It's in the Blood! A Documentary History of Linus Pauling, Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell Anemia All Documents and Media  
Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day

All Documents and Media

"The Life and the Structure of Hemoglobin."

"The Life and the Structure of Hemoglobin." 1976.
Produced by the American Institute of Physics.

The Awesome Impact of Molecular Structure upon Function. (1:33)


John Hopfield: On the surface of the ten-thousand atom molecule, there is a slight change. A small group of a few atoms on the edge of the molecule is replaced by another small group of atoms. That's all that happens - an exchange of a few atoms. Yet it's enough to make people very ill. The effect of the change is to create a sticky point between on abnormal molecule and its neighbor, causing molecules to pile up on each other.

Normal red cells shaped like discs can easily pass through the small blood vessels of the body. When hemoglobin molecules stick together, the red cells that carry them get distorted so badly that they have difficulty getting through the narrow passageways. Parts of the body are deprived of precious oxygen.

There are thousands upon thousands of ways that two molecules might bind. And for the moment, the complete mechanical and structural story of sickling remains a mystery. But knowing where the problem begins, where the first change occurs on the molecule, can be of help in finding a chemical method for reversing the process and helping to cure the first known molecular disease.


Creator: John Hopfield
Clip ID: 1976v.7-structure

Full Work

Creator: American Institute of Physics
Associated: Linus Pauling, John Hopfield

Date: 1976
Genre: video
ID: 1976v.7
Copyright: More Information

Previous Video Clip 
   Magnetic Testing of Hemoglobin with Charles C...

Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day