Medical research

Antibody could increase cure rate for blood, immune disorders

An antibody-based treatment can gently and effectively eliminate diseased blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow to prepare for the transplantation of healthy stem cells, according to a study in mice by researchers at ...

Neuroscience

Study shows benefits of delayed cord clamping in healthy babies

A five-minute delay in the clamping of healthy infants' umbilical cords results in increased iron stores and brain myelin in areas important for early-life functional development, a new University of Rhode Island nursing ...

Medical research

New method improves transplant safety in mice

Blood stem cell transplants—also known as bone-marrow transplants—can cure many blood, immune, autoimmune, and metabolic disorders, from leukemia to sickle-cell disease. But to make sure the healthy blood cells "take," ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin?

Tungiasis, a tropical disease associated with poverty, is caused by the penetration of female sand fleas into a person's skin, usually in their toes or feet. This week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers report ...

Medical research

No bleeding required: Anemia detection via smartphone

Biomedical engineers have developed a smartphone app for the non-invasive detection of anemia. Instead of a blood test, the app uses photos of someone's fingernails taken on a smartphone to accurately measure how much hemoglobin ...

Medical research

Gene therapy for blood disorders

Gene therapy holds a lot of promise in medicine. If we could safely alter our own DNA, we might eliminate diseases our ancestors passed down to us.

Genetics

Perspectives on gene editing

Medicine is at a turning point, on the cusp of major change as disruptive technologies such as gene, RNA, and cell therapies enable scientists to approach diseases in new ways. The swiftness of this change is being driven ...

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Anemia (/əˈniːmiə/; also spelled anaemia and anæmia; from Greek ἀναιμία anaimia, meaning lack of blood) is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin deficiency.

Because hemoglobin (found inside RBCs) normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.

Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few. The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).

There are two major approaches: the "kinetic" approach which involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach which groups anemia by red blood cell size. The morphologic approach uses a quickly available and low cost lab test as its starting point (the MCV). On the other hand, focusing early on the question of production may allow the clinician to expose cases more rapidly where multiple causes of anemia coexist.

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