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Thread: What would happen if...

  1. #1 What would happen if... 
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    I'm new to biology and I studied in school that a red blood cell doesn't have a nucleus.

    I don't know whether this is a stupid question or not, but can anyone please tell me what would happen to the human body if red blood cells do have nuclei?

    Actually, I don't even know why red blood cells don't need nuclei, .......


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  3. #2  
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    Hey,


    As far as I know scientists do not fully understand why our RBCs do not have nuclei - Perhaps it is because they just are not needed. It is the case for all mammals. All of the reactions that directly involve the RBCs are passive (Correct?). If they did have nuclei I do not see what difference it would make anyway.

    It's not a stupid question. Rather, it is intersting.


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  4. #3  
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    Other cells, like platelets, also lack nuclei. As for what would happen if they did have a nucleus, perhaps they would be able to divide. But that is only wild speculation. RBCs are smaller cells and adding a nucleus to one of them would increase their size and likely distort their shape. This could cause them to get stuck in the capillaries and cause all sorts of problems, perhaps comparable to sickle cell disease.
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  5. #4  
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    RBS dnt have Nuclei's in them so there is more room for oxygen and their bi-concave shape allows more room for even more oxygen
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    Forum Masters Degree invert_nexus's Avatar
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    Interesting question. And one which I found answered quite well here:
    http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives...9937.Cb.r.html

    And. The ever-popular wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell

    (Previous poster got it right, of course. Just thought more detail might be appreciated.)
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley.C
    RBS dnt have Nuclei's in them so there is more room for oxygen and their bi-concave shape allows more room for even more oxygen
    and yet they are still so inefficent. nano-canisters that could hold oxygen and flow through the bloodstream would allow 30-minute breaths. and think of athelete abuse. no breathing for a whole 400-IM swim race!



    red blood cells dont have nuclei because they just "go with the flow" so to speak. oxygen clings to them as they go to the lungs, as they make contact with cells, it is deposited. platelets dont have them because all they are used for are making scabs. they dry, other platelets bunch up. a nucleus would have no function.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Another consideration might be that the presence of nucleii would make them susceptible to cancer not to mention a target for viruses. (As most of you know, a virus requires the reproductive machinery of its target cell to carry out its program) When you consider the great numbers of these cells (red blood cells and platelets), then it is easy to see that this susceptibility along with the reduction of size would make the development of such cells without a nucleii a decent advantage for their functionality and for the organisms survival.
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    Forum Freshman Captain_Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Another consideration might be that the presence of nucleii would make them susceptible to cancer not to mention a target for viruses. (As most of you know, a virus requires the reproductive machinery of its target cell to carry out its program) When you consider the great numbers of these cells (red blood cells and platelets), then it is easy to see that this susceptibility along with the reduction of size would make the development of such cells without a nucleii a decent advantage for their functionality and for the organisms survival.
    Well perhaps that's how they came to not have nucleii. Once upon a time RBCs were just like any other cell until some mutated individual ended up with nucleii-free RBCs and over time the old ones with nucleii were hit with more cancer and viruses making them slowly die off...
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Oh and another thought. In addition to their numbers, their mobility would make the cancer and viral threats in the case of red blood cells particularly extreme. Cancer does affect the white blood cells (Leukemia) and this is a particularly deadly form of cancer even though these cells are far far less numerous than the red blood cells. Similarly HIV is a virus which attacks only certain types of white bloods cells and everyone knows how deadly that is too.
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    Mammalian red blood cells are basically bags of hemoglobin. They are optimized to (among other things) hold as much as they can and still function properly.

    As for some of the previous posts, platelets are not really cells. They are fragments of megakaryocytes (which themselves are polyploid and are often found having 32- or 64n) (that's quite a bit of DNA).

    The chances of red blood cells with a nucleus becoming tumorigenic would be rare (even for cancer percentages). Most cancers actually develop when stem cells are mutagenized; not differentiated cells with a short lifespan such as RBCs. For instance, if you look at leukemia or other myeloid cancers, it is the hematapoietic stem cells or their immediate descendants that start the clonal cancer.
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    also, your body won't need red bonemarrow (don't know in english exactly).

    they would have a longer lifespan.

    you will sufficate and die in a few months. Because you need the short lifespan of the red blood, because the hemoglobine get's inactivated very easy. CO or other active oxigen particles will connect to it, and will become inactive.
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    arent rbc's denucleated for mobility purposes, in that, a nuclues is a heavy core of DNA and most of that is junk, that dragging it around your circulatory system would be labourous and require ATP? Also, dont they need to fit through small gaps, and would need granular nuclei to do so?
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  14. #13 hmm 
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    i get it....thx guys...
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    RBC's have a short life span of, approx, 120 days. they can be called as programed O2 carriers which function for 120 days and r degraded after that period. So no need 2 invest a very costly nucleus in a thing which needs to be degraded.
    NOW another question arises. Are R.BC living or non living?
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