35 (to 50 percent of the cells in blood are red blood cells)

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The importance of the red blood cells is emphasized in a report in US News & World Report. “Red blood cells or erythrocytes account for about 35 to 50 percent of the cells in blood. Red blood cells are filled with hemoglobin, which enables them to deliver oxygen to the tissues of the body. When blood circulates through the lungs, the hemoglobin releases carbon dioxide and picks up oxygen. The oxygen-rich cells then circulate in the body where they deliver oxygen to tissues in exchange for carbon dioxide before cycling back to the lungs. If the red blood cell count falls below 35 percent, the cells can no longer meet the body’s demand for oxygen and anemia can develop. Anemia, which can be associated with some forms of leukemia, can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, or pale skin.”

Powers of 10 project can report on how blood cells develop in the bone marrow and form into red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells.

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