Cancer

New strategy to tackle 'don't eat me' signal on cancer cells

Myeloid immune cells kill cancer cells by eating them but cancer cells prevent this from happening by giving out a 'do not eat me' signal. Led by immunologists Ton Schumacher (Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oncode) and ...

Genetics

Should we be screening future parents for genetic disorders?

Should public health-care systems provide couples with expanded screening for genetic disorders before they decide to become pregnant? Screening programmes could increase our reproductive choices and autonomy. But there are ...

Genetics

What impact does epigenetics have on our psychology?

In the battle of nature versus nurture, nurture has a new recruit: epigenetics—brought in from molecular biology to give scientific heft to the argument that genes are not destiny. The overwhelming evidence for genetic ...

Health

Why is anaemia still affecting women?

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, affecting both low- and high-income countries. Although it is an easy problem to fix, it remains unfixed.

Health

The paradox of treating anaemia

Iron deficiency can be fatal. But in countries where patients are also likely to have other serious diseases, so too can the iron supplements used to treat it. Nearly 12 years ago, Dora Pereira – sometimes referred to as ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

One day, science may cure sickle cell anaemia

Genetic mutations that affect our blood cells' haemoglobin are the most common of all mutations. It has been estimated that around 5% of the world's population carry a defective globin gene.

Pediatrics

Micronutrient powder effective in combating anaemia: study

(Medical Xpress) -- Mixing micronutrient powder into infants’ complementary food reduces rates of anaemia beyond what nutrition education alone can achieve, according to University of Otago-led research involving more ...

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Anemia (/əˈniːmiə/; also spelled anaemia and anæmia; from Greek ἀναιμία anaimia, meaning lack of blood) is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.

Because hemoglobin (found inside RBCs) normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.

Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few. The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).

There are two major approaches: the "kinetic" approach which involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach which groups anemia by red blood cell size. The morphologic approach uses a quickly available and low cost lab test as its starting point (the MCV). On the other hand, focusing early on the question of production may allow the clinician to expose cases more rapidly where multiple causes of anemia coexist.

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