The point of no return: Chromatin enforces cell fate decisions

Stem cells balance self-renewal with differentiation into mature cells. A fundamental and intriguing question is when during the process of maturation a cell reaches a "point of no return," losing its capacity to self-renew ...

Lungfish cocoon found to be living antimicrobial tissue

A team of researchers from the University of New Mexico, the University of California and the University of Murcia has found that the cocoon created by lungfish living in dry lakebeds in Africa is made of living antimicrobial ...

Killing bacteria with nanoparticles

Researchers from the University of Southampton, working with colleagues at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), have developed a new technology based on nanoparticles to kill dangerous bacteria that hide ...

The vast little library inside your cells

The human genome can be thought of as a massive library, containing over 20,000 different "instruction manuals": your genes. For example, there are genes which contain information to build a brain cell, a skin cell, a white ...

Vitamin D supplement may enhance dairy cows' immune health

Known as a crucial component in the body's ability to absorb and retain calcium, essential to processes such as the development and maintenance of healthy bones, vitamin D has also been found to play important roles in immune ...

Possible new antivirals against COVID-19, herpes

In addition to antibodies and white blood cells, the immune system deploys peptides to fight viruses and other pathogens. Synthetic peptides could reinforce this defense but don't last long in the body, so researchers are ...

How a COVID-19 infection changes blood cells in the long run

Using real-time deformability cytometry, researchers at the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen were able to show for the first time: COVID-19 significantly changes the size and stiffness of red and white ...

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White blood cell

White blood cells (WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.

The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood, making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis, and in leukopenia, this number is much lower than the lower limit. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity, may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia.

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