Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Secret Fascination: Vampirism

What I am fascinated by is actually blood. Yes, its true. I became aware of this while going to school for phlebotomy ( the act of drawing or removing blood from the circulatory system through a cut (incision) or puncture ). I am amazed at the complexity of Blood. From how scabs are made to blood types to how it flows through the heart and body. Below, I listed some information from various websites. Maybe you will enjoy and become fascinated like me, or most likely you will just think I am weirdo!  

Blood Type

drop of blood

A baby receives genetic information at conception. Each parent donates an A, B or O allele, which is one of two or more forms of a gene. Gene dominance is like cooking with spices. Some are more aggressive. Your dish might contain equal amounts of garlic and paprika, but you'll only notice the garlic. Back to your baby's blood -- A and B are both dominant over O, which means a child who receives an A blood type allele from the father and an O allele from the mother will have an A blood type.


If you're wondering who's your baby's daddy, a paternity test can be taken. Because DNA testing is expensive, many couples choose to first compare the baby's blood type to mom's and dad's. Keep in mind that the blood test results aren't able to pinpoint who the exact father is but they can tell who isn't the biological "dad." Here are two examples. In each, both mom and "dad" have blood type O.

  1. The baby's blood type is A, B, or AB. Just like two blue-eyed parents can only have a blue-eyed child, parents with O blood type can only have a baby with blood type O type. The presumed dad is not the real dad.
  2. The baby's blood type is O. In this case the presumed dad might be the real father. But so might millions of other men -- any man with blood type O.

In the second case, the couple may decide to follow up with a DNA test. The table below lists parent's blood types and the possible and impossible combinations for their baby:

baby's possible blood types

There are over 600 known blood types which makes paternity testing far more accurate today than in 1940 when only 4 blood types had been discovered. DNA testing is legally accepted to determine paternity. If the test says that a man isn't the father, then legally he isn't. If the test says that he's the father, there's about a 99.8% chance that he is.

Rh Factor

Just like there are different major blood groups, such as type A and type B blood, there's also an Rh factor group. Each parent carries a set of alleles -- either two +'s, 2 -'s or one of each. Your baby will inherit one from each parent. If either allele is positive, then your baby will be Rh positive.

possible Rh types

The highlighted line shows that two parents who are Rh+ could have an Rh negative child.

Revised from article taken from

The Science of Scabs


Nature's Band-Aid

Scabs are nature's Band-Aid. They start to form less than 10 seconds after you cut yourself. Chemical proteins react with special blood cells called platelets, which cause the blood to get sticky and clump together. This forms a clot that plugs up the cut to stop the bleeding. Once you've clotted, 16 different chemicals work together to dry out the clot and form a scab. The scab keeps out germs while the cells underneath make new skin.

White Blood Cells Chow-Down

White blood cells, which are the cells in charge of fighting off disease, arrive on the scene and chow down on any germs that sneak past the scab, as well as some of your dead blood and skin cells. Yum.
That Icky Yellow Stuff
Piles of living and dead germs and cells form pus, which cause some swelling and puffiness around your wound.
Don't Pick A Scab!
I know your parents always tell you this, but they're not just grossed-out by the bloody mess you'll make. If you pick a scab, you're messing with all the hard work your body is doing to fix itself. If you leave it alone to do its thing, a cool new kind of cell, called a macrophage arrives. They eat all the pus, dead white cells and other debris. Within a week or two, the scab should fall off all by itself.
Scabs - Did U Know?
  • Watch out! Vampire bats have chemicals in their spit that prevent scabs from forming. This makes it easier for them to snack on their victim's blood. So don't get spit on by a vampire bat if you've got an open wound.
  • If you dream about scabs, it could mean that money is coming your way.
    revised from article taken from

  • How Blood Flows Through a Healthy Heart

    This diagram shows how blood flows through a healthy heart.

    Left Side of the Heart
    The blood coming from the lungs to the heart collects in the Left Atrium, filling it up. This initiates a contraction of the walls of the Left Atrium forcing the Mitral Valve to open as the blood gushes into the Left Ventricle.

    The Left Ventricle fills with blood which forces the Mitral Valve to close and initiates the muscle of the Left Ventricle to contract, open the Aortic Valve, and squeeze the blood through the Aortic Valve and on to the body.

    The blood coming out of the Left Ventricle to the Aorta is under high pressure. This pressure is enough to rush it to the different parts of the body at high velocity and give its oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues. The blood comes back from the body to the right side of the heart.


    Right Side of the Heart
    The blood coming from the body to the heart collects in the Right Atrium, filling it up. This initiates a contraction of the walls of the Right Atrium forcing the Tricuspid Valve to open as the blood gushes to the Right Ventricle.

    The Right Ventricle fills with blood which forces the Tricuspid Valve to close and initiates the muscle of the Right Ventricle to contract, open the Pulmonic Valve and squeeze the blood through the Pulmonic Valve and on to the lungs.

    This blood will replenish itself with more oxygen and get rid of the carbon dioxide and return to the left side of the heart to begin another cycle.

    taken from

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