Seen this? I never had before today. This video is taken from a 16-mm movie made in the 1950s by the late David Rogers at Vanderbilt University. Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells. They’re formed in your bone marrow. Their job is to fight infection in your body. There are several types of white blood cells, and, assuming you’re a healthy adult, you have between 4,500 and 11,000 white blood cells in every cubic millimeter of your blood. Neutrophils, in particular, have the job of defending the body against harmful bacteria. They kill bacteria by ingesting them and can ingest five to 20 bacteria in their lifetime … apparently, after a bit of a chase.
Bottom line: Video of something happening in your own body right now: crawling neutrophil, a type of white blood cell, chasing a bacterium. Isn’t it cool?
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.