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Potential new sickle-cell treatment discovered
December 2011
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ANN ARBOR, Mich.A team of researchers from both the University of Michigan (U-M) Health System and the University of Tsukuba in Japan recently published a study about a way to trigger the production of red blood cells, which could have significant potential as a new treatment for those suffering from sickle-cell disease. The team, which consisted of pathologists, developmental biologists and experts in childhood blood disorders, discovered that increasing expression in the proteins TR2 and TR4 resulted in more than double the level of fetal hemoglobin produced in sickle-cell mice and reduced organ damage. Dr. James Douglas Engel, professor and chair of U-M's Cell and Development Biology Department, noted that additional studies and clinical trials should be done to determine the approach's effectiveness in humans. The study was published in the online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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