To some people, scientists included, the advances in molecular biology that have been hailed from time to time in the popular and scientific press have yet to live up to the promises made for them. But practical benefits there are, and three recent articles1–3 illustrate the progress being made in another direction—the antenatal diagnosis of thalassemia and sickle cell disease, serious disorders that affect millions of people in some parts of the world. While the goal of treatment is still elusive, increasingly ambitious prevention programs are being undertaken and the social impact is already becoming apparent.
KeywordsSickle Cell Anemia Sickle Cell Amniotic Fluid Prenatal Diagnosis Globin Gene
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