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  1. Celebrate National Cookie Day with These SCD-Related Goodies

    December 4, 2017 by Andrea

    It's no wonder National Cookie Day is in December, what with so many glorious varieties to bake for the holidays. But, you don't have to stick with the typical sugar cookie cut-outs -- you can infuse a little sickle cell awareness into your treats. 

    Get ready to pull out all the stops (and the flour, icing, and sugar) because we've rounded up five genetics- and blood cell-related cookie examples to help fuel your inspiration. 

    Delectable Genes 

    National Cookie Day DNA


    Baked Blood Cells 

    National Cookie Day Baked Blood Cells


    Under-the-Microscope Cookies

    National Cookie Day Under the Microscope



    RBCs + Tasty Test Tubes  

    National Cookie Day RBCs and Test Tubes


    Gingerbread Biology 

    National Cookie Day Gingerbread Biology





  2. How Mathematics is Fueling Sickle Cell Research — and Potential New Treatments — Through Computer Models

    August 1, 2017 by Andrea


    We all know how sickle cell works. When red blood cells (RBCs) are introduced into low oxygen conditions, those cells become misshapen -- the lack of oxygen causes the cells to attach to each other and form polymer fibers -- and clump together. Travel through the bloodstream can be difficult for these distorted cells, and therefore, they can become stuck in capillaries, causing quite the RBC traffic backup -- which can lead to painful episodes for the Warrior.

    But while we know what happens, do we really know exactly how it all goes down? That's the aim of a team of mathematicians at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. "The goal of our work is to model both how these sickle hemoglobin fibers form as well as the mechanical properties of those fibers," lead study author and Brown Ph.D student LuLu told Science Daily.

    To create computer models that accurately mimic how red blood cells arrange themselves into polymer fibers, ultimately deforming their shape, the researchers used mesoscopic adaptive resolution (MARS), Science Daily reports. This just means that after a certain amount of a part of a model has been completed, that section is automatically displayed at a low resolution, so as not to be too taxing on the computer system.

    So far, the Brown University team has been able to illustrate that the sickled shape isn't the only irregular formation that SCD can cause. "We are able to produce a polymerization profile for each of the cell types associated with the disease," the study's lead author George Karniadakis told Science Daily. "Now the goal is to use these models to look for ways of preventing the disease onset."

    For more information on this study and the computer models themselves, read the full article here.

  3. Trim Your Tree in Support of Sickle Cell Awareness

    November 29, 2016 by Andrea

    The holiday season kick-off is official: Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday weekend was just in full effect, and holiday music and movies dominate the radio waves and TV channels. What better way to celebrate the season than by trimming your tree in support of sickle cell awareness? Besides using basic red and white lights with solid red and white ornaments, make it clear that your decor is for a cause by snagging a few of these:

    1) I Am A Survivor Ornament, $11, cafepress.com


    2) Sickle Cell Support Circle Ornament, $10, inspiredsilver.com


    3) Hope, Love, Faith Ornament, $24, zazzle.com 


    4) Throwback Song of Peace Ornament, $24, ornaments4less.com 


    5) Unity, Strength, Hope SCDAA Ornament, $3, scdaa-e-store.myshopify.com 


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