Red blood cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes. These disc-shaped cells are the most abundant cell type in human blood. They transport oxygen to the body tissues and carbon dioxide back to the lungs during respiration. These gases are bound by the pigmented protein haemoglobin. Erythrocytes are one of several different blood cell types, all of which develop from blood stem cells present in the bone marrow. Erythrocyte production (erythropoiesis) occurs constantly and takes about five days. The lifespan of an individual erythrocyte is around 120 days. Magnification: x3500 at 6x7cm size.
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