Summary: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News http://starbulletin.com/2004/04/20/news/story11.html
1 of 2 3/5/2008 1:18 PM
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Researchers at UH discover
likely hemoglobin ancestor
By Helen Altonn
University of Hawaii researchers have made a breakthrough that
could lead to the creation of substitutes for blood, according to UH
microbiology professor Maqsudul Alam.
Alam said his research team discovered proteins
containing oxygen in primitive microbes. The
findings reveal what the climate was like on the
planet earlier than 3.5 billion years ago when
there was no oxygen. They also show how
respiration may have evolved from there.
"We are very confident that this (protein) is the ancestor of human
hemoglobin," Alam said.
Hemoglobin is the protein in blood that carries oxygen from the
lungs to the body's organs. Hemoglobin probably was detoxifying