Blood cell family trees trace how production changes with aging

Blood cells make up the majority of cells in the human body. They perform critical functions and their dysfunction is implicated in many important human diseases, from anemias to blood cancers like leukemia. The many types of blood cells include red blood cells that carry oxygen, platelets that promote clotting, as well as the myriad types of immune cells that protect our bodies from threats such as viruses and bacteria.

What these diverse types of blood cells have in common is that they are all produced by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs must keep producing blood cells in large quantities throughout our entire lives in order to continually replenish our bodies’ supply. Researchers want to better understand HSCs and the dynamics of how they produce the many blood cell types, both in order to understand the fundamentals of human blood production and to understand how blood production changes during aging…
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