Bio-Red Blood Cell Journey

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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My Journey Through the Human Body My name is Ruby; I am a red blood cell. I am a dazzling ruby red color (hence my name) with a small area of inner pallor and I am very small: only about 6 µm in diameter. I get my red color from a protein chemical called hemoglobin, which is bright red. Hemoglobin not only gives me my beautiful color, it also contains the element iron, which makes it a good vehicle for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. I have a very important role in the circulatory system of your body. Actually, it is probably the most important of all the blood cells. I carry oxygen to all parts of your body and tissues and I also return carbon dioxide from your tissues to your lungs.

So I bet you are wondering how I do this very important role! I enter the blood vessels through the heart's main artery called the aorta making sure that I am full of oxygen.

The forceful contraction of your heart's left ventricle forces me into your aorta which then branches into many smaller arteries, which run throughout your body. The inside layer of your artery is very smooth, allowing me to flow quickly. The outside layer of your artery is very strong, allowing me to flow forcefully. I enter the capillaries full of oxygen, where the oxygen and nutrients are released. The waste products are collected and the waste-rich blood flows into your veins in order to circulate back to your heart and then allow the exchange of gases in your lungs. I eventually pass through your kidneys, which filter much of the waste from the blood. I also pass through your small intestine. From the small intestine I meet with many of my family and...