Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Fetal Hemoglobin

Umbrella term for several forms of hemoglobin synthesized in the fetal liver after 12 weeks of human gestation, the most common form of which consists of two alpha globin chains and two gamma globin chains. Fetal hemoglobin is metabolically active in the late embryonic and fetal stages of development and has a higher affinity for oxygen than does adult hemoglobin. A small fraction of normal adult hemoglobin also consists of a variant of fetal hemoglobin.

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