It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood – Shakespeare.

It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood – Shakespeare.

Blood is thicker than water, but it sure does die young. Did you know that the average red blood cell lives not more than 120 days, and 2 million of them die every second?

Old age and the passage of time teach all things – Sophocles

The oldest intact human red blood cells were discovered in May 2012 in Ötzi the Iceman, a natural mummy of a man who died around 3255 BCE.

My love is like a red, red rose – Robert Burns

Blood is red because of the spectral properties of iron, four of which are attached to each of ~270 million molecules of hemoglobin in each red blood cell. Each iron in heme ferries one molecule of oxygen.

She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon – Groucho Marx

Plastinated blood vessels of the human face are seen at the Human Body exhibition in Ostend, Belgium. Plastination is a technique that replaces water and fat with plastic, to preserve detailed anatomy. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters


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91 Responses to It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood – Shakespeare.

  1. Jaz Emminger says:

    I vant to suck your blood! Blah! Blah!

  2. Rajini Rao says:

    Only if you are that guy in Twilight. Whatsisname, good looking.

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    Edward Cullen, my kid informed me.

  4. Chad Haney says:

    Rajini Rao wrote a grant proposal looking at aged red blood cells.  Annually there are approximately 5 million patients requiring blood transfusions. It is well documented that as blood is being stored, there are morphological and metabolic changes (it’s called blood storage lesion). Blood storage lesion is well documented in vitro. The RBC membrane changes with length of storage along with a lower pH and an increased potential for creating reactive oxygen species.  The changes that are reversible have a reversibility that is inversely proportional to the length of storage.  

  5. The oldest intact red blood cells, or yhe oldest intact human red blood cells?

  6. Rajini Rao says:

    Feisal Kamil , listening now 🙂

    Chad Haney , is there impairment of blood carrying capacity as well in the aged blood? I’m guessing yes?

  7. Jaz Emminger says:

    What does that have to do with Twilight?

  8. Chad Haney says:

    Rajini Rao you mean oxygen carrying capacity? If I remember right, it is slightly reduced but it’s not the main issue.

  9. Rajini Rao says:

    Haha, yes, O2 carrying capacity (I’m distracted!).

    Víktor Bautista i Roca , here is the link

  10. Jaz Emminger says:

    Everything Raji posts is fascinating…

  11. Chad Haney says:

    I am too Rajini Rao I keep typing like an idiot. Where instead of wear, etc. Time for me to pack it in and walk my dog, have dinner, etc. BTW, my wife doesn’t believe in the Romney/Ryan model, i.e., she’s not at home already making me dinner.

  12. Rajini Rao says:

    Well, if someone is going to bite me, he had better be at least as good looking as Whatisname Cullen. Aren’t they supposed to be vampires in Twilight? You are making me doubt my teen culture expertise, Jaz Emminger !

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    You need a binder full of women, Chad Haney .

  14. Chad Haney says:

    Good idea. Shhh, don’t tell my wife.

  15. I like my vamps feral, personally. ’30 Days of Night’ feral.

  16. Chad Haney says:

    The Otzi man wasn’t a gypsy but I’ll share this Rajini.

    Gardens & Villa – Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac Cover)

  17. Chad Haney says:

    I like mine Ferric. Ferryl is too radical.

  18. Rajini Rao says:

    ZOMG, Feisal Kamil . True Blood, you say?

  19. Rajini Rao says:

    An amazing find, Víktor Bautista i Roca , thanks! I read an interesting article estimating the half life of DNA (around 520 years) which effectively places a limit on the oldest clonable DNA one can hope to, we’re not likely to be able to revive this mammoth or dinosaur a la Jurassic Park.

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    ❤ that song and Fleetwood Mac, Chad Haney .

  21. Rajini Rao says:

    I did see that cover, Feisal Kamil …I thought it was a TV series, yes? 🙂

  22. Rajini Rao says:

    If the oxygen carrying capacity is not much diminished, why are the old blood cells bad, Chad Haney ? Do the superoxide radicals escape and kill other cells.

