Watch a video showing a neutrophil destroying a germ

Everybody has white blood cells inside them, these white blood cells help us fight off infection and keep us healthy. In a drop of blood about this size • you have roughly 6,000 neutrophils.  Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. For more information on this topic  see my post “What is a normal blood count?

Some types of chemo reduce the number of neutrophils in your body, this is called neutropenia. What does a neutrophil actually do? Well if you have Quicktime installed and a Broadband connection, you can see by watching this video on biochemweb.org

It shows a neutrophil (the large oblong shaped grey thing) chasing a bacteria (two tiny black dots) through some red blood cells (the large, round blobs).  There is a much more technical description below the video, but basically you are watching a neutrophil “eat” a bacteria (“germ).  In this case the bacteria is called Staphylococcus aureus a bacteria commonly found on your skin.

What is interesting is that this video was actually taken in the 1950′s and isn’t dependent on any of the expensive microscope techniques that are so common these days.  I thought it was cool, what do you think?

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