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October 7, 1961

Hemoglobin and Its Abnormalities

JAMA. 1961;178(1):92. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040400094034

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Several years ago, Ingram made the exciting discovery that substitution of one amino acid for another ( valine substituted for glutamic acid) in one of the peptide chains is apparently the only chemical difference between normal and sickle cell hemoglobin. The chemical nature of a gene mutation had thus been identified, and the strikingly different physical properties of sickle cell hemoglobin which are at least largely responsible for the clinical manifestations of sickle cell anemia were demonstrated to be the result of an amazingly small change in the molecule. Investigative interest in the electrophoretic recognition of abnormal hemoglobins and in the clinical study of the hemoglobinopathies was already intense, but additional groups of protein chemists and of biochemical geneticists now focused their research activities on hemoglobin. No one is more qualified than Ingram to review the resultant rapid accumulation of information.

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