Q. 155.0( 1 Vote )

It is said, that the harmful alleles get eliminated from population over a period of time, yet sickle cell anaemia is persisting in human population. Why?

Answer :

Sickle cell anaemia is persisting in human population. It is a good disease example of a balancing selection, with affected individuals carrying mutations in both the parental and maternal inherited haemoglobin gene. As a result their red blood cells are less efficient in carrying oxygen throughout the body. But there is a biological advantage associated with sickle cell anaemia that the patients are better protected against malaria. This resistance offered against malaria disease could be the reason for the harmful alleles of sickle cell anaemia to persist in human population despite of the elimination of harmful genes over time.

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