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The Journey of a Red Blood Cell
Transcript of The Journey of a Red Blood Cell
Today I'm going to show you a day in the life of me, a Red Blood cell. I was created in bone marrow, and have a life span of about 2 - 3 months. A great place to start would be the Lungs. I have already made my run around the body, so lets start here and I'll show you the run from start to finish. Right now I'm carrying carbon dioxide from other cells in the body. I have already been pumped to the Lungs from the heart, and I will drop off my carbon dioxide here, and pick up oxygen for the cells in the body. This process occurs in little sacks called the Alveoli. They help blood cells collect oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. Now that I have the oxygen, its off to the heart. Right now I'm called Oxygenated Blood, once I complete my job I will be Deoxygenated, and turn a darker red than now.
Through the Body
Now that I'm on my way through the body, I will pass many other red blood cells doing the same job as me. We are going to the brain today, to help deliver oxygen to the processing unit of the body. The blood vessels up here are very thin, and called capillaries. I have to go through these blood vessels in a single file line with the other blood cells. Once we reach our destination, we will drop off oxygen to the cells in the brain, and pick up carbon dioxide from their Cellular Respiration. Blood does not just consist of red blood cells, like you might think. There is plasma in the blood, but not like extremely hot normal plasma. Plasma is a liquid in the blood that is 70% water, and contains things like protein and a variety of nutrients. The kidneys regulate this. Plasma also contains things called platelets. These contribute to things like blood clots and strokes, but they also help too. These little things can help you if you get a cut, or one of the blood vessels breaks. They are what form the scabs and close up broken blood vessels if anything goes wrong.
The Heart, Again
Now that I have completed my job of dropping oxygen and picking up carbon dioxide, I'm on my way back to the heart. When I reach my destination, I will enter through the right atrium, and be sent to the right ventricle. The right ventricle will take me back to the lungs, so I can complete the transaction of dropping the carbon dioxide and picking up oxygen, so I can complete the whole run again. The heart pumps blood all throughout the body, and is basically a big muscle. It beats all day, every day, until you die. It doesn't get tired like normal muscles, and works with the lungs, kidneys, and many other body parts to keep your blood working correctly and staying healthy.
Now that I'm at the heart, I go from the left Atrium to the left Ventricle, and now I've been pumped out of the heart, and on my way to the rest of the body. We will return to the heart later, as there is much more for me to do inside the heart, but not right now.
White Blood Cells
There are two types of blood cells like me, Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells. White Blood Cells don't carry oxygen and go around the body back and forth like I do. They are the military of the body, attacking invaders and keeping the body parts safe from viruses and pathogens. They target and destroy invading diseases and help to keep Red Blood Cells and other cells in the body safe. Without White Blood Cells, I wouldn't feel safe running around the body all day.
The Journey of a Red Blood Cell
Mady by Taylor Short for assignment 7.02 in Biology.