EXHIBITS: Sickle Cell Mystery

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Science  15 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5720, pp. 331
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5720.331d

When he wasn't probing the secrets of chemical bonds or championing vitamin C, chemist Linus Pauling was often puzzling over hemoglobin. “It's in the Blood!” from Oregon State University in Corvallis chronicles the chemist's more-than-60-year fascination with the blood's oxygen-hauling molecule. The high point came in 1949, when Pauling and his colleagues discovered that hemoglobin from patients with the hereditary illness sickle cell anemia behaves differently than hemoglobin from healthy people does, inaugurating the concept of a molecular disease. The low point came in the 1960s, when Pauling campaigned for laws regulating childbearing by sickle cell disease carriers and urged that they be tattooed on the forehead for easy recognition.


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