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The Sickled Cell: From Myths to Molecules.

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By Edelstein Stuart J.. . 197 pages. Harvard University Press; , Cambridge, Massachusetts: , 1986.. $25.00.

Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(1):180. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-1-180_1
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The personal experiences of a biochemist doing fieldwork among the Igbo of Nigeria form the background of this book on the anthropological, geographical, historical, cultural, philosophical, and evolutionary aspects of sickle cell anemia. The possible relationship between sickle cell anemia and the Igbo belief in ogbanje, the "repeater children" who are born, die young, and are reborn to the same parents, is explored. Interwoven within a diversity of African languages, traditions, and myths is a reconstruction of the evolutionary stages of the hemoglobin molecule in primates and molecular aspects of sickle cell anemia.

Africa is depicted as "the sickle-shaped continent."


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