JACKIE LEWIN, ROYAL FREE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACKIE LEWIN, ROYAL FREE HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a deformed red blood cell (left) in sickle cell anaemia (drepanocytosis), a hereditary blood disease that affects Africans. Sickle cell disease is 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 cell into the sickle shape. Sickle cells are rapidly removed from the circulation, causing anaemia. Right of the sickle cell is a normal biconcave red cell, an echinocyte (spiky) & a red cell beginning to sickle. Magnification: x1655 at 35mm size. Coloured pink.
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