• About I’m a Scientist

    I’m a Scientist is like school science lessons meet the X Factor! School students choose which scientist gets a prize of £500 to communicate their work.

    Scientists and students talk on this website. They both break down barriers, have fun and learn. But only the students get to vote.

    This is the Blood Zone. It has a range of scientists studying all different topics. Who gets the prize? YOU decide!

  • About this Zone

    Blood is the fluid in our bodies that carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and takes away waste products such as carbon dioxide. It makes up about 7% of the weight of the human body! Blood contains three different types of cell:

    1. Red_White_Blood_cells

      Red and white blood cells look pretty different don’t they? Image by WhatamIdoing for Wikimedia

      Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body

    2. White blood cells are part of the immune system and help to fight infection

    3. Platelets help blood to clot to stop bleeding when your skin is cut

    All of these cell types float in a liquid called blood plasma, which is mostly water but also contains nutrients, gases, proteins, glucose and hormones. Blood is 60% plasma and 40% blood cells.

    Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin, which contains iron. This iron combines with oxygen to make our blood red, and without it our red blood cells wouldn’t be able to carry oxygen. So why do our veins look blue? Well apparently this is all to do with the way light is reflected back to the eye.

    There are around 30 recognised blood groups, though we usually use the simplified ABO system with 4 different types, O, A, B and AB. In the UK, O is the most common (apparently Elvis Presley was in this group) and AB is the rarest (Barack Obama is this type).