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Blood cell formation, also called Hematopoiesis, or Hemopoiesis,

continuous process by which the cellular constituents of blood are

replenished as needed. Blood cells are divided into three groups: the red
blood cells (erythrocytes), the white blood cells (leukocytes), and the blood
platelets (thrombocytes). The white blood cells are subdivided into three
broad groups: granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes.
Blood cells do not originate in the bloodstream itself but in specific blood-
forming organs, notably the marrow of certain bones. In the human adult,
the bone marrow produces all of the red blood cells, 60–70 percent of the
white cells (i.e., the granulocytes), and all of the platelets. The lymphatic
tissues, particularly the thymus, the spleen, and the lymph nodes, produce
the lymphocytes(comprising 20–30 percent of the white cells). The
reticuloendothelial tissues of the spleen, liver, lymph nodes, and other
organs produce the monocytes (4–8 percent of the white cells). The
platelets, which are small cellular fragments rather than complete cells, are
formed from bits of the cytoplasm of the giant cells (megakaryocytes) of the
bone marrow.

Arteries and veins

The arteries carry blood from the heart while veins return blood to it. With both, their
structure is related to their function.

Blood in the arteries is under high pressure generated by the heart. The arteries have:
 thick outer walls
 thick layers of muscle and elastic fibres.

The blood in veins is under lower pressure than the blood in arteries. The veins have:
 thin walls
 thin layers of muscle and elastic fibres.
Unlike arteries, veins have one-way valves in them to keep the blood moving in the correct
Cross-section of a vein


Capillary cross-section shows thin walls

The function of capillaries is to allow food and oxygen to diffuse to cells while waste is
diffused from cells. Capillaries have thin walls - only one cell thick - that allow them to
effectively perform their function.