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August 2012 SC News Roundup

Hello everyone,

It’s been quiet on the SC news front for the last few months, but here is your monthly news digest.

Research News

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.”

US News

Although there have been several bone marrow drives, the National Bone Marrow Registery still needs African-American participants. Only 7% of all participants are Black.

A new bone marrow transplant was opened in Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL last month.

NY Jets Wide receiver Antonio Holmes does have a son with sickle cell. He’s 10, but super vibrant and super articulate.

On September 5, Gold medalist Angelo Taylor is going to bowl for sickle cell awareness.

International News

Although the Nigerian government has taken strides to help with sickle cell, more still needs to be done. The Federal Government does have plans to build more comprehensive sickle cell centers in Nigeria. The Dabma Sickle Cell Organization is doing alot to raise awareness in parts of the nation.

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.

Bahrain finally opened up their sickle cell clinic at Salmaniya Medical Center! I’m so proud of the national Sickle Cell organization there for pressuring the governement to make this dream a reality. Mad kudos Bahrain!!!

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn is lending a voice to the Sickle Cell Society in London, after finding out that her son has sickle cell disease.

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Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin's message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

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