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January 25, 2016

(As part of National Blood Donor Month, we’ll be posting an assortment of items about blood donations on the blog in January, ranging from history to biography to facts and figures.)

The American Society of Hematology, which sponsors a wide range of research, education and meetings about the science of blood, has put together a video that explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the four component of your blood.

“The Components of Blood and their Importance” demonstrates the functions of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets within the bloodstream.


More from our blog:

Karl Landsteiner: The man who made transfusions possible

January 18, 2016

(As part of National Blood Donor Month, we’ll be posting an assortment of items about blood donations on the blog in January, ranging from history to biography to facts and figures.)

If you’ve ever received a transfusion, you probably thanked a number of people at the time – your doctors and nurses, perhaps the anonymous person who donated, or even the technicians who made sure the donation was safe at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

But there’s one more person who needs your thanks, even though he died more than 70 years ago. His name was Karl Landsteiner.

January 11, 2016

(As part of National Blood Donor Month, we’ll be posting an assortment of items about blood donations on the blog in January, ranging from history to biography to facts and figures.)

You often hear about our need for blood donations at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

But why do we need you to donate?

Easy: There is no way to produce blood except in the body. Despite all the advances in science in the last 100 years, no one has developed a foolproof substitute for blood.

Fortunately, your body is a veritable blood-making machine, churning out about 200 billion red cells, 10 billion white cells and 400 billion platelets a day. Most of those blood cells are produced by a biological marvel known as bone marrow.

All your body’s red blood cells and platelets are manufactured within the marrow of certain bones, and so are around 60-70 percent of your white cells.

January 6, 2016

Impress your friends and neighbors with these donation-related words

(As part of National Blood Donor Month, we’ll be posting an assortment of items about blood donations on the blog in January, ranging from history to biography to facts and figures.)

Do you want to show off for your friends and neighbors? Sound like a scientist? Earn the respect and admiration of the team members at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center?

Then the next time you donate blood – and then brag about it – be sure to toss around some of these cool donation-related words and phrases:

Aliquots: The smaller samples taken of your blood sent for testing. (Pronounced “al-ee-kwats.”)

Erythrocytes: The scientific term for red blood cells. Sounds really cool when you say it slowly. (“Ee-ree-throw-cites.”)

December 30, 2015

An international team of scientists has successfully engineered tissues that could repair a birth defect found in 1 in 2,500 babies worldwide.

The group developed new diaphragm tissues for rats using stem cells and a 3D scaffold, a development that could lead to the development of repairs of the other major muscles, including those in the heart.

The diaphragm is the muscle that contracts and relaxes to allow breathing, and it also serves as a barrier between the chest cavity and the abdomen. Holes or malformations in the diaphragm can cause serious and sometimes fatal symptoms in newborns.

Current techniques involve an artificial patch that does not grow with the child or assist in breathing. Creating muscles using a child’s own stem cells would avoid those problems.

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