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Blood is vital to most animals. In mammals it transports oxygen and food, carries away waste, and contains the white cells that attack invading microbes. Playing a central role in life, it has had profound cultural and historical significance and plays an important role in religious ritual. Blood was one of the four humours in early Western medicine and is still probably the major diagnostic tool in the doctor's armoury.
In this Very Short Introduction, Chris Cooper analyses the components of blood, explains blood groups, and looks at transfusions, blood tests, and blood-borne diseases. He considers what the future may hold, including the possibility of making artificial blood, and producing blood from stem cells in the laboratory.
1: A history of blood
2: What is blood?
3: Fighting Disease
5: Blood pressure and blood flow
6: Blood transfusion
7: Epilogue: the future of blood
Professor Chris Cooper is a distinguished biochemist with over 20 years research and teaching experience. He has won several prestigious awards and sat on a number of influential national and international committees (including the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Biochemical Society, and the Biophysical Society). His research is regularly featured in local and national radio, television and newspapers, and he has appeared as an invited expert on BBC2's Horizon, and Radio 4's The World Tonight and Material World. This is his second book for OUP, having previously written Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat (2013).