|Description:||The laboratory technician depicted in this image was in the process of conducting a hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) test, in this case a form of Hg known as fetal hemoglobin, in order to detect the presence of any abnormal Hb. Here, using his right hand, the technician was mouth-pipetting a sample, while holding a stopwatch with his left. Today, mouth-pipetting is no longer used, and a safer method utilizing a mechanized pipetting device is used instead.|
Hemoglobin is an iron-containing molecule present in red blood cells (RBCs), which has the ability to carry oxygen from the lungs, in air breathing organisms, or the case of aquatic animals, from the gills to all of the cells in the organism’s body. After delivering the oxygen (O2) molecules to the body’s cells, hemoglobin then combines with carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules, which are the byproduct, or waste product, of cellular energy-consuming processes, transporting this waste product back to the lungs to be expelled during exhalation.