The first Sherlock novel I will be reading is A Study in Scarlet, which I am reading from a black and blue hardback that was on sale $7.98 at B&N since reading literature is now a rarity in today’s society. As I read and dive in more, I will attempt to post more comprehensive articles, but for now most of my writing will serve as little puzzle pieces that will help me to see the overarching picture.
In this chapter, Watson gives a mini autobiography of his most recent history to show, in short, that he is alone in London and needs a roommate. Enter Sherlock Holmes, also in need of a roommate. The first time we meet him, introduced by Watson’s friend as a potential solution to the roommate problem, he is hunched over a dead body, chemical stains on his fingers, “delighted as a child” at a discovery of a reagent precipitated by hemoglobin that would serve as an infallible test for blood stains.
Naturally, when this was my first look at Sherlock, after promising myself to fully immerse myself in Sherlock, I cringed inside. Chemistry is not my favorite subject, to say the least. But, sacrifices must be made for brilliance. So this post will be entirely on understanding what in the world Sherlock is talking about, because it sounded like Greek to me. Well, not entirely, but that’s not the point.
Ok, so to precede this information about what I have learned, I must credit from whom I learned it. One of my regulars, and friends, who is a major science…smart person…told me about this upon my asking. I call him Luey, even though that’s not his name. I am a waitress, by the way – a smart one, though not in this field.
Anyway, hemoglobin is merely a protein – a quartenary protein – that is unique to blood. It is basically the transportation unit for oxygen in the blood stream. There are a lot more details on this, like how it is comprised and how exactly the process of carrying oxygen occurs and all that good stuff, but honestly, I do not have enough patience to spout it all off. That, and I’m slightly afraid of wrongly defining it, if I haven’t already.
But, if you do want to learn more, my favorite site that I’m addicted to is KhanAcademy, and they have a good video on it.
Here’s the link for a short lecture on hemoglobin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWtXthfG9_M
Here’s a link for if you’re interesting in finding more about Sherlockian chemistry: http://surrey-shore.freeservers.com/HolmChem.htm
And here’s an excellent article about the Sherlock’s place in forensic science (I like this one, but I didn’t want to just reiterate other people’s writing): http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/the-real-sherlock-holmes/ <== read this one!