"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Present: Sickle Cell Hope 

Sickle Cell Disease is a painful, often lethal, genetic disease affecting a significant portion of the population, particularly African and Indian Americans. The only real cure currently known is marrow transplantation, but that is extremely expensive and risky, even if you can find a donor match.

SCD sufferers got a nice Christmas present this year: researchers announced that they have successfully used gene therapy to correct sickle cell disease in cultured cells, suggesting that patients could grow their own transplant materials. The actual treatment is probably years down the road, but a little hope is a good thing.

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