A Sickle Is An Essential Tool For Harvesting Crops

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In agriculture, a sickle is an essential tool for harvesting crops, necessary for a process that sustains life; however, in the medical field, hearing one’s doctor use the word to describe his or her cells can unleash a wave of terror. Sickle Cell Disease, commonly known as SCD, is a genetic blood disease that is called as such because mutated red blood cells become sickle-shaped (“Sickle Cell Disease”). This genetic mutation greatly impacts life throughout the entire world, though it is continuously a problem in the United States. According to Monique Laberge, “As of 2014, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) estimated that [the disease] affects 70,000-100,000 people in the United States.” Currently, in North America, …show more content…

As previously stated, Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disease, and the sickle cell mutation works to warp the hemoglobin in red blood cells (Eckman). For all humans, there are three types of hemoglobin, all of which appear in the body at different ages and stages in life; subsequently, they are all affected by this genetic mutation (Laberge). This means that even as the hemoglobin in a sickle cell patient’s body changes with age, the disease will always exist in his or her red blood cells. Even worse, Sickle Cell Disease will never be localized—located in only one area of the body—because as an oxygen-carrying protein, hemoglobin bonds with red blood cells to travel throughout the body and aid the cellular respiration process (Simone). However, it would be wrong to assume that the entire protein is changed when a person has SCD. In fact, hemoglobin is made up of three parts: heme, alpha globin, and beta globin (Simone). A Sickle Cell Disorder Patient will have perfectly normal, healthy heme and alpha globin, but a single nucleotide of DNA is changed to make the amino acid adenine become thymine in chromosome 11 in beta globin as it creates a mutated protein named sickle hemoglobin (Laberge). Only a small part of the DNA is changed, one allele, in one out of thousands of proteins in the human body, but it is still enough to drastically affect any person’s health and welfare. It does so by significantly changing the physical structure of red blood

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