Four New Types of Blood Cells Discovered
Researchers have officially identified four different types of white blood cells – two new dendritic cell subtypes and two monocyte subtypes. Using something called single-cell genomics, “which allows them to look in detail at the differences in gene expression between different cells. In doing so, they gain a much more accurate picture as to what cell types exist,” according to IFLScience.com.
“In this study, scientists have used cutting-edge technologies to find that there are many more types of cell than we originally thought,” Divya Shah, from Wellcome’s Infection and Immunobiology team said. “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.”
The role of dendritic cells is the link the innate and adaptive immune systems, while the monocyte cells – the largest type of white blood cell – play a very different role, forming macrophages, “which go to the site of infection and gobble up and digest the pathogens, removing them from the body,” Josh Davis writes.
Read more about this ground-breaking research in Science.