Monsters of Med School: enucleation of red blood cells

By: Vicky Koski-Karell

Ask a Scientist is on vacation this week, but will return next week! In the meantime, here's one of Vicky's monsters of med school: enucleation of red blood cells. 

DNA encodes all of the information necessary for life, and each cell in our body stores its DNA in its nucleus, a specialized compartment within the cell that protects the DNA from damage. Every cell in our body contains a nucleus, except for red blood cells. Interestingly, red blood cells develop with a nucleus in the bone marrow (where all blood cells develop), and then lose their nucleus as they mature and enter the bloodstream. This process is called red blood cell (or erythrocyte) enucleation.