Sickle-cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which abnormalities in the red blood cells' oxygen-carrying hemoglobin protein cause the cells to assume distorted, sickle-like shapes. The abnormal cells can clog blood vessels, depriving tissue of blood and oxygen and resulting in painful "crises.â€ The genetic disease is found predominantly in the black community, especially among those of W African descent. Scientists believe the mutation may help protect against what infectious disease?
William Makepeace Thackeray
Back in the day
Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, Ecuador was controlled by the Inca empire. Francisco Pizarro's subordinate, Benalcazar, entered the area in 1533. Not finding the wealth of the mythical El Dorado, he and other conquistadors moved restlessly on, and the region became a colonial backwater. Ecuador remained under Spanish control until 1822, when it was joined to Gran Colombia. With the dissolution of that union in 1830, Ecuador gained its independence. Who was the country's first president?
Born on a day like today
Ole Worm was a Danish physician and antiquarian who was the personal physician of King Christian IV of Denmark. Worm's chief contributions to medical science were in embryology. As a natural philosopher, he assembled a vast collection of stuffed and mounted animals, fossils, and other curiosities. A collector of early literature in the Scandinavian languages, he wrote a number of treatises on rune stones and collected texts written in the runic alphabet. What are the Wormian bones?