Asia, and the Mediterranean have a higher percentage of people with one abnormal hemoglobin allele, compared to in other parts of the world where most people have two normal hemoglobin alleles. It’s been found that people with two abnormal hemoglobin alleles carry a disease called sickle cell anemia; this disease is known to be circumstantially fatal. In addition to this finding, there’s a direct correlation between the number of people in an area where the sickle cell trait is common and the amount of people with the one abnormal allele that proves to shield the infection of malaria.
This single abnormal hemoglobin allele is known as hemoglobin S, Allison (1990) was first to examine that when hemoglobin S is present, people seem to be less resistant and protected against malaria. Her research in The Anthropology of Infectious Disease helps in further understanding the connection between a Guitar environment where a certain disease (malaria) is most present, and how biologically people of the surrounding community anatomically adapt to fight off the condition.
Natural Selection (Peters-Golden,H. 201 0), the idea of how anatomical changes are largely due to favored adaptations for proficiency of survival in a given environment, can rather prove why people in areas more prone to sickle cell anemia are also why people are more prone to having the one abnormal hemoglobin allele to fight off malaria. The area’s most likely to be affected by malaria, are also the same area’s to have the prevention allele due to natural selection.
Research can be conducted by cultural and biological anthropologists further by evaluating other aspects, such as: economy, population distribution, horticulture and their interconnectedness. The holistic approach to this study can show how one aspect directly affects another. Malaria-carrying-mosquitoes survive n specific environments, they need sunlight and stagnant waters (Livingston, 1970), and the forest environments of Africa did not provide the proper environment for this disease to become widespread.
However, in the holistic approach of it, the development of African communities changed to provide the construction of an environment where the disease can live, by the deconstruction of the forests to serve basic needs of a growing population. As population grew, and economy got better, horticulture practices also changed. The changes of horticulture brought deforestation in order to clear land for ore food production, in result of the newly cleared land, sunlight was able to pass through and the soil provided standing pools of water necessary for the survival of malaria-carrying-mosquitoes (Livingston, 1970).
As economy continues to grow, the villages attract more people and become more dense. Densely populated areas put the risk of a widespread disease at an all time high, as there are more people to contract the disease and less means of having an environment not susceptible to the carriers. The Anthropology of Infectious Disease, discusses different types of adaptations ND risks to malaria, aside from Ellison’s (1990) approach to Hemoglobin S. Westfield, 1990) After researching over 60 different communities in Africa, he concluded that the communities of which heavily rely on an agricultural environment where root and tree crops are commonly used, became the most susceptible to malaria as the deforestation of the area provides the perfect environment for its survival. A much more recent study however has shown that a newer resistance for malaria is found in the Duffy blood group negative genotype (Katz & Shall 1990). This certain blood group is found predominantly n African people and black individuals in the United States.
This approach can show how biologically a malaria resistance has been passed down through ancestors who were culturally and biologically proven to have adapted to malaria in their local environment. The research aids in the proof of holistic research and how the interdependent aspects of society and natural selection, help fight off and adapt to a widespread disease such as malaria. It has been proven that agricultural demand due to a growing population, and a rising economy puts an area susceptible to malaria further at risk due to the hangers we must make to provide for a community through interdependencies.