Haemoglobin molecule. Computer artwork showing the tertiary structure of a haemoglobin monomer subunit. Haemoglobin is a metalloprotein that transports oxygen around the body in red blood cells. Each molecule consists of iron-containing haem groups and globin proteins. Each globin protein (blue ribbon) is wrapped around a haem group (copper tubes), protecting it from being oxidised and destroyed by the oxygen it is intended to transport. The iron (silver sphere) within each haem group reversibly bonds to oxygen (gold sphere) and carbon dioxide in the blood. Four of these monomers usually bind together to form one large haemoglobin molecule.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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