Beth talks blood: Part 8

What is cardiovascular disease?Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. It is typically associated with a build of fatty deposits inside blood vessels known as atherosclerosis and an increased risk of blood clots known as thrombosis [1-2]. It can also be associated with damage to arteries inContinue reading “Beth talks blood: Part 8”

Beth talks blood: part 7

Blood & the immune system:The immune system is essential for our survival, without it our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites and more. It is made of up of organs, cells and chemicals that fight infection. It can distinguish our tissue from foreign tissue i.e. self from non-self. Dead and faultyContinue reading “Beth talks blood: part 7”

Beth talks blood: part 6

Let’s talk about fat… Fats that circulate in the blood are called lipids (fat-soluble components of living cells). Cholesterol and triglycerides are both lipids that have essential roles in the body but in excess they can be harmful [1-3].  What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is required to build cell walls and to produce hormones and vitaminContinue reading “Beth talks blood: part 6”

Beth talks blood: Part 5

We all know that I’m a platelet girl at heart but we mustn’t forget the blood coagulation cascade, it is a vital part of haemostasis. Platelets and coagulation factors work together to prevent bleeding in incidences such as vascular injury. So one can’t be without the other and like most systems in the body, itContinue reading “Beth talks blood: Part 5”

Beth talks blood: Part 4

Platelets (or thrombocytes) are tiny blood cells that help our body to form clots to stop bleeding! Platelets are pretty important for normal haemostasis (arrest of bleeding), without platelets we’d bleed out from the smallest of injuries [1, 2].   Max Schultze in 1865 first described platelets as “spherules” which he noted were much smallerContinue reading “Beth talks blood: Part 4”

Beth talks blood: Part 2

Blood is constantly being made by the cells inside our bone marrow. This means our bodies can usually replace any blood lost through small cuts or wounds. However, when a lot of blood is lost through larger wounds it needs to be replaces via a blood transfusion (donated by other people). In 1628 British physicianContinue reading “Beth talks blood: Part 2”

Beth talks blood: Part 1

What is blood?Blood is actually a tissue, its made up of a variety of different cells with different purposes! It’s a very important bodily fluid in humans and other animals that deliverers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those cells [1-2]. Blood is essentialContinue reading “Beth talks blood: Part 1”

The importance of cervical screenings

Here in the UK, if you’re 25 or over and have a cervix you should be invited to have a cervical screening test by your GP. If for whatever reason you fit the criteria but are not invited you must speak to your GP to make an appointment, it could save your life.  The topicContinue reading “The importance of cervical screenings”

Returning to the labs

It’s been a few weeks since starting our phased return to the labs here at Leeds. I’m very fortunate to be part of the early phase of returning. I’ve been very eager to get back in the lab, I definitely missed the lab during lockdown but I was also pretty nervous about heading back. It’sContinue reading “Returning to the labs”

COVID-19 & Platelets

I’m sure you’re overwhelmed with the amount of information out there about the current coronavirus outbreak but while it can be overwhelming, it’s really great to see the work that scientists are doing to tackle this outbreak. Having information that’s readily available to the general public is great and helps to bridge the gap betweenContinue reading “COVID-19 & Platelets”