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False-colour scanning electron micrograph of deformed red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia (drepanocytosis). This is a hereditary blood disease that largely affects black people. Sickle cell anaemia is characterised 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 this characteristic sickle shape. These deformed red cells are rapidly removed from the circulation, leading to anaemia. P242/146). Magnification: unknown.
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