Medical research

Antimicrobial protein implicated in Parkinson's disease

An immune system protein that usually protects the body from pathogens is abnormally produced in the brain during Parkinson's disease, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys report. The discovery, published in Free Radical ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Taking the 'killer' out of natural killer cells

The virus responsible for chickenpox and shingles employs a powerful strategy of immune evasion, inhibiting the ability of natural killer cells to destroy infected cells and produce molecules that help control viral infection, ...

Medical research

Zebrafish capture a 'window' on the cancer process

Cancer-related inflammation impacts significantly on cancer development and progression. New research has observed in zebrafish, for the first time, that inflammatory cells use weak spots or micro-perforations in the extracellular ...

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White blood cell

White blood cells (WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.

The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood, making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis, and in leukopenia, this number is much lower than the lower limit. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity, may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia.

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