Haemoglobin Beyond Red Blood Cells: A New Discovery

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • While traditionally, haemoglobin has been synonymous with red blood cells, a groundbreaking study published in Nature showcases something extraordinary.

About Haemoglobin

  • Haemoglobin is an iron-enriched protein found primarily in red blood cells.
  • It’s like a delivery service within our body, picking up oxygen from the lungs and distributing it to various tissues, while also collecting carbon dioxide for a return trip to the lungs.

Key Findings of the Study

  • The cells that fashion the cartilage in our body, known as chondrocytes, also produce haemoglobin.
  • Much like a backup oxygen tank, haemoglobin present in chondrocytes stores and releases oxygen, depending on the cell’s requirements.
  • Chondrocytes play a pivotal role in granting cartilage its strength and flexibility, and it turns out, they owe a part of their functionality to haemoglobin for oxygen transport and sustenance.
About Cartilage:

·       Cartilage is like the body’s cushion. It’s a bendy connective tissue that you can find in places ranging from your joints to the tip of your nose.

·       It ensures our joints move smoothly while also giving structure and support to body parts like ears.

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