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Sickle cell anaemia SEM

Sickle cell anaemia SEM

M108/0493

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Credit

EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sickle cell anaemia. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia (drepanocytosis). Normal red blood cells (rounded) contrast with distorted sickle-shaped cells (pink). Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited blood disease largely affecting black people, in which the red blood cells contain abnormal haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment. In areas of deoxygenated blood the haemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a sickle shape, causing bone pain and organ damage. The fragile sickle cells are easily destroyed in the bloodstream. No cure is yet known for this disease. Magnification: x3000 at 6x7cm size.

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