heamoglobin and oxygen disassociation... help!!

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i'm realy struggling to get my head around the unit 2 part - the variety of life, haemoglobin and oxygen disassociation part. Help would be much appreciated :) thanks x

Posted: 14-03-11 22:11 by Rebecca Harvey

what bits are confusing you?

im more than happy to help, but being a bit more specific about which bits are an issue would be useful :) x

Posted: 20-03-11 14:00 by Corrie

basically haemoglobin is a substance found in red blood cells (which is one of the cells which make up blood, others are blood plasma, white blood cells and platelets). Now haemoglobin is what carries the oxygen in the red blood cells to cells of our body for celular respiration.

Our blood travels in our double circulatory system which if we start at the lungs carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart which then pumps this oxygenated blood to the organs of our body. Then deoxygenated blood travels from our organs to our heart and then to our lungs to gain oxgen and start the journey again.

So the haemoglobin combines with oxygen in the lungs where there is a high oxygen cooncentration to form oxyhaemolglobin which is carried around in the blood on the course stated above, then when this oxyhaemoglobin reaches our organs it is in an area of low oxygen concentration which causes the oxyhaemolglobin to spilt into oxygen and haemoglobin again.

Our haemolglobin is made up of iron, so if you dont have enough iron you cannot make enough haemolglobin hence you cannot make enough red blood cells so your body cannot carry enough oxygen. This is a condition called anaemia (not sure if thats spelt right).

hope that helps x

Posted: 30-04-11 17:52 by Lydia

I know exactly what you mean about this! Those curves completely confuzzle me but my teacher said some good helpful stuff the other day which was that pretend that the top half of the curve is the lungs and the bottom is the cells so at the top of the curve the haemoglobin is loading the oxygen (a bit like putting food in a trolley) and then at the bottom of the curve the haemoglobin is unloading (like at the checkout).

If the curve is to the left then this means there is a shortage of oxygen but if it is to the right it means they need oxygen for example during exercise.

The steepness of the curve at the bottom shows how quickly it associates with oxygen at low partial pressures. If its steep then this means that is associates really readily so the animal might live underground or something.

Hope that helps :-) **

Posted: 09-05-11 20:42 by AnnaLouise