It’s been quiet on the SC news front for the last few months, but here is your monthly news digest.
In Maryland, a researcher is working on a cure for sickle cell with stem cells. With ZFN, Ramalingam is able to target and replace specific, problem-causing sequences of the human genome with healthier genetic material. Read more HERE .
Researchers at Duke University have finally pinpointed exactly why those with sickle cell trait have less severe forms of malaria. One of the most interesting findings in our study is that the human microRNA (very small units of genetic material) found in sickle red cells directly participate in the gene regulation of malaria parasites,” said Dr. Jen-Tsan Chi, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and associate professor in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. “These microRNAs enriched in the sickle red cells reduce the parasite’s ability to propagate, so that certain people stay more protected.”
In addition, if you want to have a baby in Nigeria with an AS partner, hope may be on the way. The history of the world’s first successful IVF/PGD procedure that led to the birth of a non-sickle-cell twin baby girls was achieved in 1998, and the hope for a sequel in Nigeria is not far-fetched at Nisa Premier Hospital, Abuja where Baby Hanatu – Nigeria’s first “scientifically verified and government-authenticated” IVF baby was also delivered in 1998 by an amiable, dedicated, highly qualified and experienced medical team led by Dr. Ibrahim Wada. So it is not impossible to have a sickle cell free baby in a test-tube, if you can afford it in Nigeria after all .
In Ghana, the All Nations University College in Koforidua has decided to establish a stem cell bank and regenerating medicine facility to deal with sickle cell cases and others in Africa. This is a HUGE STEP and I’m so glad that it’s taking place.
In India, the local government in Gujarat is stepping up their game . They have started screening people for sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease.