How can a single mutation in the gene for a protein such as hemoglobin affect several body systems?

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Hemoglobin is a protein that can be found in our red blood cells.  It's job is to allow the red blood cells to carry oxygen to each of the cells in our body.  This is critical to the cells as oxygen is needed to perform cellular respiration (the process that...

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Hemoglobin is a protein that can be found in our red blood cells.  It's job is to allow the red blood cells to carry oxygen to each of the cells in our body.  This is critical to the cells as oxygen is needed to perform cellular respiration (the process that breaks down food molecules to release energy).  The red blood cells also carry away the carbon dioxide that is formed as a byproduct of cellular respiration.  All of this is made possible by the hemoglobin containing red blood cells.  Without them, our cells would die.  So, a mutation in the hemoglobin could, and would, easily affect each of the organ systems causing the organs to simply die due to the lack of oxygen and overabundance of carbon dioxide building up within the cells. In turn, this would lead the death of the organism.

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