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The possibility of using alpha/beta globin messenger RNA (mRNA) ratios to distinguish between the carrier states for different forms of alpha thalassaemia has been explored. Alpha/beta globin mRNA ratios were determined in the red cells of a series of normal individuals and in members of four Cypriot families, one Thai and one Chinese family in which at least one person has haemoglobin H disease. It was found that there was a clear distinction in the ratios between normals, alpha thalassaemia 1 carriers, alpha thalassaemia 2 carriers, and those with haemoglobin H disease. This method should be a valuable addition to haematological analysis, haemoglobin synthesis and restriction mapping of DNA for the further elucidation of the genetics of alpha thalassaemia.


Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





53 - 64


DNA, Heterozygote, Humans, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Pedigree, Phenotype, RNA, Messenger, Thalassemia