October 17, 2012

Tube of Blood (separated)

This is just a tube of blood that sat out on a counter. The red cells settle at the bottom. Somebody once had the hair brained idea of taking the settled red cells and injecting them back into athletes in order to boost endurance. The same effect can be achieved by training at high altitudes since the body has to compensate for the decreased oxygen, though probably not as well. It used to be very hard to detect, this blood doping. But now they have well documented tests that can catch it, even with normal variability among humans and hematocrit (the fraction of your blood that is composed of red cells). At least it is natural, however, it is also heartbreaking to find out the lengths that heroes will go to be heroes.
tube of blood where the red cells have settled