New Types Of Blood Cells Discovered In Human Body

Posted: Apr 23 2017, 11:57pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 24 2017, 12:02am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
New Types of Blood Cells Discovered in Human Body
Credit: ACS Nano

The discovery will help improve researchers understanding of immune responses both in health and disease

The blood running through our veins is made up of billions of specialized cells and is responsible for many important functions inside our body, including carrying oxygen and essential nutrients to our other cells and protecting them against viruses bacterial and even cancer cells.

Researchers have now discovered new subtypes of blood cells in human immune system. These are two new dendritic cell subtypes and two monocyte subtypes.

The new cells were discovered by using single-cell genomics – a new technique poised to revolutionize our capacity to understand genomic diversity. The new technique is so powerful that it can detect previously unrecognized and rare types of cells that would be otherwise difficult to find.

Immune cells are usually identified by a set of proteins that are found on their surface. The new technique, however, relies on genes that cell express. The discovery suggests that there could be many more types of cells yet to be found.

“Two important white blood cells types in our body help defend us from infection dendritic cells and monocytes. In the study, researchers have used cutting-edge technologies to find that there are many more types of cell than we originally thought,” said Divya Shah, from Wellcome's Infection and Immunobiology team.

“The next step is to find out what each of these cell types do in our immune system, both when we’re healthy and during disease.”

Understanding the role of these blood cells could lead to more accurate monitoring of immune response in humans.

The newfound subtypes also mark the first major discovery of cells since the commencement of Human Cell Atlas initiative. This is the first project of its kind and is aiming to describe every cell in human body as a reference map to accelerate progress in biomedical science. It would revolutionize how medical professionals understand, diagnose and treat diseases.

The new strategy could be applied to identify more cells in human body and to expand immune cell atlas.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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