News of the WeekGENES AND DISEASE

Genetic Change Wards Off Malaria

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Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1439
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5546.1439

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Summary

Researchers have determined that a genetic alteration can provide almost complete protection against malaria, which in Africa kills 3000 children each day. The alteration produces a form of the oxygen-transport molecule called hemoglobin C that seems to have no adverse effects. Understanding how hemoglobin C works could help guide the development of vaccines and drugs, malaria researchers say.