  23. Rajini Rao says:

    Yes! Vampires on airplanes 🙂

  24. Plastination – you mean like Joan Rivers?

  25. Rajini Rao says:

    David Archer  I thought she was the ice age mummy 🙂

  26. Rajini Rao says:

    Gnotic Pasta  “The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature of −5 ºC, effectively every bond would be destroyed after a maximum of 6.8 million years. The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier — perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.”

    One could nitpick a bit and speculate if other environments may preserve DNA better, such as amber. Still, dinosaurs flourished about 65 million years ago, so no real life Jurassic Amusement Park.

  27. Rajini Rao Knowing nothing about this, I can’t restrain myself from asking: couldn’t you extract a signal (viable and complete DNA sample) from the noise (i.e. decayed samples) by comparative analysis of a large number of DNA samples, discarding damaged segments? Presuming that the damage to individual chromosomes is partial, of course.

  28. Rajini Rao says:

    The consensus on this post seems to be that I must watch True Blood, Kay Shaw 😉

    David Archer , at some point in time, virtually all the DNA will be damaged (by exponential decay) so that in a finite amount of sample there will be nothing that is not corrupted. Theoretically, if one had access to very large sample base, then one could patch the sequence together. But these samples are rare to begin with.

    The key seems to be how much starting material one has, methinks.

  29. Rajini Rao So maybe Ötzi has a hope? Pretty large sample base there. 

    Exponential decay – that sounds bad.

  30. Kevin Clift says:

    I like Feisal Kamil’s suggestion of Brian Ferry for several reasons. You mentioned ferries in the text, then there’s ferrous and ferric as noted and then a clever choice of music.  It reminds me of Asimov’s quick triple pun:

  31. Feral fiends fear the fearsome ferrule of my ferric falchion! 

    There, I fixed it.

  32. Rajini Rao says:

    That was a challenging pun, Kevin Clift . I had to peek at the explanation 🙂

  33. Rajini Rao says:

    I’ve bookmarked the Asimov book for a more leisurely and entertaining read!

  34. I love blood. however i have a strange fear if the blood vessels it flows through. even thinking about it now makes me cringe!

  35. Rajini Rao says:

    Margaret Ross , do you fear that the blood vessels are too fragile and could break? I quite like the way veins look through the translucency of skin…especially the wrist. Such a pretty blue 🙂

  36. Feisal Kamil Uh, no.  

    Any pun requiring exegesis is, to my tastes, defective — and I’ve made plenty of defective puns.  Sorry.  

    De gustibus non disputandum est.

  37. no, actually. I just don’t like them for some reason! go figure!

  38. They’re also potentially tasteless, William McGarvey. Indisputably. 

  39. David Archer Ah, yes, insipid humour, another specialty of mine.

  40. Rajini Rao says:

    Sometimes they are quite salty , William McGarvey 😉

  41. Rajini Rao That only happens when they’re thought of as something you might find on a fine hotel’s pillows — you know, like condom mints.

  42. Rajini Rao says:

    Let the pun a-salt commence 🙂

  43. What adjective might describe a fresh water anencephalic?


  44. Prepare to be peppered with corn-y affronts to taste and decorum. 

  45. Rajini Rao says:

    Did you hear the one about the Viking who returned from his travels to find his name gone from the town register? The official apologized profusely for the error, exclaiming, “I must have taken Leif off my census”.

  46. A kernel of truth there, David Archer , but let’s see if Rajini Rao ‘s wearing her tassels tonight.

  47. Rajini Rao says:

    You know I’m a vegetarian, make no missed steak. 

  48. I’m thinking of a needy Iowa farmer stuck in Italy, desperate for grain, saying, “Friends, Romans, countrymen — lend me your ears!”

  49. Rajini Rao says:

    I cannot sympathize. As they say, those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

  50. Rajini Rao Eye rib you about that, Rajini, but keep watch on your flank.  The Baltimore Symphony conductor may provide you with some Marin Aid.  

    (BOO!  Defective!  

    Marin Alsop is her name.)

  51. Rajini Rao Even if they re-heat it, they’re most likely glutens for punishment.

  52. Rajini Rao says:

    Alstop you right there, William McGarvey ! It’s rare to find a missed steak when we meet , it’s usually so well done.

  53. Rajini Rao says:

    I’ll have to make like a banana and split, good night! 🙂

  54. But last night I had to scrape the steak tartare off my teeth…

    And good night, Rajini Rao !  Fun while it lasted…

  55. Rajini Rao says:

    Hate to dessert you, we’ll ketchup later.

