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Unformatted text preview: Sickle-Cell Anemia Sickle-cell anemia is an abnormality of hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in our blood. Hemoglobin is contained within red blood cells. When the oxygen concentration in the hemoglobin molecules becomes low, the molecules stick together forming long rods that distort the cell (picture below). The cells break down or clog blood vessels causing pain, poor circulation, jaundice, anemia, internal hemorrhaging, low resistance, and damage to internal organs. Death usually occurs before age 50. Heterozygotes (carriers) are not affected with anemia and are resistant to malaria. Eight to ten percent of African Americans carry the allele (have sickle-cell trait)....
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- Fall '10