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Reading Blood under a microscope

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Reading Blood under a microscope

Postby hamsternose » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:00 pm

Hello. I have just purchased a small basic microscope, and have been busy placing things under it - and it is fascinating.

One of the things we placed under was a sample of blood. This has been the most fun thing to see, watching the cells float around etc.

However despite several hours of searching, we can't seem to find anything that helps identify what we are seeing!

I have attached a photo showing 3 different structures, and I wonder if any of the clever people here can help identify what they are.

1) The smooth round thing I assume is a nice red blood cell.
2) What are the long snake like ones?
3) What are the ones with black dots on them?

Any help, or a link to a site where we can look this kind of thing up would be great!


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Postby hamsternose » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:01 pm

Maybe not an easy answer, but I also wondered why it isn't red!
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Postby JackBean » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:39 am

1) correct
2) just several red blood cells aggregated
3) probably some lymphocyte or something like that

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby Sahanaah » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:50 am

1) may be red cells (I really don't know well)
2)red cells lined together
3)Leucocytes(white blood cells) (dots may be the nucleus if it)

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Postby Darby » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:17 pm

The dotty ones look like crenated RBCs - possibly formed as the water evaporated from the plasma...
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Postby AstraSequi » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:20 am

1) Yes, red blood cells. :)
2) Stacks of red blood cells, as Jack said. They are called rouleaux, and naturally occur due to the affinity of RBCs for each other. The stacking helps them to travel more efficiently in capillaries.
3) Almost certainly a neutrophil; the dots are lobes of the nucleus. Neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell.

Other things you might find:
- macrophages: similar to neutrophils but a bit larger, with a regular-shaped (non-lobed) nucleus
- lymphocytes (T cells or B cells): round cells with very large nuclei that take up most of the space in the cell
- platelets: very small things shaped like shards of glass, often found in clumps. I think I can see some in the picture.

You may also see eosinophils or basophils, but those are very, very rare. :)
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