to large intestines without getting absorbed in small intestines hence may lead to diarrhea, cramps, and gas when bacteria eat them.

Some people become lactose persistent whereby their ability to produce lactase enzyme is present even in adulthood. Scientists have proved that there is a particular mutation in people that makes them lactase persistent (Williams, 19). The gene type of these individuals is the same, but they have a difference of traits T and C in their chromosome 2.


Therefore, the culture of the people regarding their main diet is somehow linked to their genetic composition. People taking milk from childhood to adulthood are most likely to become lactase persistent.

Works cited

Piel, Frédéric B., et al. "Global distribution of the sickle cell gene and geographical confirmation of the malaria hypothesis." Nature communications 1 (2010): 104.

Robertson, Steve. Understanding men and health: Masculinities, identity and well-being. McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 2007.

Ten Have, Henk AMJ. "Genetics and culture." Bioethics in a European perspective. Springer Netherlands, 2001. 351-368.

Williams, Thomas N., et al. "Negative epistasis between the malaria-protective effects of α+-thalassemia and the sickle cell trait." Nature genetics 37.11 (2005): 1253.

January 05, 2023

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