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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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A developing fetus obtains oxygen from its mother's blood. In an organ called the placenta, fetal capillaries run through and exchange substances with maternal blood. The hemoglobin made by a fetus has different properties than that made after birth. At low oxygen levels, fetal hemoglobin binds oxygen more strongly than normal hemoglobin does. How does fetal hemoglobin's somewhat higher affinity for oxygen benefit a fetus?

Summary Introduction

To explain: How does the fetal hemoglobin’s higher affinity towards oxygen benefit a fetus.

Concept introduction: Fetal hemoglobin is the main source of oxygen transport in the human fetus. It is present during the last seven months of the development of the uterus. It persists in the new born until 6 months. In adults, the fetal hemoglobin can be reactivated pharmacologically and can be used in the treatment of diseases.

Explanation

The fetal hemoglobin has greater affinity towards the oxygen than the adult hemoglobin. A developing fetus obtains oxygen from the mother’s blood. The fetal capillaries run through and exchange substances with maternal blood in the placenta...

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