Hemoglobin and Genetically Transmitted Molecular Disease

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The oxygenated state of hemoglobin is called “oxyhemoglobin.” Oxyhemoglobin forms when oxygen binds to the hemoglobin inside the capillaries that are next to the alveoli of the lungs. The deoxygenated state of hemoglobin is known as “deoxyhemoglobin.” Deoxyhemoglobin, in a healthy body, would be on its way back toward the lungs to pick up more oxygen. In an unhealthy body, cardiomyopathy may occur. Oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules each have their own, specific bind-locations on red blood cells. Despite there being enough room to spatially house both molecules simultaneously, this will not happen. A red blood cell will have a much more difficult time binding oxygen to itself when it has a carbon dioxide molecule bound to it. This is known as the Bohr Effect. The Bohr Effect repeats again and again as blood is circulated through the pulmonary capillaries.

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