Our Inner Ocean

January 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

Did you ever wonder what plasma and sea water have in common? Considering it’s our “inner ocean” and that life may have originated in the sea, they are very similar. The only differences are in the salinity (more in sea water = a higher osmotic pressure) and plasma has some proteins and organic compounds not found in sea water.

Our plasma is 90 – 92% water (much fresher water than the ocean) and the other 8 – 10% is the materials it transports to and from all cells (fibrinogen, sugars, hormones, amino acids, cholesterol, lipids, urea & other waste products).

More than half of our blood is plasma and the rest (35 – 40%) is red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. So what does all of this mean?? It means that 50% of the time we are donating, collecting, processing and distributing… water! Just like Alhambra or Evian. Well, maybe more like vitamin water (with urea & organic stuff in it).