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Malaria-driven sickle cell trait selection – evidence for modern day human evolution?

Sickle cell disease poses a serious health threat in tropical Africa and has been declared a public health priority by the World Health Organisation. However, as the English idiom goes: ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and carriers of the mutation that causes the disease are provided with resistance to malaria. Eric Elguero and colleagues present evidence of a strong association between malaria prevalence and sickle cell trait in Central Africa. Furthermore, could this selection be evidence of modern-day human evolution?

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