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JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Haemoglobin, animated molecular model. Haemoglobin is the molecule that transports oxygen around the body in red blood cells, and carries waste carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Haemoglobin consists of four globin proteins (amino acid chains; blue stick model). Each globin protein is wrapped around a haem group (red and purple). The camera zooms in to one of the haem groups, which consists of a porphyrin heterocyclic organic ring (purple) and an iron ion (turquoise sphere, Fe2+). It is this iron centre that reversibly bonds to oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood.
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