red blood cells

Acting in a coherent fashion, the red blood cells play a far more important role in life processes than is commonly known.  What makes the red blood cells so special?

The red blood cells’ unique, remarkable role in oxygen and carbon dioxide transport sharply distinguishes them from the body’s other cells.  So do their extremely high hemoglobin content (roughly 270 million hemoglobin molecules are packed into each one of 25 trillion RBCs, yielding 6.75 octillion hemoglobin molecules in an adult human), iron content, anaerobic energy metabolism, peculiar biconcave shape, and 120-day life cycle (with 2,000,000 new RBCs formed every second). While their counterparts in many vertebrates and invertebrates retain the nuclei and organelles that mammalian RBCs eject in the course of maturation, the erythrocyte group in general exhibits certain “prokaryotoid” characteristics, Continue reading »

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