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My Life as a Blood Cell

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Published: 12 May 2022

Pharmacology Matters is delighted again to hold the annual Junior Science Writing Competition. The competition was for those between 7-11 years old and the only constraint on content was that entries must be related to science. Science is how we ask questions and collect evidence to better understand how the universe works. Whether that is by exploring where medicines come from, how stars are made, how bamboo grows, how we keep our homes warm in the winter, or why our bodies work the way they do – science is everywhere.

As usual we received lots of fantastic submissions on a broad range of science topics. The Judges were impressed by the creativity and curiosity of our young writers. Well done to everyone who entered!

Our panel of judges awarded first place to ‘My Life As A Blood Cell’ by Emily Legge (11). Our first runner up was Henry Dawson (11) with ‘Jellyfish’, and second runner up was Reuben Waitt (11) with ‘Chemistry Can Clean Corroded Coins

The Society recognises the importance of inspiring and encouraging the next generation of pharmacologists - whether that be through exploring how medicines are made, or supporting future pharmacologists to share exciting science - just like Emily, Henry and Reuben. If you'd like to get involved with inspiring the next generation of pharmacologists, please get in touch with the team at  - we would love to hear your ideas.
 


My Life as a Blood Cell

I woke up this morning as a new blood cell.  
 
This shouldn’t bother me, as I should be used to it by now, because every 120 days I travel to a spleen or a liver to be ‘recycled’- and I begin my cycle again. My owner is now already three years old, so that's nine times being recycled. Sadly, I’m not. It's very unnerving waking up as someone else, but all of us have a job to do: transport oxygen around the body and remove carbon dioxide. Easy, right?  
 
I’m now deoxygenated and need to get oxygen from the lungs. First, I have to go through the heart. My siblings, the red blood cells, are flowing alongside me. We make up over 44% of your blood, so we’re very important, although our cousins, the white blood cells and the platelets, insist they’re better than us! The only thing that makes up more of the blood than us is the plasma, and it’s just a gloopy liquid making up 55% of the blood. Even the plasma is red because of us, whereas without us it would be yellow.  
 
Right now I’m in the capillaries- which are the smallest blood vessels- connecting from the arteries and veins. The heart is a good lullaby, and pumps at a steady beat to pump blood around the body and to the lungs. Since I’m deoxygenated blood, I have to go through the right side of the heart. So I go through the arteries and through the right atrium, then flow through the right ventricle and finally go through the pulmonary artery and out. I’m not tired, but I know I will be in a hundred days, and I also know I have to get as much done as I can, meaning I have to head to the lungs to be oxygenated. Beep, beep, beep. Lucy, our body, has fallen and has gotten a cut. Luckily I am on the other side of the body, because otherwise I might have flowed out of the cut. Fortunately, it’s not my job to clot the blood- that’s the platelets job- and I don’t have to fight the infection or clear the debris- that’s the white blood cells job. By the time I’ve been oxygenated in the lungs, the blood is clotted and debris is cleared. Emergency is over. Hmm, maybe the white blood cells and platelets are important after all. Anyway, my next stop is the veins with all the other oxygenated blood cells. I run through the left atrium and race through the left ventricle. Finally, I travel through the aorta. Next stop: the body! Oh, and then I will begin my journey… all over again.

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Published: 12 May 2022

About the author

Emily Legge


Emily Legge was aged 11 when she wrote her entry and has now turned 12. She is from Beaconsfield. Emily is originally from South Africa and moved to the UK 3 years ago. She has settled in well, but still misses the sun. She loves reading and writing stories, is addicted to the daily Wordle, and loves playing football.

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