Blood and components of blood

How do I go about identifying the various components of blood?

  1. Blood consists of how many components?
  2. Name them.
  3. Describe each.
  4. What is the function of each component?
  5. How would each component of blood appear under the light microscope?
  6. How would each component of blood appear under the electron microscope?
  7. What is the relative sizes of each component? (what is used as measurement?)

You have to look at each of the following, in order and without skipping a step. If you skip a step and not do a complete evaluation at each step, you will get the wrong answer. You will have diagnosed your patient dead.

  1. Nucleus
    1. Is there a nucleus? No – move on, it is not a white blood cell.
    2. If there is a nucleus, what is the shape of the nucleus?
  2. Cytoplasm
    1. Can I see cytoplasm?
    2. How much cytoplasm is visible, relative to the overall cell?
  3. Granules
    1. Can I see granules?
    2. How did the granules stain?
      1. Similar to the nucleus?
      2. Similar to the red blood cells?
  4. Size
    1. Big?
    2. Small?
    3. Medium?
    4. Relative to what?

For each of these steps, one or more of the five alternatives will receive a vote. At the end, one of the five possible white blood cells will have started to differentiate from the others. This is most likely the correct answer. It is important to keep in mind the variety of cells. If you follow this strict path, the alternatives will stand out, and can then be evaluated on their own.

Differential Count Diagram

Diagram of white blood cell characteristics. Blue arches indicate possible conflicts.

Red blood cells can be viewed using a light microscope, or electron microscope.

  1. Make a line drawing of a red blood cell viewed from the top, using a light microscope.
  2. Make a line drawing of a red blood cell viewed from the side, using a light microscope.
  3. Make a line drawing of a red blood cell viewed using a transmission electron microscope.

Platelets are involved with blood clotting. What would they look like under a light and electron microscope?

Which eight component was not dealt with? Why not?


If you have just read through the material above, good! You now have an idea of what to look for when studying the components of blood. To revise, take a pen and paper, and answer each question above, WITHOUT looking at the answers. Then evaluate your answers as you continue. Also formulate your own questions from the information above. The questions need not be very elaborate. But write them out, and answer them on a separate sheet. By writing the answers.

Cartilage and Bone

Use this resource to add to your own work and assess your knowledge.

  1. Complete online: Terminology – Cartilage and Bone
  2. Print and complete: Terminology – Cartilage and Bone
  3. Test yourself using these supply of keywords and links. You should expand these examples, using keywords contained in the Cartilage and Bone crossword puzzle. You can also use Google Image Search or Bing, if preferred.
    1. Cartilage
    2. Hyaline cartilage
    3. Fibrocartilage
    4. Elastic cartilage
    5. Bone histology
    6. Bone cells
    7. Bone development
  4. For all work, use the framework:
    1. What is it?
    2. Where is it?
    3. What does it do?
  5. Use the links above. Look at the images. Describe what you see – on paper, NOT in your mind. Or speak it out. Everything you see, not just the first obvious identification. To extend the framework:
    1. What cells does it contain?
    2. What does each cell do?
  6. Review for slides to follow soon. Apparently power is out at my house, so I may not be able to finish the Cartilage and Bone slides this evening. This is a temporary space below, making the images available while I am working on the final product. I will have it up at the latest Sunday morning. The revision resource is now available. The gallery has been removed. I am having trouble with the display of some of the text, but it is relatively obvious what to do. For best results:
    1. Use pen and paper to make notes.
    2. On the first run, do not use notes or other resources. Make an attempt to complete the exercise as if you are doing a strict class test on your own.
    3. Expand on all terminology – do not stop at the first and obvious thought that comes to mind.
  7. Revise Cartilage and Bone Histology.
  8. Resources used to compile the exercise include:
    1. Histology Atlas by by Yves Clermont, Michael Lalli & Zsuzsanna Bencsath-Makkai.
    2. Material from HistoWeb.
    3. Material from OpenStax’s Anatomy and Physiology handbook.


Connective tissue posters

Below are photos of the mini-posters presented in class. I have not had time to add individual comments. For now, you can use these to supplement your own work. Also make a careful assessment of each; compare the alternative approaches; and decide how you would improve on each. Take the best elements of each and apply to the others. The complete collection can be downloaded as well: Complete collection as a zip file (55 Meg).