Bianca is a freelance science journalist, broadcaster and author, who is yet to meet a piece of research she doesn’t find fascinating. In nearly a decade of freelance reporting, she has written for publications including Scientific American, Nature, The Australian, Ecos, Australian Doctor, Medicine Today and the ABC’s health, science and environment websites.
She is also author of The End: The Human Experience Of Death and co-author of The Sixth Wave: How To Succeed In A Resource-Limited World.
At first glance, a child with sickle-cell disease may appear healthy. But what you cannot see — and what dominates the child’s life — are bursts of searing, crippling pain that strike without warning. These episodes require trips to hospital, and even the highest doses of the most powerful opioid drugs typically provide only temporary, incomplete relief. As children with sickle-cell disease grow older, the pain worsens. They continue to have intense and debilitating acute attacks, and by the time they reach adulthood nearly one-third of them will also experience steady, unrelenting, background pain every day of their lives. Read more