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Hard lessons learned about Plancher and sickle-cell trait

Originally Published: November 2, 2008
By Mark Fainaru-Wada | ESPN

NORMAN, Okla. -- Nearly four decades ago, the U.S. military confronted the dangers of an inherited condition known as sickle-cell trait. During a four-year span in the early 1970s, one Air Force cadet died and three others collapsed while participating in basic training.

A military study revealed that applicants with sickle-cell trait were 30 times more likely to die during basic training. The Air Force even went so far as to temporarily ban recruits with the condition.

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