JACKIE LEWIN, ROYAL FREE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACKIE LEWIN, ROYAL FREE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph of deformed red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia (drepanocytosis), a hereditary blood disease that affects black people. Sickle cell disease is characterized by the production of abnormal haemoglobin (Hbs) in red blood cells. Hbs becomes insoluble when the blood is deprived of oxygen and precipitates, forming elongated crystals that distort the blood cell into the sickle shape. These deformed red cells are rapidly removed from the circulation, leading to anaemia. There is no satisfactory treatment. Magnification: x7800 at 6.5 x 4.5 inch size.
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