Research NewsGENETIC DISEASES

Mutant Mice Mimic Human Sickle Cell Anemia

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Science  31 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5339, pp. 803-804
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.803

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Summary

As researchers bag more and more of the genes at fault in hereditary diseases, sickle cell anemia stands as a sobering reminder that just identifying a mutant gene doesn't necessarily mean the problem is solved. The mutation that causes this disease has been known for 50 years, yet there is no cure and few effective treatments. But on pages 873 and 876 of this issue, two research teams report that they have created mouse models of sickle cell anemia that closely mimic the human disease. Researchers say the new mice will be "indispensable" for testing drug and gene-therapy strategies for controlling the disease.