Under the microscope: blood

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VE3VYZ
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Under the microscope: blood

Post by VE3VYZ » Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:45 pm

I'm 14 and am a real amateur - I don't know much at all about biology or chemistry. But, fooling around with an old microscope got me curious. I drew a tiny drop of blood from my right knee, and put it on a slide. It quickly dried. Then, using 10x magnification, I used my digital camera to take a picture of the microscope-magnified image. Click on the link to look at the picture I took:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v737/ ... sample.jpg
Now, I'm pretty sure that a 10x magnification isn't enough to distinguish the individual cells. But what is it that I am seeing there? Bubbles? Or some kind of seperation between the different elements in my blood?
Thanks in advance.

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Post by mith » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:17 pm

have you ever seen a scab? it doesn't seem smooth and I'm betting it's the same phenomenon you're seeing there.
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Post by VE3VYZ » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:41 pm

I'm not sure I get what you mean - this is blood, not a fragment of a scab.

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Post by mith » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:45 am

if the blood dries as you said, then wouldn't it be a scab?
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Post by VE3VYZ » Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:42 am

Touché. However I also took a sample of fresher, still wet blood, and it looked the same, if a little darker.

EDIT: oh and one more thing: if I buy a new microscope, what kind of magnification will I need to be able to distinguish the individual cells of human skin, blood, etc.? Is 1000x enough? Or would it need to be a real university STM or electron microscope?

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Post by biostudent84 » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:32 pm

1000X Would be enough. Try this. Take a blood sample and put it in salene solution on about a 1:4 ratio of blood to solution. You should get better results.

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Post by VE3VYZ » Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:16 pm

I'll do that and report back, thanks.

What about 400x? Would that be enough to look at individual cells? I'm asking because most high-powered educational microscopes come with a maximum magnification factor of 400.

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Post by VE3VYZ » Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:23 pm

It looks the same, although lighter in colour.
By the way, this is on 100x magnification, not 10x.

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Post by Poison » Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:16 pm

yes 400x is enough. Actually you can see small things in 100 mangification too.
By the way, I haven't seen a blood view like that ( thinking that I worked for 6-7 hours just looking at blood cells, last year in the lab.) It is something different, but not blood. If you don't use some chemicals to color the cells, you will basically see white.
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Post by MrMistery » Wed Oct 12, 2005 5:52 pm

I have a 200x microscope at home and it's enough to see anything...
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Post by sdekivit » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:38 pm

to examine blood under the microscope, you must spread the blood on your object glas, otherwise you can't see separate cells.

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Post by MrMistery » Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:51 pm

Actually you need to make a proper dillution first, i can not remember the actual percentages. Remember: 1 cubic mm of blood has over 4.5 milion cells...
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