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[Bloodlust] A Discovery : 1

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By Mabogunje   |   Watch
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Published: December 3, 2012
Several years from now, in a future not entirely impossible yet somewhat improbable, Dr. Sade Odiakosa is examining a tissue sample in her lab in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. She is a Pediatrist, leading a team of doctors on contract with the World Health Organisation. It had been 50 years since the cure for Leukaemia was invented, and now the medical world had begun taking on the task of curing other blood diseases. Hers' was the latest in a string of so far unsuccessful research projects into finding a better cure for sickle-cell anaemia. A cure meant to replace the high risk procedure of bone marrow transplants which were still too impractical, dangerous, and expensive to be of much use to most of the affected population.

Sade wasn't really sure why the W.H.O. had picked her to lead the team. Even though she had treated sickle-cell sufferers for many many years, she had retired over 10 years ago. Besides, her specialty was in the practice of medicine not its research. She had in fact pointed this out to her liaison when she had been asked to lead the team, who had responded by saying that they needed someone who really knew what it was like to diagnose and treat sickle-cell symptoms. While it sounded reasonable, it was actually quite stupid. The world of medicine had advanced by leaps and bounds since she had stopped practicing, and furthermore she hadn't done any research since she graduated, almost 30 years ago now. So she had declined, agreeing to join the team only in an advisory capacity. But when the lead haematologist mysteriously disappeared a few months ago, she had been asked to temporarily lead the project as she was the most senior of her peers.

What they need is a leader, not an expert.
Segun, the W.H.O. liaison had said.

All the members of the team are expert haematologists in their own right. All you have to do, is watch over them and make sure they don't slack off. Other than that, your actual work will remain as is.

She had agreed to this but the question of why still bugged her. Why me? No matter how she looked at it, it did not make sense for her - as advanced in years and behind the times as she was - to be leading a team of haematologists attempting to push the boundaries of medical science.

At the moment however, Sade really couldn't care less about why she was there. She was more interested in the strange perforations she was seeing in the tissue sample she had been given. So she called over Dr. Ogunsola who had given her the sample to ask what part of the body it had been taken from. It turned out to be the oesophagus. Why the oesophagus should be of any interest in curing a blood disease was a question that would have to wait till later.

Did you take this sample from a living subject?
Yes, he answered.

Take a look at this. Anybody with that many holes in their oesophagus should be dead. Are you sure you gave me the right sample?

He goes back to his desk, and after a few minutes rifling through the records, walks over to the cooler, grabs another sample, and returns with an apologetic smile.
My mistake, that was from a cadaver. Here's the one I meant to give you.

Sade takes it, puts it under the microscope, and 5 minutes later she has the whole team checking all the samples.

At the end of the day, about five percent of the samples possessed the same perforations, and from their records, most of those samples were from living sickle-cell subjects. Now the question was:

What were these holes, and how the hell were the subjects who had them still alive!?

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© 2012 - 2019 Mabogunje
Novel: Bloodlust | Chapter: A Discovery | Page: 1

HOLY CRAP! What are they!?
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