Many people think that Sickle Cell Disease is a black disease, but you would be surprised to know that Greeks, Italians, Latin Americans, Caucasian Americans and those from India also suffer from the disease as well a carry the sickle cell trait. According to the Encyclopedia for Genetic disorders and Birth Defects mutation occurs in a gene causing it to be altered or damaged and functions abnormally. After the genetic mutation occurs, the hereditary disease can be passed on to future generations as in the case of sickle cell. Initially Sickle cell was found in areas where malaria was common If a person had a single sickle cell trait the parasite that causes malaria could not infects the personsí blood, but the cells would become sickle shaped and die or be destroyed by the bodyís natural defenses. The parasite never gets a chance to multiply in a personís blood stream but those that carried two sickle cell genes might develop sickle cell disease and die. Having that single sickle cell gene was an advantage for survival in malarious countries. Here in the United States we are no longer exposed to the risk of malaria however the gene is still present. According tothe Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects in the United States alone there are over 2000 infants a year born with sickle cell disease and one in 12 African Americans are thought to be traits carriers. And according to Simon M. Dyson and Gwynth Boswell Director of Unit for Social study of Thalassaemia And Sickle cell school of allied health sciences. Sickle cell is the most common genetic condition in England affecting in 2380 births. According to the Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects the first description of sickle cell disease was by a Chicago physician, James B. Herrick, who noted in 1910 that a patient of his from the West Indies had an anemia characterized by unusual red cells that were sickled shaped. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that blocks blood circulation or red blood cells through the body. Present at birth, symptoms usually don't occur until after 4 months. Normal red blood cells are doughnut shaped, and they move through blood vessels easily carrying oxygen throughout the body. But Sickle cells are shaped like sickles that farmers used to cut their wheat. They are hard, sticky and block blood circulation and when they try to pass through small blood vessels often break apart. Sickle cells deprive organ tissue of oxygen, when red blood cells release oxygen into the body the hemoglobin forms into long rods thus becoming sickle shaped in turn causing more blood to sickle, more oxygen deprivation, creating pain and leading to organ damage. According to the Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders and Birth DefectsIn 1927, Hahn and Gillespie were the first to show that sickling of the red cells was related to low oxygen. Sickle cells live only half as long as normal red blood cells, which are about 120 days, so because sickle cells die so quickly the body cannot, make new red blood fats enough to replace the sickle cells thus causing anemia because the body has fewer red blood cells with less hemoglobin than normal. And in 1949 a US chemist named Dr. Linus Pauling found the flaw in the hemoglobin molecule responsible for the condition.