DAVID MCCARTHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID MCCARTHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood cells. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of three types of blood cells obtained from the tooth root of a 28-year-old man. Many disc-shaped red blood cells (erythrocytes) are seen, with several white blood cells (leucocytes, spiky) and fragmented platelets (thrombocytes, one seen at lower right). Erythrocytes transport oxygen to body cells and remove carbon dioxide to the lungs. Leucocytes are part of the immune system, defending the body against infection by digesting pathogens or secreting antibodies. Thrombocytes are essential for blood clotting, accumulating in large numbers at the site of injured blood vessels. Magnification unknown.
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