• Question: What makes our blood and what from?

    Asked by peter296 to Simon, Achim on 27 Apr 2020.
    • Photo: Simon Spichak

      Simon Spichak answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      Hi Peter!

      Blood is a very cool part of our body! Believe it or not, the bones are responsible for a lot of the cells that we have in blood. The majority of our blood cells can be classified either as red blood cells, platelets or white blood cells. Red blood cells are in charge of carrying oxygen throughout the body, and they do this by using an iron-rich protein to hold onto the oxygen while its moving. White blood cells are involved in the immune response. Now all of these cells actually come from the bones! Platelets are involved in forming clots when we injure ourselves.

      Believe it or not, there is a part inside of your bones called the bone marrow. This is the home of another kind of cell called a hematopoietic stem cell. What the heck does that mean? Well the prefix hema- refers to the blood. And ‘poietic’ is derived from greek word meaning forming. So these are literally blood forming cells! Now these hematopoietic stem cells (or blood forming stem cells) can divide and turn into whatever blood cell they want to. Different signals from the body direct these blood forming cells to divide and transform into different types of white blood cells or red blood cells! Meanwhile, platelets break off from a larger cell called a megakaryocte in the bone marrow.

      Phew, so that’s a good 45% of our blood. The other 55% is a liquidy-gooey portion called plasma! Plasma consists of antibodies that provide protection against disease, water, ions and proteins. Antibodies come from plasma cells in our bone marrow or our spleen, the proteins are made by our mighty livers, and the water and ions come from our diet!

      Hope this answers your question!