Vocabulary

plasma red blood cell (erythrocyte) hemoglobin white blood cell (leukocyte)

phagocyte antibody platelet fibrin blood type antigen

Rh factor figure 46-11

Notice that a mature red blood cell (RBC) is disk-shaped and is concave on both sides. A red blood cell is little more than a cell membrane filled with hemoglobin. How is this structure related to its function?

Blood

Blood is a liquid connective tissue. The two main functions of the blood are to transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells and to carry carbon dioxide and other waste materials away from the cells. Blood also transfers heat to the body surface and plays a major role in defending the body against disease.

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