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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index H > Category: Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin Quotes (3 quotes)

Hemoglobin is one of the most interesting chemical substances in the world—to me it is the most interesting of all.
In 'The Hemoglobin Molecule in Health and Disease', read 19 Apr 1951, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (15 Oct 1952), 96, No. 5, 556.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (72)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Substance (73)

The discovery of an interaction among the four hemes made it obvious that they must be touching, but in science what is obvious is not necessarily true. When the structure of hemoglobin was finally solved, the hemes were found to lie in isolated pockets on the surface of the subunits. Without contact between them how could one of them sense whether the others had combined with oxygen? And how could as heterogeneous a collection of chemical agents as protons, chloride ions, carbon dioxide, and diphosphoglycerate influence the oxygen equilibrium curve in a similar way? It did not seem plausible that any of them could bind directly to the hemes or that all of them could bind at any other common site, although there again it turned out we were wrong. To add to the mystery, none of these agents affected the oxygen equilibrium of myoglobin or of isolated subunits of hemoglobin. We now know that all the cooperative effects disappear if the hemoglobin molecule is merely split in half, but this vital clue was missed. Like Agatha Christie, Nature kept it to the last to make the story more exciting. There are two ways out of an impasse in science: to experiment or to think. By temperament, perhaps, I experimented, whereas Jacques Monod thought.
From essay 'The Second Secret of Life', collected in I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier (1998), 263-5.
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This pure species of air [oxygen] has the property of combining with the blood and … this combination constitutes its red colour.
From 'Expιriences sur la respiration des animaux, et sur les changemens qui arrivent ΰ l’air en passant par leur poumon', Histoire de l’Acadιmie Royale des Sciences for 1777 (1780) as translated by Thomas Henry in 'Experiments on the Respiration of Animals on the Changes effected on the Air passing through their Lungs', Essays, on the Effects Produced by Various Processes on Atmospheric Air, etc. (1783), 13-14. Also in John F. Fulton, Selected Readings in the History of Physiology (1930), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Blood (95)  |  Color (78)  |  Combine (15)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Produce (63)  |  Property (96)  |  Pure (62)  |  Red (25)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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