A recently-published biology textbook chapter nearly forgot to mention sickle cell anemia, student Naomi Ford reports. “When I was about halfway through Chapter 23 I started to sense that something was wrong,” Ford explained. “It wasn’t until I’d read through three-quarters of the chapter without seeing a single reference to the abnormally-shaped red blood cells that I doubled back to look for the crucial page — or pages — I’d skipped. You can imagine my shock when I realized I hadn’t missed anything.”
“Prior to this, the authors had made a habit of using sickle cell anemia to explain at least one concept per chapter,” Ford said, leafing through the textbook index’s pages devoted to the disease. “Frankly, I hadn’t even thought it was possible to learn a new biology concept without also learning new things about sickle cell anemia.”
“By the time I turned to the chapter’s last page, I’d already composed a tip-off letter to the authors,” recounted Ford. “I couldn’t believe they’d almost slipped up, but then they dropped a mention in an image caption, so we’re all good.”
At press time, Ford was startled to find that her physics textbook chapter almost didn't have a single picture of a roller coaster.