Malaria and Sickle Cell Anemia

Description:  Sickle-cell anemia is caused by a single nucleotide mutation in the β-globin gene of red blood cells. This creates incorrectly structured proteins and red blood cells with a characteristic "sickle" shape. This harmful mutation doesn't affect carriers of the disease. However this mutation can be beneficial in certain areas because it offers protection from malarial infections. This phenomenon can be used in a unit on genetics or evolution.

Web Resources:  The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection in Humans - HHMI, Sickle-cell Disease - Wikipedia