June 1974

Sickle Cell Hemoglobin-Molecule to Man.

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn


By Makio Murayama, PhD, Robert M Nalbandian, MD. Price, $16.50. Pp 198. Little Brown & Co, Boston, 1973.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(6):918. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110250144038

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This book is a curious mixture of fundamental protein chemistry, technical clinical pathology, and anecdotal clinical medicine. The first three chapters are a very complicated and technical presentation of molecular chemistry. Physicians may be intimidated by Dr. Murayama's technical expertise.

The remainder of the book was written by Dr. Nalbandian, and much of this will certainly be subject to criticism and question. First, hemoglobin ontogeny is described. An association between anatomic sites and specific hemoglobin polypeptide chain synthesis is suggested as an original hypothesis, despite the fact that this possibility has been repeatedly discussed (and probably disproved!) for decades. The possibility of reactivation of Hgb F synthesis postnatally as a method for treating sickle cell anemia is advanced as an "innovative suggestion." This has long been recognized as a challenge but, unfortunately, no one has a substantial idea on how this type of genetic engineering might be accomplished.

Five "new

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