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malaria; sickle cell

How One Child’s Sickle Cell Mutation Helped Protect the World From Malaria

March 13, 2018 - 17:25 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

8 March 2018, Carl Zimmer (New York Times)

The genetic mutation arose 7,300 years ago in just one person in West Africa, scientists reported on Thursday. Its advantage: a shield against rampant malaria.

Thousands of years ago, a special child was born in the Sahara. At the time, this was not a desert; it was a green belt of savannas, woodlands, lakes and rivers. Bands of hunter-gatherers thrived there, catching fish and spearing hippos.

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