STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leukaemia blood cell. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a dying blood cell from a patient who has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. This form of cancer is most often found in the elderly, and involves an increase in circulating levels of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). This causes a reduction in the proportion of red blood cells, leading to anaemia, as well as other complications such as enlargement of the liver and spleen, or improperly formed blood cells. This blood cell, riddled with holes, will not be able to function properly.
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