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Thread: Confusion about a few topics (EXAM IMPENDING :P)

  1. #1 Confusion about a few topics (EXAM IMPENDING :P) 
    Forum Junior
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    Just going through some MC questions and there are a couple that confuse me, such as

    Release of oxygen from haemoglobin in the tissues is aided by
    A increased carbon dioxide which binds more strongly than oxygen to the haem groups
    and displaces the oxygen.
    B low pressure in the capillaries compared to the arteries.
    C a rightward shift in the oxygen equilibrium curve of haemoglobin due to the
    decreased pH.
    D dissociation of the alpha and beta globin chains in the haemoglobin tetramer.

    I don't quite understand what it means by a rightward shift in the oxygen equilibrium curve due to decreased pH, and how this aids release of oxygen from the oxyhaemoglobin.


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    Forum Ph.D.
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    Are all the answers suposed to be true? The" right shift" needs a reference graph to be understood.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Mainly all you need to understand is that pH has an effect on the capacity of substances to dissolve.


    higher pH, more O2, lower temperature more O2.
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks Zwolver, I had a look at the graph, though I didn't understand exactly how the pH affected the ability of oxygen to be released from haemoglobin. Another confusing thing... why are carrier proteins considered passive transport? The whole concept of a protein binding to a molecule, undergoing a conformational change, then releasing it into the cell, just seems like it uses energy, given that the protein is in a sense, moving.
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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Thanks Zwolver, I had a look at the graph, though I didn't understand exactly how the pH affected the ability of oxygen to be released from haemoglobin. Another confusing thing... why are carrier proteins considered passive transport? The whole concept of a protein binding to a molecule, undergoing a conformational change, then releasing it into the cell, just seems like it uses energy, given that the protein is in a sense, moving.
    It may be moving, this does not mean it uses energy for this. The blood is pumped around, which costs energy. But the transport of oxygen in the blood, and CO2 out of it, is a chemical equilibrium. It is a process that is just improved by the proteins (increase the carrying ability of the blood), they however do not use energy. Usefull so red blood cells don't need to be active cells (they have no metabolism).
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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