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Scientists at ETH Zurich and the South African company Strait Access Technologies are using 3-D printing to produce custom-made artificial heart valves from silicone. This could help meet an aging population's growing demand ...

Blood samples from the zoo help predict diseases in humans

The zoos of Saarbr├╝cken and Neunkirchen are home to penguins, Asian elephants and many other species. Since they come from different continents, blood samples are regularly taken from the animals to check their health. These ...

Malaria hijacks your genes to invade your liver

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Studying the human brain through craniovascular traits

Arteries and veins leave their marks on the bones of the cranium, and these traces can be used in anthropology, bioarchaeology and paleontology to investigate the blood system in extinct species or past populations. This ...

Space travel and your joints

A novel Henry Ford Hospital study of mice aboard a Russian spaceflight may raise an intriguing question for the astronauts of tomorrow: Could traveling in space be bad for your joints?

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Blood

Blood is a specialized bodily fluid that delivers necessary substances to the body's cells — such as nutrients and oxygen — and transports waste products away from those same cells.

In vertebrates, it is composed of blood cells suspended in a liquid called blood plasma. Plasma, which comprises 55% of blood fluid, is mostly water (90% by volume), and contains dissolved proteins, glucose, mineral ions, hormones, carbon dioxide (plasma being the main medium for excretory product transportation), platelets and blood cells themselves. The blood cells present in blood are mainly red blood cells (also called RBCs or erythrocytes) and white blood cells, including leukocytes and platelets. The most abundant cells in vertebrate blood are red blood cells. These contain hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein, which facilitates transportation of oxygen by reversibly binding to this respiratory gas and greatly increasing its solubility in blood. In contrast, carbon dioxide is almost entirely transported extracellularly dissolved in plasma as bicarbonate ion.

Vertebrate blood is bright-red when its hemoglobin is oxygenated. Some animals, such as crustaceans and mollusks, use hemocyanin to carry oxygen, instead of hemoglobin. Insects and some molluscs use a fluid called hemolymph instead of blood, the difference being that hemolymph is not contained in a closed circulatory system. In most insects, this "blood" does not contain oxygen-carrying molecules such as hemoglobin because their bodies are small enough for their tracheal system to suffice for supplying oxygen.

Jawed vertebrates have an adaptive immune system, based largely on white blood cells. White blood cells help to resist infections and parasites. Platelets are important in the clotting of blood. Arthropods, using hemolymph, have hemocytes as part of their immune system.

Blood is circulated around the body through blood vessels by the pumping action of the heart. In animals having lungs, arterial blood carries oxygen from inhaled air to the tissues of the body, and venous blood carries carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism produced by cells, from the tissues to the lungs to be exhaled.

Medical terms related to blood often begin with hemo- or hemato- (also spelled haemo- and haemato-) from the Ancient Greek word αἶμα (haima) for "blood". In terms of anatomy and histology, blood is considered a specialized form of connective tissue, given its origin in the bones and the presence of potential molecular fibers in the form of fibrinogen.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA