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What is blood serum

The blood serum is obtained from blood plasma, which is a yellow fluid that acts as a medium of transport for the white and red blood cells along with the nutrients, hormones and antibodies. Blood serum is obtained from this plasma by allowing the collected blood to coagulate and then taking out the yellow fluid. Serum is that portion of blood plasma that consists of non-coagulating proteins, antibodies, electrolytes, hormones, microbes and also drugs on occasions but does not contain any cells, white or red and also is made completely free of fibrinogens. Blood serum is mainly used for diagnostic purposes, but it is also required for blood typing.

Blood serum is used for many diagnostic tests like the HCG test to determine pregnancy. Through testing one’s blood serum, one can come to know of the levels of protein in his/her blood, which is often done to check if the patient is suffering from malnutrition. Low protein levels in one’s blood may also help to determine the cause of kidney problems. On the contrary, boosted levels of alpha- 1 type proteins can be responsible for rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the common tests that require the blood serum rather than the blood cells include tests for sugar and cholesterol levels. As the serum still contains the hormones that the plasma was carrying, it is also used to check thyroid, insulin and other hormonal levels, depending on the nature and the objective of the medical test.

A non-diagnostic use of serum is as a component in the person’s own eye drops. They work better than regular eye drops and do not cause allergies for the patient. Apart from the current uses of the blood serum as a diagnostic medium, other more advanced diagnostic tests are also on the verge of development, namely, the early detection of diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, which are incurable as of now.


What is blood hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic pressure refers to any pressure that a liquid exerts on its container. Blood hydrostatic pressure is the pressure that the volume of blood within our circulatory system exerts on the walls of the blood vessels that contain it. However, hydrostatic pressure is not the only pressure that is exerted on a blood vessel, osmotic pressure is also present and the cumulative pressure from inside is countered by the same two types of pressure exerted on the outside of the blood vessels by the tissues that surround them. The hydrostatic pressure exerted by our blood on our blood vessels is what we commonly refer to as our blood pressure and it can cause serious problems when upset.

Blood pressure is not the same throughout, for example, the veins and capillaries in our feet have way more pressure inside them than the ones in our head, and gravity is responsible for this particular variation. When we get hypertensive, our blood vessels experience increased hydrostatic pressure on them due to increase of blood flow; it is at this point that arteriosclerosis occurs and as a result, the blood vessels become very hard in order to withstand the high blood pressure.

Blood is essential for us to survive because blood carries all the necessary nutrients along with other materials, both in and out of our cells in a constant circulatory motion. This motion in blood would not be possible without a difference in blood pressure inside the blood vessels and this difference is achieved because there is just one pump that pumps blood, the heart. As the heart pumps blood and the blood passes through the left ventricle all the way to different parts of the body before returning back into the heart through the right atrium, the pressure keeps dropping and is at its lowest point when it re-enters the heart and at its highest immediately after it is pumped out by the heart.


Stem Cell Therapy for Pets

Stem cell therapy has the potential to cure many chronic and even life-threatening conditions in humans but it can be also used to help pets such as the 7 years old Labradoodle called Bradley that was suffering from arthritic hip causing him a lot of pain. His owner, Dr. John Herrity who runs an animal clinic has not hesitated when he learned that stem cell therapy can help his dog.

Dr. Herrity learned about the stem cell therapy that can be used in pets from MediVet America that teaches animal clinics to perform stem cell therapies in animals all over America. In May, the group has arrived to Herrity’s clinic and that is how Dr. Herrity got the all necessary information to help his pet. He has taken a fat tissue from Bradley’s shoulder from which he isolated healthy cells and then injected them into the dog’s arthritic hip. The treatment lasted six hours, while Bradley was released into home care immediately after the treatment. Within the following three months, the injected stem cells will grow into new tissue and eliminate the pain. Dr. Herrity also said that the stem cell therapy that costed $1,500 is a lot less expensive and efficient than replacement of the arthritic hip and long-term medications.

According to Katherine Wilkie from the MediVet America, the stem cell treatment that was used in Dr. Herrity’s dog can be also used in dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis, ligament disorders and injuries, and even bone fractures. The mentioned stem cell therapy can be also performed on other pets including cats and horses. Unfortunately, stem cell therapy cannot be done on animals with cancer and diseases in advanced stage. The mentioned stem cell therapy has been announced to become available for cosmetic purposes in humans in approximately six months.


Reprogramming Cells with RNA

Dr. Derrick Rossi who has been named on the Time’s 2010 list of People Who Mattered has developed a method that allows manipulation of adults cells into embryonic-like stem cells which eliminates the need for stem cells derived from human embryonic tissue. In addition, Dr. Rossi was able to avoid the risk of cancer that has been shown to be problematic in conventional stem cell manipulation techniques using DNA. He used synthesized RNA molecules rather than DNA.

Dr. Rossi’s method enables the scientists to turn adult stem cells into embryonic-like stem cells which have the ability to become any cell in the body, and even tissue and organs. The new method has thrilled the scientific community because embryonic-like stem cells are believed to have a major potential in treatment of many chronic diseases and life-threatening conditions. Dr. Rossi’s procedure allows manipulation of the patient’s own cells to obtain stem cells which can be then used to be turned into tissue that has been either lost or damaged due to disease or injury. The methods that have been used so far for reprogramming stem cells have been linked to increased risk of cancer which made them unsuitable for clinical uses. Dr. Rossi’s method also eliminates the risk of the body rejecting the introduced stem cells as it uses the patient’s own cells.

The procedure that has been developed by Dr. Rossi bases on manipulation of adult cells into embryonic-like stem cells by adding synthetic RNA molecules as well as some chemicals that prevent an immune attack when the RNA molecules are added to the cell. The new cell manipulation method that enables creation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells requires further studies and trials to determine whether they can be used in medicine though Dr. Rossi has already founded a company that will commercialize his method.


What is blood plasma

Blood plasma acts as the means of transportation for the blood inside an organism. Plasma is the yellowish, intravascular fluid in blood that constitutes roughly 55% of the entire blood volume in our body. Apart from the 90% water, plasma contains hormones, glucose, protein, coagulating agents and electrolytes among others. Blood plasma also carries dissolved carbon dioxide as a bodily waste. To separate blood plasma from the blood cells, the collected blood is put into a vial with anti-clotting agents and spun in a centrifuge. Once the white and red blood cells fall at the bottom of the vial due to their weight, the blood plasma is ready to be collected. Although it is generally stated that blood plasma is yellow in color, a person suffering from health problems can also have plasma with a gray tinge to it.

The main function of the blood plasma when it is inside the body is to provide the blood and its other components with mobility. It is this mobility of the blood plasma that serves the entire body in vital ways. The plasma circulates to all parts of the body, while the cells constantly acquire nutrients from and excrete the waste materials into it. As the blood plasma travels throughout the entire body, it continuously replenishes its contents to keep the organism functioning as a whole by serving the needs of all the cells inside the body. Pathogens and germs that are harmful to the body are attacked by the blood cells carried by blood plasma as it circulates. Perhaps the most visible effect of plasma that we see in practice is clotting of blood when we cut ourselves by coagulating agents that it carries. The blood serum, which is essential for most blood diagnostic tests, is obtained by removing coagulants, blood cells and fibrinogens from the plasma.


What is blood gulch

The reason why Blood Gulch has become so famous is because the machinima series “Red vs. Blue” was done on this very scenario. “Blood Gulch” is actually a scenario in the popular video game “Halo: Combat Evolved”. In the multiplayer mode of Halo, if you select “Blood Gulch” as your area of gameplay you will find that the level design is rather simplistic and quite straightforward in its approach. The area is a canyon that is surrounded by high hills all around to prevent any way to get out. There are two operational bases within this canyon and in between the two bases; there is a large field that stretches out for the players to battle on, both with and without vehicles. Even as just a level, it had achieved significant popularity in gaming communities around the world.

Due to the Popularity of the Blood Gulch level, it made its reappearance as “Coagulation” in the second Halo game. Also in Halo 3, one cannot help but notice a huge similarity between Blood Gulch and “Valhalla”. “Halo Wars” also had Blood Gulch as a level in the multiplayer mode, but it was only in “Halo: Reach” that the developers added much more to the famous multiplayer arena by providing more area for gameplay even outside the Blood Gulch canyon.

Red vs. Blue, which gave the Blood Gulch scenario the popularity it has today, was created by Rooster Teeth Productions as a parody on first-person shooters mainly. As the online videos and DVDs gained a lot of popularity, the project was expanded and it continues till date in form of a mini-series. However, “Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch chronicles”, which is the original series that started in 2003, finished after its one hundredth episode on June 28th, 2007.


What is blood for kids

Blood is present inside all of us and it is present in huge quantities. Although blood may look just like a red liquid, it contains a lot of stuff in it and all of those things together make up the fluid we call blood. Plasma makes up about half of our blood volume and it is mostly water. Plasma also consists of proteins, sugar, salts, hormones, broken down food, antibodies and waste thrown out by cells. It is this plasma that allows blood to move and get to the cells throughout the body to provide them with what they need. The plasma proteins help in stopping the blood from flowing out once we are cut and the process is known as blood clotting. There are mainly two types of cells in blood, red blood cells and white blood cells, both of which stay suspended in the plasma. The red blood cells are found in a larger number inside us and their primary function is to dissolve the inhaled oxygen into blood which allows our cells to breathe and also to carry the exhaled carbon dioxide from the cells for elimination from the body. There is basically just one type of red blood cell and they are called erythrocytes. White blood cells are the soldiers in our blood that protect us against germs and infections that are constantly trying to attack our health. White blood cells are also called leukocytes and there are many types of leukocytes like Neutrophil, Eosinophil, Basophil, Lymphocyte and Monocyte. Blood is manufactured inside the bone marrow of our vertebral column, but when we are younger, blood is made in other bones inside our body too, along with the vertebral column. To be properly circulated, blood needs a pump and our heart acts as that pump which sends it flowing through the veins and capillaries we have in all parts of the body to carry out its function.


Scientists Find New Evidence for the Theory of Cancer Stem Cells

A group of scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine has announced that they have discovered new evidence that supports the theory of cancer stem cells. Their study included analysis of over 1000 patients who were treated for an aggressive form of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukemia at cancer centers in Europe, Japan and the United States.

The results of their study has shown that patients with higher expression of genes that are linked to cancer stem cells have less chances to recover from the disease than people who have lower expression of these genes. This does not only support the theory of cancer stem cells but may be also helpful for determining the best treatment options for patients who have been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Acute myeloid leukemia is a very aggressive form of blood cancer with a high mortality rate. About 70% of patients with this type of leukemia die within 5 years after being diagnosed with the disease. So far, very little advances have been made in treatment of this type of leukemia over the last four decades. The scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine think that their discovery may explain why patients who suffer from acute myeloid leukemia respond poorly to the conventional cancer treatments.

Upon comparing the healthy blood stem cells and cancer stem cells the researchers have discovered that cancer cells do not multiply unless necessary. The scientists think that this may be the reason for the conventional cancer treatment methods failing to destroy these cancer cells. Many cancer treatments do not identify cancer cells but simply target cells that multiply rapidly. The researchers have said that they will now focus on finding ways to make their findings useful in medicine. They also hope to find enough data to be able to determine which treatment options would work best for patients with higher expression of genes that are linked to cancer stem cells.


Research on Stems Cells Derived from Embryonic Tissue Put on Hold

The court decision that has banned the research on stem cells derived from human embryonic tissue has resulted in serious interruption of projects that have the potentials to cure many currently incurable diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, Down’s syndrome and many others. Many scientists are concerned that the court’s unexpected decision can seriously affect the progress in the field of stem cell research if the US Congress does not react quickly.

Stems cells derived from embryonic tissue have shown to have a major potential for development of new therapies and treatments for numerous chronic and life-threatening conditions. These stem cells have the ability to turn into virtually any cell in the body and the court’s decision could seriously jeopardize the progress that has been achieved so far. Many scientists have emphasized that major discoveries in medicine require years of hard work as well as uninterrupted funding. Many treatments and therapies require years of studying and clinical trials before they become available to patients, while any interruption such as the recent one could push back the trials to the beginning and add few more years to procedures that are required before a particular treatment or therapy is finally approved to be used in patients.

Researches on stem cells in private laboratories continue but the scientists warn that the impact of the court’s decision could have a devastating impact on the stem cell research in the United States if the Congress does not react immediately and renews the federal support to research on stem cells derived from human embryonic tissue. Even more, they have expressed a concern about prominent scientists in the field leaving the United States for countries that support researches on stem cells derived from embryonic tissue which could cause a serious blow to the nation’s scientific community.


What is blood agar

Blood agar is a medium for bacterial growth made from a combination of nutritious items including blood cells. Usually, the blood is from a sheep or a horse and composes five percent of the entire compound, while the gelatinous “agar” in the compound comes from the cells of the agarophyte red algae, which is commonly used for culinary or laxative purposes. It is used to observe hemolysis. Although a blood agar compound will soon have many microbes thriving in it, the main objective of preparing the blood agar is to notice whether the whole blood cells are being broken down by hemolysins and if so, which microbes are responsible. There are three types of observations in hemolysis within a blood agar Petri dish and they are as follows:

1. Alpha hemolysis – Represented by the Greek letter “α”, during alpha hemolysis, the blood cells around the colony turns greenish. The blood cells affected are broken down fractionally during alpha hemolysis.

2. Beta hemolysis – As the name suggests, it is represented by the Greek “β” and in this process entire red blood cells are broken down by the hemolysins through a process called lysis. Since the blood cells are completely broken down, therefore the area near the particular colony appears clear.

3. Gamma Hemolysis – Bacteria and microbes that do not participate in the breaking of red blood cells, neither partially or entirely, exhibit gamma hemolysis (γ).

Blood agar is not a selective medium as it is made suitable for a wide range of microbes to grow in it to simulate an ideal environment adequate for the detection of pathogenic bacteria and non-pathogenic bacteria. The environment inside a blood agar plate is not selectively manipulated to make it suitable for any particular type of bacteria or other micro organisms, which makes it a non-selective medium for growing microbes.