  56. Sorry guys – I chickened out. Didn’t think I could pullet off with my poultry puns. 

  57. Almost sad that Google Translate has improved so much – used to be a great source of hilarity… ;-p

  58. Good morning  frieands   today      happy           very very   beautiful   your pohto   

  59. David Archer , you clearly haven’t seen what Google Translate does with Asian languages, like Hindi or Chinese. There-and-back translations tend to be complete … er … double takes.

  60. I beg your pardon     languages    hindi     kannda     mahrati    english

    it was all by mistake  please  excuse me

  61. Bloody hell, Feisal Kamil , you certainly know how to pick them.

  62. Chad Haney says:

    Rajini Rao I forgot to get back to your question. The problem is that the clinical implications of storage lesion are being debated. One of the main drawbacks of these clinical studies is the use of retrospective analysis rather than prospective. Here’s my friend’s paper to describe what happens in a Guinea pig model. He describes the cascade of issues starting with hemolytic events and ending multi-organ dysfunction (particularly renal failure).

    Safe travels.

  63. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, Chad Haney . Very interesting information, it is a pretty thorough study and a nice contrast to Feisal Kamil young blood link 🙂

  64. Chad Haney says:

    I got a 40 on that grant and it was a mechanism that you can’t resubmit. 😦

  65. Dunno, Jyoti Dahiya – I spent a few minutes trying to break mundanity into comedy and couldn’t (english > hindi > russian > korean > english). It used to be much more entertaining. 

  66. If nothing else, this thread reminds me to run over and donate some nice, fresh blood to Canadian Blood Services.

  67. Rajini Rao says:

    Was it a limited window for applications, Chad Haney ? 40 is much better than unscored and can be pulled up to funding range in the revision.

  68. Chad Haney says:

    There are no resubs for that mechanism (Director’s New Innovator Award) and I don’t qualify anymore anyway. I’m no longer junior enough. I rewrote it for an R21 in NHLBI. However, that was a specific RFA and I guess I didn’t reshape my proposal good enough. It was scored even lower for the R21.

  69. Rajini Rao says:

    Ouch, peer review is cruel! Dealing with a manuscript review now.

  70. Chad Haney says:

    I just reviewed a re-sub. I stated that it was OK as-is, even though the authors still don’t understand my main objection. So I just got an email to review it yet again. The problem is the editor is someone I work with. Good thing I’m leaving.

  71. Rajini Rao says:

    In our case (my student’s paper), one reviewer thought it was great, another completely mischaracterized a normal cell line that we cultured and differentiated in 3D as a “highly metastatic cancer line”. It went downhill from there. I am rebutting vigorously 🙂

  72. Chad Haney says:

    Ironically I had a manuscript where one reviewer was just being an ass. He/she must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We addressed the concerns as best we could on the re-sub. The reviewer said (as I just said above) that we still didn’t address her/his point but didn’t want to see it again and accepted it as-is. Naturally, the editor sent the last revision back to him/her and that reviewer decided to reject it outright. So we had to right a nasty letter to the editor. You shouldn’t accept a manuscript then reject it.

  73. Rajini Rao says:

    Sheesh. Still, it does feel good to write politely nasty letters 🙂

  74. Chad Haney says:

    I think this is relevant, because I think you do.

    Peter Frampton – Do You Feel Like We Do

  75. Rajini Rao says:

    Oh, I do. My college girl crush 😛

  76. Chad Haney says:

    Cue Tom Lee reminder of said crush.

  77. Rajini Rao says:

    LOL, do I have no secrets? I’m not revealing any more.

  78. Chad Haney says:

    In that case, Dan how about a roundabout, i.e., some circulation.  Roundabout

  79. Rajini Rao says:

    Only Frampton can wear pink satin pants and look cute. They go with his curls. There, I said it and don’t care who knows 😀

  80. Only Frampton and me, Rajini Rao. ;-p

  81. Rajini Rao says:

    Your octopussy tentacles would look spectacular sheathed in pink tights, David Archer ! 🙂

  82. Chad Haney says:

    Hehe Rajini Rao You’ve been hanging around Mr Kamil too much.

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